Whether he deserves it or not, Steve Bernier will always be remembered by New Jersey Devils fans as the guy who effectively ended their Stanley Cup hopes with his five-minute major boarding penalty in Game 6 of the Finals.
Steve Bernier probably couldn’t have imagined a more sour way to end his first season with the New Jersey Devils than that, and his lowlight penalty was the most memorable moment of his 2011-12 season.
Bernier played in 32 regular season games that year and managed just one goal and five assists. He was better in the playoffs, scoring two goals and five assists in 24 games, but his major penalty in Game 6 erased all of that.
On his third shift of the Devils final game, Steve Bernier took a five-minute major boarding penalty (and a game misconduct) after ramming Los Angeles Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi into the boards head-first. At the time of the penalty, there were just over 10 minutes left in the first period, with the score tied at 0-0.
The Kings scored three times on the five-minute power play. Then, the Kings went up 4-0 to start the second period, and the game was over just like that. Steve Bernier has gone on the record as saying, “I wish I could take that play back.” It’s hard to fault a guy for playing hard and making a mistake, but mistakes have consequences.
Bernier would play three more years with the New Jersey Devils and had a career-best 16 goals and 16 assists in 67 games in the 2014-15 season. Bernier spent the next six years in the New York Islanders organization, but most of his ice time came with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in the AHL.
Steve Bernier retired in 2020 and joined the Moncton Wildcats in a player development and hockey operations role in late 2021.