Early in the first period, Tom Wilson knocked John Moore out of the game while trying to forecheck in the offensive zone. As Moore fetched the puck and sent a backhanded pass to a teammate, Wilson hit the Devils defender in the shoulder and middle of the back, sending Moore’s head careening into the boards. Moore would be stretchered off the ice and taken to a local hospital. Wilson was not whistled for a penalty on the play.
After the game, Wilson spoke about the hit and seemed shaken by it.
“First off, that’s probably one of the worst things in hockey to see a guy go down like that,” Wilson said to reporters. “You never want to see that. I’m going on the forecheck. His back is to me so I try to let up a little bit. I wasn’t trying to finish my check and I kind of rubbed him out. Honestly, I wasn’t aware he went down until I looked back.”
“That play happens an awful lot in hockey, those over pucks, and I don’t know if he couldn’t get his hands up to protect himself or whatever,” Wilson continued. “Obviously that wasn’t my intent. I’m wishing him the best.”
The video supports Wilson. As the burly Caps forward was coming in to hit Moore, Wilson turned his skates to slow down and blunt the impact of his check. It seems unlikely there will be any supplemental discipline from the NHL.
Devils Head Coach John Hynes later communicated to the press what officials told him.
Hynes on Wilson hit on Moore: "It looked like it was a penalty. The refs felt because he didn’t get launched into the glass it wasn’t."
— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) December 31, 2016
After the game, the Devils organization announced some good news. Moore would be released from the hospital later this afternoon.
Head Coach John Hynes updated the media that Moore will be released from the hospital this afternoon. https://t.co/fmI596aDpQ
— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) December 31, 2016
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