Tom Wilson hopes the NHL’s Department of Player Safety was watching Game 3 between the Washington Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night. More specifically, Wilson wants George Parros and his staff to take action for what occurred between him and defenseman Anton Stralman during the first period of the contest.
As Wilson went to retrieve a loose puck along the boards, Stralman checked the Capitals winger from behind. Stralman made contact with both the No. 43 on the back of Wilson’s jersey as well as his head. Wilson immediately fell to the ice and Stralman was assessed a boarding minor. Alex Ovechkin took issue with the hit and confronted Stralman before being seperated by officials.
Anton Stralman boards Tom Wilson pic.twitter.com/6Utmql31oq
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) May 16, 2018
The Capitals winger isn’t content with the punishment Stralman was issued. Instead, Wilson explained that Stralman’s actions fit what the Department of Player Safety deems a dangerous, and suspendible, hit.
“He leaves his feet,” Wilson said per NBC Sports Washington. “I’m in a pretty vulnerable spot and he drives my head through the glass. It took me a little bit to collect myself. He sees numbers for a good amount of time and he elevates through the back of my shoulder and head.
“It’s (the Department of Player Safety’s) job to look at it. They’re probably reviewing it. I don’t know how much goes into it. I can tell you, if it’s maybe the other way around you better believe they’re looking at it and you better believe there might be a little more attention on it. It doesn’t matter. It’s a vulnerable position. There’s no doubt there’s contact with my head. We’ll see what they said.”
The NHL rulebook says a boarding penalty “shall be imposed on any player who checks or pushes a defenseless opponent in such a manner that causes the opponent to hit or impact the boards violently or dangerously.” There is no question Stralman committed boarding, hence the penalty call, but the Department of Player Safety has the difficult task of determining the severity of Stralman’s hit. Wilson ultimately returned after the incident and outside of the “goose egg” on Wilson’s head, putting even more doubt that supplemental discipline will be handed to Stralman.
Wilson recognizes an injustice if he was the one to blindly hit Stralman; he has been under the NHL’s microscope all postseason. He was suspended three games for his hit that caused the Penguins’ Zach Aston-Reese to suffer a broken jaw and a concussion, and he delivered a hit that forced the Blue Jackets’ Josh Anderson to miss time during the first round.