Caps Wilson Knocks Dumoulin Out

Washington enforcer discusses head-hit on Pens defenseman

Jeff Hathhorn
April 29, 2018 - 8:07 pm
Caps Tom Wison

James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

It was midway through the second when, already down 3-zip Sunday, the Pens lost their most consistent defenseman.  A head hit by the Caps Tom Wilson on Brian Dumoulin, no penalty was called as Dumoulin’s future in this series in doubt.  And maybe Wilson’s, depending on what the NHL’s less-than-consistent suspension model calls for.

Pens head coach Mike Sullivan was asked by the Fan’s Joe Starkey if he has an opinion on the hit.  Sullivan said ‘yes’.  A follow-up if he would share his opinion, Sullivan said ‘no’.  What you can’t see though is the sternness with which Sullivan delivered those two words.

So what happened on that play, Wilson was asked three times about it post-game.  Here is what he said.

First time

“I honestly just watched it 2 seconds ago.  I’m back-checking the puck and he stopped and obviously it’s a big collision.  At no point was I trying to target the head at all.  I’m skating, back-checking trying to do my job, unfortunately there is a collision there.  I don’t realize what I could do any different.  At the last second, I see Ovi coming in and you can see my braces too and I end up getting taken out as well.  I got to analyze it a little more, obviously you don’t want to see a guy go down.  Hopefully he is better.”

Second time

“I just watched it on slo-mo from a couple of different angles.  Its hockey, it happens really fast.  If you watch it at game speed, I don’t even alter my movement at all.  I’m just skating straight.  The way I look at it, there’s no way I can hit his head from that point where I am, he stops and turns and I’m kinda right there as Ovechkin is coming in pretty aggressively.  It’s a collision.   I end up getting blown out of the water too.  It’s a bit of an unfortunate play that he got hurt.  There’s more important things going on, we gotta team in here that’s feeling pretty confident and we gotta got to Pittsburgh and get a game.”

Third time

“I’m not going to say I didn’t get him in the head.  It wasn’t a body check to the head, I grazed his head as I’m staking by him as he’s getting hit by Ovi.  If you watch it from multiple angles, you don’t see me lunge into his head.  I’m skating there and his head hits the bottom of my arm.  You never want to see a guy go down.  He’s a warrior, we’ve played against him and he’s a solid guy.  Hopefully he’s already and we can deal with that and keep moving.”

So what stands out about Wilson’s explanation is that he admits it was a head hit, but by the end he said “his head hits the bottom of my arm”.  Wilson, of the 187 penalty minutes this season and 806 for his career, did say he hopes Dumoulin is ok, however Kris Letang probably doesn’t buy it.

“We all know who he is and what he does on the ice, so I really don’t have a comment,” Letang said.  “We expect that.”