Quick Hits

Two things we can be sure of when your Montreal Canadiens play their hated and hateful Beantown rivals:

• Weird stuff will happen, and

• The Canadiens will win.

That 8-6 freak show in Boston last month?

Totally aberrational.

The proper order was restored last night at the Bell Centre, where the planets resumed their usual orbit and apples that fell out of trees landed on the ground.

The Canadiens won for the fourth time in five games against Boston this season.

A year ago, the Canadiens took the season series 5-1.

The Bruins came to Montreal with aspirations toward joining phast-phading Philadelphia atop the Eastern Conference standings.

Instead, the Bruins were dominated in all aspects of the game, save for thuggery, and the Canadiens, with their season-high fifth W in a row,  crept up to within three points of the Northeast Division leaders.

But it came at a cost.

Max Pacioretty – whose parents were at the game – is spending the night in the Montreal General Hospital. He is conscious and able to move his hands and feet.

When – or if – he’ll play hockey again this season …

Anyone’s guess.

Late update: Tests were reportedly negative. “Only” a concussion.

It says something about the state of the NHL that we’ve seen worse hits than the one Zdeno Chara laid on Pacioretty, with only seconds remaining in the second period and the Canadiens comfortably in control of the game.

No, Max-Pac didn’t have the puck. He had chipped it up the boards and was in pursuit.

And yes, there’s history between the players.

But had the hit happened anywhere else on the ice, the injury probably would not have been as severe as the horrifying sight of Pacioretty’s head bouncing off the turnbuckle covering a stanchion at the end of the Bruins’ bench.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie Tweeted:

“As for Chara hit, first reaction, subject to review, is that it wasn’t an overly dirty or malcious hit. Interference? Yes. Terrible result.” and “Glass/boards configuration exacerbated it in big way. Started as a simple tho late rub out with bad consequences. What I’m not sure about…is whether a player (Chara) is ultimately responsible for outcome because of turnbuckle effect. Going to need some more looks.”

This reasoning did not sit well with a member of the Montreal media, who disgustingly described McKenzie as “un gros criss de pas bon” and a typical Hab-hating member of the TSN cabal.

The Pacioretty hit dominate sports talk radio, at least until Thursday when the Canadiens face Jaro Halak.

But what Canadiens fans can take away from this game is satisfaction in a job well done – and a successful exorcism of the demons that some feared tormented this allegedly too small/too soft team after the last game in Boston.

Credit Jacques Martin with adroit lineup juggling. Adding Ryan White and Paul Mara, for Tom Pyatt and Yannick Weber, added size and grit to the lineup – a change underscored by White pounding out an early decision over Johnny “I can Beat Up Jaro Spacek Any Day of the Week” Boychuk.

Interesting stat: But the power play and penalty kill sit seventh in the league in terms of efficiency: 20.3 and 84.0, respectively. Martin’s beloved special teams have been superb through the winning streak.

Another interesting stat: The Canadiens’ skaters blocked more shots than Carey Price stopped, 35-30. Paul Mara, James Wisniewski, Hal Gill and Roman Hamrlik had five blocks each. P.K. Subban had four.

That speaks to the Canadiens’ commitment to five-man effort, something they’ve been getting in all three zones lately.

The team has a problem if Pacioretty is gone for a while. He was rounding into what this franchise has sought, unsuccessfully, for a very long time: a power forward who can score.

Their other quest, for a centre with size, may be fulfilled by the constantly improving Lars Eller.

The man-child his teammates call “Larry” was moved to centre when Jeff Halpern joined the Tomas Plekanec line. Halpern as a Top Six is a bit of a stretch, but Eller, Andrei Kopstitsyn and Travis Moen have excelled since they were thrown together – another astute move by the coach whom too few respect.

Martin praised his team’s character. He said the players are “close-knit and support each other.”

Certainly against Boston.

More tomorrow. 

• Schadenfreude Dep’t: Mike Komisarek played 9:24 in the Leafs’ loss to the Islanders.

Paul Mara, making $750,00 this season, played 16:05.

152 Comments

  1. gourou04 says:

    …try Greg Campbell, you might get more results out of it…

  2. CBrady12 says:

    I heard that too, at least someone has the balls to say something

  3. Scott in Montreal says:

    Timo, I don’t think dubious means what you think it means.

