Washington Capitals

Quick Links

Tom Wilson gets sore hands, but avoids injury after fight with Nashville's Austin Watson

Tom Wilson gets sore hands, but avoids injury after fight with Nashville's Austin Watson

Thursday’s game didn’t feature much offense, but Tom Wilson gave the home crowd plenty to cheer about in the third period with his fight against Nashville forward Austin Watson.

Watson seemed to take exception to a hit Wilson delivered to Mattias Ekholm. Watson immediately made a beeline for Wilson and both players dropped the gloves.

You can watch the fight in the video above.

As you would expect, Wilson was feeling the effects the next day.

“The right [hand’s] a little sore for sure,” Wilson said. “A little bit achy, but that's the way it goes. I get a day here and hopefully they feel a little better tomorrow morning.”

RELATED: Burky is officially back for the Caps

Wilson’s left thumb was taped for practice, but his right hand, the hand he used to inflict punishment on Watson, was not.

It’s no surprise to hear that his hands were hurting a little bit. You can see from the fight that Wilson landed a few punches square to the helmet of Watson, but it seems Wilson avoided serious injury.

If you’re curious how someone continues throwing haymakers after delivering a shot to the helmet, Wilson explained, “When you're in a fight, helmet, face, it all kind of feels the same when you're hitting it.”

“I hit him a couple right on the chin and then after the fight your hand's sore a little bit,” Wilson added. “You don't think back and think, oh it must have been helmet. In that type of fight, you're just kind of throwing and he's in trouble and you're just kind of throwing everything you've got into it. It's just part of it.”

There’s no doubt that fighting is not nearly as prevalent in today’s NHL than in years past, but there certainly have been more fisticuffs of late. Wilson has been in eight fights this season, three of which have come in the Caps’ last 10 games.

“The west seems to have a few more guys in their lineup that are willing to go,” Wilson said. “The east, in our division you don't see a ton of that. That being said, fighting's definitely kind of declined a little bit this year so when a guy's willing and it's the right moment, you've got to keep some of it around for sure.”

While Wilson is never shy about answewring the bell, he does perhaps need to be careful. With all the hits to the helmet, Wilson could easily have broken a hand Thursday. The last thing the Caps need right now before the playoffs is another injury.

Sure, Wilson’s a fourth-line player, but Andre Burakovsky is a third-line player and his absence has clearly disrupted the team.

Luckily for Wilson and the team, he walked away from Thursday’s game without serious injury. Just some sore hands and clearly, he’s not too worried about sore hands.

Said Wilson, “You don't hear guys complaining about the hands. It's better your hand's sore than your face.”

MORE CAPITALS: Check out the latest edition of the Capitals Faceoff Podcast!

Quick Links

Alex Ovechkin makes kids' day with street hockey surprise

Alex Ovechkin makes kids' day with street hockey surprise

Kids part of the American Special Hockey Association had no idea they were going to meet one of the NHL's biggest stars during a game of street hockey on Friday afternoon.

But that's what happened when Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin surprised a handful of youngsters playing in a tournament in front of Capital One Arena.

Ovechkin wasn't just there for pictures and autographs, he also joined in on the action for the next hour and did not hold back in one of his last major games before before the regular season.

MORE: ANOTHER TOP-SIX AUDITION FOR VRANA

ASHA and Ovechkin have been hosting events together for four consecutive seasons. The organization was created in 2000 and enables players of all ages who have developmental disabilities to enjoy the sport of hockey.

You can watch the full video of Ovechkin's surprise above.

Quick Links

Jakub Vrana gets another top-six audition in the Caps' home preseason opener

Jakub Vrana gets another top-six audition in the Caps' home preseason opener

Here’s how Coach Barry Trotz will have his players line up Friday night vs. the Blues...and a few notes about forward combos and D pairings you'll see at Capital One Arena:

Forwards
Vrana – Backstrom – Oshie
Burakovsky – Boyd – Smith-Pelly
Stephenson – Eller – Wilson
Bau – Graovac – Peluso

Defense
Johansen – Carlson
Djoos – Chorney
Ness – Lewington

Goalies
Holtby
Copley

RELATED: HOW TO WATCH CAPS-BLUES

  • After scoring a power play goal while skating on a line with Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov on Wednesday, Jakub Vrana is getting an audition on the other top-six line.
  • Stephenson is the only player to appear in all three preseason games. Tonight, he’s skating on the wing after playing center in the first two contests. He’s a prospect the Caps are hoping makes the opening night roster but the reason he’s played so much is because fourth-line center Jay Beagle is “trying to manage his body a little bit,” according to Trotz.
  • Beagle has not played yet this preseason, but Trotz said he’s been practicing and scrimmaging full-go. “He’s not hurt,” Trotz said. “He’s got some tightness. We’re going to work through the tightness and he’ll be fine. There’s no reason to rush guys.”
  • Winger Mathias Bau wasn’t originally slated to see any game action, but the Denmark native impressed Trotz so much in a scrimmage earlier this week that the coach found a spot in the lineup for him. Bau, the tallest player in camp at 6-7, is skating on a line with Graovac (6-5) and Peluso (6-3).  “He’s gotten better and better,” Trotz said of Bau, who signed an AHL deal with Hershey this summer. “So he deserves to get in a game. He’s been standing out. Originally I had another guy in there but Bau has sorta overtaken him.”
  • Peluso is another player who is emerging as a candidate to earn a spot on the fourth line. This will mark his second straight preseason appearance. 
  • Matt Niskanen and Dmitry Orlov will make their preseason debut Saturday vs. the Hurricanes, according to Trotz, who has already said they’ll open the regular season as the top pair.

 

MORE CAPITALS: CAPS MAKE THEIR FIRST CUTS