The Florida Panthers were able to hold off the Minnesota Wild in a hard-fought affair 2-1 tonight in Sunrise, Florida but the story of the game comes after the final whistle had blown.
Panthers forward Steve Bernier was taken to a local hospital after the game with a deep cut on his face after getting into an ugly scrap with Wild defenseman Brent Burns as the game ended. As for what went down, On Frozen Pond’s George Richards has the details.
Bernier was hit in the face by Minnesota’s Brent Burns after play had ended in Florida’s 2-1 win over the Wild at BankAtlantic Center. Burns took the last shot of the game and was shoved by Bernier; Burns took exception, turned and popped Bernier in the face while holding his stick. The butt-end of the stick is what did the damage.
“It’s disrespect for the game,” said Florida defenseman Mike Weaver. “Why do you need that? A player needs to respect another player.”
Said Burns: “I don’t know how it happened. I don’t know. It happened. I said sorry. I just saw he was bleeding there. I didn’t mean to do that. He just came at me, and I think it was my glove got him. I don’t know.”
Burns received five minutes for fighting and a game misconduct at the conclusion of the game for his abuse of Bernier. Bryan Allen of Florida and Minnesota’s Cal Clutterbuck also received matching minors for roughing. Burns, meanwhile is looking at potential action from the league for his possible butt-end and punch to Bernier’s face. For Minnesota, that would be a tough loss as Burns is easily one of Minnesota’s top players and certainly their most reliable defenseman.