It is time to reset the Tom Wilson controversy clock. 9 video games after getting back from a prolonged suspension, one other one of many Washington Capitals ahead’s hits has induced a firestorm.
Wilson was ejected from the Capitals’ 6-Three win over the New Jersey Devils on Friday evening, given a match penalty at 17:39 of the second interval for a hit from behind on Devils ahead Brett Seney. Though he appeared injured on the play, Seney returned to play Three minutes and 20 seconds within the third interval.
With the Devils pressuring within the Capitals’ defensive zone, Seney spun round and despatched the puck to the nook. As Seney skated backward in the direction of the blue line, Wilson skated into the zone towards the puck. He made contact with Seney’s higher physique, and the Devils ahead fell to the ice together with his head in his fingers.
Wilson has been a frequent goal of the NHL Division of Participant Security, having been suspended 4 occasions since September 2017. His final suspension, for a hit to the pinnacle of St. Louis Blues ahead Oskar Sundqvist in a preseason sport on Sept. 30, 2018, earned him a 20-game suspension from the NHL. It was subsequently lowered to 14 video games after Wilson and the NHLPA appealed to a impartial arbitrator, though the Capitals ahead had already served 16 video games.
Regardless of the discount, the implications had been clear: The following Tom Wilson suspension for a hit to the pinnacle may imply an enormous punishment, particularly given his repeat-offender standing with a number of suspensions.
However does this play rise to the extent of supplemental self-discipline?
That is the hit that bought Tom Wilson a match penalty tonight. pic.twitter.com/ST8Z2FMHAh
— Bucci Mane (@Buccigross) December 1, 2018
The Capitals believed it didn’t.
“[Wilson] is not even intending to make a hit. It is incidental contact, and he’s following his defenseman down the wall, the participant backs into him, he tries to get out of the way in which of the participant, makes himself as small as potential, and there is incidental contact,” mentioned Capitals coach Todd Reirden after the sport. “This man is doing all the pieces he can to strive to play the proper method, and that is how issues are taking place. It is a powerful scenario. We simply have two gamers that bought concussions, they do not even name a penalty on [those plays].”
Alan Might, a former Capitals participant who’s now a broadcaster for the staff on NBC Sports activities Washington, additionally disagreed with the decision.
“It should not have even been a minor penalty,” Might mentioned. “That is incidental contact. It is a participant skating backwards, and Tom Wilson making an attempt to play a defensive function. He isn’t even making an attempt to hit him. The referee appears out of the nook of his eye and sees No. 43. A two-minute penalty, not to mention a five-minute penalty, I feel it is disgusting. The Capitals ought to be upset as a corporation.”
Whereas the optics had been dangerous, that is possible how the Division of Participant Security will view it: a late hit, however not one which’s a predatory hit to the pinnacle of Seney. One other controversy for Tom Wilson, however not essentially one which’s going to result in one other suspension.
Wilson has been on an offensive tear since getting back from suspension, scoring seven targets and 6 assists in 9 video games, together with a objective in opposition to the Devils.