If there was a defining moment of the 2012 Stanley Cup finals, it was Steve Bernier’s devastating hit on Rob Scuderi in the first period of Game 6.
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Scuderi was able to return to the game for the second period, but Bernier was booted from the contest and assessed a five-minute major. The Kings took full advantage of the long man advantage by scoring three power-play goals en route to a 6-1 victory.
A distraught Bernier faced the media after the game to explain what happened.
“I thought he would keep with the puck on his forehand,” Bernier explained after the game. “It’s a fast game and it ended up being a bad play. I didn’t watch the replay of the penalty. I wish I could take that play back, but I can’t. This is extremely hard. It’s been a long playoff run and to finish on that note, it’s not fun. Nothing we can do now.”
Bernier obviously deserves some of the blame for the Devils’ loss. It was a risky move at a time of the game when New Jersey needed to stay out of the sin bin. At the same time, his teammates didn’t do a particularly good job in their efforts to bail him out.
It should also be noted that Bernier didn’t think his hit was worth a major.
The Devils had a great season, and their comeback after falling behind 3-0 in the series was impressive, but when you leave yourself no margin for error, a bad situation can easily turn into a crippling one.