  4. sidhu says:

    Price: “Ryan White was awesome, sticking up for PK like that… [he has] big steel balls.”

    I agree — White was awesome, he set the tone early on that we weren’t going to take any crap.

  5. sidhu says:

    Eller: “I think Chara knew the glass started there”

  6. Da Hema says:

    Goodness me! A lot of potty mouths tonight (including me earlier)!!

    Where’s Booner with his bar of soap!

  7. sidhu says:

    One thing that Chara did not say after the game, “I’m sorry.”  He said it’s “unfortunate”, but failed to accept any responsibility.

    No class during the game, no class after it.

    A guy who isn’t contrite is even more deserving of punishment.  Otherwise, he’ll just continue to say he’s playing “tough” and injure people without any repercussions.

  8. christophor says:

    But its ok because the glass that Chara pushed him into is what hurt Patches, not Chara.

    Got that?

    Second Ammendment all the way. 

  9. krob1000 says:

    So by that logic a hit from behind in open ice should be suspendable if a player falls forward? That Gillies hit the other day to me was far, far more “innocent”…his hit was less dirty on Clutterbuck than the one Clutterbuck had just dished out…mind you he deserved more games for his disrespect of Tangradi..but this was beyond dirty.  I have never really thought of Chara as “dirty” before…but he clearly sees the stanchion right before he pushes the head into it….I don’t doubt he wasn’t expecting to knock Pacioretty out for 5 minutes and possibly paralyze him…but he sure as hell meant to hurt him.  Chara also doesn’t normally paste smaller guys either….tonight he was all over Gio and Desharnais…in fact several Bruins took “runs” at guys that could easily have been boarding calls….Mcquaid was vicious tonight. 

    Crygate 2….I was actually brought to tears with Pacioretty’s ovation as the third star…it really hit home to me at that moment that Pacioretty may have played his last game as an NHL player, at that point it made me wonder if he’ll ever walk again,etc it was ridiculous..it completely sucked the fun out of the game and for me that is not easy to do.  Chara should get at least 10 games IMO and if the NHL has any balls and no kids on the BRuins..(shit,screwed there) 25 games….the puck is nowhere around so what is the difference between that and Bertuzzi? Chara has a history with Pacioretty over a nothing shove (I can;t even call it that after watching it again tonight)by the way, 15 seconds left, team down 4-0 in emotional game, he does look left, he rides him out waaaay too long, extends his arm, concussion….suspension that simple.  I was so angry when it happened…I am actually surprised nobody went to any greater lengths to injure Chara…he deserved it as at the point it almost appeared Pacioretty was certainly going to be paralyzed…he didn’t move at all (thank goodness he was smart enough not to move)

  10. Timo says:

    There is nothing dubious about his career – he is a career loser who never came within even a sniff of a cup.

  11. CBrady12 says:

    Thanks doc…but can we hold off on diagnosing someone from our living rooms

  12. christophor says:

    Um, that hit DIDN’T happen somewhere else on the ice. Why am I reading this everywhere? RIDICULOUS! You’re repsonsible to be aware of your surroundings, especially when they’re 5 feet IN FRONT of your face. That’s what matters. Not intention.

    “But your honour, if I shot him with a Nerf gun, his brains would still be in his head. The bullets killed him, not me!”

    BS!

     

  13. bajd says:

    Only Chara know’s if he truly meant to do it but the intent is besides the point–at least a little bit. When players shove their opponents from behind, it still leads to suspensions even though there may have been no intent to hurt the guy. I’m no lawyer but I wonder if the league is playing with fire if they don’t start coming down hard on these guys. It may be a violent sport but it’s also a sport clearly struggling to define where that line should be drawn. In my opinion, the league needs to start worrying about what will happen if someone is paralyzed or killed on the ice and start building a solid track record of swift discipline to show that they will not tolerate deliberate or reckless play on the ice. As for the Bruins, rose-coloured glasses may be on my face, but when guys like Lucic try to goad noted goon Pouliot into fighting long after the game was decided, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for the league to step in and possibly fine the Bruins

  14. rogieshan says:

    Given how the league is run, Chara will get off with only a gentle slap on the wrist as a first-time offender.

