"It's a pretty late hit"- Tom Wilson speaks out on Matt Rempe’s hit on Trevor van Riemsdyk 

Boston Bruins v Washington Capitals
Tom Wilson speaks out on Matt Rempe’s hit on Trevor van Riemsdyk

Washington Capitals alternate captain Tom Wilson weighed in on a controversial hit by New York Rangers' Matt Rempe on Trevor van Riemsdyk during Game 3.

During the first period, Rempe delivered a jarring check on van Riemsdyk well after the defenseman had moved the puck. Rempe received a two-minute minor penalty for interference as a result.

Tom Wilson suggested Rempe could face disciplinary action from the NHL's Department of Player Safety for the lateness of the hit. Wilson was suspended for interference in the 2017 preseason so has first-hand knowledge of the rules:

"You guys have the stopwatch up there. I haven't watched it or timed it out. But I’ve been told you can’t hit that late."
“It’s a pretty late hit. It’s a target on one of our D. You hate to see it. I think they’ll obviously look at it and take care of it. Seemed like a couple steamboats late to me.”

Wilson estimated the check came "a couple steamboats late" given how quickly plays develop on the ice. He believes the league will review the hit and take appropriate action.

Later in the game, an incensed Wilson challenged Rempe to a fight after the controversial hit, but Rempe declined to drop the gloves.

Other Capitals players also took issue with Rempe's hit on their teammate. Star defenseman John Carlson expressed frustration over losing yet another blueliner to injury from a borderline play this season.

"I'm sick and tired of losing defensemen to 'clean' hits, though. That's for sure," Carlson said. "Whether it's the end of the regular season or in the playoffs, it's frustrating. It's frustrating how guys can get injured and it's legal."

Teammate Nic Dowd called it "a dirty hit" and said Rempe took advantage of van Riemsdyk's position.

“That was a dirty hit,” Capitals forward Nic Dowd said. “I think anybody can understand that Riems made a play, time passed, although quickly, and I think a player took advantage of another player in a vulnerable spot.”

After a 3-1 loss in Game 3 and a 3-0 series deficit, the Capitals need a win in Game 4 at home on Sunday night to stave off elimination.

Matt Rempe got his inspiration from Tom Wilson

Before the playoffs, Matt Rempe revealed an unlikely source of inspiration for his physical style of play - Tom Wilson. In an interview, Rempe admitted he used to watch old highlight reels of Wilson's biggest hits when he was younger.

"There's this montage of him on YouTube just blowing guys up," Rempe said. "I used to watch that sometimes when I was younger, it got me fired up."

When informed of Rempe's comments, Wilson could only smile and give a playful "Hmm" in response to hearing the young player look up to his old footage as motivation.

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