Two days after Boston Bruins forward Trent Frederic cheap-shotted and tried to fight Alex Ovechkin in a game, the Washington Capitals made Tom Wilson the only player available to speak after the team’s morning skate.
Wilson was asked by The Athletic’s Tarik El-Bashir if the Bruins were targeting their top stars.
Wilson smiled big. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
"Playing that playoff brand hockey. We can expect that tonight and we know we're going to have to be good and we know we're going to have to have that compete, so we're looking forward to it."
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) March 5, 2021
“Yeah, that was a little weird,” Wilson observed. “I think if it would have been the other way, there would have been a lot more attention drawn to it per se if one of our guys was going after their stars or something like that. It’s probably a game within the game.”
As for Wilson worrying about Ovechkin, he would not be.
“I think Ovi can more than handle himself,” Wilson observed. “He’s a machine.”
Frederic shoved Ovechkin dangerously into the boards while he was on his edges in the third period. Ovechkin got up enraged and Frederic dropped his gloves, trying to goad Ovi into a fight. Later in the period, Frederic cross-checked Ovechkin in the right arm. Ovi responded with a stick-bending spear to Frederic’s crotch. Ovi was fined $5,000 by the NHL on Thursday.
“I like to give [Trent] the benefit of the doubt,” Wilson said. “Young guy coming into the league dropping the gloves with a star. At the end of the day, we’re going to show up, play hard, and try and get the two points tonight.”
Frederic, a sandpapery player who got Wilson to fight in the third period of a game earlier in the season, said that he was showing Ovechkin “respect” by playing him so hard.
“I think when you come to Boston and play in the Garden, you know what type of hockey that you’re going to have to play,” Wilson said alluding to another physical game Friday night. “That’s something they’ve done for a long time and something we’ve tried to have in our game. Just to be hard to play against and play the right way – play that playoff brand of hockey. We can expect that tonight. And we know we’re going to have to be good and have to have that compete. We’re looking forward to it.
“I think that’s why everyone loves hockey. There’s hitting, there’s fighting, there’s emotion. That’s what great about our game. When it becomes a skill, all-star game with no emotion, that’s when I think people go to sleep.”
Screenshot courtesy of the @Capitals
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