About last night …

Have to keep the powder dry for the Puckcast we’re recording later this morning, but here are a few thoughts:

The NHL is not the WWE.

Players do not attempt to bang other players’ heads off turnbuckles. If Zdeno Chara is called to a disciplinary hearing, you have to think intent will figure into the deliberations.

When I got home from the Bell Centre last night, I watched the hit on YouTube. And while Pierre Houde immediately labelled it as “absolument vicieux”, I agree with Arpon Basu: it’s impossible to establish what Chara’s intent was.

Bob McKenzie has a similar take, although Canadiens fans who saw Max Pacioretty unconscious on the ice may find the TSN maven’s analysis a bit cold.

In his commentary during the clip, Benoit Brunet stresses that Chara is not a dirty hockey player. And in remarks after the game, Mike Cammalleri talked about the necessity of knowing, at all times, exactly where you are on the ice.

No, I’m not blaming the victim. Having dumped the puck up the boards, Max Pacioretty was allowed to pursue it without being run off by the league’s strongest player.

And the pair have a history.

Remember when Pacioretty shoved Chara after that game-winning overtime goal? The way Lurch has behaved since, one could surmise OT shoves are little different from questioning the morals of a Slovakian’s mother. 

So I wouldn’t want to be Mike Murphy, who probably will adjudicate this because Colin Campbell’s son plays for the Bruins.

Ron Reusch, who has watched many more hockey games than I, said the ice surface has to be made bigger. Players are just too fast, too strong.

One pressbox wag suggested getting rid of that unglassed area between the benches “and if it means Joël Bouchard has nowhere to work, that’s an added benefit.”

 

There was a lot to like about the rest of the game.

The Canadiens played their game: five red jerseys in the vicinity of the puck in all three zones.  Carey Price was customarily superb, as were his shot-blocking teammates.

Lars Eller gets better in every game. Funny, you don’t hear much anymore about how Jacques Martin has ruined Eller and P.K. Subban.

Playing Paul Mara and Ryan White helped cool the more savage instincts of the Bruins, especially after White laid a pretty good thumping on Johnny Boychuk early in the action.

Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton tried to start stuff in the dying seconds of a 4-1 game, which is typical Claude Julien BS. But the Pacioretty injury had a sobering effect on the proceedings and ensured that the third period did not become a total goon show.

The Bell Centre became a tomb after the Pacioretty injury, and that influenced the game. Having basically won it in 40 minutes, the Canadiens sleepwalked through the early part of the third period, but Boston couldn’t take advantage of it.

I thought the Bruins would play better. On paper, they’re a powerhouse. And they played that way through their recent 6-0 road trip.

But the Canadiens have their number. The guys in red jerseys were too fast for the lumbering visitors, and it is ever thus.

On Saturday, we saw that it might not be a bad deal for the Canadiens to meet Tampa Bay in the playoffs.

And on the evidence of last night’s game, you can add Boston to the list of desirable match-ups.

Tune the Puckcast later today for more. 

 

125 Comments

  1. tbovs says:

    I did see the game last night and I did watch the hit on you tube this morning before I wrote anything…and it is CLEAR that Chara was WATCHING THE TURNBUCKLE while he initially made contact with Paciorretty.  It was litterally in the centre of his vision and I will tell you this….every defencemen in the league would try to do the same thing as it is an instant big hit because you are shoving a guy into a wall inreality at 50k/hr and it can get your team going and obviously get you on the TSN top ten list for hit of the year.  It was a selfish action and it was premeditated…and confirmed with his comments saying that max jumped into the partition (ridiculous…should be suspended for idiocy).  For all those that say the game is too fast for it to be premeditated….well your brain can make over 200 million calcs per second and my MD beside my name gives me an expert opinion so in the 3 secs chara could have his life flash before his eyes and plan his after game meal then decide “this punk is gonna get hurt”.  For all those trying to take a neutral stance stating that this was an isolated incident and he is not dirty…all players are a little dirty and if your mad enough you’ll do just ab out anything and if your selfish enough and combine those two….well it can be dangerous.

     

    GO HABS GO

  2. smiler2729 says:

    Right on, Ian. I’m still filled with such hate for Chara and the Bruins, I’m f***ing scaring myself! Last night, I think if I were at the game and there was a Bruins near me, I’d have punched him out.

    They’re no class, yellow scumbags that deserve everything they get (being our bitch for 50+ seasons and having the diSTINKtion of blowing a 3-0 playoff series lead).

    The hockey gods will continue to get them.

  3. nick says:

    You know, if Chara had been backpeddling when he hit Max I could have accepted that he didn’t quite know exactly where he was, etc etc…

    But the fact that the guy skates in a straight line for a good 30 feet, then throwing that punch at the end… I’m sorry but no one here can say that Chara did not see the boards coming. Whatever his intent was, the late  play was very dangerous and uncalled for. For a player of his experience level to try and say he didn’t know where he was, what was happening… etc etc… I call BS. He wouldn’t have made it to the NHL to begin with if he had to skate around with a GPS strapped to his head.

     

     

  4. matrags says:

    this is not tough Boone , look at the picture, and stop rationalyzing A hit clearly outside the rules resulting in potentially serious iinjury. Enough , excuses dont cut it .

  5. smiler2729 says:

    Some call it crazy but I switched to goalie when I was 24 because it’s safer (I got crosschecked once when I was 16 in a house league game and couldn’t walk for a couple of minutes).

    Sure, the pucks can hurt but at least I’m not being hunted out there. There are morons trying to be hockey heroes even in beer league hockey.

  6. smiler2729 says:

    No kidding!

    And LOL at your McGuire comment, perfect!

  7. matrags says:

    Lost alot of credibility here Chris. Look at the photo, An illegal hit to the head causing serious bodily injury, and your comment about the nature of the game is telling.

  8. habsfan0 says:

    For as many games that Max misses Chara should be suspended for.

  9. twocents says:

    There’s a lot less grey to this than some imply.

    Boone, sorry, but you’re wrong.

    Chara did intend to bang Pacioretty’s head off the turnbuckle, just like in the WWF.

    He perhaps, even likely, didn’t intend to end his career or impact his whole life, but he did intend to slam him into the turnbuckle. The photo, the fact that he completely finishes the hit with no indication of letting up at the last second combined with his reaction and comments afterward are all consistent with this.

    There’s only grey for those who frame the question as intent to severely injure, which can’t be determined. But, the question is, did he intend to direct his head into the turnbuckle? Good evidence exsists he did.

    That fact that he may be too stupid or deluded to realize the consequence of this, is immaterial.

     

  10. Norcal Habsfan says:

    I can’t watch or read any more TSN today. Can’t do it. I get so pissed and juiced up I might hurt someone at work today or flip over a car.  

    McKenzie, Barnaby– shut up!

    Do you resent the 24 Stanley Cups that much? Is objectivity really that difficult?

    Barnaby, with your talent be glad you have job in this economy.

    McKenzie, shut up again.

    McGuire, shut up too…that was preemptive because I know you’re about to piss me off.

     

  11. Barts says:

    Chara might not have a history of doing that sort of thing, but he does have a history with the player, AND…the Bruin’s have a history of doing this to the Habs. See McLaren, Kyle.

  12. Graves says:

    Agreed completely. One of L’antichambre’s “headlines” or whatever they call them last night was “life is more important than a win.” Sums up my feelings pretty accurately.

  13. Ian Cobb says:

    I was so upset last night that I had a hard time sleeping. I am even more angry this morning. I grew up watching this game when there were no helmets worn and players played the game with heavy body checks. But they had respect for one another. And any hit to the head or intent to drive someones head into anything, was not tolerated by fellow team mates.

    The word respect is becoming a lost art in our society, not only on the hockey rink. You see it every day in our youth, and it must change. When people cross the line, they have to pay the price, but unfortunately, if you have money and layers around you, you can get away with even causing death. They would candy coat it as an accident, and bring a ton of paid phony experts to confuse.

    Any contact to the head is NO Fu….. Accident. There should be ZERO tolerance for this type of assault anywhere.

    Big money surrounds our (game) sorry, hockey business. And the big money protects everyone’s ass, but let’s start protecting heads. First by teaching respect, and enforcing respect.

    Lawmakers and law enforcers, get some backbone and do the right thing to protect people. I do not know why green money and yellow bellies, over rule in today’s society.

    STAND UP FOR RESPECT NOW.!

  14. bp says:

    He may not have meant to knock Max out unconscious but he was obviously committing a foul and it went way worse then normal. I put this in the category of the guy who robs the liquor store with a gun and then is surprised someone got hurt. 

    Intent is ridiculous. Until the NHL starts using polygraphs, they should just stick to whether it was a foul and what was the outcome. The fact that Chara may only get a few games because Max fortunately doesn’t appear to have bleeding in his brain is just wrong. 

     

     

     

     

  15. JF says:

    Good post.  I agree completely.

