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Why Tom Wilson’s Hit On Anton Blidh Is A Clean Hockey Play That Resulted In No Call

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Capitals forward Tom Wilson wants to move on after the Rangers incident.

Tom Wilson doesn’t have the best reputation in Beantown, and controversy broke out once again as No. 43 delivered a huge hit on Anton Blidh in the opening period of the Washington Capitals’ Thursday tilt with the Boston Bruins.

Blidh was in the offensive zone on the penalty kill and making a drop pass when Wilson came in for a big hit that send Blidh back and down hard to the ice. The Bruins forward was helped off the ice and down the tunnel alongside an athletic trainer. There was no call on the play — and there shouldn’t have been. Nor should there be any supplemental discipline, as the hit wasn’t a dirty play.

Ultimately, it’s a clean, textbook hockey hit.

First off, Wilson isn’t targeting Blidh’s head, nor does he pull off an illegal check to the head. Wilson lines up Blidh and goes in for the check, delivering a shoulder-to-chest hit. The Washington winger doesn’t leave his feet to make the play and glides into the hit. It doesn’t appear to violate the NHL rulebook, either.

Here’s another look at the play:

Wilson has played a cleaner game this season and has not had any run-ins with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety, nor has he received any suspensions. He has had just two major penalties so far this season, both of those being his only two fights of the season (one on Dec. 6 vs. Anaheim and another on Dec. 29 vs. Nashville).

READ MORE ON WHN: Fleury, Varlamov And What To Make Of The Capitals Goaltending Situation

Instead, the Capitals alternate captain has been taking on more of a leadership role and focusing on top-6 production with Washington battling injuries up and down the lineup. Through 36 games, Wilson has dished 12 goals and 28 points, and he is on a three-game goal-scoring streak.

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Orrfan

OK. I’ve been a Bruins fan since the days of Bobby Orr. I don’t claim to be neutral. Still…
1) Laviolette is obviously targeting opposing players for injury. Bruins players are so often injured in games with the Caps, I wondered, 3 days before the game, which Bruin would end up injured and “out” after the game. The NHL needs to reign in the Caps over this.

Orrfan

2) I watched almost every game Zdeno Chara played with the Bruins. Had he wished to, he could have put every person he hit in the hospital. Big Z makes Wilson look like a 90 pound weakling. But he deliberately “held/holds back” on hits, for fear of his own incomparable strength.
Wilson, may not be as big and strong as Big Z. But he’s generally bigger and stronger than most people on the ice. I have no problem with him using that strength as an advantage. However, he shows NONE of Chara’s restraint when it comes to potentially injuring opposing players.
And so, calling his hits “clean”, while technically correct, doesn’t come close to telling the entire story. Just because hockey is a contact sport, shouldn’t mean you have the right to injure opposing players, any time you think it might keep you in the 1st WC spot, whether the hit is “legal” or not.

Orrfan

Just because it was “legal” doesn’t mean it wasn’t predatory.

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