Tom Wilson spoke for the first time on Monday since suffering an injury that saw him leave the third period of Friday’s game. He also missed practice on Saturday and did not play in Sunday’s matinee against the Buffalo Sabres before returning to the ice on Monday.
While speaking to reporters, Wilson admitted that he was unsure if he’d be able to play Tuesday night against the New York Islanders and wanted to be really careful to not make his lower-body injury worse by returning too soon.
“I felt pretty good (during today’s skate),” Wilson said. “Obviously good enough to stay out there (for the optional practice), but there’s a big difference between flow drills and a skate through than an NHL hockey game with tons of battles and physical exertion. [It’s] just one of those things you can’t really push through. Pushing through might aggravate it.
“Obviously, I want to be out there,” Wilson continued. “I want to be battling with the guys, but there’s lots of hockey left this year and we just have to be smart.”
Wilson said there wasn’t a particular play, like a big hit or an awkward fall, where he injured himself.
“If you look through the film of the game, you’re not going to find anything,” Wilson said. “It was a really weird one. It’s something I’ve never had before. Mentally I’m dealing with that too with how it’s feeling and not having experience in the past. It’s one of those things that’s probably fairly specific to hockey but something that I’ve just got to be careful with. It wasn’t one play or another. It was just kind of an unlucky thing that happened during a shift.”
This is just a hunch, but Tom’s description suggests that he could possibly be struggling from a groin or hip injury.
“I think the day-to-day label is still pretty accurate,” Wilson said. “I don’t know anything right now. I gotta see how I feel tonight, tomorrow morning during [the morning] skate. A lot of time before puck drop and we’ll see how the body responds.”
Meanwhile, Laviolette was unsure what he’d do with the team’s lineup Tuesday night, but agreed he didn’t want to push Tom back too early.
“I’ll probably wait to see what my options are tomorrow before I get in to saying something that might or might not happen,” Laviolette said. “It was good. It’s always positive when a player’s out there. In the same sense, it’s early in the season and we want to make sure he’s ready to go and doesn’t take steps backwards. Tomorrow for me will determine a lot. Once we have some answers, then we’ll talk about internally who’s going to fill the spots.”
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