  16. Canadiangrrl says:

    “McGuire, shut up too…that was preemptive because I know you’re about to piss me off.” — It feels good to laugh, even in the midst of being upset and angry. :)

    Hab Baby #1 due 5/19/11…

  17. habsruleworld says:

    http://www.boston.com/sports/columnists/massarotti/2011/03/chara_hit_difficult_to_defend.html

     

    according to the Boston Herald, Tony Masorotti, he believes Chara knew exactly what he was doing as he drove mac pac’s head into the turnbuckle, and gives evidence that A Boston player has just previously done the same thing to another player a few games ago.

     

    Mckenzie, Boone, Basu etc. I could not disagree more with you,

     

    Chara knew exactly what he was doing as he first sized up the distance to the turnbuckle before delivering the shove into it.

  18. redgorf says:

    Intent, of course there intent, any body that played the game know it exist, you get hit check the number and say to yourself  ill get him, take alook where his glove is its last thing he does, i;m sure he even heard the players on the bench groan. For making the rink bigger is nonsense, players will try and get around one another and the boards are a D’s helper. If the leage is serious its like every thing else, an example must take place of responsibility of action, just like it does in the real world ” drunk driving  speeding use of eccisive force “…ect. THE REST OF THE SEASON OFF WITH LOSS OF PAY THIS WOULD START TO HURT AND CHEAP HITS WOULD STOP.

  19. Displaced says:

    Not sure if someone already posted this, but at least one Boston sportswriter agreed that Chara deserves a suspension.

    http://www.boston.com/sports/columnists/massarotti/2011/03/chara_hit_difficult_to_defend.html

    Whose leg do I have to hump to get a dry martini around here?

  20. smiler2729 says:

    Chara’s not a dirty player… until now. You’re right that he deliberately ran Pacioretty into the stanchion, his elbow raised and drove him into it and bullshit that he claims he didn’t really know where he was near the benches.

    As for McSorley and Brashear, I’ve maintained for years and go back and look if you want, that McSorley’s stick merely tapped Brashear’s helmet and big Donald, in his clumsy attempt to embellish it, went down on his own, the fashionably loosely fastened helmet coming off and banging his head on the ice. Yeah, he concussed himself.

    Same with Bertuzzi/Moore – yeah, big Bert’s a complete thug for jumping Moore (no angel himself) from behind but the physical damage done to Moore’s neck was by the idiots who piled on the two of them, not from Bertuzzi’s tackle.

    Point being, hockey is a dangerous game, mostly because at high speed, the emotion of a moment can result in ugly, terrible scenarios.

  21. Somethingwithhabsinit says:

    I definitely agree with your feeling there, but this isn’t the first tragedy like that this year. David Perron hasn’t played since early November, Joe Thornton got 2 games for it. The best player in the world hasn’t played in 2 months, not a suspension to be found anywhere near it.

    Max is a tough kid, and I hope he can fully recover in time for next season, but I also would like the Habs to shut him down for the rest of this one. It’s not worth risking your whole future at age 21.

  22. Graves says:

    I sort of agree, I think. Do I think Chara meant to nearly kill Pacioretty? No. Do I think he deliberately ran his head into the stanchion? Yes. Not a doubt in my mind. I doubt McSorley meant for Brashear’s helmet to pop off before his head smacked the ice either. But it happened, and he was held responsible for it, in the same way that Chara should be held responsible for it.

    I also agree with you that he won’t get anything more than two games. Which makes me sick to my stomach, seeing as how Pacioretty’s career is in jeopardy, but hey, welcome to the NHL…

  23. Somethingwithhabsinit says:

    Can I take both sides? I’ve never found Chara to be a dirty player, and actually admired that he doesn’t use his size to destroy people, which he easliy could. That being said, it’s very clear that he deliberately ran Max into the stanchion. Saying that it’s unfortunate the hit happened in that part of the ice is like saying it’s unfortunate that McSorley was holding a stick when he waved his hands behind Brashear’s head.

    This was not Chara’s first time playing hockey, he knew where he was on the ice, and he made every effort to make sure Max’s head ran into the stanchion. Yes, this is a play that has happened many times before, and this is one of the many times that it happened deliberately.

    Again, I don’t think this was a cold, calculated move. I would compare it to Cammalleri trying to carve up that kid’s face in the pre-season. A split-second bad decision where you want to hurt the guy, and aren’t really considering all of the consequences.

    I don’t think he’ll get anywhere near 10 games. Gillies got 10 because it was an incident that happened in his first game back after a 9-gamer. Being that Chara has a mostly clean record, and is a team captain and high-profile player, I’d be surprised to see him get more than 2.

  24. Graves says:

    After seeing the hit, my girlfriend hugged me and said she was so glad I didn’t play competitively (God bless her for thinking I actually ever had the talent to do so). And you don’t have to wonder about the number of parents who decided to keep their kids from playing hockey last night: the radio call-in lines were clogged this morning with masses of parents saying exactly that.

  25. Bill says:

    A lot of those beer-league superstars like to post here, if you haven’t noticed. They usually start posts with “Listen to me, because I played the game” or “Anyone who knows anything about hockey”.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  26. Bill says:

    I reached that conclusion years ago watching AAA and Q games, this certainly does little to change my mind. My kid will stick to something safer with more honourable opponents, like say crocodile wrestling.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  27. Graves says:

    To me, the worst thing about this garbage isn’t the fact that Chara will get away with a slap on the wrist (if Chris Pronger as a repeat offender only gets eight games for curb-stomping someone, Chara will get two games at the most), it’s the fact that these plays are ruining hockey for me.

    Last night, I honestly thought Pacioretty was lying dead on the ice. That’s not hyperbole, that’s the truth. Yet another good young player whose career might now be in jeopardy because of some thug idiot and a league that doesn’t take discipline seriously. This isn’t just disheartening to me as a Canadiens fan, it’s disheartening to me as a fan of the game. I don’t want to watch games full of Cookes and Prongers and Charas because they’ve been allowed to take out the Crosbys with dirty plays. It’s just not hockey anymore.

    Last night, I was watching the Canadiens handing the Bruins their asses by playing one of the best hockey games I’ve seen in a long time. Then I watched as the Bruins tried to derail everything by playing a game of cheapshots and thuggery. I’m not even angry anymore. I’m just depressed thinking about what this means for the future of the game I love.

    I wish all the best to Pacioretty and his family.

  28. smiler2729 says:

    The Day When Being A Hockey Fan Ceased Being Fun…

    There’s so much wrong with Gary’s NHL and a lot of it just simmers underneath but the lack of respect the players have for each other and the even deeper lack of respect the league disciplinarians have for them is a major, major problem.

    Colin Campbell, never mind that his justice is skewed by favoritism and cronyism, the mere fact that his rivethead of a son is employed by a NHL team as a ‘player’ should eliminate daddy from having the position as NHL judge and jury.

    The most obvious aspect of what ails today’s NHL game is the rink size or lack thereof and the Gary bandwagon of ill-advised owners cite COST, yes COST! as a deterrent toward widening their ice surfaces. Oh no, they’d have to, essentially, lose the last row of each arena and the accompanying profit, not to mention the cost of moving the player benches and penalty boxes back a couple of feet!

    I hate the NHL, from the ridiculous standing seedings to the gimmicky shooutout to the bad southern markets (and ignoring the Canadian cities clamouring for them), I hate, hate, hate it. From Gary’s bobbleheaded speech delivery to the Leafccentricity of the media, this is not the league or game I grew up with.

    From my driveway in T.M.R. in the ’70s to the frozen lake we had in St.Sauveur, I played hockey everywhere, whether it was actual nets, snowpiles or two boots as posts, the game was always the same in our heads, we shot, we scored, we saved, we celebrated… but I’ll tell you what we didn’t do – fight or drive each other into parked cars or garage doors by our heads. No, we played the game. The pros don’t do that anymore.

    Max Pacioretty will recover, thank God, but will he ever be the same hockey player? Richard Zednik, post-McLaren and Jason Arnott, post-slapshot to the forehead, just to name a couple, were NEVER the same player. Marc Savard sure isn’t and I’m worried Sid Crosby won’t be.

    Oh yeah, the game, turning points, Ryan White standing up to Boston’s bull, Jeff Halpern’s wraparound block and Lars Eller’s beauty goal. Those were last night’s three stars… but I just really only want Max-Pac to get better and Zdeno Chara to go to hell.

    ’nuff said.

     

  29. JF says:

    The hit on Max-Pac certainly took the lustre off what was an almost perfet game by the Habs.  The Bruins simply had no answer to our speed.  We beat them all over the ice.  I was disgusted, as I regularly am when we play them, to see how they tried gooning it up in the last couple of minutes.  The Flyers have a reputation for thuggery, but in my opinion they have nothing on the Bruins.  They’re a dirty bunch of thugs who are often incited by their coach.

