Boston Bruins’ Bruce Cassidy calls Tom Wilson’s shot at Brandon Carlo ‘a predatory blow’

Boston Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy criticized Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson for what he called “a predatory blow” on defender Brandon Carlo in Friday night’s game at TD Garden.

Carlo went down after Wilson raised his hands to his head in the corner behind the Boston net, smashing the defender’s head against the glass with 90 seconds left in the first period. Carlo absorbed a cross check from Jakub Vrana on his way to the ice and stayed there for several minutes.

Cassidy said Carlo left the arena in an ambulance and went to the hospital, but could not confirm that he suffered a concussion.

“Clearly it seemed to me that I got it right on the head. A helpless player, a predatory blow from a player who has done that before,” Cassidy said of Wilson. “I don’t understand why there was no penalty on the ice. They huddled, but I didn’t get an explanation as to why.”

During his eight-year career with the Capitals, Wilson has been one of the most penalized and most suspended players in the NHL. He is 10th among active players by penalty minutes, behind only those who have been in the league five or more years longer than him.

He was not available for comment after the game.

The music fell silent in the empty arena after Carlo was injured, and the Bruins bench could be heard cursing Wilson. When Carlo finally got to his skates, the only noise was his teammates hitting their sticks against the boards.

No sanction was imposed.

As the teams left for the second period, Bruins center Patrice Bergeron walked up to Wilson and spoke to him as he stretched. Capitals star Alex Ovechkin skated past to monitor the situation, as did an official.

The players began shoving each other after the next whistle, and Capitals defender Brenden Dillon was sent off for rudeness on a transparent recovery call. With roughly six minutes into the period, Boston’s Jarred Tinordi and Wilson removed their gloves.

“Sometimes when those things happen and there is no call, the players work it out on the ice in their own way, and we feel like we went back and did what we could do and won the hockey game, and we try to let that game on. A particular player knows that that was unnecessary, “said Cassidy.

He added: “I guess it will be vetted by the National Hockey League.”

The Bruins responded to Wilson’s blow with a second three-goal period and added another in the third to win 5-1.

“Let’s put the fight aside, the guys came out with four goals [in a row] there, ” said Tinordi, who was playing just his second game with the Bruins since they claimed him from the Nashville waivers.

“How close this group is, I’m not surprised to see the guys respond in a big way after one of our guys goes down. You can’t let the guys take liberties with our players.”

Associated Press contributed to this report.


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