BOSTON – Tom Wilson was at it again against the Boston Bruins on Sunday afternoon with a third period hit that appeared to target Sean Kuraly’s head.
The Washington Capitals power forward was already suspended seven games earlier this season for a dirty, reckless head shot on Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo, but this time it was Kuraly that got clocked in the third period of Sunday’s 6-3 win for the B’s at TD Garden.
Kuraly was engaged in a puck battle near the slot and had just released the puck toward the net when Wilson entered the picture and slammed into Kuraly. The lowered position of Kuraly’s head and Wilson’s elevated elbow made it all look pretty dangerous, but it was unclear if it was Wilson’s elbow or his hip that made hard contact with the back of Kuraly’s head.
Either way Kuraly had to exit the bench for a few minutes in the third after appearing dazed afterward and Wilson wasn’t whistled for a penalty at all following the collision. The only penalty at all was on Jarred Tinordi coming after Wilson for retribution following the violent collision between Kuraly and Wilson.
Similar to the Carlo hit, it was another example of Wilson predatorily jumping in as a third-man attacker on a pair of players that were already engaged in a puck battle. Bruce Cassidy said postgame he didn’t have a big issue with the Wilson play
“There’s a lot going on. It’s physical games with them,” said Cassidy. “There was actually a hit with [Charlie] McAvoy at the end of the second that was more bothersome. He’s up against the boards and [Alex Ovechkin] made contact with the head. And there was one on [Steve] Kampfer in the first period that was late. Those are the ones that bother you.
“I think the Wilson one on Kuraly, he was on his way down and Wilson was just prepared to hit him. I think that was one of those incidental [contact plays] where there’s not much you can do once a guy starts tumbling down.”
Kuraly eventually returned to the game in the third period and appeared no worse for the wear, so there was good news at the conclusion of the dangerous situation.
Meanwhile, Wilson was somehow indignant when asked about it postgame despite injury countless opponents with dirty hits in his NHL career, and being somebody that’s slapped around by the NHL Department of Player Safety on a regular basis. He hasn’t earned the right to be incredulous at this point.
Tom Wilson was asked about the Kuraly play: “Are we serious? I’m not even going to talk about it. It’s a nothing play. He’s fine. That’s it.”
— Samantha Pell (@SamanthaJPell) April 18, 2021
Unfortunately, it wasn’t the only dangerous play as the on-ice officials appeared to lose control of the game with a number of non-calls, and it ended with Garnet Hathaway drilling Tinordi from behind into the corner boards. Tinordi was dazed and bloodied after a face-first crash into the dasher, and it took a video review for the referees to decide on a boarding major and game misconduct on Hathaway that finally ended his afternoon.
Should Wilson face another sentence from the NHL Player Safety department after his latest questionable, dangerous hit involving a Boston Bruins player? Stay tuned to see if anything happens this time around to a player in Wilson that’s racked up the suspensions and fines during his NHL career.