Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson has developed a bad reputation over the course of his career. And the Boston Bruins got a first-hand look at that in their game against the Caps on March 5.
In the 5-1 Bruins win, Wilson had a questionable hit on Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo that left Carlo concussed. After the hit, Bruins defenseman Jarred Tinordi and center Trent Frederic fought Wilson while Brad Marchand had some choice words between periods about Wilson’s hit.
Wilson ultimately was suspended seven games for his hit on Carlo, which you can see below, while Carlo was out of action for 10 games.
On Thursday night, the B’s faced Wilson and the Caps for the first time since that incident, and before the game, Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller skated over to Wilson to have a conversation with him.
What was that conversation about? Miller wouldn’t say exactly, but he did explain the gist of the encounter on the latest episode of NBC Sports Boston’s The Camera Guys.
“We had a conversation and I’ll probably keep that between him and I,” Miller said. “Sometimes he goes a little bit over, and you know, that’s a part of hockey. But at the same time, we just gotta make sure we keep each other honest.”
Certainly, talking to Wilson was a sensible move, and that ensured that there was no funny business on either side during the Bruins’ 4-2 win on Thursday night.
As such, it’s no surprise that Miller took action to talk to Wilson. What was a bit more surprising was Miller’s glowing review of Wilson as a player.
I respect him a lot. I think he’s a good player. I respect his game. He plays on the edge and you know what, I respect that. I enjoy that kind of hockey. I think that’s part of the game and you can see how effective he is.
Kevan Miller, The Camera Guys
Some Bruins fans may cringe at that assessment of Wilson given that he has established himself as a villain.
At the same time, it’s important to understand that Miller himself is a physical, tough-minded enforcer. He may not push the envelope quite as much as Wilson has throughout his career, but it makes sense that Miller would at least appreciate Wilson’s combination of physicality and scoring skill.
But as Miller pointed out, Wilson does go “a little bit over” at times. And when he does, Miller, when available, has been one of the first to answer the call to let Wilson know.
So far this season, Miller has played 17 games for Boston recording two assists, 39 hits, and averaging 19:16 of ice time per game. After four surgeries on his broken kneecap, his performance has been nothing short of amazing and has been one of the best stories of the year for the Bruins.