BOSTON (CBS) — Patrice Bergeron is as honest a player as there is in the National Hockey League, but on Wednesday night in Washington, he found himself in a peculiar position.
The Bruins’ alternate captain skated toward the end boards as the Bruins were on a power play. Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen raced for the puck but appeared to have lost his footing. Bergeron had already committed to making body contact, and so he delivered a hit that helped drive Niskanen face-first into the boards. Bergeron was assessed a two-minute minor for boarding.READ MORE: Gabby Thomas, Mass. Native And Harvard Grad, Sprints To 200 Meter Bronze In Tokyo Olympics
Considering Bergeron’s career was nearly derailed on a hit in the exact same part of the rink, and considering he has no history of ever crossing the line, it was easy to call the hit accidental.
But on Thursday morning, Fred Toucher said that he expects Bergeron will “definitely” be suspended a game or two, “and he should.” Later, CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty joined the show and was asked if he expects supplemental discipline to come for Bergeron.
“I don’t know. That’s certainly not the worst hit that I’ve ever seen. It seemed to me that Niskanen was already kind of falling forward when Bergeron was sort of battling with him for the puck, and he gave him a bit of help going into the boards there,” Haggerty said. “It didn’t look good, the optics on the video didn’t look good. I know Bergeron is not the kind of guy that plays that way. It certainly wasn’t an intent to injure Matty Niskanen. But, I would expect the league is going to look at it because Niskanen was hurt and didn’t return to the game, and because they’re very sensitive about those plays where guys are getting pushed into the boards in an awkward spot where they were behind the net.
“There’s no past history with Bergeron, obviously. This isn’t something that he’s done before. I think that’s going to be a consideration,” Haggerty added.
Haggerty noted that Tom Wilson’s late and dangerous hit on Anton Blidh …READ MORE: Phoenix Police Say Foul Play Not Suspected In Death Of Hiker Angela Tramonte Of Saugus
… or Jakub Vrana’s hit from behind on Tim Schaller …
… will likely get some looks from the NHL department of player safety as well.
As for Bergeron, Haggerty is not expecting a suspension.
“I’m going to say this: I think because of his past history, because he’s never done anything like that before, and because of the circumstances of the hit, it wouldn’t surprise me if Bergeron gets off with some kind of warning or fine,” Haggerty said. “But we’ll see. It’s getting more and more difficult to predict what the league is going to do with these plays, because it seems like some they throw the book at players, and others that are similar hits they steer away from. So we’ll have to wait and see what they do.”MORE NEWS: Will Massachusetts Require Face Masks In Schools This Fall? Here's The Latest State Guidance
Haggerty also discussed Bergeron’s struggle to score this season, David Pastrnak’s incredible goal-scoring performance, thoughts on a potential contract for Pastrnak, and more. Listen below: