During a scrum in front of the Flyers net midway through the second period,So, we've had stick-swinging, cross-checks to the head, blatant hits from behind and crushing a guys head into the boards and now biting. Biting through a guy's glove no less. Just the fact that Hatcher bit through Zajac's glove is horrifying enough. If you've ever been within 10 feet of a hockey player's equipment, you know damn well how bad that stuff stinks, I can't imagine it tasted all that great to have a guy's glove in your mouth.
Travis Zajac got his glove into the face of Philadelphia defenceman Derian Hatcher
and then pulled his bare hand out.
"I guess I got close to him and he bit me," said Zajac, who wore a splint on the middle finger of his left hand. "I felt pain, I saw blood and then got stitched up and went back out."
Zajac, who gave the Devils a 2-0 lead with his first goal in nearly a
month, missed the rest of the second period but returned for the third. Zajac
said Hatcher didn't talk to him.
"I had my finger in his mouth, so I don't think he could," Zajac said.
Hatcher's version of the story was different.
"If he's cut, good, but I didn't bite him," Hatcher said. "I
didn't think anything of it until someone mentioned it to me.
"He went like that (face wash) right across my face. He got his glove on my tooth, almost pulled it out. It's all sore."
Maybe biting him was an apt response in that case.... Naaah - no way.
After the last incident involving a Flyers player attempting to end a player's career, Gary Bettman gave the toothless response along the lines of, "Now if you guys do that again, I am seriously going to consider punishing you really hard."
You can practically see him shaking his finger at owner Ed Snider and GM Paul Holmgren while feigning disgust.
While Derian Hatcher is yet another one of those players with a checkered history of dirty and questionable hits, biting a guy is something that just does not happen...unless your name is Mike Tyson.
My guess here is that Hatcher will get five games, appeal because of an apparent lack of evidence other than hearsay, and have to eat the five games anyhow - all while Bettman claims that this incident is different than all of the other incidents the Flyers have had this year. For the record, it's five dirty plays they've been smacked for this season, after the fifth one the Commissioner was awoken from sleep to make a statement for.
I figure because this had to do with a player totally losing his cool and doing something rather barbaric that didn't result in an injury where the player's livelihood was in danger, he won't get something too bad and the Flyers won't be punished for it. These are the kinds of things I expect from the Gutless Reign of Herr Bettman.