Washington Capitals gritty forward Tom Wilson is back in the news because of a questionable hit, but - not so fast - this is not what you think! For one rare occasion, Wilson is finding himself on the other side of the coin.
Wilson, who was suspended for three games for his jaw-breaking hit on Pittsburgh Penguins rookie Zach Aston-Reese in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, felt like he was now the victim of an illegal check from Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman during the third game of the Eastern Conference finals on Tuesday night.
While the veteran blue liner was assessed a two-minute penalty for boarding on the play, the Caps enforcer does not believe it was enough and claims that he would have gotten a suspension if he had delivered such a hit on a Bolts player. Wilson also added that he believes that Stralman left his feet, hit him in numbers and there was contact with his head.
"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. We'll see what they say."
Wilson's reputation surely does not help him here, and according to Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post, supplemental discipline for Stralman likely won’t be coming:
"But Stralman won’t be suspended for the boarding, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. Typically, on plays where a player sees the hitter approaching and turns his back, and the hitting player then attempts to minimize the force — Stralman was considered to have changed his angle to hit the back shoulder — there isn’t supplementary discipline."
Fans could not believe Wilson had the balls to be doing the complaining after the repeated offender has found himself meeting with the NHL's department of safety too many times now. They have called him out on social media, without pity:
Let's just say that Wilson and Stralman do not have the same relationship with the league's department of player safety. The Lightning defenseman is not considered a repeat offender.
It will be very interesting to see if Wilson is able to keep his cool heading into Game 4, which will take place in Washington on Thursday night.