"I hit him in the first [Islanders-Flyers] game. He told me, 'Keep your head up.' I didn't realize he meant the whole season."
>>John Tavares, telling Billy Jaffe about Chris Pronger's sneaky hit from behind,
which cost Tavares part of a tooth when his face was driven into the glass.
Which is odd, because when Pronger hit him in that second Flyers-Isles meeting Dec. 8, it was not a hit Tavares could have avoided even via hockey's oversimplified "keep your head up" cliche. As explained at the end of this post, Pronger chipped Tavares's tooth by hitting him from behind, drawing a minor penalty to which Pronger, naturally, objected.
Next time Pronger does the faux tough guy warning to a league newcomer, in the interest of full disclosure he should probably revise his Miranda reading to something like:
"Keep your head up ... but watch your blindside, because I like to prey on that, too. ... Oh, and look out for my elbows, because I use those a lot ... Oh and if you're prone on the ice, I might stomp or I might kick, it just depends. So yeah, watch out for those, maybe keep your legs wrapped in kevlar, I dunno. ... But it's okay: As a repeat offender the league always throws the book at me, totally ignoring my star status."
It's only fair.