The Las Vegas Golden Knights will almost certainly have some words for the National Hockey League and their officials following Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.
We were treated to an absolutely fantastic back and forth game in Game 1 between the aforementioned Golden Knights and the Washington Capitals. Not only did both teams bring their peak offensive performance to the ice on Monday but the level of physicality for the first game of a playoff series was off the charts as well. All in all there were four different lead changes during the course of the night, and if that doesn't sound like all that much to you just think of the fact that it has never before happened in the Stanley Cup Final.
Needless to say with such a razor close game and under arguably the most pressure you could ever feel as a professional hockey player there were some who let their emotions get the better of them. One of those players may have been Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson, although Wilson losing control may have also been a calculated risk that he was will to take. In the third period of play with the game all tied up at four goals a piece Wilson delivered a blatant late hit to arguably Las Vegas' best player, Jonathan Marchessault. Not only was the hit extremely late, the puck had long since left the stick of Marchessault, but it came from Marchessault's blind side as well so it caught him completely off guard.
The Golden Knights star forward went down hard to the ice and he remained there for a few moments before eventually getting back to his feet and making his way over to the bench. Unfortunately for Marchessault though he had been down long enough or shown some other sign that not all was well with him, and the National Hockey League's concussion spotters pulled him off of the ice and back into the Golden Knights locker room.
There's no way to describe the hit from Wilson as anything other than predatory and, while I can certainly respect that in the Stanley Cup Playoffs you have to win by any means neccessary, I won't be surprised if the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety decides to come down on Wilson once again in this postseason. I don't think this infraction rises to the level of a suspendable hit, but given Wilson's history it could be one that the NHL decides to review. Additionally the NHL has shown that it will suspend players based on the severity of the injury they cause during an illegal play and if Marchessault turns out to be hurt you know Las Vegas will be demanding Wilson is suspended.
This probably wouldn't be nearly as big a deal right now if it wasn't Tom Wilson we were talking about but it is. When you consider the fact that he has already been suspended for seriously injuring players in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs it complete changes the dynamic of the situation.