Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson is a big, mean player who can make an impression in little time. He showed that more than once during the second period of Game 4 against the New York Islanders.
Wilson received two different minor penalties for hits. First, he was whistled for kneeing Josh Bailey. That was noteworthy enough, but his gigantic hit on Lubomir Visnovsky waffled the injury-prone defenseman and earned a charging infraction.
Observe his reign of destruction in the video below:
At 21 on a team that could very well remain a playoff fixture, Wilson might make a lot of enemies in his NHL career.
If you prefer GIFs, here is the huge check on Visnovsky in that format:
A skate to the face didn’t keep Washington Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik off the ice for very often in Game 4 against the New York Islanders.
Teammate John Carlson’s blade accidentally clipped Orpik’s cheek, it seems, as you can see from this painful-looking moment:
File this one under “Hockey players are tough,” though, as he’s slated to return in the second period.
The NHL announced the three finalists for the 2015 Lady Byng Memorial Trophy on Tuesday: Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings, Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings and Jiri Hudler of the Calgary Flames.
To refresh your memory, the award is handed out to the player who “exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.” Voting comes down to members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.
If you gauage award chances by past victories, then Pavel Datsyuk stands as a heavy favorite. The Red Wings star won it four times in a row from the 2005-06 season through the 2008-09 campaign.
Hudler and Kopitar haven’t won a single Byng in their careers, on the other hand.
Colorado Avalanche forward Ryan O’Reilly took the 2014 award.
Here are some quick factoids about each finalist via the NHL:
Sometimes desperate times force coaches to lean on talented young players more than the trusty, comfortable old hands they’re more comfortable with. That may be the case, to some extent, with Andre Burakovsky making his playoff debut for the Washington Capitals in Game 4.
The 20-year-old showed flashes of brilliance during 53 games of regular season action at the NHL level, scoring nine goals and 22 points with a +12 rating. One got the sense that head coach Barry Trotz and the rest of the Caps’ management group wanted to bring such a young player along incrementally, though.
Burakovsky believes that getting a few games in toward the end of the season will be useful.
“The last couple of games I played, I felt really good,” Burakovsky said. “I think I created chances and my legs were feeling really good. I had good speed. I just need to bring [the way I played] my last three games into the playoffs here and do what I’m doing good. I’m going to use my speed and try to create a lot of chances for the team. Hopefully I’m going to get in do a little bit different and get a win here next game. But I’m really excited to get into my first NHL playoff game.”
Considering his talent, Capitals fans should be excited that he’s getting into the lineup.
Update: Speaking of Washington’s lineup, it looks like Curtis Glencross is out of it as a healthy scratch.
Whatever the nature of Alex Burrows’ strange injury situation may be – it sounds like a broken rib – he’s not playing for the Vancouver Canucks against the Calgary Flames in Game 4 tonight. Linden Vey will get that nod, according to Sportsnet’s John Shannon.
The Canucks do have other options if they lean away from Vey, though. They recalled Sven Baertschi, but he’s expected to be a healthy scratch.
Then again, there’s always a chance that there could be more than one move.
Vey, 23, has 93 regular-season games under his belt, including 75 from the 2014-15 campaign with Vancouver. This would be his first career postseason appearance, though.