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Tom Wilson's second suspension will cost him four regular-season games

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USA TODAY Sports

Tom Wilson's second suspension will cost him four regular-season games

Tom Wilson has been suspended four games by the NHL for boarding St. Louis forward Sammy Blais, dealing the Caps a blow before the regular season even started.

It’s the second suspension for Wilson in a short amount of time—and that factored into the Department of Player Safety’s decision on Tuesday afternoon.

Wilson was banned two preseason games last month for a late hit on the Blues’ Robert Thomas.

Then, a little more than a week later, he was called before the league again, this time for the hit on Blais.

In Sunday’s preseason finale, Wilson crunched Blais into the boards from behind.

Wilson was assessed a five-minute major for boarding and a game misconduct.

Here’s the video explanation of DoPS's decision:

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In a sign that the Caps expected Wilson to be suspended, the right wing was not assigned to a line in practice on Tuesday. Instead, Alex Chiasson was skating in Wilson's spot with center Lars Eller and left wing Brett Connolly.

Before the suspension was announced, Coach Barry Trotz made the case that the hit wasn’t as bad as it looked.

“I got a chance to look at the hit; I know there’s not a film on that,” Trotz said, referring to the fact that the game was not broadcast in Washington or St. Louis, meaning there were limited camera views of the hit. “Whatever the league decides, they’ll decide and we’ll react to it.”

Trotz added: “I looked at it in slow motion today and it doesn’t look near as bad as maybe I thought. The young player, to me, saw him coming and Tom actually just hits his arm and throws his arm into the glass. It looked a lot worse than if you could get good film on it.”

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Blais was checked for a concussion and returned to the game.

Wilson will miss Thursday’s opener in Ottawa, plus games against Montreal, Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh. He's eligible to return to the lineup at New Jersey on Oct. 9.

 

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Capitals stars react to losing Barry Trotz as head coach

Capitals stars react to losing Barry Trotz as head coach

LAS VEGAS—Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom weren’t expecting to lose their head coach less than two weeks after winning the Stanley Cup.

But business is business, Ovi said, and Barry Trotz is handling his by attempting to capitalize on claiming the championship.

“It’s sad,” Ovechkin said on the red carpet at the NHL Awards, where he accepted his seventh Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy on Wednesday night. “Obviously, we won together.”

The Caps’ captain also thanked Trotz for directing him—and his teammates—to new heights.  

“First of all, [I want to] thank him for a great job to be our coach, to be our dad, to give us a chance to win,” Ovechkin said. “But then again, it’s a business. You never know what’s going to happen. I’m pretty sure he’s going to be fine and I wish him luck.”

Backstrom, meanwhile, said he was caught off guard by Trotz’s decision to step down over a contract stalemate with the team. Trotz asked for $5 million per for five seasons; the Caps balked over the terms Trotz’s camp sought.   

“I was a little surprised, obviously,” Backstrom said. “I heard the scenario.”

Like Ovechkin, though, Backstrom praised the job Trotz did during his four-year tenure.

“He’s done a great job in Washington,” Backstrom said. “We obviously have him to thank for a lot. He’s done a tremendous job of schooling us and winning a championship. No one is going to take that away from him.”

Trotz’s next move is unclear, but he’s a free agent and currently eligible to negotiate with any team. The Islanders are the only team with an opening for a head coach.

As for Washington, GM Brian MacLellan said that associate coach Todd Reirden will get the first crack at replacing Trotz.

Ovechkin said he thinks Reirden would be a good fit.

“We all respect Todd,” Ovechkin said. “We all like him. Again, it’s not our thing to say who’s going to be head coach, but if it’s going to be Todd, it’s going to be fun.”

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A drawing of the moment Ovi lifted the Stanley Cup makes the moment joyful all over again

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Daniel Duffy on Twitter/@RealArtOfWords

A drawing of the moment Ovi lifted the Stanley Cup makes the moment joyful all over again

How do you make a photo of Alex Ovechkin hoisting the Stanley Cup for the first time even more memorable?

You make it out of all the Capitals' game scores this year, of course.

Capitals fan and artist Daniel Duffy (@RealArtOfWords) posted a phenomenal finished piece commemorating the Cup win on Wednesday, June 20. It's a little meta and astounding to look at, but very fun to try and read. If you want to relive the glory that was the parts of the 2017-18 Capitals season, check out the piece.

The piece, which appears to be done in a traditional medium like pen or marker, holds the team faced, arena played at, and final score of every game. It uses six colors and over sixty lines of text. Ovechkin roars as he holds the Stanley Cup overhead, the white away jersey shaded with bits of grey text. It takes a skilled eye to sort text and colors into shapes and shading, but Daniel did a fantastic job! It's awesome to see a fanbase create different interpretations of iconic moments. We'll surely see more of Ovechkin in this moment.

Just as we thought we were going to get tired of the celebration, fans find new ways to surprise us. Stay creative, Caps fans!

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