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Bernier on costly penalty: “I wish I could take that play back, but I can’t”

Jun 11, 2012, 11:37 PM EDT

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.

If you didn’t see the play, you can watch it here:

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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.

Related: DeBoer says Game 6 loss wasn’t Bernier’s fault

  1. sbrowncreative - Jun 11, 2012 at 11:47 PM

    Honestly, the reason the Devils were in this situation has a lot to do with an inability to pass the puck. Turnovers, slop and JV passing all year made them tough to watch. Seriously, people want to know about scoring? If you are on the attack, you can score. Move the pick you can score.

    Then there’s the power play. What a sad power play it was…

    • manchestermiracle - Jun 11, 2012 at 11:57 PM

      It wasn’t bad until this series. Maybe the Kings’ PK had something to do with that….

  2. lostpuppysyndrome - Jun 12, 2012 at 12:03 AM

    Okay, this season’s wrapped up and in the books. Has next season started yet? What? No preseason games yet? THEY HAVEN’T EVEN HAD THE DRAFT?!?? GAHHHHHH!!!!

    …does Australia have hockey I can watch?

    • imleftcoast - Jun 12, 2012 at 2:03 PM

      Get comfortable. With Bettman demanding the players reduce their share of the revenues from 57% to 50%, we’ll be waiting until Decemeber for next season to start.

  3. dannythebisforbeast - Jun 12, 2012 at 12:05 AM

    Looked like world beater against lame flyers d. Came up against a better team in la who did to them what they did to everyone else

  4. sportsfreak13 - Jun 12, 2012 at 12:15 AM

    This series was not lost in 5 minutes it was lost in 4 games. Bernier will be the whipping boy for alot of uneducated fans but the true fans know better to blame 1 guy and 1 play.

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Jun 12, 2012 at 12:27 AM

      Amen dude. The best teams will play through adversity (or at least not allow 3 ppgs in the 1st).

    • sabatimus - Jun 12, 2012 at 12:42 AM

      Perhaps, but being down 5 full minutes in a game where, if you lose, you go home, is likely panic-inducing and demoralizing.

  5. thedavesiknowiknow - Jun 12, 2012 at 5:47 AM

    I’m conflicted on this one. I’d say the refs carried out the NHL’s agenda this year: call it based on how bad it looks. For sure, if Scuderi just got up and wasn’t bleeding it would’ve been 2 minutes, at best. He was bleeding, and regardless of how vulnerable of a position Scuderi put himself in, I guess the refs did what they do. That said- I remember a far more brutal hit by Jeff Carter on Tim Connolly (Game 6 Philly-Buffalo: last years ECQF’s) in which Connolly’s sternum was broken. The call on the ice was a 2 minute minor. Just saying- maybe Jeff Carter gets to cave in a chest cavity so that Philadelphia gets to win a series (the hit reduced Buffalo to 1 natural center), while Steve Bernier might accidentally give someone a bloody nose to cause Jersey to lose a cup.

    • rockthered1286 - Jun 12, 2012 at 7:41 AM

      While I agree as a whole this season the arm went up more than it should have, and accidental and routine plays ended up putting teams a man down, there’s no way I can say this one play caused them to lose the cup. If it was a 3-1 final, maybe you could justify the loss a little more, but in the end 6-1 was a beat down. Emotions high or not, a championship team fights through the adversity of penalties, injuries, etc. and finds a way to win. And all of this aside, they would have never come back to LA for a game 6 if Quick didn’t misplay a terrible puck in game 5 that ended up being the difference in that one, but that’s all a thing of the past, just like this Bernier penalty is now. Congrats to the LA Kings. Hope my Caps see you next year in the finals!

  6. 1337ryan - Jun 12, 2012 at 9:50 AM

    Wonder how Bernier was still playing after that devastating high stick he took in the Rangers series……………

    • dino1730 - Jun 12, 2012 at 8:23 PM

      One thing has nothing to do with the other here, I don’t quite see the relation between the 2.

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