Isles’ Okposo labels Caps’ Wilson an ‘idiot’ in wake of ‘reckless’ hit
New York Islanders defenceman Lubomir Visnovsky lays on the ice after a hit by Washington Capitals right winger Tom Wilson goes during the second period of Game 4 of the first round of the 2015 NHL playoffs at Nassau Coliseum on April 21, 2015. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
The Islanders issued a wakeup call to Tom Wilson and the Washington Capitals Wednesday. It read: You’d better keep your heads up.
With Lubomir Visnovsky still questionable as of Wednesday afternoon for Thursday’s pivotal Game 5 in Washington after being steamrolled by Wilson, the Isles certainly aren’t happy with the perceived shenanigans.
“He’s an idiot,” Kyle Okposo said of Wilson. “That guy runs around, he hits reckless. He jumps, leaves his feet. There’s no place for that.”
Wilson will not receive any supplementary discipline from the league, but that won’t change the opposing team’s impression of him.
“We can hit like that too,” Tavares said of Wilson’s pancaking of Visnovsky, which came in the second period of Washington’s 2-1 overtime win in Game 4 on Tuesday. “But we stay within the rules and play the game the right way.”
“The puck wasn’t anywhere close. Complete target of a defenceless player,” Tavares added.
Wilson didn’t agree. And neither did the NHL.
“Whenever I make a body check I’m trying to make sure I’m doing everything as clean as possible, staying on my feet and kind of finishing hard and low through the guys body,” Wilson said.
Added Caps coach Barry Trotz: “It was a hard, clean hit. He didn’t leave his feet, he stayed low, puck’s right there, all those things. Tom Wilson didn’t do anything other than run him over.
“Tom Wilson’s a lot bigger than their player and he hit him clean.”
GRABO TO RETURN?
Mikhail Grabovski could return from a two-month absence Thursday night just in time to face his former Washington Capitals teammates.
Grabovski, the ex-Leaf who played for Washington last season, has missed 28 games after suffering a concussion on Feb. 19 against the Nashville Predators.
Asked if the speedy forward would be in the lineup for Game 5 against the Caps Thursday, with the first-round series knotted at 2-2, Islanders coach Jack Capuano said “there is a real good chance.”
Grabovski said he “feels good right now,” but admitted he is sailing uncharted waters, having never previously suffered a concussion before.
“I’ve had a couple of good months of skating, but I don’t know exactly what the decision is,” he said. “Personally, I’m ready to go, but they need to talk to doctors and the coach all together about me.”