For the second time in the 2018 National Hockey League Playoffs, Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson has managed to avoid a suspension. The first time happened against the Columbus Blue Jackets when Wilson hit Jackets forward Alexander Wennberg (who would miss three games). Wilson walked away with only a two minute penalty for charging. Wilson avoided contact because the Department of Player Safety couldn’t determine if the head was the main point of contact.
Wilson struck again Sunday against the Pittsburgh Penguins when he knocked out Brian Dumoulin in what is being described as a borderline/controversial hit. But I’ll let you be the judge of that, click here to see Wilson’s hit. Now after watching the video you’re probably wondering how did Wilson avoid hearing from the disciplinary community?
Well it’s because the Department of Player Safety believes that Dumoulin, who was bracing with contact with forward Alex Ovechhkin, moved his head thus why the contact with Wilson was so bad.
This seems to be the theme of Wilson’s career pulling off big hits and walking away with little to no punishment, which for a league that is trying to eliminate hits to the head and concussions seems to be counterproductive. I say that because even if Dumoulin was bracing for contact with Ovi so his head moved a fraction of an inch, why is Wilson’s elbow coming up so high? Why does it look like Wilson was deliberately aiming for Dumoulin’s head? Plus given his track record the lovely DoPS could’ve easily fined Wilson in an effort to help correct his behavior.
Dumoulin was on the ice this morning for practice in Pittsburgh and is reportedly playing in Game 3 so the hit didn’t do any lasting damage, but Wilson should be on high alert because he’s going to have the full Penguins roster gunning for him to teach him a lesson in how to play smart hockey.