Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo was taken to the hospital via ambulance after Capitals forward Tom Wilson hit him in the head Friday night.
The hit occurred in the final minutes of the first period in the Bruins’ 5-1 win over the Capitals. Carlo had possession of the puck in one of the corners when Wilson charged at him, lifting his right elbow, striking Carlo in the head. Both players went down, but Wilson was quick to get back up. Carlo, however, remained down for some time before a pair of Bruins staffers attended him. Carlo was able to skate off on his own power.
Wilson wasn’t given a penalty for the play.
After the game, Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy shared that Carlo was taken to the hospital and gave his thoughts on the situation.
“Predatory hit from someone that’s done that before,” Cassidy said. “I do not understand why there wasn’t a penalty called on the ice. They huddled up, but I did not get an explanation why. It was out of our hands after that. We’ve just got to play hockey. Try to stick together as a team, play the right way.
Cassidy didn’t say if Carlo was concussed or not.
“You can probably make your own call on that, considering the hit was directly to his head,” Cassidy said.
The Bruins responded to Wilson’s hit in several ways. They scored four straight goals after the hit and fought Wilson twice.
“Sometimes when that stuff happens and there’s no call, players kind of settle it on the ice in their own way,” Cassidy said. “We felt that we pushed back and did what we could do. We won the hockey game and tried to let that particular player know it was unnecessary. So, that’s how we handled it.
“That’s how I thought of the whole situation. I assume it’ll get looked at by the National Hockey League and they’ll make their decision.”
Defenseman Jarred Tinordi, who joined the Bruins earlier this week, was the first to fight Wilson, getting his hands on him in the second period. Forward Trent Frederic got his turn to fight Wilson in the third.
Tinordi, speaking to reporters after the game, shared why he got in on the action.
“What I noticed about this team when I got here was that the boys are playing for each other night-in, night-out,” Tinordi said. “I’m not surprised to see the boys respond in a big way after one of our guys goes down like that.”
“You can’t have guys taking liberties with our players out there. That’s the way I’ve always played,” Tinordi later added. “That’s the way a lot of guys on the team play. You’ve got to recognize that. It was also a little bit of a cheap shot. A guy goes down and we responded in a big way. Put the fight aside, I think the boys came out in a big way.”
Brad Marchand called the hit “bull—-” during an interview with NESN following the first period. He stated his frustration again after the game, focusing some of it on the officiating for the lack of a penalty call.
“I think the biggest problem is what they’re choosing to review and not to review,” Marchand said. “Last year in the playoffs, there were high sticks that were reviewed when a guy hits his teammate. If the ref makes a bad call, let the ref make a bad call. But, for a major penalty not to be looked at, if the refs look at that on video that’s a clear suspension and he’s gone from the game.
“That’s the whole problem with bringing video into the game the way that they did. They care more about looking at a video review of an offside by an inch but they don’t care about reviewing a guy’s headshot.”
Patrice Bergeron, in his first season as the team’s captain, gave a little insight as to what he told the team following the hit.
“I think we’re a team that has to stick together. I think that’s the only way it works really,” Bergeron said in an interview with NESN. “Obviously, when something like that happens you’ve got to step up and show you care for one another. I thought we did that. Whatever we talk about in that room stays private. That being said, you have to find ways to get everyone going.”
Get Boston.com's browser alerts:
Enable breaking news notifications straight to your internet browser.