Player claims dangerous knee-on-knee hit was meant to be 'fake'.


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Tom Wilson has become an expert in the art of walking the fine line between physical and dirty in his NHL career.

The Washington Capitals' forward is known for his gritty style of play and some believe that he can be reckless at times.

Wilson continued to feed this reputation with a questionable hit he laid on Pittsburgh Penguins' winger Conor Sheary in Game 1. Wilson went knee-on-knee with Sheary on the way to the bench and made no attempt to avoid the collision.

While there was no penalty called on the play, the NHL's Department of Player Safety slapped Wilson with a maximum fine of $2,404 on Friday for the hit.

On Saturday Wilson responded to the fine by claiming the hit was unintentional and stated that he only meant to psych out Sheary by skating through him.

"I was just gonna bluff check him, give him a fake attack, go to the bench, and our legs got caught up," Wilson told Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post.

Sheary managed to finish the game, but was notably absent from the Penguins' practice on Friday.

For his part, Wilson has gone pointless thus far in the postseason, recording 11 penalty minutes and is tied for seventh in total hits. Wilson may claim the hit was accidental, but his rambunctious style of play is definitely drawing the ire of teams around the league.

With his edgy reputation, it may not only be Wilson's wallet that suffers next time he decides to get physical.

Here is the hit in question: