Mar 5, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Washington Capitals coach Peter Laviolette reacts during the third period against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports
There’s a time and place to defend the sanctity of violence in the game of hockey. Tom Wilson’s hit on Brandon Carlo is not one of those times.
But that’s the road that Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette decided to travel after his team lost to the Bruins on Friday. Wilson’s hit, which resulted in Carlo going to a local hospital after leaving the game, unfortunately marred what was a couple of entertaining and competitive games. Wilson received a seven-game suspension for the hit, which Bruce Cassidy described as “predatory.” The good news is Carlo has already been released from the hospital.
But for whatever reason, Laviolette continued to shrug the hit off as just another hockey play. It’s one thing to get it wrong before having a chance to review the tape, but Laviolette bizarrely doubled down when speaking to reporters on Saturday.
“I mean, to me, it was a hockey hit,” Laviolette said (via Samantha Pell). “If this is a suspendable play then all hitting really is going to probably have to be removed because he didn’t take any strides, he didn’t target the head, a player was up against the boards, he was upright and Tom hit him hard. I hope the player’s OK, but, for me, the call I think was correct on the…