    As for the hit, I hope Chara gets a suspension, but I fear it won’t happen or won’t be more than a couple of games.  All the discussion about intent, coupled with the fact the hit would have had no consequences anywhere else on the ice suggest the NHL will find a way to minimize it.  They’ll call it an unfortunate accident, and Chara will get off with a couple of games or even just a fine.  But it was a dangerous play, and players are responsible for their actions and for knowing where they are on the ice.  If a player’s stick cuts another player’s face as he is falling to the ice, he gets four minutes even though it was completely accidental and the other player doesn’t miss a shift.  Chara can say it was an accident and he had no intention of injuring Pacioretty, but he hit him hard in a dangerous area of the ice.  He should be held responsible.  It’s up to the NHL to take dangerous plays out of the game, but I can all too easily imagine them reacting to a player’s death by saying it was an unfortunate accident.  Jacques Martin is usualy almost too circumspect in his remarks, but I was glad to hear him speak out after the game and call for the NHL to take action.

    I hope the Habs find a way to re-sign James Wisniewski.  His arrival completely revitalized the powerplay, which is now a major weapon for us.  Since Mark Streit left, we have struggled every year to find a replacement with that big point shot, and, until we do, the powerplay sputters along at less than 15%.  I realize we have an over-abundance of defencemen and Pierre Gauthier will have some tough decisions to make, but I think we need to keep that big point shot.  And speaking of defencemen, I liked Mara’s game last night.

  30. Chuck says:

    Chara had his shoulder in position to rub Max out along the boards, but then raises his arm, brings it up from behind, and directs him into the post. For anyone to say that he simply meant to dump him into the Bruins’ bench is absolutely ridiculous; Chara’s motion in no way looked like he was trying to dump him into the box.

     

  31. G-Man says:

    This is not about “intent.” We are not mind readers. This is about the action itself and the resulting injury. I really don’t give a shit what Basu or McKenzie think about “intent.” Pac could have been killed and Chara thinks Pac deliberately leapt at the stancheon with his head.

    At least 10 games suspension for the uncaring idiot or the NHL does not give a rat’s ass about its players or the integrity of the game.

  32. stephen says:

    Re: Mara

    Jacques now has a very versatile set of defenceman from which to pick and choose, depending on their opponents. People have knocked Mara in the past, but he is perfectly serviceable when used in ‘spot duty’ as he has for the Habs recently. In for a game against a more physical opponent, out for a game against a speedier team. I’m happy we have him for the former.

  33. Mike Boone says:

    No prob, bro. This is a tough one.

  34. MusicMutt says:

    To think he didn’t intend this you have to beleive that he knew not where he was on the ice.  Anyone think Chara doesn’t have good ice pressence?  He knew exactly where they were and the little extra shove at the end ensured Max hit the target at which Chara was aiming….

    Praying for a fast recovery…

  35. Shiloh says:

    Exactly. There are many civil and criminal wrongs which do not require a finding of intent – careless and reckless driving, manslaughter, criminal negligence.

    This is a defining moment for the league. If they don’t attempt to put a significant deterrence in place, I believe that a future player injured during a negligent play could name the league as partially responsible in any legal action.  

  36. CanadienFanTrappedinNiagaraFallsNY says:

    Agree with ya G-Man. This talk of unclear intent from the media types is getting ridiculous. I guess it allows one to fill an article with the fluff of words without really saying anything at all. The intent that we do know of is a late, illegal hit in a hazardous part of the rink. It then resulted in a terrible, potentially deadly injury. It’s quite simple and no different than any other suspendable action in the game. How do we know when ANYONE has an intent to injure unless their wielding a stick like a battle axe?

  37. JohnBellyful says:

    Having been gang-ripped last night for expressing the opinion that I didn’t think Chara’s intent was to injure while in no way excusing his actions, it’s somewhat comforting to see I and a few other posters, along with some commentators, respected and otherwise, were not alone in reaching an unpopular conclusion. It’s far from vindication – debate over what happen will continue for weeks – but it feels better than vilification. 

    I’m still not willing to concede Chara set out to render bodily harm – wanting to inflict pain, yes; carrying out a vendetta, perhaps – but what happened at the end, Pacioretty hitting his head against the turnbuckle, took place at a split-second. I can’t say for certain that was Chara’s intent all along.

    What I found instructive from the whole experience is how much emotions are stirred up by such incidents. No, you can’t remain impassive in view of what happened, nor what I would expect anyone to remain silent, but the anger directed at those putting forward a contrary view was disturbing. Somehow we had become apologists, fifth columnists, or worse.

    Emotions were still inflamed well after the hit and verbal assaults in all directions were being committed. People had time to consider what they saying and more than a few chose to do it in as forceful a manner as possible. I know, boo hoo, my feelings were hurt, so grow up, you big baby. But that’s not my point. This is: 

    In view of the fans’ instinctive, split-minutes reaction, I can only imagine what it must be like to be a professional athlete playing a sport at high speed, when snap judgments are made in the heat of the moment. Was Chara thinking as he approached Pacioretty: I hate this player, he’s got a step on me, but I got the angle, I can rub him out, make him hurt, hey, there’s the turnbuckle, I’ll ram his head against it?

    Chara warrants a suspension for the consequence of his action; how well the league can determine his motive will decide how long he serves. I’m not optimistic it will be more than token punishment. Hedman’s hit on Crosby was every bit as bad and he had time to consider what he was doing, ram Crosby’s head against the glass well after the player had made the pass, but he did it anyway. Did he even get a penalty on the play?
    It’s all about respect – on and off the ice. It’s being lost all over the place.

    I imagine the debate will be well-advanced when I return home from work tonight.

  38. geo_habsgo says:

    Boone, if that is your stance on the matter then you should be ashamed. In the media’s attempts to be “rational” about the incident they are forgetting one important thing. Humans play the game. You can’t find out whether there was real intent on the part of Chara, hell you can’t even do that in a murder case. You need to look at the evidence and the precedent that has been set in the past. Was there a history between the two? Yes, a very nasty one. Was the hit clean? Yes, it arguably was. Was it an illegal hit regardless of where it was? Of course Was it in a completely dirty area of the ice? You bet.

    We can’t say that if it was somewhere else on the ice it would not have mattered because it did not happen somewhere else on the ice. Players who get suspended for blindside hits to the head are rarely cited for having an intent to injure but the fact that they do injure someone warrants their suspension. Why should this situation be any different? Because the player causing the infraction has an otherwise clean record? Spare me. 

    It was dirty and malicious because Pac had already dumped the puck and Chara had time to see that. It was dirty because there was 15 seconds remaining in a 4-0 second period. It was dirty because Chara, an experienced veteran is lying if he says he is unaware of where the turnbuckle is on an ice rink. If one of the Canadiens did this to a Bruin I would condemn them as well because it goes beyond allegiance to a hockey team. This is a persons life and no matter what anyone says, the truth of the matter is that while it might not have been Chara’s intent to put a young man’s life in danger, it was his intent to bang him up sufficiently that in an illegal move that would have been penalized in any area of the ice. For this reason, he needs to be a man and accept the consequences of his actions and acknowledge that me made a mistake that could have potentially been fatal for a young man just beginning to find success in his field of work.

  39. SlovakHab says:

    Never liked Chara, but now he crossed the line.

    The most important thing – Max Pac needs to get well!!! We need him and we like him. Good player, likeable guy.. Get well!

  40. geo_habsgo says:

    ahh and sorry if this came across as a knock on Boone since that was not my intention. I really do respect his journalism and what he does for this site. Didn’t realize I came on as strong as I did in the beginning. 

  41. notbigbird says:

    To me there are two points to consider.

    (1) The NHL condones late hits all of the time. The play has been made, but the hit is still allowed. I am not talking about a bang-bang play where the hit occurs immediately after pass but about hits after a fair delay when the hit was clearly made subsequent to the play. This kind of hitting is unnecessary and needs to be stopped, but it’s seen as fair game right now, so the league isn’t going to do much about this incident.

    (2) I don’t believe for a second that Chara lined up Patchy’s head to hit the stanchion, but I do think that he intended to hurt him. I don’t mean hurt as intent to injure like this but hurt enough perhaps cause him to sit out a few shifts. This is something that the players have to stop as body-checking now seems more about punishing than about taking the player out of the play. I know there’s a fine line, but the players association should get involved immaking their members more aware. However, one could as easily argue “no intent” so the league isn’t going to do much about this incident.

    My prediction is that the league will not penalize Chara any further or that it will be minimal. I think he should be punished, but I don’t think he will be.

    The direction of the league has to be addressed as this is getting out of hand. Probably some sort of combination between regulating equipment, tightening the rules, and educating players is what is needed.

    I woke up this morning withe the hit running through my head. It was awful. I hope Patchy recovers, but I am not holding my breath until he plays again because he may not — ever.

     

     

     

  42. Chris says:

    I’ve watched the video dozens of times.  I simply don’t see the intent and malice that everybody else is seeing.

