Panthers Win, But Still Take "It" On The Cheek

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Panthers goaltender Tomas Vokoun had another solid game making 22 saves, with little work in the first two periods, but got some help by a diving Dennis Wideman to save a goal right after Santorelli scored, which could have switched the momentum over to the Wild.  Minnesota did get themselves on the board when Cal Clutterbuck (love that name) scored late in the first to give Minnesota some life.  Jose Theodore the Wild backup (yes that’s right) settled down after the first two goals and was solid the rest of the way, stopping 25 shots.

Some interesting game notes:  Dennis Wideman had 26:38 minutes of ice time.  Chris Higgins had 4 shots on goal.  Radek Dvorak played in his 574th game as a Florida Panther.  The Little Stevie point watch was zero for the night and the projection for the year is now at 36.  He’s still wearing the cage for his missing tooth.

Now for the drama.  With time elapsed as scrum erupted and ended in an unfortunate situation for Panthers forward Steve Bernier.  Minnesota’s Brent Burns took exception to a hip check from Bernier just seconds before time elapsed and the rumble occured.  Burns became careless, (I don’t care what anyone says) and lost control of not only himself, but his stick and graciously planted the butt end of it on the face of Bernier.  Bernier doubled over immediately and the ice was loaded with blood from the Panther forward.  As the team’s continued to scrape it up a bit, the players not involved gathered around Bernier along with team trainers and doctors.  Bernier was helped off the ice and it was later determined that he suffered a broked or fractured cheekbone.  Bernier was not on the plane last night to Philadelphia, and most likely taking his place on the roster tonight against Philadelphia will be Darcy Hordichuk.  If the Panthers need to make a roster move, expect Michal Repik to be called up.

So what will happen with Burns who was assesed with a five minute major for fighting, a 10 minute misconduct and a game misconduct for his actions.  Also, let it be known that Bernier was given a “weak” two minute boarding call for his hip check to Burns, causing the outbreak.

Look, I love rough and physical play.  I enjoy seeing the hitting and checking, and all that.  I also believe that fighting has it’s place in the game.  However, as a player there are times you have to suck it up and bite the bullet.  You want to retailiate for a hit that you feel was out of line, ok, that’s fine.  I get it.  But to actually use your stick and shove it into someone’s face is careless and irresponsible.  There’s no call for that and the rule as we all know is that a player must be responsible for his stick.  It’s a frickin’ weapon.

Now I don’t know as of right now how long Bernier’s going to be out for, but I’d like to see some punishment handed out to Burns.  What’s enough?  I say 3 games, when i actually expect 2.  Not much more.  Burns did apologize and said it wasn’t intentional and that he didn’t realize the damage he caused.  Even still, Colin Campbell has to do the right thing.  A suspension is in order. Here’s the video for you to see in case you haven’t.

The TSN boxscore.

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