I could talk about the Boston bruins continued problems with the New Jersey Devils but there is nothing compelling about how the Bruins keep losing to this team. Yep, they lost again in a low scoring affair: 1-0. It felt the same as other games.
Today, though, I’d rather focus on something that happened Friday night and the consequences that played out over the weekend.
On Friday night, Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo was demolished by a Tom Wilson hit. The hit was high, it was violent, and it was not penalized at the time by the on-ice officials. Wilson would be challenged by a couple of Bruins (Jarred Tinordi and Trent Frederic) and the B’s were buoyed by their actions to win the game handily. Carlo had to be helped off the ice, not by stretcher, and was transported to the hospital where he stayed overnight.
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 next morning, NHL Department of Player Safety announced via tweet that Tom Wilson would have an in-person hearing via Zoom for the incident. Later DoPS gave an update that the hearing would be that night. Before 11pm Saturday night, NHL DoPS had given their ruling: it was boarding and Tom Wilson would get a 7 game suspension.
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
In their ruling they stated that aspects of the situation on their own may not have led to a penalty but the totality of Carlo battling for a puck in the corner with Vrana, looking down to find the puck, and Tom Wilson’s angle of approach all contributed to boarding. In considering the proper punishment, the DoPS team factored in that it was boarding, that there was an injury, and that Wilson has a significant history.
On Sunday, while serving the first game of suspension, word came out that Wilson will not appeal the decision.
Hearing that Tom Wilson won’t be appealing his 7-game suspension.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) March 7, 2021
This hit has sparked debate all over the web as to whether or not the hit was legal. One reporter, Frank Seravalli, seemed to take and endlessly defend his take about the hit being legal.
This will be an unpopular tweet, and that’s fine, because I don’t conclude based on reputation or narrative.
My opinion: Tom Wilson’s hit on Carlo is not illegal.
Carlo’s head is not the main point of contact. Break it down, sure looks like he gets chest/torso first. [Thread] pic.twitter.com/10fhMN1CAt
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) March 6, 2021
I disagree. It was a reckless, dangerously violent hit that needed a follow-up punishment. If the NHL is serious about player safety they need to take these hits out of the game. There are dozens of cases of former NHL players having problems before and after their careers are over because they suffer from post-concussive syndrome. We know this but refuse to take it from the game.
After the game, Washington coach Peter Laviolette was snide in saying that maybe checking should now be illegal in the game.
Peter Laviolette said he’s “hopeful” Tom Wilson will be available Sunday vs PHI. No word yet on when his hearing will be.
Laviolette said the hit on Carlo was a “hockey hit” and if that was a “suspendable play then all hitting really is going to probably have to be removed.” pic.twitter.com/b6hQmrN98u
— Samantha Pell (@SamanthaJPell) March 6, 2021
Bruce Cassidy on Peter Laviolette’s comments on Tom Wilson’s hit:
“He’s gonna protect his player. I have no problem with that…He’s entitled to his opinion, I just happen to disagree with it.”
— Evan Marinofsky (@emarinofsky) March 7, 2021
But I think the one person in the Hockey Twitterverse that has it right is Catherine Silverman:
Shrugging it off doesn’t feel right at all. If a Bruins player did what Tom Wilson did, I would be ashamed of it. I couldn’t and wouldn’t defend that. I hope that all of us would be like that.
Brandon Carlo left the hospital on Saturday morning. Bruce Cassidy said he had texted Carlo, who said he felt better, but that he will be out for a while. Honest and pragmatic, Cassidy says that Carlo is to be considered “week-to-week” right now.