WASHINGTON, D.C. — Head coach Peter Laviolette knows that “day-to-day” isn’t exactly what the Washington Capitals want to hear with regard to Tom Wilson, but that remains the status for the 28-year-old ahead of Game 5 against the Florida Panthers.
Per Laviolette, Wilson is still day-to-day with a lower-body injury. He has missed the last three games, and his status remains up in the air for Game 5 in Sunrise. Per NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti, it seems that Wilson will travel with the team to Florida, but it’s unclear whether or not it means anything with regard to his readiness, as he has not skated since suffering the injury in Game 1.
“Right now, it remains day-to-day with him. I understand that’s not the answer that you guys want, but that’s actually where it’s at,” Laviolette said on Monday.
Early on in Game 1, Wilson went in for a hit on MacKenzie Weegar in the corner. He took the brunt of his own check as Weegar moved out of the way, appearing to injure his left leg. Wilson didn’t play another shift after that and hasn’t skated with the group since. Wilson scored the first goal of the series for Washington and skated just 1:31 minutes in the opener. He has points in each of his last six playoff outings.
It’s a tough loss for the Capitals, who rely on Wilson as a top-6 forward, smart penalty killer and physical asset who can log heavy minutes. However, the team has worked to fill the void with him out, as Anthony Mantha has taken his spot on the second line. Meanwhile, Garnet Hathaway, T.J. Oshie and more are piling on the physicality to make up for No. 43.
“Obviously he’s one of the leader in the locker room and on the ice but it’s the playoffs, right? Anything can happen. That’s why we have different players who take responsibility, take his spot and play those tough minutes,” captain Alex Ovechkin said of Wilson.