Tom Wilson is a lightning rod for controversy and Sunday he landed another borderline hit.
During the second period of Game Two, the hulking winger delivered a tandem bodycheck with Alex Ovechkin on Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin.
The hit knocked Dumoulin out of the game and he did not return for the third period.
As Dumoulin skated around the net, both Wilson and Ovechkin committed to a bodycheck. Dumoulin, unaware of Wilson behind him, stopped and turned his head. Wilson hit the defenseman in the head with his shoulder.
Here’s another look.
Dumoulin looked dazed after the rough run and skated wobbly off the ice. Wilson was not accessed a penalty.
During intermission, NBC Sports’ Keith Jones believed Wilson would not be suspended for the hit.
“I think they got it right,” Jones said. “I mean this is a tough one. We looked at it in slow motion a number of times. But you’ll see Dumoulin turn there. Wilson is pursuing him from behind. By definition of the rule, Wilson does not have the ability to turn away from the hit. He’s already committed to it. And the fact Dumoulin stopped and turned into it is what’s going to keep Tom Wilson, in my opinion, from a suspension and also kept Tom Wilson from getting a penalty on that play.”
Patrick Sharp added that “this is a devastating loss (for the Penguins). Dumoulin has so much value in the backend. He could be their most reliable defenseman.”
Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos had a similar opinion of his NBC counterpart.
Kypreos on the Wilson hit: “Wilson had no intention of clipping in the head, it just happened, it’s unavoidable contact, that’s the way I see it.” pic.twitter.com/qZiLrumYHX
— NHL Prospects Watcher (@Prospects_Watch) April 29, 2018
Earlier in the postseason, Wilson also made head contact with Alexander Wennberg during the first round, causing the Blue Jackets forward to miss time in the series.
Wilson’s hit was reviewed by the Department of Player Safety but was not given supplemental discipline on the play.
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