Another Bruins-Capitals game, another night of Tom Wilson debate.
The Caps forward went under the microscope yet again on Thursday night after he walloped the Bruins’ Anton Blidh during the first period. Wilson was not penalized for the hit, which was the subject of the same social media discussion that always comes up when Wilson lays someone out. Blidh had to exit the game and was later ruled out with what the Bruins termed an upper-body injury.
Though Wilson doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt based on his history, and it’s understandable for Bruins fans to be upset when he hurts someone, this one’s clean. Violent, punishing, but clean.
Probably won’t stop people from rewatching the clip frame-by-frame at least 600 times. But the replay shows that it’s almost entirely shoulder-to-shoulder contact, and Blidh had left himself in a vulnerable position with the angle he took across the ice, anyway.
That doesn’t make Wilson any less predatory of a player. He was obviously looking to bully the smaller Blidh for wandering onto his train tracks. It just didn’t cross the line in this particular case.