Nine games after returning from a 20-game suspension (that was ultimately reduced to 14 games), Tom Wilson was tossed from the Capitals’ 6-3 win against the New Jersey Friday night after another questionable hit.
Wilson was given a match penalty for clipping Brett Seney late and from behind in the shoulder. Devils head coach John Hynes thought the ejection was the right call, and team captain Andy Greene described the hit as “senseless.” Caps head coach Todd Reirden thought the ejection was due to Wilson’s reputation and the play should have resulted in no more than a two-minute minor for interference.
Saturday morning, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety ruled that Wilson would not be suspended or receive further discipline on the play.
Talking to reporters after Capitals practice, Wilson stated that while being ejected “sucked” and was “frustrating,” he had no blame for the officials trying to make the call in real time. The hit, according to Wilson, was just “a hockey play” and “a bit of a collision.”
Moving forward, Wilson said “I just have to make sure I’m doing whatever I can to avoid any type of thing that’s going to go across the league’s plate.”
“As we saw, I have to be very, very careful about any type of contact,” Wilson concluded.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) December 1, 2018
What are your thoughts on everything that happened last night?
Tom Wilson: I don’t think you can really blame anyone for what happened. The refs are trying to do their job calling in real time. They’ve got an extremely tough [job]. Unfortunately, I have to leave the game. The department looked at it – they’re doing their job. End of the day – it’s a hockey play. It’s a bit of a collision. It is what it is. There’s not really much to talk about I don’t think.
It seems like your reputation now will not get you the benefit of the doubt.
Tom Wilson: That’s the reality of it. Anytime I’m involved in contact it’s assumed that… I’m skating away and it’s a match penalty. It sucks. That’s what it is. I have to keep playing my game, produce, and help the team win. As we saw, I have to be very, very careful about any type of contact.
In retrospect, do you think could you have avoided the contact altogether?
Tom Wilson: I mean, I’m trying to avoid that. You can see that I’m trying to make myself small. I’m not even looking at him, I’m looking at my defenseman going down the wall. People run into each other all the time in hockey. You see those interference penalties. Guys are crossing the blue lines, they run into each other. Happened two nights ago in another game. Guy runs over a guy by accident. It’s a fast game. There’s a lot of big strong guys out there. There’s only so much space. Guys are going to run into each other. I just have to make sure I’m doing whatever I can to avoid any type of thing that’s going to go across the league’s plate.
How does the ejection make you feel, especially when you’ve had such a hot start to the season?
Tom Wilson: It’s pretty frustrating to be honest. I’m out there, feeling good about my game. I feel like I’ve made some really good adjustments. Team’s playing well and then you get thrown out of a game. It sucks. Obviously I was pretty frustrated about it last night, but it’s the reality. We deal with today and we move on. We can talk about it all day, but it doesn’t really matter. But it’s all been resolved and we have a big game tomorrow.
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