Controversy has a way of following Tom Wilson around on the ice, though it would be fair to say that he does his share of following it right back. Following things — and people — around the ice to enact measures of revenge is sort of what Wilson ‘does’, so to speak, when he feels someone on his team has been wronged or if he’s in the mood to stir things up.
On Sunday night, the bruising Washington Captials forward was at again against the Boston Bruins, with David Pastrnak square in his sights.
The Bruins came out firing in the matchup, taking a 5-1 lead into the third period. The late stages of a blowout are where agitators like Wilson dust off their dirtiest deeds, under the guise of sending a message for a meeting in the future.
First blood between the two is a “whoopsie” spear from Wilson to the midsection of Pastrnak, the type of behind-the-play stick work that serves little purpose than to stir the pot and skirt the rules just as a way of proving you can.
methinks Tom Wilson is gonna end up on the naughty list pic.twitter.com/2eNlw6uKy1— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) December 24, 2019
The rising action of this story is Pastrnak laying a hit on Caps defenseman Nick Jensen behind the net in the third period. The hit was delivered from behind but without a particularly disastrous or dangerous result, and not much harder than expected on your average NHL forecheck.
Naturally, this contact is beyond the pale in Wilson’s mind and the remainder of his time in the game is focused solely on tracking down Pastrnak and rendering his own measure of justice. Wilson cuts Pastrnak off on his way to the bench at the end of a shift — puck or no puck, this is the direction the play was going in Wilson’s mind.
Shoves and words are exchanged, and Pasta’s audacity to fight back results in Wilson taking his aggression to the next level. Gloves fly and Wilson tries to climb over or around a linesman in the middle of skirmish, bringing play to a halt while all the bodies on the ice flock to the scene.
Tom Wilson gets ejected late in the game pic.twitter.com/gFnTjLgpaz— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) December 24, 2019
Yep, Wilson makes sure to get some shots in underneath the linesman’s arm, and finds some time to shove Connor Clifton, as well as let fellow pest Brad Marchand know that he has plenty of room left on the dance card. Wilson and Pastrnak both received two minutes for roughing for the play, with the former picking up the extra 10 minute misconduct and an early trip to the bench.
Wilson vs. Pastrnak wasn’t the only incident of violence late in this blowout game, as T.J. Oshie delivered a devastating hit to a vulnerable Boston Bruins defenceman Charlie McAvoy along the boards under two minutes to play.
A look at T.J. Oshie's hit on Charlie McAvoy. pic.twitter.com/DxTKfQCqwM— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) December 24, 2019
McAvoy did not make another shift in the game after the hit.
The Bruins did get a desperately needed win out of the game with a 7-3 final score, but the Capitals made sure it came with a pretty steep physical price.
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