BOSTON – Brandon Carlo was knocked out of Friday night’s Capitals/Bruins game at TD Garden after a vicious, dirty head shot from Tom Wilson in the corner with a couple of minutes to go in the first period. Carlo was battling with Jakub Vrana for the puck behind the Boston net and turned to get it out of the zone when Wilson left his skates to deliver a finishing hit directly to Carlo’s head.
The 6-foot-5 Bruins defenseman immediately went to the ice clutching his head and Vrana inexplicably delivered a pair of cross-checks to Carlo’s neck after Wilson had already targeted his head with the nasty hit. A dazed Carlo was eventually helped off the ice by the Boston Bruins medical staff after gathering himself, but somehow the referees on the ice didn’t make a single penalty call on the violent, clearly dangerous play by, guess who, Wilson.
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
The lack of a penalty call is confounding given how much of a problem head shots and concussions have become in the NHL, and how often Wilson steps over that line and injures opponents with reckless hits.
The collision came at the end of another physical, hard-hitting period from the Bruins ands Capitals with Charlie McAvoy missing a shift after getting the worst of a massive collision with Garnet Hathaway in front of the benches earlier in the period. The nastiness in Friday night’s game was fairly predictable given the skirmishes between Trent Frederic and Alex Ovechkin in Wednesday night’s shootout loss for the Bruins, but Wilson’s predatory, dangerous hit took it to a different level.
The officials on the ice didn’t do anything about Wilson’s head shot, but one would expect that the NHL’s Department of Player Safety will be getting involved with the Capitals power forward, who is no stranger to suspensions and supplemental discipline.
During the first intermission, Boston Bruins alternate captain Brad Marchand didn’t hold back when discussing what he termed ‘a fucking cheapshot’.
“That was a bullshit hit,” Marchand told Sophia Jurkstowicz. “Brando had his head down in the corner and he took a liberty on a guy that was in a vulnerable spot. So that’s a fucking cheapshot there and we lost a great player.”