    It is one of those plays that happens a few times per year.  Players separate shoulders, they receive nasty lacerations to their face, they break hands, etc.  It happens.  Komisarek did it to himself a few years ago…he missed a check and smoked that part of the glass and hurt himself.

    NHL players go for the “big” hit all the time.  Chara is particularly known for trying to dump guys into the bench…I’ve never understood the thrill people get from it, but fans and players alike get a particularly huge rise out of an opponent getting benched.

    Like I said, I won’t lose sleep if Chara gets suspended or if he does not get suspended.  I can see both sides of it.  I hope that Pacioretty recovers fully from what is undoubtedly going to be a long rehabilitation for him.  That’s the only side of this thing on which I think we all agree.

  43. JasonM says:

    It’s unfortunate.

    Those words were repeated multiple times over the course of a very short interview given after a game that provided little to no answers to a great crime committed on the ice. It’s hard to find retain sympathy for the Boston Bruins, a team with a past of key players taken out on stretchers themselves. Many of us still remember vividly Cooke’s hit on Savard and Randy Jones on Patrice Bergeron. Wouldn’t they know better by now?

    My first real question is, “Does the league make a statement out of this or won’t they?” We can rant all day if it was intentional or not, give piss-poor excuses that “If that glass extension wasn’t there, it was a legal hit” but let’s put emotions aside and look at the play as it unfolded, who the players involved were and the results. No “ifs”. No “maybes”.

    MaxPac was carried out in a stretcher. He didn’t have possession of the puck. There was a last second shove from Chara from behind into the separator. And most importantly, there was the reaction of the player. Someone who’d been shocked would have stopped skating down the ice like he did. I don’t know about you but if I see someone go down like that, it does something to me like it did and half a dozen friends who were watching a great game at Hurley’s last night. I truly believe it was fear an emotion that I was not prepared for. Looking at the people in the stands, I felt this was an emotion well shared.

    My optimistic side is that they’ll make a statement out of this, throwing them a large suspension. However, my realistic side will say 3 to 4 games, tops. The NHL is neither fair nor logical and poor management has always been their problem in this regards.

    My second and last real question is, “Why?” For a little push after a game? Did it have to come down to this? Where a player might have to learn to walk again? A veteran player should know better. I don’t know if you have tape of that on the Bruins side but you can clearly listen to his ominous prediction.

    It may never be known what his true intent was but that does not remove what really happened. Loyal Bruins fans will feel the injury was the unfortunate result of random circumstance and Canadiens fans will feel Chara was out for the ultimate revenge. Personally? Poorly executed intent one with possible dire consequences on a promising young player.

    Last but not least, kudos to the Habs for playing an exceptional game on both ends of the ice and for Lars Eller to prove that for one night, one of my favorite media guys like Mr. Marinaro can be wrong, at least for one night. 

     

  44. Norcal Habsfan says:

    Everybody is talking intent. Boone and other writers are saying it’s impossible to establish intent but I disagree. I hate to borrow wisdom from Don Cherry but i think he was ultimately right on the Steckel hit on Crosby. He maintained that when Steckel hit Crosby from a blind side Steckel didn’t look back to see what large mass impacted his shoulder. If it wsa truly unexpected for Steckel he would have turned. Steckel knew it was coming and didn’t react when it did and I agree that does show intent. 

     Watch the Chara hit again. He did’t turn when he heard and felt the thud of Max Pac’s head on the stanchion. There was no significant play in front of him to watch but he doesn’t turn his head to see what happened. He wasn’t suprised at all because he meant to do it. He expected the thud. I ultimately believe in the good in people, and I don’t think that he meant to put him in the hospital or render him unconscious for  7 minutes. I think he truly feels remorse but he KNEW that stachion was coming. He wanted to hurt him.

    This deserves a rest of the season suspension. The intent was there and the precedent has been set where intent was clear.

    On another note, do we ask too much of players to know that fine line of sporting agression and violence? I was jumping on the couch cheering White pound Boychuck into submission as I’m sure all my HIO brothers were doing as long as no one really gets hurt. I was cheering when Pacqiao almost knocked Ricky Hatton’s head clean off of his body but then flet the shame and horror when it looked for a moment that he might die. That’s how I felt with Max Pac. My point is, we as fans are a little ridulous. We pay and expect to see this level of intensity and physicality but then have buyers remorse when it gets real. 

    I believe Chara had intent and definately should get the rest of the season suspension. But, isn’t this what we ask of the players? Are we really that suprised when we get it?

     

  45. Chris says:

    It is the nature of pro sports.  If Gill had done the same thing to Krejci, the same people calling for Chara’s head would be defending Gill.  Watching Chara’s face throughout that play, I don’t see “Angry Chara” or “Revenge Chara”.  When Chara loses it, it is pretty obvious. 

    What Chara did last night was unfortunate.  If he gets suspended for a couple of games, it wouldn’t be a grand injustice to the Bruins.  If he does not get suspended, I’m not going to lose sleep. 

  46. geo_habsgo says:

    Great post! You make really good points. I think part of the onus has to be on the fans that have demanded the game change and the game become more exciting. We look for the vicious hit only to be remorseful when it happens. Its sad and I hope this incident makes every reconsider what it means to respect people whether it be on or off the ice.

  47. eyhp says:

    I will put it this way: watching the replay on video does not come close to matching the viciousness of seeing it live. I was at the game last night, and my seat is lined up directly with the bench. I will always remember the very loud noise of his head banging on the turnbuckle, and Max-Pac lying flat on his stomach. I am sorry but “intent” has nothing to do with it. Max-Pac could have his neck broken and paralysed by that hit, he was hit that hard. The only reason we are talking “intent” is because he wasn’t injured seriously. Some player will die one day and we won’t be talking about “intent” anymore.

  48. Bill H says:

    Very good post, notbigbird.  I agree with your points.  The late hits need to stop, but that isn’t even being considered.  Its called “finishing the check.”  Its an inherent punishing aspect of the today’s game.  Unfortunate but true.

    Your other important point is in regard to intent to injure.  I don’t believe Chara intended to send MaxPac to the hospital.   As Mackenzie pointed out, he probably intended to put him in the players bench and miscalculated.  With the speed of the game these days, players need to back off a bit, or the concussions will continue. 

    Chara should get a 5 game holiday.  Not more, because there was no obvious intent.  But 5 because it was a late hit, it was illegal, and it was dangerous.  But more imporant, the league needs to change the rules.  No head shots.  No late hits.  The game should be about speed and skill.  I know it won’t happen, but the consequences are what we watched last night.

  49. Rugger says:

    I agree, intent is not part of the equation.  It was a dangerous play and players must be heald accountable for their actions intentional or not.

  50. CharlottetownHabbies says:

    They (the league) won’t make a statement with this, why would they?  One of the reasons dropping my sports packages from expressvu ended up not being as difficult a decision as I thought it would be.  If I only watch one game a week I’m less likely to see the ultra-violence that passes for hockey in the NHL.

  51. greggiemchabfan says:

    Some are blaming Julien. However, I think it is evident he has little control over his players. Lack of respect by said players for their coach was why Julien was chased out of New Jersey.

  52. matraque says:

    How is there no intent?

    -History between the 2

    -Rivalry between the team

    -Booins being 0-4

    -Booins being Habs bitch since the beginning of time

    -Chara’s frustration

    -…

    ——

    Canadien en 5! Never go Full Retard http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svwGRJA28lY&feature=related

  53. SeriousFan09 says:

    I wonder how many parents at the Bell Centre or watching on TV last night decided “my kid isn’t playing competitive hockey”.

    If I have kids, they’re certainly not until they fix this garage league nonsense.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  54. AH says:

    Career???, likely he won’t have one now….and this is part of our National Sport….sad.

  55. Antho says:

    Sorry but here is more fuel for the fire:

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=555520

    Complete SCUM

     

  56. Norcal Habsfan says:

    Moving beyond Chara for the moment, what was up with Lucic and Horton at the end of the game. I agree with Boone, total BS from Julien. They wheeled our guy off to Montreal General in a coma and Lucic is trying to get payback from Pouliot for his reluctant fight with Krejci during the last game? Horton trying to get payback for PK’s hit on Marchand? It was surreal. I am truly underwhelmed by the integrity of these players.

    Ok guys. Message sent and recieved. Your team lacks civility and class.

    I feel bad for Bruins fans. How could you in good conscience cheer for these guys? They’re an embarassment.

  57. habfan1969 says:

    After being assaulted by other skiiers??

  58. drivefor25 says:

    If the NHL will not and cannot police itself, the legal system should step in. I hope the police and prosecutors in Montreal are investigating Chara’s vicious and indefensible actions. It’s sad that hockey has been reduced to on-ice goonery. I worked for 22 years as a newspaper editor and publisher and I believe the media also have to take a cold, hard look at their own role in hyping and promoting violence and fighting in the game.

    Fan since ’71

  59. DrA says:

    My son and I were at the gamelast night.  Thank heavens for small miracles, we left with 50 seconds to go in the 2nd so he could go the washroom.  We missed the “accident” but we saw an person unconscious on the ice.

