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After agitating Tom Wilson all night, Ryan Reaves goes too far and gets ejected for late hit

After agitating Tom Wilson all night, Ryan Reaves goes too far and gets ejected for late hit

Tom Wilson is a unique player in today’s NHL. There are not many players who are as physical or like to throw their body around the ice as much as he does. Ryan Reaves, however, is one such player and he certainly reintroduced himself to Wilson on Tuesday in a Stanley Cup rematch between the Capitals and Vegas Golden Knights.

Reaves was ejected from Tuesday’s game after delivering a late hit to the Caps forward. Wilson was knocked to the ice and his head struck the surface violently. He was slow to get up and had to be helped off the ice.

There was no contact with the head on the hit. It was shoulder to shoulder, but it was very late and it caught Wilson completely off guard as he was not facing Reaves.

Reaves was issued a five-minute major for interference which, by rule, comes with an automatic game misconduct when the hit results in an injury and he was subsequently ejected from the game.

Reaves – who Capitals fans will remember for cross-checking John Carlson in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final and scored the game-tying goal because cross-checking suddenly became legal – scored the game’s opening goal on Tuesday.

While Reaves can be a productive player, he really makes his mark by agitating opposing teams with his physical play. He made clear he was targeting Wilson from the first period when he delivered an open-ice check that sent Wilson down to the ice much to the delight of the home crowd.

Not many players are big enough to do that. Wilson got up in search of Reaves, but Alex Ovechkin got there first and delivered a thunderous hit to Reaves along the boards. Finally as play stopped, Wilson caught up with Reaves, but Reaves saw him coming, turned the shoulder and knocked him down again.

Both players exchanged pleasantries before being separated by the linesmen.

Unfortunately, fans were not treated to the heavyweight fight many were hoping for after that moment. Instead, Vegas fans had to watch as Reaves was ejected while Caps fans saw Wilson helped off the ice and are left wondering if one of the team’s hottest offensive players will have to miss any time due to injury.

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John Carlson seen on his phone in the stands during Capitals-Lightning matchup

John Carlson seen on his phone in the stands during Capitals-Lightning matchup

While Capitals defenseman John Carlson couldn’t be on the ice for Monday’s matchup with the Tampa Bay Lightning, he was spotted in the stands at Scotiabank Area, supporting his team –– even though he was caught taking a little break from the action to check his phone.

During the Caps’ first game back from the coronavirus break, Carlson was seen on the game’s broadcast as one of the lucky few allowed in the stands to watch the Capitals return. 

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After an awkward fall during the exhibition matchup with the Carolina Hurricanes last Wednesday, Carlson left the game in the third period with an injury. While GM Brian MacLellan believed it was minor and would not have an effect on his ability to play in games, especially after he returned to the ice for practice on Saturday, Carlson did not play in Monday’s matchup. 

Instead, he got to sit back and watch his team begin their road to the Stanley Cup. He was spotted with his phone in hand, and of course, fans took to Twitter to respond to the meme-worthy moment.

Even if Carlson couldn’t be helping his team on the ice today, he still deserves some praise for helping the country by wearing his mask throughout the game. 

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Capitals won't discuss contract extension with Alex Ovechkin until after playoffs

Capitals won't discuss contract extension with Alex Ovechkin until after playoffs

Alex Ovechkin was always going to be eligible for a contract extension on July 13, but current circumstances have created an unprecedented situation. 

The Capitals will begin Round Robin play Monday and if everything goes well, will play into late September. Until the playoffs conclude, the team won't be discussing an extension with their franchise player. 

"We're waiting until after the playoffs to see how everything pans out here," Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said, per NHL.com's Tracey Myers. "I think it's constantly been changing the whole year. I don't think anybody could have predicted. We're going to wait and assess where we're at at the end of the year and make decisions then."

This echoes Ovechkin's sentiments on the day he became eligible for a new deal, where he said was "not even thinking" about it. 

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It doesn't appear Ovechkin's future with the team is in jeopardy, as neither side has shown any intentions of not coming together on a deal. It just seems like a timing issue during a year where everything was thrown off completely by a global pandemic. 

There's also an issue fo the salary cap. If Ovechkin wants a long-term deal for big money, the flat cap will make it difficult for the Caps to realistically make that happen. Of course, you make things work for a player of Ovechkin's caliber, but the challenges still remain. 

For now though, Ovechkin and the Caps as a whole can focus on winning another Stanley Cup. They can talk money later. 

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