By Ian Oland
Tom Wilson got in some hot water with the Toronto Maple Leafs after a hustle play resulted in goaltender Jack Campbell being clipped in the head accidentally.
Campbell remained in the game and did not suffer an injury.
The controversy began with a Nick Jensen dump-in where the puck bounced off the boards and began sliding towards the Leafs’ crease. Wilson and defenseman Jake Muzzin raced for the loose puck. As Wilson jumped around Muzzin for the inside lane, Campbell stuck his head out and reached to swipe the puck away. After being bumped by Muzzin, Wilson clipped Campbell, causing the goaltender’s head to strike the goal frame and his mask to fly off. The contact was incidental and Wilson’s angle to the puck took him away from the net.
But not everyone saw it that way.
“The player’s gotta do everything he can to avoid the goaltender,” TSN analyst Ray Ferraro said during the telecast. “Wilson goes right over top of [Campbell]… I can see where Wilson says he doesn’t have anywhere to go, but you have to do everything you can to avoid any contact with the goaltender. I don’t know that Muzzin railroaded him in there.”
Wilson received a two-minute minor penalty for goaltender interference and was dismayed with officials for the call.
Shortly after that chaos, Tom began trending on Twitter.
Houston we have liftoff 🚀 https://t.co/U6islh1dzP
— Ian Oland (@ianoland) April 15, 2022
When Wilson returned to the Capitals bench after the penalty expired, he was verbally confronted by Wayne Simmonds (one of his training partners over the summer) and several other Leafs players, possibly including Kyle Clifford, for hitting their goaltender.
Tom Wilson collides with Toronto goalie Jack Campbell.
After Leafs takes exception, Wilson picked up on mic saying "Go fight your own f***king guy" pic.twitter.com/6aLGvGYeEI
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) April 14, 2022
“Go fight your own f***ing guy! Fight your own f***ing guy!!” Wilson said in response.
The Leafs apparently did not agree with Wilson’s narrative.
“This is what happened!” Wilson replied. “Are you f***ing serious?”
A bemused Alex Ovechkin, sitting beside Wilson on the bench, could be seen smiling wryly as the two sides screamed at each other.
Wilson ultimately had to “pay” for his “actions” in the second period. With 7:31 remaining and the Leafs up 4-1, Clifford challenged Wilson to a fight after a Capitals defensive zone face off. Wilson, smiling and laughing, agreed and dropped his gloves.
43 vs. 43 🥊
Tom Wilson and Kyle Clifford drop the gloves. pic.twitter.com/ET4RKq9F0a
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) April 15, 2022
It did not turn out well for Clifford. Wilson won the fight decisively as Clifford was nearly knocked out by a straight right late in the bout.
Wilson scored as soon as he left the penalty box to make it 6-2, but the game was already over by then.
Wilson was unable to tally an assist in the third period to record his first career Gordie Howe Hat Trick.
“I met him at the All-Star Game, nice guy,” Campbell said of Wilson after the game per The Leafs Nation’s David Alter.
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