John Tavares And Kyle Okposo Still Angry With Tom Wilson’s Hit On Visnovsky
After the tough 2-1 overtime loss to the Washington Capitals last night, the Isles’ postgame frustrations turned towards Tom Wilson’s dangerous hit on defenseless Lubomir Visnovsky.
The play resulted in Wilson receiving a two-minute penalty, when in reality it was a borderline five-minute major. Unfortunately, the Islanders could not capitalize on this or the three other power plays during last night’s game. Still, the New York players continued to comment about the matter in the postgame.
Kyle Okposo on Tom Wilson "He's an Idiot" Hear more soon on @WRHU_FM #Isles
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“He’s an idiot,” Kyle Okposo told the media. “The guy runs around, hits reckless, leaves his feet. There’s no place for that.”
“The puck wasn’t anywhere close,” John Tavares, the Islanders’ captain chimed in. “Complete target of a defenseless player.” But the captain also preached discipline. If New York begins to throw cheap shots, then it gives the Caps more opportunities on power plays: an area both teams have been struggling in throughout the series.
“Obviously, it’s a fine line,” Matt Martin, the team’s leader in hits and anchor of the lauded fourth line, said. “You see one of our guys go down like that and you get a little upset, but at the same time you have to realize there’s a lot at stake.”
As for Visnovsky, the 38-year-old has had a history with concussions, something that has sidelined him over the last three seasons. At the moment, it is unknown if he will be back for game five or the series, giving Griffin Reinhart or Matt Donovan the opportunity to fill in.
Despite fantastic play from Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk, the Islanders are already limited at the defenseman position with Travis Hamonic’s injury.
As for Tom Wilson, he still sticks by his hit and claims that it was clean. “Obviously, the call was charging,” Wilson told The Washington Post. “I had the puck and kind of shot it on net… I was gliding in — see it was a pretty big collision and the ref makes a call based on what he felt at the time. I look at it a couple times. I think everyone in the room felt it was fairly clean.”
Coach Barry Trotz even compared the hit to what the Islanders fourth line has been doling out throughout the series: “Tom Wilson’s a lot bigger than their player and he hit him clean. It’s really no different than like Martin or Clutterbuck or Cizikas, they’re hitting hard and they’re hitting clean.”
The series was already plenty chippy, but it looks like it is about to get nastier with game five in Washington tomorrow night.
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