Saturday, October 27, 2007

Bergeron in hospital

Boston Bruins centre Patrice Bergeron was taken off the ice on a stretcher Saturday after a scary hit from behind by Philadelphia Flyers defenceman Randy Jones.

Bergeron was chasing after a loose puck in the Flyers zone late in the first period when Jones closed in on him and drove his head into the boards with his forearm.
At first glance, it looks like an ugly, dirty hit from behind. Bergeron's face was rammed face first into the ledge on the boards, and the latest reports say he has a broken nose and a concussion, but all feeling in his extremities.

Good news, in other words.

Paul Kukla has a terrific roundup of everything related to this hit, including an apology from Jones. He's not a dirty player and this was apparently just a terrible error in judgment.

That said, he's going to be suspended, and unlike with the previous two incidents, losing Jones hurts the Flyers considerably on the ice.


At 6:26 p.m., October 27, 2007, Blogger danielao said...

The Flyers again?

At 6:29 p.m., October 27, 2007, Blogger Art Vandelay said...

Contract their g0ddam franchise, already. Enough is enough.

At 6:30 p.m., October 27, 2007, Blogger Bethany said...

The franchise needs to be fined or something.

At 6:46 p.m., October 27, 2007, Anonymous Baroque said...

Paul Kukla has video on his post on the hit.

At 6:54 p.m., October 27, 2007, Blogger danielao said...


Definitely nowhere near the brutality of the first two Flyers "big hits" of the year. Type of hit that happens a lot in the NHL.

Jones will probably get a few games, but this isn't in 20 game region, and not even really 10 game.

At 7:37 p.m., October 27, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was just a case of bad luck. You can see in the video that he didn't mean to do it.

Jones is a good player, and just happened to make a mistake.

At 10:42 p.m., October 27, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Horsebleep. That was a dirty hit, square in the back, right in the kill zone. It had nothing to do with separating Bergeron from the puck and everything to do with driving his head into the boards.
If Jones didn't mean to do it, how did it happen? Did Vishnu will it?
10 games.

At 11:00 p.m., October 27, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bergeron was stupid for stop skating before jones arrived.

Flyers feed showed a replay inwhich Bergeron begins to slow down looking at the boards and he look like he was anticpating the hit.

At 11:17 p.m., October 27, 2007, Blogger J. Michael Neal said...

If you hit someone from behind and drive them into the boards, that's a dirty hit. Plain and simple. It's not a case of bad luck. Jones actively chose to make the hit. If Patrice Bergeron slowed up in anticipation of the hit, that does absolutely nothing to relieve Jones of the responsibility for delivering it.

Also, the announcers in the clip James has up clearly don't know college hockey. If, as the one guy says, he saw the Travis Roy incident, then he would know that it was nothing like this at all. Contrary to what he says, Roy was not injured by a check of any sort. He was going into the corner and trying to hit, perfectly legally, a North Dakota player. He missed, tripped just short of the boards, and hit his chin on the dasher as he went down. There wasn't any player-to-player contact at all.

At 12:45 a.m., October 28, 2007, Blogger Paul Nicholson said...

Seriously, am i missing something? Is the goal of most checks not to "drive the player into the boards"? You aren't doing it to tickle them. This is hockey.

It looks like Bergeron slowed up unusually soon and put his head down. Jones was just finishing a check that should have been routine except the guy he was checking decided to put his head down instead of brace himself for the hit. That isn't Jones' fault.

At 12:49 a.m., October 28, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

No, that's incorrect Paul, and there's going to be a suspension here. You simply cannot crush a player in a prone position like that (Bergeron was playing the puck along the boards, which is why he was lined up that way; should he have been turned sideways? Possibly — but that doesn't make this a legal check.)

At 2:20 a.m., October 28, 2007, Anonymous Rod said...

I have a difficult time condemning Jones on this one. Bergeron definitely has some culpability. Very sad to see the injury, but it can happen when a player turns into the boards. If only Bergeron had turned the other way (and fired the puck behind the net on his forehand), we wouldn't be talking about the hit. True, Bergeron was vulnerable at the last moment, but that's not suspension worthy on its own. Jones wasn't reckless, didn't appear to be targeting the head, didn't leave his feet, wasn't hunting for a hit, and so on. It was a brutal hit, but hardly a cheap shot in my opinion. Taking into consideration the game misconduct occurred in the first period, I'd guess no more than a two game suspension.

My first reaction was: Flyers again?!?! Figures. All in all though, pretty difficult to condemn the Jones on this one. Eliminating this type of hit--when players turn into the boards--is no more likely than eliminating all injuries from hockey.

