Getting the Message Across

Patrice BergeronBoston Bruin’s star Patrice Bergeron held a press conference yesterday telling other players around the league to not hit from behind.

This comes a couple weeks after Bergeron suffered a Grade 3 concussion and a broken nose after being drilled into the boards from Philadelphia’s Randy Jones.

Jones hit the numbers from the back, sending the Bruin’s top star into a world of pain.

“If you see a number, if you see the back of a player, just don’t hit,” Bergeron said. “Hitting is part of the game, but not from behind.”

I think it’s common sense to both kids, and players around the NHL, that hitting from behind is a big no-no. But it still happens. Do NHL players need to put a “Stop” sign patch on the back of their jerseys too?

Bergeron HitJones was suspended a measly two games, while Bergeron is still rehabing from his injuries, as he can’t walk more than 200 feet without getting dizzy. He is currently wearing a neck brace and has no idea when he’ll be able to return.

The question, however, should be whether or not players are getting the message?

No matter how many times players cry out pleading to others to refrain the hit from behind, it’s still going to happen. The reason being that hockey is a game of speed, of physical contact, and the lack of respect for each other is dwindling down. This topic is about as commonly discussed as the visor fiasco or the current Lindros debate, but it’s next to impossible to eliminate it altogether.

“No one would like to be in my position right now,” said Bergeron. “At the same time, I’m actually walking – it could be worse.”

It’s only a matter of time before another incident, similar to this happens, where another player gets seriously injured due to an illegal hit.

What happens then? Another debate, another awareness tutorial, another plea? Is it going to change things? We all know the answer, and so do the players.

It’s an ugly thing to see, but unfortunately, it’s always going to be part of the game. And it’s a damn shame.


One Response

  1. I don’t think it’s such a shame that it’s here to stay, I think it’s a shame players don’t think. The fact that sometimes risky plays happen because of the speed of the game is one of the things that adds to the experience. What’s a pity is that players aren’t smarter in certain situations.

    Yeah, there are going to be the odd hits which cause an injury, especially along the board. And because players turn and spin, they end up getting nailed from behind sometimes. What needs to be noted is that guys like Jones need to be careful right around the end-boards, where this kind of hit is becoming all too common. If it had happened anywhere else on the ice, I would have been willing to shrug it off. But the fact that it happened after a number of similar hits says people need to stop automatically rushing other guys along the boards behind the net. That’s the stupid part!

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