|Philadelphia Flyers' Randy Jones (6) hits Boston Bruins' Patrice Bergeron (partially obscured) in the first period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2007, in Boston. Bergeron went down and was taken out on a stretcher. (AP Photo.Michael Dwyer) |
Sometimes the score of the game just doesn't matter.
Center Patrice Bergeron
, one of the most beloved members of the Boston Bruins, fell to the ice motionless after a vicious hit by Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Randy Jones.
Initially, news about the young forward's condition was not immediately available and his teammates, amongst whom Bergeron ranks very high in terms of respect and admiration, were very, very upset.
"It was a big thing," said veteran center Marc Savard
. "I know his parents are here…I’m sure his family wanted to know that he was okay.
"I’m not sure what the severity of the whole injury right now; nobody does (and) obviously our prayers are with him because he’s a good kid."
Then, good news swept over the Greater Boston area and broke the tension in the Hub of Hockey.
"After initially losing consciousness on the ice, Patrice has regained consciousness and has been taken to Massachusetts General Hospital where he is undergoing a series of tests,” said doctor Bertram Zarins in a prepared statement. "Patrice has sustained a concussion and a broken nose.
"The initial x-rays and CT scan have not shown any other serious injury to his head or neck, and he has full feeling and motion in all of his extremities.
"We will continue to monitor Patrice and await the final results of his medical studies," he said.
Bruins head coach Claude Julien spoke for all of New England following the game about the positive information from Bergeron's hospital.
"We really did fear for the worst because he was unconscious," said Julien. "To hear that kind of news is definitely a relief.
"Sometimes when it comes to the game, it doesn’t matter as much. I think everyone is worried about his well being, nothing else."
|Bergeron is wheeled off the ice as his teammates look on. |
Defenseman Andrew Ference
, one of the B's most vocal leaders in the locker room, was relieved to know that Bergeron will recover and spoke to the issue of respect on the ice.
"That’s obviously good news," said Ference on of the most vocal members of the Bruins. "It’s nothing crazy serious for Patrice, but it’s just another instance where you could just hit 'replay' on any comments that (any player has) ever given about a play like that.
"There’s no sense behind it.
"I don’t know how many times guys are going to have to repeat it, but there’s got to be more respect amongst players -- young guys have to know that, and old guys have to know that. It’s just having respect for other people; it’s just a pretty basic thought process," he said.
Coach Julien had similar sentiments.
"I had the opportunity to look at it," he said. "If people are calling that accidental, when a guy puts his arm behind a guy’s head (and) his feet leave the ice…I don’t think that’s accidental.
"That’s a dirty hit."
"People can make their opinions by watching the replays…we’ll have to have the league take care of it and hopefully they will deal with it properly," said Julien.
Jones told PhiladelphiaFlyers.com that he was sorry.
“I am very apologetic for the hit and what I did. It was not intentional,” said Jones. “It is something that I have never done before and it is not part of my character. I wish him nothing but the best in his recovery.”
Jones also put out his own statement following the good news about Bergeron.
"I am definitely relieved," said Jones. "I was pretty shaken up and was extremely concerned about him. As the game went on I really couldn't focus on it. My mind and heart was totally with him.
"Thankfully nothing was life-threatening but hopefully everything is going to work out for him."
Savard certainly spoke for many when he talked of Jones being apologetic.
"I’m sure he is (sorry)," said Savard. 'It’s a tough situation obviously.
"I don’t think Jones is known as a dirty player, but you have to hold up on that play and I bet you he wishes he had backed off.
"But, it’s done now and it’s tough to take those things back…and hopefully the right suspension is handed out for this situation," he said.
---Boston will take Sunday off before returning to the ice for practice on Monday.