Origin of the Rivalry:
It’s no secret there is a rivalry between the Caps and Islanders but could the Isles be out for revenge? During game four of the first round of playoffs last season Tom Wilson delivered a big hit on Islander’s Visnovsky that ended his game. After the game words were doled out from both sides. John Tavares the Islanders captain warned Wilson “We can also hit guys like that”, Kyle Okposo flat out said “He’s (Wilson) an idiot”. The Isles may have thought Wilson’s hit was a dirty one but Visnovsky is just 5’10, 192 lbs compared to Wilson who stands 6’4, 215 lbs. A height/ weight differential like that is sure to leave some bumps and bruises after any hit. “It was a hard, clean hit”, Trotz said. Tom Wilson is a great hockey player that happens to be able to throw incredible hits and fights to stand up for his teammates. His current PIM sits at 96 with 2 goals and 11 assists.
These two teams met once in the preseason that resulted in a 3-1 Caps win. Everyone had a feeling this would be a physical game but Wilson was more focused on his game. This became apparent when Tom Wilson refused to take on Eric Boulton during the match because he said there was “no point.” Quite possibly one of Tom’s best quotes, “I just don’t think there’s any point in me fighting those guys. He didn’t play at all last year. He’s probably not going to play at all this year
Today’s Fighting Words:
Before the game the teams were obviously asked about the rivalry and Ryan Strome had this to say, “There’s no question that for whoever watched the series there’s bad blood.” Matt Martin seemed to be more even keeled on the situation before the game, “They have a big physical team and we have a big physical team.” Trotz said it will be a “playoff feel” and we agree. Tune in to see what comes of the rivalry tonight at 7:00 on CSN.