In case you missed it last night, Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson absolutely ROCKED Vegas Golden Knights forward Jonathan Marchessault with a late neutral zone hit that ended up sending Marchessault to the trainer’s room for concussion evaluation.
Here’s the hit:
Oof… that’s gotta hurt. Not only is the hit very late, but it’s also a textbook blindside hit, as well. Marchessault doesn’t see Wilson coming and has no time to brace for an impact. In the end, Marchessault would shake things off and come back just a few shifts later.
After Vegas’ 6-4 win last night, Marchessault was asked to comment on Wilson and the hit, but Vegas’ leading scorer elected to take the high road.
Jonathan Marchessault on Tom Wilson: “A couple seconds late. I don’t really have to talk about it. The league’s going to take care of it.”
His teammate Ryan Reaves though took the bait saying, “It was a late blindside hit like Wilson always does.”
Ryan Reaves on Marchessault/Wilson hit: “It was a late blindside hit like Wilson always does.”
For what it’s worth, Wilson was assessed an interference penalty on the play, but given his track record and the potential for such a catastrophic injury as a result of this hit, we full expect that he’ll receive a phone call from NHL Player Safety. Whether or not Wilson receives a suspension or a fine for the hit however, remains to be seen.
It’s also worth noting that former Vancouver Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome was dealt a historic four game suspension for a late hit on Boston Bruins forward Nathan Horton in Game 3 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final.
Of course, there are differences between the Wilson and Rome hits, most notably the damage done to the victim. In Horton’s case, he’d never be the same again. In Marchessault’s case, he’d only miss a shift before returning to the game. Still… both hits are textbook blindside hits and suspendible in the eyes on NHL Player Safety. If nothing else, it’ll be interesting to see who the NHL handles Wilson and his hit from Game 1.