Wild center Ryan Hartman on penalty that nearly changed game: ‘It was a terrible call’ – InForum

ST. PAUL — Ryan Hartman didn’t even think twice. Though he’s taken some bad penalties as of late, Hartman was more than happy to fight New Jersey Devils winger Nathan Bastian on Saturday night at Xcel Energy Center.

As far as Hartman was concerned, Bastian had to answer for his dangerously high hit on Kirill Kaprizov. So after the whistle blew, Hartman confronted Bastian behind the net, and both players dropped the gloves.

The only issue? The official assessed Hartman a minor for instigating, a major for fighting and a misconduct. It added up to 17 penalty minutes and negated what would’ve been a power play for the Minnesota Wild.

“It was a terrible call,” Hartman said. “The explanation I was given was that I skated from our blue line into the fight. I was right there the whole time. I think they saw it wrong.”

The other thing that irked Hartman was that Bastian actually dropped the gloves first. That’s something coach Dean Evason also acknowledged postgame.

“That’s what he was arguing to the refs,” Evason said. “He held the guy. He didn’t jump the guy. He didn’t throw a punch first. He waited and asked if the guy wanted to fight and they fought. They were both willing combatants, so yeah, we didn’t think it was an instigator.”

To make matters worse, Devils winger Tomas Tatar scored the go-ahead goal a couple of minutes later.

That angered Hartman even more as he sat in the Wild locker room unable to do anything about it.

“It is what it is,” Hartman said. “To sit 17 minutes for a simple fight is kind of ridiculous.”

The response from the Wild was impressive. Though they were upset things weren’t going their way at that point, they put their heads down and went to work.

“We liked that our frustration level didn’t rise above or get out of control,” Evason said. “Especially with our best player getting hit like he did. It’s a dangerous hit and obviously the league may look at it because I think it’s considered a head shot. We’ll see what transpires there. We liked the way we held our composure for sure.”

Fittingly, after serving his time, Hartman tied the game with a greasy goal in front before the Wild ultimately prevailed in a shootout.

“That’s a character win,” Hartman said. “We’re going to try to keep it going.”


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