Washington Capitals tough guy Tom Wilson was at it again. In the middle of the first period on Thursday night, Wilson leveled Pittsburgh Penguins forward Mark Jankowski with a late hit, well after the puck was clear.
Jankowski laid on the ice, unable to get up, but Wilson only received a minor penalty. Fortunately for the Penguins, Jankowski returned at the start of the second period.
The puck wasn’t near Jankowski, but Wilson didn’t stop and caught Jankowski at full speed.
Here’s a replay of the hit:
Officials assessed Wilson only a two-minute minor, but an easy case could’ve been made for a five-minute major. Wilson has a long history of illegal checks.
In September 2018, the NHL suspended Wilson for 20 games after his vicious hit to the head on St. Louis Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist. An arbitrator later reduced the suspension to 14 games.
This also isn’t the first time that Wilson delivered a dirty hit against the Penguins. In May of 2018, he hit forward Zach Aston-Reese in the face/head area during Game 3 of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Aston-Reese didn’t return to the game and Wilson ended up being suspended for the rest of the series.
Thursday, the Penguins got a power play from Wilson’s hit but they weren’t able to score.
As for the rest of the first period, the Capitals got the game’s opening goal as Nicklas Backstrom scored halfway through the first period. Defenseman Nick Jensen made a great pass to find him right in front of the net for the goal.
Even though officals assessed the hit only a two-minute minor, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety may contact Wilson about it. If his past history is any indication, a suspension or fine could be next up for him.