First call: Ryan Reaves wipes out Tom Wilson with blindside hit
In Wednesday’s “First Call,” we look at karma’s relationship with Tom Wilson, Patric Hornqvist’s hat trick, the Steelers’ new running back, referee discipline and a Sam Nover memory.
When bad things happen to bad people
There was another blindside hit incident involving Washington forward Tom Wilson.
Well this time it was Wilson receiving the hit from former Penguins player Ryan Reaves. The Vegas enforcer knocked down Wilson with this blast.
Reaves got a five-minute major and a game misconduct for it.
This is the part where I’m supposed to fake sympathy and act like I’m upset street justice was finally administered to Wilson, right?
Right? I mean, that’s how it works. I’m supposed to get all sanctimonious here and say “no one deserves a hit like that” and pretend like I’m not happy karma exists, correct?
But Reaves was clearly on a mission. He was going after Wilson all night.
Reaves had gotten leveled by Wilson earlier in the game.
Ryan Reaves just got LEVELED by Tom Wilson. You don't see Reaves go down too often. pic.twitter.com/QWvGoG2q0x
— Ryan Quigley (@RP_Quigs) December 5, 2018
And there was more.
Uh, Alex Ovechkin May want to lay low for a while. Goodness gracious pic.twitter.com/jwhtPphM9b
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) December 5, 2018
The Capitals lost 5-3. But that was hardly the big story.
Hatty for Horny
If you missed Patric Hornqvist’s natural hat trick against the Avalanche last night, here it is.
That is the fastest hat trick in Pittsburgh Penguins history.
Patric Hornqvist gets the natural hat trick in just 2 minutes and 47 seconds. The previous record was 4 minutes and 10 seconds set by Nils Ekman in 2006. pic.twitter.com/eQx5P71Szm
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) December 5, 2018
It was the fastest in Penguins history. The winger tallied three goals in just 2 minutes, 47 seconds. Nils Ekman had the previous record for three straight goals in 4:10.
No, seriously, it happened. Here’s proof.
How about the pass from Sidney Crosby on the third goal?! Sick.
Ekman did it against Tampa Bay. He once played for the Lightning. And he had only three other goals that season, his last in the NHL. After that hat trick, Ekman suffered a bad elbow injury that kept him in the press box for three months.
The next year, he went to Russia.
Wreck it Ralph
To add running back depth, the Steelers signed Ralph Webb to the practice squad. I talked about him this summer.
He spent time on the Buccaneers practice squad, too. And he had a good preseason with the Patriots.
Webb must’ve been great in college. He left the SEC as its sixth all-time top rusher. Playing at Vanderbilt. Playing against dozens of NFL defenders over the years.
Via NESN, here’s what New England coach Bill Belichick said about him after scoring twice in a preseason game against Washington.
“It’s what he was like at Vanderbilt: he ran hard, he’s tough. He’s not the biggest guy, but he’s got good strength for his size and he runs hard … He’s a tough kid, runs with good pad level. He’s got good speed, catches the ball well. Made a nice catch on the two-point play. It was a low ball, made a good adjustment on the catch and got it in.”
Keep ’em coming
The NFL fired a referee early in the season. Hugo Cruz was canned for missing a false start by a Chargers tackle.
Ironic, after Sunday’s Steelers loss to Los Angeles, right?
Now Roy Ellison is on administrative leave for allegedly getting into a verbal altercation with Buffalo’s Jerry Hughes.
It wouldn’t be the first time Ellison is suspended. That happened in 2013 after an on-field incident during a game involving the Redskins.
And if the NFL is in a discipline kind of mood, maybe it should look at those missed calls at Heinz Field Sunday night a little closer.
A Sam Nover memory
Pittsburgh sports Twitter was awash with Sam Nover memories Tuesday. The former WPXI sportscaster died at the age of 77.
My first job in Pittsburgh was as a paid intern at Channel 11 back in 1994.
Yes, they paid interns back then.
On Day 2 of my internship, Sam came in unexpectedly early, and I was working at his desk.
Me: “Sorry, Mr. Nover.”
Sam: “You never have to call me Mr. Nover.”
Sam: “You also never have to use my desk. Use that one.”
Me: “Yes, Mr. Nover.”
It was the start of a wonderful summer. Sam was always good to me, that year as a student, and especially when I came back to work here professionally.
He was a huge personality on and off the air. He’ll be missed.
Rest in peace, Sam.