Folks, before we all get on the “Marc Crawford is Hitler” bandwagon, let’s remember some key vernacular surrounding our beloved game:

“Punish him” = Check a player hard every time he touches the puck
“Pay the price” = Fight through physical adversity, like a forward battling for position in the slot OR get a player to drop the gloves in retribution for some event during a prior game

Nowhere have I ever seen or heard anything synonymous with “Sucker punch the guy in the back of the head, then drive his skull into the ice to break his neck.” If Marc Crawford pointed to Steve Moore’s number and said that Moore must pay the price, I’m pretty sure Crawford was telling his defense to check him hard whenever they got the chance, and if there was an opportunity to get him to drop the gloves, then go for it. However, I’m 99.999999999% certain that Crawford’s subtext did not translate into what actually happened.

That little bit of mental connect-the-dots all happened in the mind of one Todd Bertuzzi. Look, you can blame Crawford and the organization for not saying, “We faced them once after he hit Naslund, it’s done with and we’ll let it go.” You can blame them for creating an atmosphere where for one fraction of a second, a little miswiring in Todd Bertuzzi’s brain thought that this was justified. But to say that Crawford goaded Bertuzzi into almost killing Moore? That’s just absurd. Circumstances contribute to everything we say and do, but ultimately, we can only control our own decisions and attitude.

In this case, Bertuzzi made the absolute wrong choice.


One Response to “Definitions”

  1. 1 Danny

    I agree with you Mike, but the way the court will look at it is. If Crawford didn’t tell his team that Moore had to pay the price, Bert wouldn’t have fell on him. It was Bertuzzi falling on Moore that did the damage, not the punch.

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