  15. S_Dot says:

    Tonight was an opportunity for me to come back to life and realize that what we are watching is real. Regardless of what sanctions are levied, the emotional tide I went through tonight showed me that sometimes I take for granted these guys put their bodies on line night after night. I can’t ever remember feeling as high as I did once we took that 4-0 lead and as low as I have seeing the aftermath of the hit Chara laid out. I am still in a state of shock, and going from thinking that the hit may have taken Max’s life, to his movement in his limbs, to him being okay in the hospital has been surreal.

    Proud of the boys tonight, for 2 periods we handed it to ’em (man Tukka sucks) and we flew…White set the tone and we scored timely goals…Larry keeps improving at his natural position and it looks like we may have a solid 3 lines (praying for a MaxPac comeback at some point this year) going into the playoffs with CP31 as a true Vezina contender…

    Thoughts go out to MaxPac, get healthy!

  16. Habnofear says:

    Man ,I was crying and seen it on Vancouver Island !

  17. CBrady12 says:

    Man, I’ve watched that replay 25 times and Chara has a clear view of the stansion… he was looking right at it.  There is no doubt that he intended for Pacioretty to hit it. None. 

     

    And Boone can talk all he wants about it being unfortunate and if it happend anywhere else then it wouldnt have been a problem but the fact of the matter is it DID happen there and Chara did NOT have to make that hit. Plain and simple. 

  18. Propwash says:

    Patches, after that hit, and the ones you’ve taken before, you are one badass sob in my books.

  19. SadPricey says:

    I can agree with this wholeheartedly.  A typical habs game can be an emotional rollercoaster – but this just gave that term new meaning for me.

     

     

  20. TheMock780 says:

    On the Team 990, Marinaro was saying that Pacioretty’s parents were at the game. If I was a parent I can’t even imagine being there and watching that happen to my kid

  21. SeriousFan09 says:

    Best wishes to Pacioretty.

    Although I think considering the severity of the hit, Pacioretty’s season should be shut down by the Habs medical staff and he should only resume play next season. I haven’t been this disturbed by a Habs player being hurt since Koivu took William’s stick in the eye in the 06 playoffs.

     

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

  22. SadPricey says:

    I can’t remember ever feeling so sick while watching a hockey game

    between worry for patches and disgust I can honestly say I wanted to throw up.  I am way too angry to even speculate on chara’s intent. I’m  Not sure if I even want to go there.

     

    just going to leave it at: Please be OK max, you are in our thoughts.

  23. Scott in Montreal says:

    Bob McKenzie was putting the best possible light on it. I don’t think Chara was too bright about it, but I don’t expect him to be too bright anyway. You would think that a veteran who is a captain and has played dozens of games in this arena would be conscious of the consequences of making a hit like that at that particular point along the boards. He isn’t blind. He wanted to get the maximum hurt on MaxPac, and he didn’t think about restraint at all. It is in his nature. He is like Sabretooth (X-Men villain). And a jerk, to boot. Totally irresponsible and poor leadership. And his coach is the one who set the tone for that kind of thinking in the first place. No class. Unless Pacioretty has a miracle recovery, Chara can expect this to haunt him – and his team – for the rest of his dubious career.

  24. geo_habsgo says:

    Great post and I totally agree. We need to remember that these are people and not machines. The wave of emotions has been intense for everyone and I can only imagine his family. My prayers are with them.

  25. Bill says:

    I don’t know what “un gros criss de pas bon” is, but whatever it is, I’m sure Bob McKenzie is it. He’s just another partisan TSN hack who’s won a few too many donuts on “roll up the rim”.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  26. DearyLeary says:

    Honestly, I think he’ll be lucky if he plays next year.

  27. Propwash says:

    It all boils down to this, the Habs friggin ROCK!

  28. sidhu says:

    McKenzie’s argument — that the result is due to the placement of the hit and location of the stanchion, rather than what Chara actually did — is total bull.

    Chara knew (he admitted after the game) that the players were near the bench and he therefore knew or had to know that the stanchion was there as well.  The location IS FACTORED into the hit.  Chara did not make the hit in isolation, he makes it in the context of where it takes place. 

