On Monday, Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson spoke to the media on a Zoom call following an optional practice ahead of Tuesday’s game against the New York Islanders. He discussed the recovery from the lower-body injury he sustained in the 4-3 shootout win over the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night and playing against the Islanders for the first time since the Capitals’ first-round exit in the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs last summer.
Wilson, who missed Sunday’s 4-3 shootout loss to the Sabres, returned to practice on Monday. He said he felt “pretty good” getting on the ice today. Wilson doesn’t want to aggravate the injury by “pushing through”, but noted that “it’s nothing too serious, but just trying to be careful with it”.
“I want to be out there,” he said, “I want to be battling with the guys.” He had never experienced this type of injury before and it wasn’t one you could find by going through the tape. “It was just kind of an unlucky thing that happened out there,” Wilson said. He remains day-to-day and it is unclear if he will play tomorrow night.
Wilson said “it’s never easy” when players are out of the lineup. He said, “We have good depth and a lot of guys who are eager to help out.” He praised his teammates for stepping up and filling in those holes.
“I like them,” Wilson said about the Capitals’ new third jerseys that were released Monday morning. He mentioned that it “brings back good memories” to the 2015 Winter Classic and 2018 Stadium Series. He added, “It’s going to look good…feel good to wear. We’re excited.”
The Capitals lost the first-round to the Islanders in the playoffs last summer. Wilson called playing against them a “tough matchup” and admitted there is a rivalry. “You have to focus on the game at hand,” he said. “The points are more important now than ever.”
Wilson said working out with defenseman Zdeno Chara is a “surreal” experience. He complimented Chara’s leadership and how he has a “vibe” that makes everyone want to work better. “I find myself getting better just being around him, working out with him, preparing with him, and he demands that from his teammates,” Wilson said.
Obviously, I want to be out there. I want to be battling with the guys, but there’s lots of hockey left this year. Just got to be smart.”
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) January 25, 2021
By Della Young