On Saturday night, San Jose Sharks defenseman Jason Demers(notes) entered hockey infamy (and on our dishonorable mentions section of Three Stars) for accidentally punching linesman Brian Mach during a scrum with Steve Ott(notes) of the Dallas Stars. Yet another hockey moment elevated to art through the power of the slow-motion highlight:
While the clip has made the rounds through the sports world, Demers' comments after the game haven't gotten the same play. From Sharkspage:
Demers immediately apologized, and he apparently apologized again as Mach lead him off the ice and into the locker room with three seconds left in the period. Referees Wes McCauley and Brian Pochmara gave Demers two minutes for roughing, and awarded Ott a 4-minute double minor for roughing and charging.
"I wasn't looking at (Mach) at all, I was looking through him to Ott," Demers said after the game. "(Mach) sort of jumped in the way. He knew, and he was fine with it. I didn't have any intention of doing that, it was inadvertent. Things happen in the heat of the moment. He was alright with it. I talked to him and apologized, and we went from there."
Ray Slover of The Sporting News felt that "NHL disciplinarians probably will have a word with Demers for this incident," though nothing came down from the league over the weekend in a disciplinary sense. Hopefully that remains the case for what was a total accident.
Meanwhile, let's acknowledge the hazardous, thankless work of the NHL lineman. Our vow to Brian Mach: Next blown offsides call we see you make is a freebie. No swearing, questioning your ability to see or accusing you of being on the take. Swear.