The Lords of the Boards at NHL HQ have handed down their suspension for Randy Jones of the Flyers - two games! Two fuckin games for delivering a Grade 3 concussion during a pretty blatant dirty hit over the weekend to Patrice Bergeron of the Bruins. Now I understand that there are circumstances where a player turns at the last moment and a 'bad' hit can't be avoided, but please - this was not one of those situations.
Going through the stories this morning, I came across this one from Scott Burnside where he states:
"Jones tracked Bergeron as he headed into the Flyers' zone. Bergeron's back was to Jones the entire time leading up to the hit, but Jones still used his forearm to drive Bergeron's head into the boards." If you watch any reply, you can see this occurring.
As I mentioned, I fully understand that there are times when shit just happens and it's a freak moment. This was not one of them. It was a blatant hit and delivering a 2-game suspension is a complete joke. What will happen now - as Burnside mentions:
"If the NHL responds as if this were just another hockey hit and penalizes Jones lightly or lets him off altogether, all the league's statements that it is serious about eliminating dangerous play would be rendered moot."
It only makes it worse that this is now the third....yes, the THIRD Flyer's player to be involved in an ugly incident that has resulted in a suspension. Is this a team that is out of control and will the league do something about them? Apparently not.
Maybe my reactions are a bit harsh - I'm not sure, it's still early here in Iceland, but bottom line this was a dirty hit and both the player and the organization should have been penalized more than they have been. For those around Boston, this hit had a direct connection to what happened to Travis Roy. You watch Bergeron falling down and it could have been Roy 10-years ago.
These kind of hits need to stop in hockey. Hard hits, fights, scraps, emotions - it's all part of the game, but dirty plays like this are not.
End rant. Go Bruins. Get well soon Bergeron. Fuck you Flyers.