Dunlap: No Fault With Oleksiak Or Wilson

Colin Dunlap
December 20, 2018 - 7:27 am
Jamie Oleksiak

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes the bear gets you --- and all that stuff. 

You know how the saying goes. 

By now, we all know what happened in the opening moments of the Penguins' victory against the Capitals on Wednesday night. Jamie Oleksiak got tangled up with Tom Wilson --- who was on the ice against Pittsburgh for the first time since he floored Zach Aston-Reese --- and Oleksiak left without his wits about him. Man, that was tough to see. But, then again, that's hockey. 

The two met, Oleksiak met the business end of Wilson's fist and a bloody mess was all that remained. 

My takeaway? It is what it is. It was what it was. 

Oleksiak (the biggest brute the Penguins have) went looking for Wilson as is the code to stand up for his teammate and it was just unfortunate for him that Wilson decided he actually wanted to fight on this night.

You will hear the rumblings from some quarters that Tom Wilson "jumped" Oleskiak. That didn't happen. Nothing of the sort happened. 

You will hear the chatter from some that Wilson should have given Oleksiak the chance to at least "square up" with him, stand toe-to-toe and then have what looked like a traditional boxing match? Uh, no. Oleksiak doesn't get that opportunity when things are flying around so fast. 

Tom Wilson is almost impossible to applaud in any situation --- and I'm not doing that here --- but know that for once in his life he actually didn't do anything wrong. 

Neither did Oleksiak. 

Two big guys came together with blood being the intended result and it just so happened that only one of them left bloodied. 

I know that sports fans, and not just in this town, seemingly always have a way of trying to make it out where the other guy did something wrong. Or, more to the point, they try to assign and place blame. 

This time, there is none. 

There won't be any. 

Just walk away from it. Dust yourself off and walk away from it. 

This time, two guys did the right thing and that's all it was and you live to (perhaps) fight another day. 

Oleksiak was a good soldier and stood up for a teammate who was unfairly and cheaply decked during last year's postseason and Wilson actually didn't run and hide. He got asked to danced and put the shoes on. 

Sometimes in sports it just, well, is what it is. This is one of those times. ​

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