WASHINGTON -- Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson believes the NHL Department of Player Safety needs to take a close look at the hard hit delivered by Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman that briefly forced Wilson out of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals.
"I think they're probably reviewing it. I don't know how much goes into it. I can tell you that if it's maybe the other way around, you better believe they're looking at it and you better believe there might be a little bit more attention on it," said Wilson, who was suspended for three games in the conference semifinals for a hit that broke the jaw of Pittsburgh's Zach Aston-Reese.
At 8:58 of the first period on Tuesday, Stralman was whistled for a boarding minor after driving Wilson into the glass with his forearm, while Wilson's back was turned to him in an effort to play the puck. The Capitals forward dropped to the ice and left for the trainers room for evaluation. He returned to the game later that period.
"It's a vulnerable position, and no doubt there's contact with my head. If I'm wearing a helmet from five years ago, I think I'm probably unconscious," Wilson said.
Did he believe it was a dirty hit?
"I mean, you guys tell me. I don't really know anymore," Wilson said. "But if anyone wants to feel the goose egg on the side of my head ... he leaves his feet, I'm in a pretty vulnerable spot and he drives my head through the glass. I'm not one to lay on the ice, but it took me a little bit to collect myself."
The series between the Capitals and Lightning, which Washington leads 2-1 after Tampa Bay's 4-2 victory in Game 3, is becoming increasingly physical.
In Game 2, Washington defenseman Michal Kempny was fined $2,419.35, the maximum allowed under the collective bargaining agreement, for cross-checking Cedric Paquette in the head. Wilson believes the NHL needs to look into potential action against Stralman.
"I'm not here to complain about anything. I'm just talking about it for the better of the game and for the better of player safety," he said.