By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
From the Bruins’ perspective, Trent Frederic sparked the whole team when he decided to fight Capitals tough guy Tom Wilson. But on the other bench, Wilson’s decision to scrap with the 22-year-old Frederic might’ve been seen as unwise.
Wilson is best known for his physical style of play, and at times crossing the line. But he’s also a top-six forward with eight points in eight games. He’s averaging 17:33 of ice time after the Caps’ collapse against the Bruins on Monday.
So when Wilson gets a five-minute timeout in the box along with Frederic, who is averaging 11:51 of ice time as a bottom-six winger, everyone in Boston will take that trade-off.
Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette didn’t rip Wilson a new one by any means, but he certainly sounded like he’d rather have Wilson on the ice than in the penalty box for tussling with a mouthy 22-year-old.
“It gets chippy out there,” Laviolette said, via NBC Sports Washington. “You’re playing a team that you’re competing with inside your division, back-to-back nights and so the guys get under each other’s skin a little bit. That had been going on through the better part of two games. I just think Tom’s an important piece to our team, and I appreciate his toughness and physicality, but we appreciate him on the ice [just] as much.”
This is a great development for Frederic and the Bruins. The young power forward got in the head of one of the Capitals’ more dangerous players. He stood up to Wilson’s physicality. Boston has relatively lacked players like Frederic in the past. His presence has helped tilt the needle slightly back in the Bruins’ direction in this new division rivalry.
Ty Anderson and I talked a little bit about Frederic in last week’s episode of the SideLines podcast, which was heading into last week’s games against the Capitals. Have a listen to the newest episode below, and be sure to subscribe and check back Thursday for more hockey talk.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff or send him a nasty email at firstname.lastname@example.org.