* - probably worth noting, I'm not a Flyers fan at all

At 2:22 a.m., October 28, 2007, Anonymous Rod said...

Most of all, I'm glad to hear Bergeron wasn't more seriously hurt.

At 4:30 a.m., October 28, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The goal of checking is most definitely NOT "to drive somebody into the boards." That would be boarding. And it's a penalty.
Where did some hockey "fans" ever get the idea it's the victim's fault for getting seriously injured? There is only one person responsible for committing atrocities and that's the perpetrator.
Read the comments section in the G&M story about this incident. Almost universally, Jones is condemned. That should give you an idea what normal people think about this bit of head-hunting, the Flyers, and hockey in general.

At 8:00 a.m., October 28, 2007, Blogger mike said...

Paul Holmgren is running a rogue franchise in Philly. Is anyone really surprised? These punks honor the memory of former Flyer criminals like Don Saleski, Dave Brown, Norm Barnes, Bobby Clarke, and Holmgren himself.

When does the league identify a pattern with this team?

At 7:34 p.m., October 28, 2007, Blogger Paul Nicholson said...

Couldn't agree more

At 7:54 p.m., October 28, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Gee, Bob's out on a limb there.

Anyone who is saying this is going to be a 10 or 20 game suspension doesn't know what they're talking about, but I think there'll be some sort of discipline here.

Bergeron put himself in that position because he didn't think anyone would be stupid enough to ride him into the dash. Even if Jones wanted to hit him, what sort of a play was that? It's not within the rules.

At 8:31 p.m., October 28, 2007, Anonymous Rod said...

Skip past the headline, and Bob said a suspension is likely coming, but not a lengthy one like some are calling for. Maybe I'm missing something, but aren't you saying the same thing?

At 10:29 p.m., October 28, 2007, Blogger J. Michael Neal said...

The prevailing opinion - outside of Boston, of course - is that Jones was simply trying to do his job, ride his man out of the play and while he ultimately delivered a hit from behind, Bergeron contributed to his own demise by turning away from the hit and going low into the dasher board, which led to a broken nose and concussion.

No. Just, no. Bergeron absolutely did not turn away from the hit. He turned to play the puck well before the hit. From when he turned, there was more than enough time for Jones to avoid hitting him, or hitting him in the way that he did. Saying that, "Jones was just finishing a check that should have been routine except the guy he was checking decided to put his head down instead of brace himself for the hit," is roughly akin to saying that Lee Harvey Oswald was just taking what should have been routine target practice, except that the President of the United States got in the way. It is, in the strict sense, true, but also completely irrelevant.

Saying, "Bergeron definitely has some culpability," is ridiculous. There seem to be people who confuse the concept that something wouldn't have happened if Person X hadn't taken Action Y, and that Person X has culpability if someone else's reaction to Action Y is grossly negligent. Sure, the injury wouldn't have happened if Bergeron hadn't turned the way he did, but he has no culpability for the fact that Randy Jones saw the back of his jersey and crushed him into the boards anyway.

At 11:02 p.m., October 28, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

I'm with Mr. Neal. We just can't have guys getting slammed like this, regardless of how a player turns to play the puck (or stop before he hits the boards).

I'd love to hear the case for how Jones's hit was necessary to make a play there. Bergeron wasn't exactly in scoring position.

At 3:02 p.m., October 29, 2007, Anonymous Rod said...

Taking a player into the boards is a regular hockey play. It's not like hits on the slot are the only legal hits. How about hits on defensemen by forechecking forwards? The defenseman aren't exactly in a scoring position. Scoring position is hardly the sole criteria for body checks.

That said, hitting someone from behind isn't within the rules. Hence the two game suspension that I predicted earlier.

As for Mr. Neal, let me say this. What if Person X himself was negligent? Plus, you've asserted that "someone else" (Jones) was grossly negligent (the "grossly" aspect is up for debate BTW). Seems a little less black and white to me than it did to you.

There's a reason this was a much shorter suspension, and that's all I was trying to point out. I never said Jones was blameless. Just that it difficult to condemn him in this situation....meaning a short suspension even though the results of the hit looked so awful. Others were calling for Jones' head on a platter, and I didn't see justification for that. Downie? I was calling for a looooong suspension. Thankfully, the league obliged.

All three Flyer suspensions were about right in my opinion. The severe, reckless plays received severe supplemental discipline. The regular play that at the last moment turned into an illegal play resulted in a shorter suspension.

Brace for more hits of this variety though. As I said earlier, eliminating this type of hit--when players turn into the boards--is no more likely than eliminating all injuries from hockey.


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