Wil­son com­plains about Stral­man hit

Caps for­ward has drawn sanc­tions for dirty plays

Richmond Times-Dispatch - - BASEBALL -

WASH­ING­TON — For bet­ter or worse, Wash­ing­ton Cap­i­tals for­ward Tom Wil­son is an ex­pert when it comes to know­ing what the NHL con­sid­ers when pun­ish­ing some­one for a dan­ger­ous hit, and he thinks Tampa Bay Light­ning de­fense­man An­ton Stral­man could be in trou­ble.

Wil­son, who served a three-game sus­pen­sion ear­lier this post­sea­son, spoke out about the way Stral­man slammed him into the glass in the first pe­riod of what turned into a 4-2 vic­tory for Tampa Bay over Wash­ing­ton in Game 3 of the Eastern Con­fer­ence fi­nal on Tues­day night.

Stral­man was sent to the penalty box for board­ing on the play.

“It’s a vul­ner­a­ble po­si­tion. There’s no doubt there’s con­tact with my head. If I’m wear­ing a hel­met from five years ago, I think I’m prob­a­bly un­con­scious. So we’ll see what they say,” Wil­son said, re­fer­ring to the pos­si­bil­ity of the league’s depart­ment of player safety re­view­ing the mat­ter.

On the play, Wil­son was fac­ing the glass not too far from the Cap­i­tals’ bench when Stral­man hit him from be­hind. Wil­son dropped to the ice and put his right glove to his Golden Knights cen­ter Jonathan Marches­sault cel­e­brates his goal dur­ing of Game 3 of the Western Con­fer­ence fi­nals in Las Ve­gas. The game did not end be­fore press time. Get a re­port at Rich­mond.com.


Af­ter the game, which al­lowed the Light­ning to cut their series deficit to 2-1, Wil­son talked about the “goose egg on the side of my head” and ac­knowl­edged, “It took me a lit­tle bit to col­lect my­self.”

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.”

“That’s a lot of ‘don’ts’ for me. From what they’ve been telling me, that’s a lot of ‘don’ts.’ If I make that hit, 100 per­cent I’m prob­a­bly

sit­ting out. So we’ll see. It’s play­offs. It’s an in­tense time of year,” Wil­son said. “I don’t think he’s a ma­li­cious player, at all. But it’s a pretty dan­ger­ous hit.”

The game was score­less at the time of that hit, but Tampa Bay would go on to take a 3-0 lead en route to the vic­tory. Wil­son thought that Stral­man’s play might have set a tone that af­fected the way play went.

“(When) some­one gets run from be­hind, for the next cou­ple shifts, you might be a lit­tle more ten­ta­tive com­ing back for pucks,” Wil­son said. “We’ve got to play through it. There’s go­ing to be emo­tion.”

Se­nior vice pres­i­dent of player safety Ge­orge Par­ros was at Tues­day’s game. Dur­ing the sea­son, Par­ros and Wil­son met for about an hour to go over video clips of var­i­ous hits so the player could un­der­stand what the league is con­sid­er­ing.

Dur­ing Wash­ing­ton’s elim­i­na­tion of two-time reign­ing Stan­ley Cup cham­pion Pitts­burgh in the sec­ond round of the play­offs, Wil­son missed three games af­ter break­ing Pen­guins rookie Zach As­tonReese’s jaw in a col­li­sion.

Wil­son also was forced to sit out two pre­sea­son games fol­low­ing a late hit on an op­po­nent, then was sus­pended for the first four games of the reg­u­lar sea­son for board­ing a player shortly af­ter his re­turn.


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