Reirden: Tom Wilson no longer leaving anything 'to chance'

Josh Luckenbaugh
November 28, 2018 - 8:05 am

The Capitals are in the midst of a six-game winning streak, and a major factor in the victorious run has been the play of Tom Wilson

Wilson, who returned from suspension Nov. 13, has tallied at least a point in each of those six wins, scoring five goals in the last four games, and has also helped Washington turn around its previously struggling penatly kill.

Caps coach Todd Reirden praised Wilson Wednesday on The Junkies, highlighting how the winger known more for his hitting has improved with the puck on his stick. 

"When he wasn't in meetings to try to get his hearing moved up and try to get the suspension shortened, then he was practicing with us," Reirden said.

"He was working on his game before and after, and we brought in our skills coach — who will be in again this week with us — for extra time with Tom, and I think he really, really worked at his overall play with the puck."

"So I think he's been able to feel really confident about some of those things. When he has the puck, he's always been a guy who makes good decisions with it, but mostly putting it behind the defense and then fore-checking and creating separation that way."

"And now, he's been able to carry the puck in the zone with possession, make some more entry plays and playing with Backstrom and Ovechkin primarily. It's been a really good fit for him." 

As for the other part of his game, which has gotten Wilson in trouble with the Department of Player Safety, Reirden says Wilson's playing, and hitting, with far more self-control.

"In terms of changing his game, he's taken himself out of situations that he allows to be out of his control," Reirden told The Junkies. "Not quite, probably, as physical, but also not leaving anything to chance anymore that someone else gets to make a decision on his fate."

"He has it in his own hands. It's been something that's worked the first few games having him back."

Wilson has more than proved his value to the Caps over this winning streak, and keeping him on the ice, especially with the likes of Evgeny Kuznetsov and T.J. Oshie dealing with injuries, will be key for Washington to sustain their recent success. 

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