Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson had to answer for another hit this postseason.
The Caps winger thew a late, blindside check on Jonathan Marchessault that sent the Vegas Golden Knights forward to the locker room at 5:53 of the third period of Game 1 and earned Wilson a penalty for interference.
Golden Knights forward David Perron’s cross-checking infraction at the same time made it 4-on-4 for two minutes.
When asked about the hit after the game, a 6-4 Vegas win, both Wilson and Marchessault had differing viewpoints.
"I believe it was a good clean hit,” Wilson said after the loss. “It’s playoff hockey, there’s going to be big hits, it’s a contact sport. You always have your reputation. When you play my physical style, you’re going to have that reputation. I trust myself. I play the game hard. It’s my job to bring that energy, that physicality. Right after he got up he said ‘good hit.’”
Marchessault, who later returned to the game, had this to say: “I saw the hit. I remember everything. It was a late hit... the league is going to take care of it.”
Wilson was suspended for three games against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round of the postseason following a high hit that broke Zach Aston-Reese’s jaw. He was under scrutiny in the first round for a charging penalty against Alexander Wennberg and the Columbus Blue Jackets in Round 1, while avoiding punishment for a high hit on Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin in Game 2. Wilson also missed two preseason games and the first four of the 2017-18 season for a pair of hits against the St. Louis Blues.
According to The Sporting News, Wilson is the most-penalized player in the regular season since 2013, racking up 806 penalty minutes on 255 calls, 20 of those being majors with 11 misconducts and a match penalty.