WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – Brooks Laich doesn’t fully blame Caps teammate Tom Wilson for viciously colliding with Flyers’ defenseman Brayden Schenn at full speed – which sent Schenn flying into the boards – with minutes remaining in the 2nd period of the Caps’ 5-2 loss to Philadelphia Tuesday evening.
Schenn, who attempted and failed to stand multiple times after crashing headfirst into the boards, eventually left the game with an upper body injury, and Wilson found himself ejected with game misconduct and charging penalties.
Fortunately, Flyers head coach Craig Berube would inform the press after the game that he didn’t believe Schenn was seriously injured.
However ugly the hit may have appeared (as you’ll see in the video above), Laich informs the Junkies that Wilson delivered the hit by the book, and even Schenn deserves some of the blame for the grisly results. All this, as Wilson awaits potential further discipline from NHL offices in Toronto.
“I mean obviously I’m biased because he’s my teammate,” Laich said Wednesday on 106.7 The Fan. “But if you watch the replay, it’s really a tough play. Schenn gets his head up and sees Wilson coming, and essentially he put himself in a vulnerable position, and then to try and get out of that he turns and puts himself in a more vulnerable position. And what’s our guy supposed to do?”
“He’s got a head of steam coming off the bench, he stops his legs, and then he takes two strides which is allowable,” Laich said. “Anything more than two is a charge. Tom Wilson takes two, and he’s a big guy and he lays a hard body on Schenn.
“Unfortunately the kid goes into the boards, twists around – I don’t know what he hurt – but obviously he’s injured, but if you get the puck under control with a second or so, you get your head up and you see somebody coming and you turn away from him, yea, some of the onus definitely has to be placed on you for the resulting injury or the resulting hit. I mean it’s a fast physical game, but sometimes taking the hit is the safest play, rather than trying to avoid it.”
Wilson’s hit appeared to more an attempt at sparking momentum for the Capitals, rather than any sort of delayed response to Philly goalie Ray Emery forcing Braden Holtby to fight him in a matchup in early November; a blatant and borderline illegal offense which earned Emery no corresponding suspension from the league.