    My 12 year old said to me: “I never want to try hockey (we ski) it is much too dangerous.”

    If every you wanted a bottom line of where the hockey culture is (at all levels) there you have it.

  60. Rad says:

     

    “Maybe Canada should draft a law that whenever an incident like this happens in sport that the RCMP go to the arena and arrest the player and charge him with aggravated insult.”

    —-Absolutely agree with you on this one. An incident like this goes beyond sports. We’re talking basic human rights and rules about living in a civilized society. 10 feet outside the Bell Centre, am I allowed to walk up to you and smash your head against a parking meter?  Why should Chara be allowed to do this inside the arena? Sports is a microcosm of life, not independent of it. Chara broke a young man’s neck and he needs to face the consequences in a court of law. 

    I also agree that ice rink surfaces need to get bigger. I have said for years that one important thing we can do to reduce hockey injuries is enlarge our ice surface to the same size that they have in Europe. Over the years, as players have gotten bigger and faster, the ice surface has remained the same size. Enlarging the ice would give all players more room to manoeuver, and as a byproduct, also place a greater emphasis on skating and skill. Less WWE, and more Ice Hockey. Hockey injuries now threaten the continued viability of the sport at all levels, including the NHL.

  61. habfan1969 says:

    On top of the sadness for Mac and expectation that the NHL will shame themselves by not serving a season suspension, I have lost respect for Boone on this. How can I trust what this guy writes about the games if he can’t see straight? How blind do you have to be to not see that Chara shoved Max’s head into the stanchion? In what other violent incident do we ask whether the person assaulting the other “intended” to break their vertebrae or give them a concussion, as if it’s OK if their intent was just to give them a bruise on the head? All this, ON TOP OF the fact that there is an ongoing crisis of safety where the league has not figured out how to deter head shots. Deterrence requires consequences, in this case where we came close to seeing a murder on live TV, the NHL has to end Chara’s season.

    McKenzie was already a joke of a hockey writer, Boone I had respect for, but no more. This was assault, in any bar where fans were watching, someone doing that to another customer last night would be sitting in jail right now. I don’t care that they were on skates in a hockey game, Chara skated over and slammed Max’s head against a post, that’s assault, end of story.

  62. doug19 says:

    Dave Stechel’s should not play hockey again until Crosby plays again. Why? Well if you run over or into someone with your car saying “I did not see them” does not wash! Same with tripping penalties in hockey.
    Now in Chara’s case we have interference, elbowing boarding, headshot and attempt to injure. The context was a grudge Chara had and a game already lost.The play was not in the defensive zone either.
    In hindsight Bertuzzi’s hit on Steve Moore was a lesser one than Chara’s but Chara plays for an American team.  I am sure even it that case there were Mckensian bonehead comments like those defending Chara.

    Are there any Boston players with balls enough to tell the truth about this terrible hit?

  63. Bill says:

    No offense Boone, but I can’t believe you agree with McKenzie and Barnaby and those other NHL apologists. I expected them to fall into hand-wringing and fretting about “determining intent”.

    There’s a tendency among middle-brow journalists with low-brow audiences like McKenzie to confuse objectivity with coming down in the middle. In fact you can still be objective and look at the video, pictures, and context and call a spade a spade.

    Chara lined him up from 30 feet away. He knew where he was and what he was doing. Chara’s played long enough to have had the opportunity MANY times to really hurt someone like that: every player has, and usually they don’t take it, because they know what the consequences will be. He took it this time because of what happened last game. It couldn’t be more obvious.

    To believe Chara didn’t intend to injure you’d have to believe that he didn’t know where he was on the ice. You’d also have to close your eyes watching the replay at the part where his arm guides Pac’s head into the stanchion. McKenzie analysing that video reminds me of the LAPD defence lawyer during the Rodney King trial.

    It’s definitely a dirty hit, dirty as it gets, and McKenzie is sweeping it under the rug, just like he did with the Colin Campbell email story. Don’t support him

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  64. kevin m says:

    No it isn’t.

    For the dumbest penalty in hockey…

    Shoot the puck over the glass & see what happens.

    Intentional or unintentional

  65. sidhu says:

    What can we, as fans, do to express our displeasure and disgust to the league?  We need to make our voices known.  Chara almost paralyzed Max, and Max’s career will never be the same. 

    We need to do something!

  66. JasonM says:

    It’s official, a C4/C5 concussion. Expect Savard type of concussion and he’s gone at least for this year if not more. This MAY be career ending.

  67. HardHabits says:

    In retrospect the Richard suspension ages ago was the right call. The league needs to grow some gonads quick before a player actually dies out there.

    I don’t think the outcome was intentional but the process was. Chara hit Pacioretty late, it was interference, he raised his elbow to his head and guided it into the stanchion.

    As people have noted, if you run a red light and get caught it’s a ticket, if you run a red light and hit another car the penalty is worse, if you run a red light and hit another car and injure somebody the penalty gets more severe.

    Intent should not even be considered. Anytime an illegal hit produces this outcome the penalty should be severe, intent or not, star player or goon. No discrimination.

    10 games without pay would be light IMO.

    Maybe Canada should draft a law that whenever an incident like this happens in sport that the RCMP go to the arena and arrest the player and charge him with aggravated insult.

    I suggested that the ice rink surface be made wider a few days ago during a topic of increasing scoring and offensive production in the game and the discussion eventually led to pointing out that there would probably be less injuries as a result. It’s nice to see Ron Reusch agree.

    The best response is for the Habs to win the division.

    EDIT: I just read the extent of the injury. Chara should be suspended for the rest of the season and the play-offs.

  68. doug19 says:

    Is this Mckenzie the so called hockey expert? He just proved it not so! Even Mike Mlibury recently suggested on the CBC round table that maybe its time to take fighting out of hockey.

  69. Bill says:

    And a fractured vertebra. How close this was to paralysis or death. Thank God it wasn’t worse.

    But you know, it’s so hard to determine intent … lol.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  70. andrewberkshire says:

    Great comment Bill. Great effing comment.

  71. HabinBurlington says:

    Couldn’t agree with you more!  Why do so many in media feel they can’t take a stand.  They don’t mind second guessing GM’s, Coaches, etc… but when it comes to this kind of situation the old fence up the arsehole becomes the seat they love to sit on.

     

    God bless to Max and his family can’t say how bad I feel for that guy.

     

  72. Ronin says:

    Sad day. 

    I respect Price and Eller’s comments a great deal…they are players and they know:

    1.  Game IS at a fast pace…but..

    2.  You know where you are on the ice at all times and who are are on with….and

    3.  An elite player (read Chara) sees the game at a speed much slower than we do….he reads plays and reacts in a different world and at a different speed than we can understand.

    End result is that we don’t have a death on the ice……..YET.   but we will, its only a matter of time.  I hope the media frenzy and NHL’s non-action, and the fans lack of ability to grab any power in the course of these events will result in less lamenting and finally more action.  But I’m not holding out much hope, and since I’m not doing anything useful about it besides writing here I’m just as accountable as everyone else.

    Ronin

     

     

  73. Chris says:

    I think the Habs are permitted to send videotape and a statement, but I don’t believe they have representation at the hearing.

  74. habsnation says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zq7b6QhVdA&feature=related

    Watch the video starting around 0:55 from the overhead angle. To me this hit looks dirty for a lot of reasons from this angle.

    - Max takes 3 strides before being hit

    - Chara looks like he is looking right at the  glass as they skate along the bench. He could have hit him earlier and he waits. 

    - Chara also extends his arm pushing Max’s head into the glass. 

     

    This is a clear intent to injure. Considering how bad the injury is. I am curious to see how the NHL steps around giving Chara the long suspension he deserves. 

  75. Mr.Hazard says:

    Although I would venture to propose that more people die skiing than they do playing hockey… no?

  76. CharlottetownHabbies says:

    Noon.  Wonder how long until we hear?  Does MTL get a rep included on this phone hearing?

  77. Shiloh says:

    Where did you see/hear the injury report?

  78. TheMock780 says:

    Sever concussion and possible neck fracture? I can’t wait to see the NHL head office try to dance around only giving Chara a slap on the wrist for what he did last night.

  79. tbovs says:

    I did see the game last night and I did watch the hit on you tube this morning before I wrote anything…and it is CLEAR that Chara was WATCHING THE TURNBUCKLE while he initially made contact with Paciorretty.  It was litterally in the centre of his vision and I will tell you this….every defencemen in the league would try to do the same thing as it is an instant big hit because you are shoving a guy into a wall inreality at 50k/hr and it can get your team going and obviously get you on the TSN top ten list for hit of the year.  It was a selfish action and it was premeditated…and confirmed with his comments saying that max jumped into the partition (ridiculous…should be suspended for idiocy).  For all those that say the game is too fast for it to be premeditated….well your brain can make over 200 million calcs per second and my MD beside my name gives me an expert opinion so in the 3 secs chara could have his life flash before his eyes and plan his after game meal then decide “this punk is gonna get hurt”.  For all those trying to take a neutral stance stating that this was an isolated incident and he is not dirty…all players are a little dirty and if your mad enough you’ll do just ab out anything and if your selfish enough and combine those two….well it can be dangerous.

