Twenty years ago you would have heard about the Randy Jones hit on Patrice Bergeron, but chances are you would not have seen it. And if you did, there may have been one camera angle capturing the play.
Nowadays you can’t pick your nose on the bench without it appearing on the highlight shows with 20 different angles, in slow motion, all in High-Definition.
“Look closely Harry, I think we have a booger!”
The result, of course, is every play that occurs in a game is held to much higher scrutiny than ever before. There is no question Jones, an otherwise honest player with no history of gratuitous violence, must be held accountable for his actions.
His hit from behind on Bergeron Saturday resulted in the Boston player breaking his nose on the dasher boards and having to be carried off the ice on a stretcher as a matter of precaution.
But, I don’t think this was even close to being the worst thing I have ever seen in hockey. It was shocking and potentially catastrophic, but at the end of the day Bergeron suffered a busted schnoz and, according to the Bruins, a concussion – and I’m not so sure he wasn’t partially responsible for the injury because he foolishly leaned forward as he approached the boards.
I am starting to see more and more of players turning their backs on opponents as they head towards the boards, a trend that will lead to more injuries than simple hits.
It is a good thing we are exposed to more thanks to advanced and more sophisticated TV coverage of hockey, but let’s be careful we don’t treat every play as though it were a crime against mankind just because we see it over and over and over again on the tube.