    To absolve Chara because of the location is ridiculous.  Yes, perhaps more precautions can be made in the future.  But Chara made the hit with the precautions that are there now and that he knew about when he extended his arm and guided Pacioretty into that location.

     

  29. krob1000 says:

    It’s times like these I really hope Jeff Gilooly is a Habs fan.

  30. DearyLeary says:

    Exactly.  I think there was intent, but that’s hard to prove.  The fact is that it was an extremely dangerous play, which was a penalty whether the player was injured or not, on a player in a vulnerable position.  Playing recklessly doesn’t give you a carte blanche to hurt players because you “didn’t mean to do it”.  

    It was reckless, and he could have very well killed a player there, if the league doesn’t think it’s serious then maybe it’s time I give up on hockey and watch something more civilized… maybe Micheal Vick is still running his get togethers.

  31. DearyLeary says:

    Reckless play isn’t an excuse to injure another player.  It was a penalty no matter where the hit took place; but he did it in a dangerous place, against a vulnerable opponent.  If that’s not suspendable, I don’t know what is anymore.

  32. sidhu says:

    I agree — intent here should not mean anything. He hit Pacioretty and should accept responsibility.  Intent is hard to prove, anyway, and of course he will deny any bad intent.  But if we are going to talk intent, it’s critical to note that Chara had motive — he had to know it was Pacioretty.

    As for Lucic, the refs dropped the ball by giving him a roughing.  They should have given him a misconduct and sent him to the dressing room.  By that time, it was clear that Lucic was not interested in playing hockey any more. There’s no need for the refs to keep him around.

  33. Just A Guy says:

    Just heard Marinaro reporting in saying its only a minor concussion for Patches.

    Only…the NHL dodged a huge bullet on this one. How many people were watching this game though?

    “Tell him he’s Wayne Gretzky.” – Oilers coach Ted Green, after Shaun Van Allen suffered a concussion and couldn’t remember who he was.

  34. Bill says:

    Haha, awesome reference! Thanks for the laugh on a sad night.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  35. DearyLeary says:

    It’s like saying manslaughter is an accident.  Reckless behaviour is every bit as punishable as intent.

  36. Timo says:

    All I have to say is this: “Eat shit, Bruins. Eat a lot of it”

    Great game by the Habs. For the first time this year truly impressed by the team. Fantastic effort that only underscores that Bruins have nothing behind them except for thuggery. FU Bruins $hitheads and FU MacKenzie.

  37. stephen says:

    I’m glad you mentioned Lucic’s actions toward the end. The ‘timeout’ he got in the penalty box for clearly trying to instigate a fight  and incite things further is perhaps more indicative of the league’s lack of ‘testicular fortitude’ than what I suspect will be the very minor discipline handed out to Chara.

  38. Kevin says:

    I haven’t posted here in a long time even though I joined the website when it started up 6 or 7 years ago. But tonight, after seeing what Chara did, I’m so angry that I feel the need to express my disgust here. I hope Pacioretty is OK. I fear that his career as a potential high scoring power forward might be over. The only thought that makes me feel slightly better in this moment is a fantasy of Max’s family suing the pants off of Chara — letting the NHL know that if they don’t take care of their business properly, then the courts will.

  39. sidhu says:

    Chara said after the game, “these things happen,” as if they are to be an accepted (but “unfortunate”) part of the game.  No way.  The league has to make an example of Chara and protect vulnerable players from hits from the head.

    In the future, players should know not to lead a player’s head into the stanchion.  The only way players will be incentivized to not do what Chara did, is if Chara himself received a big suspension. 

  40. go.habs.go says:

    As we all drown ourselves in beer and condemn Chara to a miserable eternity in hell, let’s imagine (and, at this point, it does require some imagination) that they NHL’s rules against charging and boarding (etc.) are, in fact, meant to protect the players. Chara’s hit on Patches may not have been either of these, but the outcome was the same, or worse. Regardless of whether the hit itself was dirty, the play was illegal (i.e. interference, at best) and resulted in what could have been an absolutely devastating injury. It’s only reasonable to think that a dirty play that results in exactly the kind of injury that boarding/charging rules look to prevent would merit the same suspension.

