Here are the Talking Points from the Boston Bruins 5-1 win over the Washington Capitals at TD Garden on Friday night.
GOLD STAR: Patrice Bergeron steps up in the big moments and he did that on Friday night when things got nasty at the end of the first period with Tom Wilson clobbering Brandon Carlo. Bergeron and the Boston Bruins leadership group talked in the room about finishing every check and then the Bruins captain skated over to Wilson as he stretched on ice to start the second period and let the predatory Capitals winger know exactly what he thought about the hit. Then Bergeron stepped up in the game and finished with a goal, two points, a plus-3 rating in 14:18 of ice time and won 13-of-19 face-offs while leading a hardnosed response from the B’s. There are some nights in the NHL when leadership counts more than others, and this was one of those nights for Bergeron and the Bruins.
BLACK EYE: How many chances is the NHL going to give Tom Wilson to continuously make reckless hits meant to injure other NHL players? It was Wilson that opted to go that route toward the end of the first period when he drilled Brandon Carlo in the head with a high, violent and predatory hit, and sent the Bruins defenseman to the hospital afterward. Technically Wilson is no longer a repeat offender because his 20-game suspension came down a couple of years ago and there are some saying the head wasn’t even the principal point of contact, but it doesn’t take a hockey expert to watch the video and know that Wilson was guilty of sin on that play. Credit to him for fighting both Jared Tinordi and Trent Frederic afterward while clearly knowing he needed to answer the bell, but he’s got plenty of experience manning up after he throws a dirty hit.
Tom Wilson hits Brandon Carlo up high.
Carlo needs help getting off the ice. pic.twitter.com/RgACye1H7l
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) March 6, 2021
TURNING POINT: The Boston Bruins were winning 1-0 and Jared Tinordi dropped the gloves with Tom Wilson in the immediate aftermath of the hit on Brandon Carlo, so things were already in a pretty good place from a B’s standpoint. But Bergeron and the Bruins leadership didn’t stop there while making certain the Bruins were going to respond in the right way, and Bergeron went one step further going straight to Tom Wilson out of the first intermission as he was stretching on the ice. Bergeron wouldn’t repeat exactly what he said to Wilson on the ice, but it’s safe to say he wasn’t letting him know that his head-hunting on Carlo was garbage. And the Bruins took out the trash in the final 40 minutes while outscoring the Capitals by a 4-1 score and handily winning the game.
HONORABLE MENTION: Give it to Jared Tinordi, who went right after Tom Wilson the shift following his hit on Brandon Carlo and challenged him to a bout. The 6-foot-6 Tinordi and the 6-foot-4 Wilson threw some tremendous blows in the heavyweight fight, but full credit to the newest Bruins player for stepping up and ingratiating himself with his new teammates. He will earn plenty of respect in the Bruins dressing room for protecting his teammates and fighting one of the toughest guys in the league. Otherwise, Tinordi was solid in a heavy, nasty game against the Capitals and had a couple hits and a couple blocked shots in 19:46 of ice time. But Brad Marchand called Tinordi’s fight with Tom Wilson “a turning point in the game” after the Carlo hit and he was right.
BY THE NUMBERS: 1,003 – the combined point totals of the Perfection Line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak over the last five seasons, which makes them one of only two trios to do that in that span joining Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Though it must be said that the Edmonton trio doesn’t play together as a line as the Perfection Line boys do, so that adds to the accomplishment.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “That hit was bullshit.” –Brad Marchand to NESN during the first intermission when asked about the Tom Wilson head shot on Brandon Carlo.