Tom Wilson had a strong game against the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday, but it was not without controversy.
Wilson received 14 penalty minutes and blew a gasket during a late second-period exchange with the Carolina Hurricanes bench.
The Capitals forward had to be ushered away from the Hurricanes bench by two officials before being escorted to the tunnel on the other side of the ice.
Wilson was initially given a two-minute minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct against Warren Foegele – the same Warren Foegele that leveled TJ Oshie into the boards with a cheap shot that broke his collarbone and ended his season during the playoffs. As things seemed to calm down, Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour walked over and chirped Wilson from the bench.
The first-line right wing ripped out his mouthpiece and began screaming at the head coach. As the Canadian forward tried to make his way towards Brind’Amour, the officials headed him off causing contact. Wilson got a passing shove from backup goaltender James Reimer as he was pushed off the ice.
Wilson was given a ten-minute misconduct and returned for the third period to serve out the rest of his time from the penalty box.
— Ian Oland (@ianoland) September 29, 2019
“I was pretty calm until some words came from their bench and it wasn’t the players so we’ll leave it at that,” Wilson said after the game to The Washington Post’s Samathana Pell. “He’s clearly an emotional guy but I don’t think, you ask anyone around the league, coaches chirping players is appropriate.”
When asked about the incident, Todd Reirden took several seconds to consider his words.
“That’s something that I strongly, strongly disagree with is a coach talking to the players from the other team,” Reirden said. “I had some comments for their bench as I walked off between periods. You don’t get a chance to play anymore as a coach so you shouldn’t be talking to someone who is playing. To me, that’s off limits. That’s something I’ve always believed as a player as a coach.
“No coaches should be yelling at players from other teams because you have no chance to do anything about it,” Reirden added. “Hockey’s a special game, in respect to the battle and the compete and the enthusiasm and all the passion out there, but it’s for the players, but when coaches get involved, that’s wrong.”
Wilson received another two-minute minor, this time for roughing, at the end of the game as well.
The intense preseason game sets up what should be fireworks in the two teams’ first matchup of the regular season on October 5.
“It definitely was not a normal preseason game,” Reirden said. “There was a lot of emotion from both teams… Obviously, what went on last year with our teams.
“I liked our compete today,” Reirden added. “I liked how we stuck together as a group. We did some good things. I like when our team plays with that physical element and we’re pretty tough to play against.
Headline photo: NBC Sports Washington
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