The verdict is in and Capitals forward Tom Wilson will be suspended for seven games after a dirty, predatory hit on Boston Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo that landed him in the hospital on Friday night.
Washington’s Tom Wilson has been suspended for seven games for Boarding Boston’s Brandon Carlo. https://t.co/kKEJL0v4Bq
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) March 7, 2021
It was a hit so egregious that Patrice Bergeron confronted Wilson as he stretched on the ice ahead of the second period, a public display of just how pissed off the Boston Bruins were about the reckless play.
Wilson had an “in-person” zoom interview with Player Safety on Saturday night and they meted out swift justice for a hit that was described at different moments as “dirty”, “dangerous”, “predatory” and “bullshit” by members of the Bruins over the last 24 hours. It was pretty clear to league officials that they needed to hit Wilson, a multiple offender, with substantial supplemental discipline for a hit that was totally unnecessary.
“What separates this hit from others is the direct and significant contact to a defenseless player’s face and head, causing a violent impact with the glass,” said the Department of Player Safety in the video explaining the decision that is Wilson’s fifth career suspension. “This is a player with a substantial disciplinary record taking advantage of an opponent who is in a defenseless and doing so with significant force.”
It’s the kind of decision the Boston Bruins were clearly looking for after last night’s 5-1 win over the Capitals when all anybody could talk about was Wilson’s violent hit on Carlo, and the fact that referees Dean Morton and Pierre Lambert somehow didn’t even whistle a minor penalty for the devastating head shot.
“It’s a fast game; they play hard, we play hard,” said Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy. “But I mean you can see it, he clearly hit him in the head. Brandon’s in an ambulance; goes to a hospital obviously from that hit. It clearly looked like to me he got him right in the head. It’s a defenseless player and predatory hit from a player that’s done that before.
“I don’t understand why there wasn’t a penalty called on the ice. They huddled up but I did not get an explanation why but it’s out of our hands after that, we just gotta play hockey after that and try and stick together as a team and play the right way. Sometimes when that stuff happens and there’s no call, the players kind of settle it on the ice in their own way. We felt that we pushed back and did what we could do and won the hockey game and tried to let that particular player know that that was unnecessary. That’s how we handled it and like I said, I assume it will get looked at by the National Hockey League and they’ll make their decision.”
Carlo was released from the hospital on Saturday morning after staying overnight, but there was no other update on his condition following Friday night’s incident.