Chuck Gormley reports for CSNWashington:
Capitals general manager George McPhee said he thought Tom Wilson’s second period hit on Flyers center Brayden Schenn was “a great hit” and that Schenn was “too slow” to get out of the way.
Adam Oates added:
He hit him hard, yeah. To me, it’s a clean hit. I don’t think it’s a penalty at all.
Here’s the hit in question. It’s very clearly Boarding and Charging, and potentially Checking from Behind, all rolled into one. It’s not a clean hit, it’s not a good play, and Oates, McPhee, and other Caps seeking to excuse Wilson should be ashamed of themselves.
I can buy that maybe Checking from Behind isn’t a perfect fit, per the rule:
When a player intentionally turns his body to create contact with his back, no penalty shall be assessed.
However, the onus is on Wilson to deliver a legal body check, and he’s charging far too fast, especially given the proximity to the boards, to adjust to any changes in direction or facing by Schenn.
Wilson faces a phone interview with the DPS, so he won’t be suspended for more than 5 games. And that’s just a shame; this is exactly the kind of play that the NHL should be removing from the game entirely.