    I don’t think Chara is a dirty player, in general – and, in this instance, it doesn’t even matter. His illegal play caused another player to be (seriously?) injured, and he should be held accountable for his actions and suspended for more that the league-standard 2 games. He defends himself by saying that he didn’t mean to hurt Patches (which is probably true), and you could argue that he didn’t realize the partition was so close (which may or may not be true), but the league hands out penalties when a player loses control of his stick and accidentally cuts another player (why they base such decisions on who draws more blood is beyond me) – how is this any different?

    This is happening way too often. Even if this wasn’t technically a “hit to the head,” and even if some brain-damaged NHL official can convince himself that the hit was clean, the play was illegal and Chara’s actions were completely irresponsible. The league should hold players to higher standards of personal accountability. Not to be alarmist, but it’s only a matter of time before someone gets killed.

  41. CBrady12 says:

    Is anyone seeing the same replay as me? The closer replay clearly shows Chara is LOOKING RIGHT AT THE GODDAM STANCHION AS HE SHOVES PACIORETTY INTO IT!!!! 

     

  42. Chorske says:

    I think this is an astute comment: the league dodged a bullet. That hit could have killed someone, would have killed someone less solid. And then what? How do you sell THAT to the hockey moms and dads?

  43. Timo says:

    Make an example? You kidding right? Chara will get a fine at most. Campbell will write another email how Pax is a diver and fat pig MacKenzie will oink about it on TSN how Collie is great and objective and all will be good with the world again. 

  44. krob1000 says:

    I heard Crosby was going to be out a couple of days with one of those minor concussion thingies…think I heard that a couple of months ago though

  45. gourou04 says:

    big effing sucker”

  46. geo_habsgo says:

    Great post. My sentiments exactly. 

    And as for you question about the severity of his injury, the verdict is out although someone posted that they’re reporting that its a “light” concussion. Regardless, concussions, big or small, are one of the most horrible injuries and its unfortunate because this whole mess could have been avoided.

  47. CHsam says:

    Yeah right, needs more viewings.

    Just watch it again…… and factor in direction and speed. The guy knew what he was doing.

    INTENT.

    Problem is, five bucks says that I forget all of this tomorrow morn.

    Whatever. 

  48. krob1000 says:

    someone should swing their stick at Chara’s throat….then maybe someone can tweet that if the stick was swung anywhere else on the ice it would have been strike one

  49. Timo says:

    Chara is a retard. I am amazed he is actually able to breeze… and if Max Pac has anything resembling a concussion I hope Chara won’t be breathing for a lot longer. 

  50. geo_habsgo says:

    I’m glad someone on the team had the balls to make any sort of implication like that. It was nice to see the boys rally around Patches though. Shows that they care and that this is a first-class organization.

  51. CBrady12 says:

    Exactly…

    And for people (not on this site) that say “well its a split second decision”…BS!! If a player  can make a split second decision about where to pass, saucer pass or not, aim his shot, make a glove save, etc then they can make a split second decision not to slam someones head into a stanchion or hit someone from behind or hit someone in the head

  52. darcy1 says:

    better question: how do you sell that part of the sport to NON hockey parents who’s kid wants to play ?

    ——————-
    ”If you’ve only got one day to live, come see the Toronto Maple Leafs. It’ll seem like forever. ” Pat Foley (Blackhawks broadcaster)

  53. go.habs.go says:

    It wasn’t really a question — I’m basically glued to RDS for the next couple days. And no, the severity of the injury isn’t the point. That said, if a “light” concussion is the case (which is probably the best we can hope for), he got unbelievably lucky — as did Chara.

  54. Timo says:

    Doesn’t it mean “uncertain”? But i will trust you seeing how English isn’t my first language.

  55. krob1000 says:

    if you hit him during a fight with the same swing you might shatter his elbow as he’ll likely be beating someone with his pads…..

  56. HardHabits says:

    I made a reference to someone doing a Booby Clarke special as he did to Kharlamov’s ankle in’72 to Chara.

    A nice two-hander. I never hated a hockey player as much as I do Chara right now. That includes Bobby Clarke who I loathe with a passion.


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