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.”
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.”
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