I love hockey, especially playoff hockey. You have two teams playing the best-of-seven games. Lose four and your season is over, win four and you are one step closer to getting your name on the coolest trophy of all time. In the playoffs the game moves faster, the hits are harder, and there are incredible saves made by the goalies. As the series goes on the tensions between the two teams reach a feverish pitch. A lot of times the games will get chippy and sometimes players will take cheap shots at each other. Part of the problem is, the NHL seems to let players get away with more liberties during playoff games then they do during the regular season which I don't think they should do. I think they should call the playoff games the same way they call games in the regular season.

Hitting is part of the game. There's nothing like a good check to knock a player off the puck and gain momentum for your team. With that being said, there is a difference between a good clean hard-hit and a cheap hit with the intent to injure. I was watching game one of the capitals Penguins series. I'm rooting for Washington because they have never won the Stanley Cup and Pittsburgh has won it 5 times.

Tom Wilson is a hard-hitting gritty player for the Washington Capitals. He has been suspended in the past for cheap shots and dirty hits so I'm not surprised that it happened again. I felt he should have been suspended after game 2 when he threw his shoulder into Brian Dumoulin's head. There was no call on that play and Dumoulin had to leave the game for Pittsburgh. In game 3, Wilson took a run at another Penguins player forward Zach Austin - Reese. Wilson deliberately threw his shoulder into Aston - Reese's head on a vicious check. No penalty was called even though Tom Wilson threw himself at the player, made contact with his head, and left his feet on the check, which in hockey is charging. The cheap shot resulted in Austin-Reese leaving the game with a broken jaw and a concussion and he will miss the remainder of the playoffs.

The NHL responded by suspending Wilson for three games. Right now the Capitals lead that best-of-seven series two games to one. If Pittsburgh is to go on and win the next three games they will eliminate Washington for the 3rd straight year. So Tom Wilson, was that cheap shot worth it?

If you missed the two hits in question, the videos are below. Take a look and tell me what you think.

Wilson's hit on Dumoulin in Game 2

Wilson's hit on Austin-Reese in Game 3

[via NHL/YouTube/SPORTSNET]