Towards the end of the 1st period, Capitals forward Tom Wilson took a run at Brandon Carlo in the corner. The Bruins defenseman was in a vulnerable position, but Wilson’s mind did not seem too concerned with Carlo’s well-being.
Wilson made direct contact with Carlo’s head on the hit. Unfortunately for Carlo, his head then collided forcefully into the glass.
Bruins personnel assisted Carlo in getting off the ice. An ambulance then took him to a hospital. Inexplicably, the referees did not asses even a penalty to Wilson, even after huddling for a discussion.
The hospital released Carlo on Saturday morning.
NHL Player Safety had scheduled a meeting with Wilson that would have been in person if not for the COVID-19 pandemic. The NHLPS gave Wilson a 7 game suspension, citing, “The direct and significant contact to a defenseless player’s face and head causing a violent impact with the glass.”
Wilson’s reputation speaks for itself. The NHL has suspended the winger four times prior. In his most recent suspension, October of 2018, the NHLPS dropped the hammer and gave Wilson 20 games.
Greg Wyshynski of ESPN pointed out that Wilson is not a “repeat offender” in the eyes of the NHLPS. That tag is applicable when determining the amount a player would be fined. However, they could factor in Wilson’s past when deciding how many games he should be suspended.
While the NHLPS mulled over their ruling for a day, the Bruins did not need a committee to make their decision. During and after the game, multiple Bruins voiced their displeasure on Wilson’s hit.
Bruins were not too happy
“That was a bulls**t hit,” Brad Marchand said during a first intermission interview with NESN. “Brando had his head down in the corner. And (Wilson) took liberty on a guy that was in a vulnerable spot. That’s a f**king cheap-shot there.”
Boston waxed Washington 5-1, which also included Jarred Tinordi and Trent Frederic dropping the gloves with Wilson. After the Tinordi bout, the Bruins scored three goals with Wilson in the box, much to the delight of Jack Edwards.
However, it was clear the game’s biggest takeaway was not the final score.
“(Wilson) clearly hit (Carlo) in the head,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said in the press conference. “Brandon’s in an ambulance, goes to the hospital, obviously, from that hit. Defenseless player. Predatory hit from a player that’s done that before. I don’t understand why there wasn’t a penalty called on the ice.”
Boston’s coach was not the only one upset over the hit.
“It’s always tough to see anyone go down,” Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron said. “But when it’s a friend and a teammate it’s harder. From my view, I thought it was shoulder to the head.”
The Bruins used both their skills and physicality to send the Capitals a message. The NHLPS responded with their own.
Story by Chad Jones
Follow Chad on Twitter @shutupchadjones
Photo courtesy of The Athletic