Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson has garnered a reputation as being a dirty player.
While fans have varying feelings about that reputation, the fact of the matter is he has been fined and/or suspended eight times over his nine-year career. To his credit, however, he seems to have cleaned up his game in 2021-22, and is having a big offensive season with 12 goals and 28 points in 36 games.
On Thursday night against the Boston Bruins, he was back to his old ways of throwing punishing body checks, though this one on Anton Blidh was as clean as they come.
There was no penalty called on the play, and rightfully so, as it appeared to be a perfect shoulder-to-chest delivery. Blidh was forced to leave the game and was quickly ruled out for the remainder of the contest.
As to be expected, the Bruins crowd didn’t take too kindly to the hit or the non-call, and let Wilson know what they think of him with a "F - - - Tom Wilson" chant. The animosity from the Boston faithful was no surprise given Wilson was suspended seven games for a dangerous hit on Bruins defenceman Brandon Carlo last season.
The Bruins ended up getting the last laugh as they defeated the Capitals 4-3 thanks to a Charlie McAvoy power-play goal with 45 seconds remaining in regulation.
The matchup was a tale of two teams on opposite ends of what can often be the yo-yo of an NHL season. After a red-hot start to the year, the Capitals have cooled down of late and have lost seven of their past 11. The Bruins, on the other hand, got off to a slow start by their lofty standards, but have picked things up and are currently one of the hottest teams in the league.
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