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Like it or not, Tom Wilson is still red-hot

Tom Wilson's 13th goal of the season give the Capitals a 1-0 lead against the Flyers in the first period.

Tom Wilson is a polarizing figure around the league, but since returning from that big suspension, he’s drawing disdain for more than just big hits.

Just 4:21 into Tuesday’s game against the Flyers, Wilson cashed in on a fantastic Jakub Vrana pass to make it 1-0. That marks Wilson’s 13th goal and 21st point early in just his 23rd game of 2018-19, putting him very close to a point-per-game.

It looked like Wilson scored an empty-netter late in Washington’s 5-3 win, but that ended up being called off because of an offside ruling.

For added context, 2017-18 stands as far and away is best offensive campaign in the NHL, and he finished with 14 goals and 21 assists for 35 points in 78 games.

Wilson came into this contest with a 22.6 shooting percentage, and that 13th tally came on his 54th shot on goal, so he moved to 24.07 percent for the moment. That’s how he ended the game, too.

That’s not a particularly sustainable shooting percentage over the long haul, as last season’s 11.4 was easily a career-high.

Even so, it could be interesting to see where his numbers go now that Wilson is playing with talented linemates like Vrana, Alex Ovechkin, and Nicklas Backstrom. Before 2017-18, Wilson had languished with shooting percentages no higher than 7.4 percent, so it’s plausible that he’s always had more potential to be a dangerous scorer than his counting stats used to indicate.

Check out more on Wilson in the video below.

MORE: Your 2018-19 NHL on NBC TV schedule

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.