Tom Wilson could’ve dropped his gloves, and let loose with an assortment rights and lefts.
Instead, after getting cross-checked in the face by James Wisniewski, the force of which broke Wisniewski’s stick, the 20-year-old Washington Capitals forward, no stranger to fighting with five scraps already this season and 14 in 2013-14, elected not to retaliate.
As a result, Wilson’s team got a four-minute power play, as Wisniewski was assessed slashing and roughing minors, giving Washington the man-advantage.
It was that restraint that earned the praise of Capitals’ head coach Barry Trotz, even though Washington lost Thursday’s game in overtime.
“He was thinking about the team over himself,” Trotz said, as per CSN Washington. “Trust me, I tell him to just take a number. There will be a time and a place where he can say, ‘OK, remember when you got me there? Let’s settle the score here.’
“I think he understands that role and he gave us a chance to win the hockey game. That’s being a very good teammate, understanding the moment, and to me that’s a young player who gets it.
“Trust me, he’s not not retaliating because he’s scared to. He’s doing the right thing at the right time and that’s showing a lot of maturity. That was a very unselfish play by him.”
While he praised Wilson, the coach wasn’t pleased with an interference penalty taken in overtime by Jason Chimera. Columbus scored the winner late in that ensuing power play.
“That one was definitely unnecessary,” Trotz said, as per the Washington Post. “We’ll address that tomorrow with that individual.”