     

    GO HABS GO

  80. Chris says:

    Didn’t see the game, so I only watched it on YouTube this morning as I was working late.  Have to take the unpopular stance amongst Habs fans and agree with Bob McKenzie…I really don’t see Chara’s hit as vicious or malicious.  Instead, it was just one incredibly unfortunate coincidence that Pacioretty and Chara met right at that part of the ice.  You see these types of hits every once in a while where a player ends up going straight into that perpendicular sheet of glass, often resulting in some nasty cuts and/or concussions.

    If Chara is suspended, it will solely be because it was an interference play and the fact that Pacioretty was injured.  If this play happened on the other side of the ice, we’re talking about an two-minute interference penalty.  If it was Lars Eller on David Krejci, we’re talking about how unlucky Eller was to push Krejci in that part of the rink, that it wasn’t his intention.

    Chara is not a particularly dirty hockey player….if he was, there would be a pile of concussed opponents in every game because of his size.  Even with the “history” between Chara and Pacioretty, Chara is far too smart a player to get himself suspended for intent to injure against anybody in the NHL, regardless of how they annoyed him before.

    That being said, I’m sure there will be more than enough people arguing the other side of the ledger.  :)

  81. G-Man says:

    Yeah, Chara is a kind and compassionate person who slams players heads into stancheons. He’s a real sweetheart.

  82. Omit says:

    As usual, your comments are a JOKE!

  83. jbroderi says:

    No one is saying Chara is a bad person or is evil in some way, but he knew exactly where he was on the ice and he knew it was max pac.  He tried to do something a little extra, and look what happened.  did he want to kill the guy??  no, but neither did Todd Bertizzi.  He has to be responsible gor his actions, whether he intended to hurt max or not.  The nhl needs to send a message, because what happens if chara gets nothing, and then matt cooke does it to stamkos or something??  A precedent needs to be set given the state of the league with concussions, and Chara has to be made an example of.

    This is not about Chara as much as it is about the safety of players and setting a standard.  Chara clearly had his hands up by max’s head, and he has to live with the result.  I say anywhere from 5 to 10 games, which would send a message.

     

    Oh, and I like how you think the little shove from max in OT is worse than what Chara did.  You must be all looks, no brains!!

     

     

    “I’ll take potent potables for 500, Alex” JB

  84. Captain aHab says:

    You’re excusing Chara but saying that Pax’ shove is inexcusable? Wow……you need some fresh air buddy.

    A) Chara admitted he knew they were near the benches.

    B) Do I think he tried to run Pax’ head into the stanchion? No

    C) Do I think he was trying to flip Pax into the bench to make the highlight reel? Hell yes.

    Chara saying that Pax jumped into the stanchion is an absolutely ridiculous comment by a guy refusing to take ownership of a really realy bad decision.

    I used to play broomball with a guy who was kind off the ice but who COMPLETELY lost his marbles on the ice. He got tossed out for several games once and we were talking and the guy admitted that he didn’t know what happened to him once he stepped on the ice sheet.

    What a guy does off the ice doesn’t excuse what he does on it.

    I think Lurch will get three games max, if anything.

    Now for those of you who think that a player’s death would change anything, I think you’re delusional. If this happened the league would form a committee to look over the issue and give it a year to come up with recommendations. After a year, once the media blitz had died down, the league would say that it was an isolated incident and that it will simply call penalties more strictly. After 15 games of doing that, they would then tell the refs to start calling as usual. The only thing that would put the league in a LOT of trouble from a communications perspective is if a second player died just before the committee gave its recommendations. If that happened, then the league would not be able to ask for another year long delay and would have to do a little more than slap people on the wrists.

  85. RetroMikey says:

    Chara is NOT a dirty player. Plays hard and physical every game people.

    If you only know him outside of work, he is a very kind and compassionate individual who gives to the commumity as our Saku Koivu did.

    Too many jump the bandwagon here and want Chara suspended, I have to agree with Chris’s post, it was not vicious or intentional.

    But what Paciotetty did in the OT win we had in MOntreal last game against the Bruins, was that necessary?

    Hope the best for Pax, but let’s move forward and let the NHL kahunas decide what punishment fits  best for Chara but changes have to made in this game.

    And I must adimit, I am happy for the W last night.  Great win boys!

     

     

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  86. twocents says:

    The glass should rise on a slow ascending angle over several feet. Then have a net replacing the triangular portion of glass eliminated by the design. Doing this, it would have a more horizontal orientation, like a handrail in a stairway. The “post” would not longer be used to increase the force of hits. Which it was last night. There is no doubt.

    The problem is fixed.

    It’s not rocket science.

  87. RetroMikey says:

    Think about it. 

    What would happen if Chara was in in Pacioretty’s shoes and Pax shoved Chara with him laying motionless on the ice? 

    Would HIO posters cheer Pax or feel remorse for Chara?

    Sorry but the way I learned is that if you score a goal in OT for example, you do not push the other opponent if he passess you, you celibrate with your teammates and leave the ice.

    This started the whole fiasco, not blaming Pax totally but  where is the respect in today’s NHL?

    Is there going to be pushing, jostling, etc.. after every OT goal?

     

     

     

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  88. RetroMikey says:

    But this is happening everywhere, whether in the NHL, AHL, ECHL, QMJHL, WHL, or even in the OHA where my nephew is playing!

    DOes it take this incident to address the attention to Campbell and all the Governors that the league needs to do something about the game?

    Face it, fans want to see the physical play in hockey, the sound of players crashing along the boards or the nets or even fighting, it’s part of the game.

    Don’t think for a minute if Chara, Grabovski, Carcillo or even an Avery were in the same scenario as Pacioretty, that this site would make HIO posters say that they deserved it and there would be no remorse to them.

    That’s hockey as they say.

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  89. Natrous says:

    Trying to justify Chara’s hit on Pax by saying that if Pax didn’t shove him, this wouldn’t have happened is like saying if a girl dresses provocatively, she’s asking to be raped. It’s caveman mentality and of course we expect nothing less of you, RetroMonkey.

    This isn’t about partisanship or what team you happen to cheer for, be it the Habs, Bruins, etc. (or Bulldogs as is your case). This is about a league that doles out two-tier justice based on who the afflicted player is, and they now have a chance to do the right thing and punish a head shot for what it is.

    Regardless whether or not Chara meant to do what he did, the result was a head trauma along the boards. If someone drives around drunk and hits another motorist or pedestrian, the probably didn’t mean to do it, but it’s the action that should be punished, not the intent.

    Does this make sense, or should I bust out the hand puppets?

  90. showey47 says:

    I used to play with a guy named dennis bonvie. Probably one of the nicest guys i knew away from the rink. On the ice,he had a job to do, he knew what it was and did it very,very well. I think he is still the ahl all time penalty minute leader. Like you said,what you do away from the rink doesn’t give you a free pass for what you do in the ice.

     

     

     

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=10717

  91. Natrous says:

    Quite simply, you’re just…not…getting it.

    So what if it’s happening in other leagues? If this were the OHL, Branch would WITHOUT A DOUBT suspend Chara for the remainder of the season and possibly for life (see Micheal Liambas) for that hit. Same for the Q, same for the W.

    The people who run Pro hockey are part of the problem, but so are the players who have less and less respect for each other as time marches on. If those who make the decisions do not hold those who inflict injuries (LIKE BROKEN NECKS) accountable, there is no hope for man kind, let alone the National Hockey League.

    Yes Mikey, fans like physical play. Fans love fights. Fans love hits and goals and nice passes and big saves. Fans like these things. No reasonable, sane fan wants to see a player carted off on a stretcher. Life is precious, and off-the-cuff comments that justify Chara’s actions like “fans want to see this” simply underscore your inability to contextualize the difference between a good hockey play and a careless, wreckless and dangerous action.

    I LOVE to see hip checks that rub a player out on the boards. I HATE to see a hit from behind that launches a player head-first into a wall. Using a portion of said wall to line up a player’s head who is travelling at high speed, when the object of focus (the puck) is no where in the vicinity after THREE strides is simply disgusting. Now this rookie is going to have to rehab a major concussion and broken vertebrae, and for what? So that fans have something to get their juices flowing?

    And please – don’t try to justify your vapid argument that if it weren’t a Hab, we would be drooling and begging for more – I can’t stand the Hurricanes hockey club, but when Erik Cole suffered a broken neck, I was legitimately concerned for his health and the mental welfare of his family, let alone the fans who witnessed the hit as well. “That’s hockey as they say”? What am imbicillic way to rationalize anything hockey-related.

