GLENDALE, Arizona – Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson will not play the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday night after suffering a concussion in Tuesday's game in Vegas.
Although he was at Gila River Arena with his teammates on Thursday, Wilson did not participate in the morning skate and Capitals coach Todd Reirden said it was "day after day" and he would continue this trip with the team. The attack on Golden Knights forward Ryan Reaves, blindly in the evening, gave up the helmet and his head hit the ice as he fell to the ground. Wilson had to be helped in the locker room and he did not return to the match.
Washington plays Columbus Saturday night before returning home. The Capitals have lost their last two games and, between Wilson's suspension and many injuries, their full alignment has not been available all season.
After being suspended for the first 16 games of the season, Wilson propelled the Capitals to the top of the Metropolitan Division. Before getting injured in Vegas, Wilson had eight goals with eight assists in his first 10 games in the lineup, and Washington was 8-2-0 over that period. Capitals are already without T.J. Oshie, who also has a concussion and will miss his 10th consecutive game on Thursday, Wilson's injury means the team is in both wings at the top right.
Andre Burakovsky will play his side and will replace Wilson on the front row by center Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin.
Reirden used Burakovsky in this role after Wilson was sent off in the second half of Friday's game against New Jersey and again after his defeat on Tuesday night. So far, his production is uninteresting with four goals and three assists in 27 games, but Reirden thinks his speed will be a good complement to Backstrom and Ovechkin. This is not the first time that Reirden has trusted Burakovsky, that he played in penalty kicks and that he played well in the matches, that he deployed it at the end of the match. which shows a defensive confidence.
"I think I play well," Burakovsky said. "I do everything right, if you really watch the game closely. I do not distance myself as much from the game as maybe two years ago. Even though I did not produce as many points as people expect or expect from me, I still think my game has been much better overall than the last two years, so obviously , it's a good sign. I think if you look at my game in the [defensive] and the way I handle the puck, I think it's definitely an improvement. I do not care about scoring points here. To be honest, as long as we do a good job as a team, I do not care. "
Reirden said, "This year we spent a little more time understanding how to properly evaluate his game and to ensure that he focuses on the appropriate things. . It's more about his game in general and how he can add to this line with Backstrom and Ovechkin in this situation with the speed he has. "