Tom Wilson continued his hot start to the 2018-19 season.
Wilson scored a goal and registered an assist in the Capitals’ 3-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings.
The two points give the Wilson eight in his first six games. Wilson now ranks tenth on the Capitals in points despite playing in 16 fewer games than his teammates due to suspension.
After the game, Alex Ovechkin compared his linemate to a Hockey Hall of Famer.
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“He’s one of the leaders on the team,” Ovechkin said. “He bring energy of course. He bring toughness. I think when he’s on the ice the other team get a little afraid because he’s a big boy. He can hit and now we can see he’s kind of like Eric Lindros. Play hard, score goals, and good assists.”
Ovechkin added that Wilson “has a Cup.”
Lindros, a 6-foot 4-inch former first overall pick, was a point-per-game player during his career, registering 865 points in 760 games. The former Flyers captain scored 40 goals four times, winning the Hart Trophy, as league MVP, in 1995. Lindros was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2016.
Wilson has long been compared to Edmonton Oilers forward Milan Lucic, who mixed big hits, physical play, and timely goal scoring — Lucic is a four-time 20-goal scorer and a one-time 30-goal scorer — to much success. This is the first comparison Wilson has received from someone of stature to Lindros.
“The game of hockey is not about hitting people, it’s about making plays,” Ovechkin continued. “If you have a chance to hit, why not? He’s grown up as a person and as a player. He’s getting better.”
Wilson first got the Capitals on the board 12:13 into the second period Friday night.
After taking a pass from Nicklas Backstrom, Wilson skated to the center of the ice and fired a shot bar down past Jonathan Bernier – an incredible individual play.
Crediting his linemates on the goal, Wilson said “I just kinda ripped it.”
In the third period, Wilson received a secondary assist on Ovechkin’s goal, which put the Caps up 3-1.
But the goal and the assist were just part of what made Wilson so dominating overall. Wilson received the second most ice time among all Capitals forwards (21:36), getting ample time on both the penalty kill (2:12) and power play (3:52).
Wilson also drew a third-period hooking penalty on Mike Green by skating hard to the net.
Wilson threw the body, being credited for two hits on the evening.
See below. Make that 17 in 21.
The Washington Capitals are 16-4 in their last 20 regular-season games when Tom Wilson plays. Happy Friday.
— luke fox (@lukefoxjukebox) November 23, 2018
Wilson may be a pariah for fans across the league, but in DC, the 2012 first-round pick is turning the corner and morphinh into that talented offensive player that once lit up junior-age goaltenders in the OHL. The question though remains the same: can he stay on the ice?
Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill on Tom Wilson:
“I’m a big fan. I think he’s a real good player. He’s a different dynamic than a lot of guys in the league. Very few guys are as physical and tough but yet with a good skill set.
— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) November 23, 2018
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