  92. Ian Cobb says:

    You are quite right Tommy, Julien also has a burr up his ass when we through him out of town because of his mannerism. He is another scumbag in the league.

  93. TommyB says:

    Two things I agree with here, one is that Chara did know he was slamming Max’s head into the stanchion, and two is that the NHL will not find reason to hang a lengthy suspension on Chara.  We can go into all the usual rhetoric and conspiracy theories involving the NHL and the Habs, but what is the point?  We can talk about the double standard involving discipline to skill players vs. discipline to goon players.  Again, what would be the point?  Nothing is about to change anytime soon.

    Here’s what I want to talk about….Claude Julien, and his role in this. 

    The Boston Bruins have not been the “Big Bad Bruins” for a long time.  That was a fading reputation.  Along comes Julien, and we begin to see the Bruins emerging as badass again.  Coincidence?  Maybe.  However, a team takes on the personna or form that their coach decides to mould them into.  Claude Julien is tired of losing.  He’s tired of losing to the Habs.  Claude Julien is probably the most responsible for the Bruins attempting to return to their former reputation as the Big Bad Bruins.  I’m not defending Chara, but not so long ago he was known more as a big, strong, and skilled defenceman.  It’s only in recent years that he seems to be getting “dirtier”.  Another coincidence, perhaps. 

    Nathan Horton, and Dan Paille both played their minor hockey here in my hometown.  Niether was ever considered to be very tough hockey players, in fact both could have been considered quite soft.  I’ll use the word “soft” in place of another word we all associate with a player of that type.  Paille goes from Buffalo to Boston and all of a sudden he’s tough?  Remember his suspension recently for a head shot.  Horton, always considered skilled, but really not considered to be a tough hockey player, now seems to have grown a big set, as evidenced by his attempt to goad PK into some kind of skirmish late in the game last night.  I have no doubt PK could have ripped Horton’s head off, and I also have no doubt that Lucic would have stepped in to finish what Horton had started if PK would have been stupid enough to draw into it.  Both Horton and Paille have been caught up in the concept of being Big Bad Bruins, and coaching has plenty to do with it.

    Claude Julien is trying to transform the Bruins back into the Big Bad Bruins.  No doubt in my mind.  And the players are buying into it.  Another coincidence is that the NHL disciplinarian’s son also wears black and gold.  I suspect Julien has little choice, given the fact that his team can’t beat the Habs without brutish tactics.  The unfortunate thing, is that a coach sits comfortably behind the bench where he can pull strings with relative safety, knowing that opposing players are certainly not able to get at him.  Some coaches make me sick, and Julien is one of them.  I did not like him as a Hab, and I totally detest him as an opposition coach.

  94. MGC says:

    As I watched the game last night on one couch and my brother on the other, both of us revved up and so into the game, I never thought I’d have the feeling I have in the pit of my stomach this morning. I was proud of the Canadiens, telling my brother it was a pride thing for the Habs and that at 4-0 they wouldn’t let up in the 3rd period to prove to everyone and themselves that they have what it takes to beat the Bruins and that it didn’t take muscle to win a hockey game.

    As we both watched Max Pacioretty’s neck and head smash into that seperation, whatever it’s called, we sat in complete shock. We both looked at each other and thought the worst, my thought was that he was dead. He looked lifeless, and it seemed as though his neck had snapped. Watching replay after replay and each time covering my eyes because of the horror I was witnessing, all I could think of was, My gosh, he’s my age. What about his mother and father who are at home (which I found out this morning were actually at the Bell Center and had to witness it live) fearing for their child’s life. What about his teammates, the coaching staff and trainers, who just saw this kid, their friend fall to the ice like that. All the fans in the Bell Center (kids! with their parents) watching a hero of theirs lay practically lifeless on the ice….FOR WHAT!

    Then, as I kept processing everything, I kept telling myself I was too emotionally invested. I love the Habs, they’re my team, like many of us who root for them, watch them and talk about them. We feel connected to the players somehow and last night on a human level, forget the sport level, we feared for a boy’s life. He’s 22 years old. A kid. Playing hockey. A GAME! The fact that I’m a girl and we tend to get overly emotional sometimes doesn’t help, but in this situation, I felt sad. I felt sad that the sport I love to watch (because I watch a lot of hockey, not just the Habs) has just gotten pathetic. It’s sad that something as trivial as a hockey game could put someone’s life in danger. It’s sad that we even had to ask ourselves if it was intentional because of the “history” between these 2 players. It’s sad that when losing a game they didn’t even remotely have a chance of winning because they were being outplayed for almost 2 periods (just shy of 15 seconds) that Chara resorted to dealing with his frustrations in that way. It’s sad that the game I love so much has become a higlight reel not of great goals and plays but one of cheap shots and hits to the head. It’s sad that it took a severe injury to a Habs player to maybe make an impact (we’ll see today) on the way head shots are dealt with in the league, because face it, the magnitude of the hit was greater because of the fact that so many people watch the Habs and the media will be on this for awhile and good for them if they are.

    This morning, I’m sad, not only because the team I love so much lost a great player, but because the game I love so much continues to lose its integrity.

    Feel better Max!

    MGC

  95. habsnation says:

    This is the dirtiest thing he has done, but he is a player who loves to hit people late and chip and slash away at them behind the play. Total dirty player. Watch the video from last night, he is looking forward and extends his arm, pushing max’s head directly into the partition. It was a deliberate, intentional and dirty play. I would like to see the NHL start handing out much long suspensions to start really punishing these players, but I am not optimistic that that is going to happen

     

  96. habsfannfld says:

    Ever see the video of when he punches Raitus Ivanans when he’s down on his back? Chara is a Boston Bruin, and with that comes being a dirtbag. Let’s stop defending this POS. Anyone who’s ever played hockey before knows that Chara knew exactly what he was doing.

  97. bajd says:

    Intent is only part of the issue. Consider what happened in the game prior, add in Marchant’s comments yesterday, consider how strange a coincidence that it was Subban that nearly got creamed at the beginning of the game, that Lucic tried to goad Benny into a fight at the end of the game and that it was Max Pac and not, say Gionta that got hit by Chara. All pretty strange coincidences. I’m sure it was accidental, Chara is still learning the game and figuring out how hockey rinks are laid out. I’m sure the league will give Chara at least a $50 fine but I think they’re playing with fire if they don’t come down hard. Are we saying that you can do just about anything in this league as long as the intent is unclear? What will the league say after someone is killed or paralyzed?

  98. fun police says:

    i think most players skate by that area 50 times a game.  maxpax did something he had done thousands of times in his lifetime.  this event didn’t happen in a vacuum.  their was history between the two and that is a fact.  the play was illegal, as maxpax didn’t have the puck and i believe chara saw what was coming and gave a last second shove.  if bertuzzi’s guilt is predicated on him “hunting” moore on the ice, then I ask, what is the difference with the chara play.  

  99. Shiloh says:

    I agree with your point that the referees may have used the call as a deterrent to further possible mayhem. I hope Murphy uses the same argument when deciding on a meaningful suspension. If he doesn’t make it meaningful, the NHL will open themselves up to possible future legal action by a severely injured player. The league must be seen as responsive to increasing levels of recklessness and violence. The suspension must act as a deterrent in the same way that the referees’ call did.

  100. CanadienFanTrappedinNiagaraFallsNY says:

    As far as the looks part, I always thought RM’s avatar was a pic from a corny Smirnoff ad or what have you. Maybe Axe deodorant.

  101. RetroMikey says:

    Axe deodorant?  I use the good stuff like Black Code from Armani or Jean Paul Gaultier pour homme.

    Do they have these at your friendly Topps or Wegman’s? Or at the Boulevard Mall or the run down Summitt Park Mall?

    Didn’t think so.  You might as well stick to your cheap stuff.

    By the way, Grey Goose Vodka or Stolichnaya Vodka I prefer as well.

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  102. habsruleworld says:

    you really are clueless! so you don’t think hockey players have malicious intent?

     

    one example Dave Manson, when Dave shoved, pushed, hit you, he would twist you at the last second sending you hurtling towards the board in a very dangerous and out of control way.

     

    Players were terrified to engage him. Watch the film, we was a master at it. If you decided to try and stand him up, hit up etc. players knew of his very dangerous ways and usually chose not to engage.

     

    For you to think all players just play the game hard, and harbor no ill will towards their fellow man,

     

    you are indeed clueless.!

  103. RockinRey says:

    After looking at the still photo I have changed my opinion and now think there was every intention of driving Max’s head into the turnbuckle. Another  problem that has to be address is there should be the type of padding that you see on Football goal posts. The padding that is there is clearly insufficient.

    The problem with the NHL is there is no appetite for risk management and to protect the games greatest assets- it’s players. Does anyone at the Bell Center do any assessments to continually seek upgrades and assess possible danger points. Is absolutely absurd that the partition is exposed like that.

