Capitals’ T.J Oshie on suspension to Tom Wilson after hit that broke opponent’s jaw: ‘Very extreme’
Washington Capitals forward T.J. Oshie said the three-game suspension given to teammate Tom Wilson after Wilson’s hit left a Pittsburgh Penguins player with a broken jaw and concussion is “pretty extreme.”
Wilson, a 6-4, 218-pound forward with 892 career penalty minutes, leveled Penguins forward Zach Aston-Reese with a shoulder-to-head hit in Game 3 of their second-round series. He did not receive a penalty.
Aston-Reese, who was bloodied on the play, is expected to miss the rest of the playoffs.
“There was no penalty,” Oshie said according to The Washington Post. “The discipline, I think it’s pretty extreme. I think it’s very extreme, actually.
“I think it’s two guys that see each other. They both go to hit each other. And one guy, usually one guy loses that battle. I’ve been on both ends of it. … I think for sure — and I want to get this point across — you never want to see a guy break his jaw and leave a game like that. I don’t know what the concussion status is, but I’ve had that before and that’s something I wouldn’t wish upon anyone. But it’s a physical game. And it seems little by little we’re taking physicality out of the game.”
The NHL department of player safety said in its suspension video that Wilson “launched up and into the hit.”
Wilson, who was suspended twice in the preseason and thus is considered a repeat offender, has been involved in several big hits in the playoffs. In the first round, he received a charging call on a hit that knocked out Columbus Blue Jackets forward Alex Wennberg from a game. He also knocked out Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin from Game 2 of the second-round series. Neither plays received supplemental discipline. Dumoulin returned for Game 3.
“I’d like for (the Penguins) to watch the hit,” Oshie said. “I’d like for them to break it down to me. From what we see, it’s two guys that see each other. It’s a north-south hit. Tom goes straight through his body. Yes, the head gets hit. But there’s been a million times where I’ve gotten hit, I got to the ref, I say, ‘I was hit in the head,’ and the ref just says, ‘He’s bigger than you. That’s the way it goes.’”
Oshie said he believes that players need to do a better job of being more alert on the ice. And while he thinks hits to the head are “unnecessary,” he is “completely against taking away physicality from the game.”
“I think we have too many guys in the league now that think they can just go out and do whatever they want and if anyone touches them it’s gonna be a penalty or a suspension,” Oshie said. “I think there has to be more emphasis on guys (being) aware of their surroundings.”
Oshie said the Capitals are going to use the fact that Wilson has “been taken away from us” as extra motivation as the series shifts to Game 4 on Thursday night. The Capitals lead 2-1.