In case you missed it, early in the second period of yesterday afternoon’s Game 2 matchup between the Metro Divison rival Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals, Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin was rattled by Capitals forwards Alex Ovechkin and Tom Wilson, the result of a BRUTAL sandwich style head shot deep in the Pens zone.
As he was breaking the puck out from behind his own net, Dumoulin makes a quick pass up ice and then stops up when he sees Ovechkin in his trolley tracks. While Dumoulin avoids getting absolutely trucked by Ovechkin, Wilson follows through with his shoulder to the back and side of Dumoulin’s head.
Here’s the play in question:
Watch Dumoulin’s reaction. You can see him stop up on Ovechkin, but as he does so he turns directly into Wilson, who appears to be trying to get around him. As a result Dumoulin takes the full force of Wilson’s shoulder into his head and goes down hard once he eventually makes contact with Ovechkin.
Dumoulin stayed down on the ice until the Penguins training staff was able to properly assess him. He left the game and did not return.
The question is whether or not Wilson intended to follow through with the shoulder on Dumoulin, or whether Dumoulin’s stop up on Alex Ovechkin caused the collision?
Either way, Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan isn’t sharing his thoughts… perhaps wary of some supplemental discipline from the league for speaking out.
Today, NHL Player Safety has announced that it WILL not have a hearing for Wilson and that the Caps pugilist will not face any supplemental discipline for his part in Dumoulin’s injury. This according to a report from ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski:
Given Wilson's history, it was expected that he’d receive some attention for this hit. While Wilson doesn’t appear to initiate contact with Dumoulin on purpose, the Capitals pest’s reputation precedes him. Just the words “Wilson” and “head shot” were likely enough to get the interest of NHL Player Safety alone. For what it's worth, Wilson has been a surprisingly valuable offensive player for the Caps so far this post season with two goals and five points in seven games so far in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Certainly, Penguins fans won’t be happy with this news. In fact, Wilson hasn’t earned many fans himself across the entire NHL. So there’s a good chance that the league will face some major push back as a result of this decision.
More to come on the fallout of this non-suspension.