  104. HabinBurlington says:

    Wow, I am shocked how many people are taking this “oh he isn’t dirty”, “oh it wasn’t viscious”…. WTF!!!

    It happened, he interfeared with Max, he hit him into the  turnbuckle (whatever its called), He had a history with him.  How in the world does that add up to, well i need to look at it some more, i heard that when he was 9 years old he helped a blind squirrel find an acorn back in Slovakia.

    Actions are actions, and speaking of which, when Max Pac “shoved” the 80 pound heavier Chara, he shoved him only and not into any objects, they also were skating about 3 miles per hour when it happened.

    Holy Smokes, ban the freaking guy for at least 10 games.

     

    But on that note, i managed to get a transcript of Colon Campbell’s conversation with Colon Jr. after the game.

    Colon Sr. – Hey sorry you lost kid, what happened with Chara?

    Colon Jr. – Oh did you see that?  It happened in Canada, didn’t think anyone saw it.  Oh yah you were at the game, thanks again for coming Dad, how come you didn’t take me for ice cream after?

    Colon Sr. – Got distracted, sorry kid, hey can you tell Chara to pretend like he didn’t mean to kill Max and to wait next time till period is over, that way less chance anyone see it.  And don’t worry, Chara will only miss a couple of games, I got your back kiddo!

     

  105. stephen says:

    There was some speculation after the game last night about whether there was even a penalty being called on the play, or if the refs made the decision to penalize once they saw the severity of Max’s injury.

    I haven’t seen a camera angle that allows for any view of the refs, so it’s difficult to assess the officials’ initial reaction to the play.

    Did they perhaps eject him simply to avoid any potential circus in the third period?

  106. Chris says:

    Definitely deserved to get kicked out for the game, as it was a particularly egregious interference play that resulted in injury.  But this was also an example how referees should handle the situation. 

    If they had not given Chara the game misconduct, the third period probably ran the risk of turning into a gong show, with more potential for injured players.

    This one should be shown in refereeing school in the category of “controlling the game”.  For all that we blast the refs, McCreary and Furlatt handled that situation in an exemplary way.

  107. Shiloh says:

    Regardless of Chara’s intent, he still behaved in an extremely reckless manner while fouling the Montreal player. The on-ice officials game him a major and a game misconduct – they certainly believed that what he did was egregious.

    This is a key moment for the NHL – if this isn’t suspendable, then not much is.

  108. Chris says:

    I have always wondered why there was so little padding on the glass ends at the benches.  I suspect it has to do with impeding sight lines for the fans near those benches.

    Pacioretty is not the first to get clobbered by that design flaw in NHL rinks, and I unfortunately don’t think he’ll be the last.  One way around it might be to somehow curve the glass in that area so that you don’t have right angles like we see now.

  109. voyageur9 says:

    Leaving aside — for the moment — the debate over intent, maliciousness and the (unknown) seriousness of the injury, there is an issue here which is more important: the safety of players. Collisions happen in hockey and because of the speed and contained nature of the game they are always going to happen. Rather like car accidents. Ramp up the penalties for drunk driving, inattention, stupidity, teach everyone to slow down in bad weather and still some deer will eventually jump into a windshield. So there is an over-riding importance to make rinks as safe as possible. This applies as much to squirt hockey as the NHL. Much has been done; in improved boards, helmets, padded glass ends, etc. Clearly more needs to be done. It’s an engineering issue, not a regulatory one but also one that those who love the game can push for. No need for someone to die before improvements are sought. There’s a wide range of possibilities; from bigger ‘crush’ zones, to small air-bags installed at the two or three critical locations. Instead of (just) an enraged debate — mirrored no doubt on Bruins board — about fault and punishment and intent, perhaps the Habs new ownership could lead the way in seeking to make the league’s best arena safer for all players. I’m not blaming the rink, any more than one should blame a steering wheel after it wrecks someone’s head in a collision, only suggesting that mitigating measures might further reduce injury and help prevent death. Maybe it’s also time to look at helmet design.

  110. Chorske says:

    The focus is on Chara, and his intent.

    What makes me most sick to my stomach is that I may have watched the end of a promising young man’s career. It was awful to watch, and it’s awful to think of the year or so of rehab facing a guy with a major concussion and possible broken neck. There were scary momnents where I wondered whether we might have witnessed the hockey death that must inevitably come before the league actually takes action.

    Also- went back ten years on a quick search earlier this morning: can’t find a single example of a Bruins player missing time as a result of the actions of a Hab. If anyone can find one, let me know. As near as I can tell, the pattern is always the same: either they beat us, or they lose- and make sure one of our players pays the price.

  111. avatar_58 says:

    But remember, they are just defending themselves against the habs “cheap shots” ala Julien.

  112. clichabs says:

    There’s a poll right here on Boston Globe’s Bruins Blog, please go there and vote for the Chara hit as dirty, so we can show these beanies who’s right:

    http://www.boston.com/sports/hockey/bruins/extras/bruins_blog/

  113. RiverviewCanadien says:

    Andrew summed it up nicely and I used to share the same feelings about Chara. Never again will I admire anything that scumbag does on the ice.

    Great article Andrew

    http://www.habseyesontheprize.com/2011/3/8/2039039/tonight-we-saw-the-difference-between-the-canadiens-and-the-bruins

  114. HabFanSince72 says:

    Chara is a dirty player.

    Enough with this bs.

     

  115. avatar_58 says:

    I actually disagree. This is the first true “dirty” thing I’ve seen him do.

  116. TheMock780 says:

    Pierre LeBrun tweeted it. The neck fracture isn’t confirmed though and is just speculation at this point

    From RDS Habs guru RT @renhockey: Severe concussion for Max Pacioretty. Neck injury. Possible fracture but that’s not confirm yet.

  117. CharlottetownHabbies says:

    dido.  Have been looking for it, not even tweeted yet I don’t think….

  118. Ian Cobb says:

    VERY IMPORTANT FOR EVERYONE>!

    I would realy like everyone to read this link. I sent it to Gary Bettman’s office and the players assosiation.

    http://www.ckac.com/football/nouvelles/vid-o-la-dure-realite-d-un-commotionne-du-foot-62684.html

    scroll down to the video in english

  119. Shiloh says:

    When I was a union president, employees would call from time to time to report an insufficient  paycheque. After the employer indicated for the umpteenth time that a “mistake” had occurred, I finally responded that if “mistakes” were occurring, then these “mistakes” should benefit the employee about 50% of the time – and they weren’t. While nobody was suggesting that the employer purposefully shorted the employee, there were clearly far better safeguards to prevent an overpayment as opposed to an underpayment.  Mistakes? No – just the absence of controls in parts of the corporate entity.

    If we look at the big picture, the NHL would much prefer that Chara could be shown to have had intent to injure Pacioretti. The incident could then be characterized as a “mistake”, something outside the norm that no corporate control could have anticipated. The league would be in a far better position legally if the behavior by Chara was a “purposeful mistake” made by the player, just like the “mistake” made by Bertuzzi when he injured Moore.

    But what if Chara was simply doing what good defensemen are taught to do –finishing his check viciously secure in the knowledge that the NHL would not sanction him meaningfully? What if a seriously injured player argued in front of a judge that these kinds of “mistakes” occur far too frequently to be called mistakes and are really systemic to the game – and therefore preventable had the league taken action to establish stronger deterrents? What if a court were to decide that incidents such as these are not “mistakes” but rather a failure on the part of the corporate entity to implement controls intended to curb dangerous and unlawful behavior?

    The NHL is open to a huge lawsuit someday if it doesn’t begin to establish significant sanctions against reckless and unsafe behavior in their workplaces. And let’s be clear – the league should worry far less about “rogue” incidents where the perpetrator steps far outside of the norm.  It should be very, very worried about incidents which have been allowed to continue because proper controls are not in place.

    Therefore, even without finding intent, the league should suspend Chara for at least 10-15 games, if not more.

  120. avatar_58 says:

    Funny how Boston writers and media backpeddle. Is it a bad hit? Didn’t you bastards hype this game up as the biggest brawl part deux? I saw that goddamned commercial, don’t pretend you didn’t do it. Man up and accept that this is the result  – someone getting hurt.

     

  121. bp says:

    What the Bruins and Bruins fans forgot about old time hockey is that they always lose. 

  122. Geezerfan says:

    I don’t comment on a regular basis, but Chara is lying through his teeth when he says that he is never out to hurt anyone. For all you computer adept youngsters please Google up, on “youtube”, his fight with Raitis Ivanans when the latter was with Montreal. In that fight the officials had stopped the fight and separated the combatants when Ivanans fell but Chara went back and laid about 3 good ones on Ivanans while he was down and defenseless. Broken nose and orbital bone for Raitis. A smirk of smug satisfaction for the giant troglodyte.

    Poor misunderstood Zdeno.

  123. RetroMikey says:

    Look at the video many times over… he tried to hit him against the players bench not full force!

    Pax was at the wrong place at the wrong time !

     

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “


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