For all of the utter buffoonery in his game, Tom Wilson is an objectively good hockey player.
So, the Boston Bruins, within the realm of reason, would be well-advised to try to lure him into making dumb decision.
It’s been done before. Washington Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette was miffed earlier this season when Wilson, in the third period of a close game, ended up in the penalty box for fighting B’s forward Trent Frederic.
Now, the two sides are set to face one another in the first round of the playoffs, and the Bruins undoubtedly are going to try to get under Wilson’s skin.
He plans on returning the favor.
“Playoffs is an emotional time,” Wilson told reporters Saturday morning over Zoom. “They obviously have some guys that (agitate), that have that in their game. You’ve seen it in years past, but that’s the way it works. It’s going to be a two-way street. You can control what you can control, and I think we need to remain focused on our goal, and that’s winning games, winning Game 1, and go from there.
“But there’s going to be ups and downs, they’re going to try to get under our skin, we’re going to try to get under their skin. That’s playoffs. It’ll be fun, this is what you really play for and these are the games you love to play as a player, so we’re excited.
If it stays within the rules, something Wilson is not exactly known for always doing, then it’s just playoff hockey. But whatever the case, the history between the Bruins and Wilson — and Zdeno Chara, for that matter — is something that will be grabbing headlines for the next week-plus, especially if Wilson does something dumb.
Game 1 of Bruins-Capitals is set for Saturday at 7:15 p.m. ET.