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Wilson is a Victim of His Own Reputation
Death, taxes and a controversial Tom Wilson hit.
In Friday’s 6-3 win over the New Jersey Devils, the top line winger was given another match penalty, this one for a “illegal check to the head.”
The main point of contact was clearly the shorter.
Looks to me like he tried to avoid. pic.twitter.com/e2P8ZGEp6E
— Marcus Boutilier (@SportMajor) December 1, 2018
And, again, people were already calling for suspensions and calling it a reputation call. This one seems like it is the latter.
Even the person Wilson hit admitted he didn’t get hit in the head.
Brett Seney on Wilson's hit on him: "It was more kind of back of my shoulder. I don't know if he was intending to do it or what. I haven't had the chance to look at it yet."
— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) December 1, 2018
Capitals head coach Todd Reirden had strong words in defense of Wilson.
"I'm having a really tough time with this one. He isn't even trying to make a hit. It's incidental contact," "He's not even attempting to make a hit. This guy is doing everything he can to play the right way and this is how things are happening."- Reirden.
— Capitals Outsider (@CapsOutsider) December 1, 2018
Is the hit questionable? Yes. Is the hit dumb? Yes. Is the hit head-to-head? No.
The reality is, because it is Tom Wilson, everyone already has there preconceived notions.
Frank Seravalli from TSN sums it up perfectly.
This was Wilson’s 9th game back since 14-gm suspension that cost him $882k. It’s late. It’s unnecessary. But it’s not an illegal check to the head. It will get a lot more 👀 because it’s Wilson, but ultimately if it’s not a suspension for everyone else, it shouldn’t be for Wilson https://t.co/FCakt2i1s3
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) December 1, 2018
This hit is interference, at best. Wilson was given a match penalty because Seney was “hurt” and went to the locker room. Seney came back and played in the third period. If anybody else made this hit, they would have been given a interference minor and possibly a fine.
But instead, Wilson got a match penalty because it was him who made this hit. Wilson straddles the line, but not every hit he makes is predatory.