Late in the game of a 3-1 win by the Montreal Canadiens over the Pittsburgh Penguins, we had yet another illegal hit that sent a player headfirst into the boards. Here’s the video of the hit:
First the good news: despite what appeared to be a neck or head injury, Bergeron declared after the game that he was just fine.
Craig Adams was handed a 5-minute major for “checking from behind” and a 10-minute game misconduct. The checking from behind call, the one that comes with an automatic misconduct, is a penalty that is rarely called these days in favor of the ever popular and much more subjective “boarding”, in which the officials can hand out any number of penalties associated with that call.
Word is that the NHL has already declared that the hit will not warrant any further discipline by the league, as it’s apparent they feel that the 15 minutes in penalties were enough punishment. Of course, the hit came with just over two minutes remaining in regulation during a 3-1 game, so Adams didn’t exactly feel the full brunt of the punishment.
If Bergeron was carted off the ice on a stretcher, which was certainly a possibility considering how he hit the wall, I doubt the NHL would have been so quick to pass on further punishment.