It was a packed house Saturday morning at Kettler Capitals Iceplex as fans came out in droves to give the Capitals some positive vibes at their morning skate prior to a big Game 5. One hot topic going on around Caps Nation is the Tom Wilson three-game suspension. There were a few fans wearing Wilson jerseys and even one fan holding a #FreeWilly sign. NoVa Caps talked to three fans to give their take on the suspension.
— NoVa Caps (@NoVa_Caps) May 5, 2018
Alex Kokkinis (pictured left) was the fan who brought the #FreeWilly sign over to the rink. When I asked him his thoughts on the suspension he said, “We’re pretty adamant about the whole suspension thing. We think three games is too much probably along with the whole Caps fan base but I think it should’ve been at the most one game if not a fine. From looking at the hit, I didn’t see the head being the main point of contact. It just happened to be that Wilson is five inches taller than the guy (Zach Aston-Reese). I think it’s just based on Willy’s reputation. He’s just been known to lay these big hits and I think people have shied away from the enforcer aspect of the game now.”
Wilson’s suspension was harsh in that fact that he wasn’t a first time offender. Wilson had two hits in the preseason which resulted in suspensions including a big hit in the Capitals preseason finale against the Blues that resulted in him being suspended for the first four Capitals regular season games.
“I thought it was a little ridiculous. Maybe two max is what I would say. (Penguins coach Mike) Sullivan disclaiming what his injuries were to the public, saying all the specifics made the DoPS more responsive. If he didn’t say the injury, maybe it would’ve been like one or two games instead of three,” said Nick Calka.
Not all Caps fans have had the same opinion however. Gina Fendley had a more neutral party approach to the suspension.
“I think the three games is too much but I do think with the way he’d been playing, there had to be some sort of punishment for him. They way I try to think of it is if I was a fan of another team, I would be upset with the way he’s been playing. He has severely injured people or just injured people,” said Fendley. “I think the way the league handled the suspension after everything had happened was more like they were basing it off everything he done but since they hadn’t done anything the first two times it had happened that it was only fair. They had to take everything into consideration.”
No matter what side of the fence you’re on, it’s important that Caps fans all come together to cheer on the team in ALL CAPS. With the series tied at two and a big game tonight, the Capitals need your support now more than ever.
By Michael Marzzacco