Capitals' Tom Wilson takes exception to Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman's hit

Jose Verdugo
May 16, 2018

After the incident, Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin exchanged some words with Stralman.

Capitals forward Tom Wilson took issue Tuesday with a hit from Tampa's Anton Stralman during the first period of Washington's 4-2 loss. Stralman was given a minor penalty for boarding, but after the game Wilson made clear he did not think that was sufficient. Instead, Wilson explained that Stralman's actions fit what the Department of Player Safety deems a risky, and suspendible, hit. "So we'll see what they say", Wilson said, referring to the possibility of the league's department of player safety reviewing the matter.

As Wilson went to retrieve a loose puck along the boards, Stralman checked the Capitals winger from behind. Wilson dropped to the ice and put his right glove to his helmet.

He said the hit included "everything I've heard all year: He sees (jersey) numbers for a good amount of time, and he elevates through the back of my shoulder and head".

Capitals coach Barry Trotz referred to those as "red flags", and added, "I understand where Tom's coming from, no question".

Capitals' Tom Wilson takes exception to Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman's hit
Capitals' Tom Wilson takes exception to Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman's hit

"I can tell you if it's maybe the other way around, you better believe they're looking at it and you better believe there might be a little bit more attention on it", he said. That's a lot of don'ts, for me, from what they've been telling me, that's a lot of don'ts. So we'll see. It's playoffs.

"I don't really know anymore", Wilson said. He was suspended three games for his hit that caused the Penguins' Zach Aston-Reese to suffer a broken jaw and a concussion, and he delivered a hit that forced the Blue Jackets' Josh Anderson to miss time during the first round. "I don't think he's a malicious player at all, but it's a pretty unsafe hit".

"Yeah, I think", he said. But it's a pretty unsafe hit. Wilson thought that Stralman's play might have set a tone that affected the way play went. Wilson was slow to get up and went back to the locker room to be evaluated for an injury. "There's going to be emotion".

After the game, Wilson spoke to reporters about the hit and referenced his own history with the Player Safety.

Wilson was asked whether the NHL's player safety department should take a look. He returned to the rink four minutes of ice time later, but was still bothered after the game.

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