Tag Archives: Zdeno Chara

The Max and Chara Incident

It happened on March 8, 2011.

A 6’9″ locomotive smashed a player into a partition with the puck nowhere near, a blatant infraction, and the player went down, out cold, with doctors and trainers scrambling to hold his head steady as he was strapped to a stretcher. The locomotive was thrown out of the game, and it was soon discovered that the receiver of the attack suffered a fractured vertebra in the neck and a severe concussion.

Would you think the 6’9″ locomotive might receive at least some kind of discipline because of this?

Big Zdeno Charo played the next game and the game after that, was never suspended, while Max Pacioretty was in a Montreal hospital bed with a broken neck and the possibility that his playing days were in the distant future only if he was lucky.

What did Pacioretty’s coach, Jacques Martin, say about all this?

“It is not our role to accuse. There was an incident that occurred and there have been other incidences. The league has to look at all those incidents that have had serious repercussions to certain players and I think at some point address it.”

Have we ever seen a less demonstrative coach in the NHL? Think of others, and go back as far as you want. Think of what Toe Blake would have said, and Scotty Bowman, and John Tortorella, and even Bruins’ coach Claude Julien. Any coach would have been outraged, with fire in their eyes and expletives spewing from their mouths. Only Martin would come up with a calm, monotone answer such as “I think at some point address it.”

Mike Murphy, doing the disciplinary duties for Colin Campbell because Campbell had a son on the Bruins, didn’t feel Chara did anything worthy of a suspension. Then why was Max in a hospital bed after such an assault when the puck was thirty or forty feet from him, and why was Chara even thrown out in the first place if the play was so innocent?

Chara was upset by the push Max gave him after Max scored the Habs winner previously?  Max had fired it home and Chara, just in front of him, was pushed ever so slightly out of the way. Chara was supposed to apply payback for such an evil wrongdoing?

Did Chara bide his time and finally pay back for such small thing in the first place? Did Chara, with his size, almost kill Max because Max gave him a little push that would barely move a small child?

Below, in the following video, Bruins’ Mark Recchi, forever after labeled as ‘Dr. Recchi’ weighs in, along with Geoff Molson.

From Recchi –

“He does obviously have a fractured vertebrae, but the concussion was obviously really a non-factor, maybe a day or two, maybe a day he felt it then he was fine a couple of days later,” Recchi told WBZ on Wednesday, noting Pacioretty was tweeting at the movies less than a week after the injury.

“I believe, yeah, they were trying to get Zdeno suspended and they embellished it a little bit. You have to look at it, I guess they were trying to do whatever they could to get him suspended. And I think the league sent the message that it was a hockey play, and that’s the important thing that people have to understand.”

And from Molson –

Letter from Geoff Molson to Canadiens fans

Thursday, 10.03.2011
Montreal Canadiens
Dear Fans,

I would like to thank you all for your comments and support as the Pacioretty family, and our entire organization, deal with this difficult situation. I share your frustration, disappointment and shock. I feel for Max, the team and you, our fans.

Max, on behalf of my family, fans and all who are associated with this great organization, rest assured that we are all behind you and hope for a full recovery.

The Montreal Canadiens is an institution that has played a leadership role in this League and in our community for over 100 years, and you can count on us to continue to do so in the future. The news of the NHL decision yesterday was a hard blow for both the players and fans of the Montreal Canadiens. It was one which shook the faith that we, as a community, have in this sport that we hold in such high regard.

The Montreal Canadiens organization does not agree with the decision taken yesterday by the National Hockey League. We can assure you that we have made our position clear to Commissioner Gary Bettman, and that he has agreed to make this issue a priority at the next General Manager’s meeting, which will be held in Florida on March 14-16. Pierre Gauthier, our General Manager, will be present at this meeting and has already expressed his wish to carry out, clearly, our message to his 29 counterparts and to the League.

Our organization believes that the players’ safety in hockey has become a major concern, and that this situation has reached a point of urgency. At risk are some of the greatest professional athletes in the world, our fan base and the health of our sport at all levels. Players’ safety in hockey must become the ultimate priority and the situation must be addressed immediately. As a proud father of three hockey players, I want to help create a healthy and safe experience for them, and I certainly never want any family to go through what the Pacioretty’s are experiencing at this moment.

We understand and appreciate hockey being a physical sport, but we do not accept any violent behavior that will put the players’ health and safety at risk. On this specific issue, I am asking for the support of the 29 other NHL owners, to address urgently this safety issue. And I am willing to play a leadership role in coordinating this group effort.

You are the best fans in the league, and I am proud to have you behind us. Both the team and Max need your support now more than ever. A solid playoff run is just around the corner and we are counting on you to carry us deep into the spring!

GO HABS GO!

Geoff Molson
Chairman of the Board of Directors and Team Owner

Bye Bye Bruins

Don’t poke the bear? Why, what happens?

I found that statement arrogant and I wanted to shove it down the throat of anyone who said it.

How sweet it is. How sweet that the Montreal Canadiens went into Boston and won game seven and the series. Once again the Canadiens prove to be Boston’s biggest headache.

I love that!

How sweet that with a hard-fought 3-1 win, the Habs send Boston fans home unhappy and the Bruins into summer hibernation.

How sweet that Dale Weise got the game’s first goal, that Max Pacioretty scored his second in two nights, and Daniel Briere notched an assist on Weise’s goal and banked a puck off Zdeno Chara’s skate for the insurance marker.

Thank you Zdeno. You ruined any chance of a comeback. With a little help from Johnny Boychuk, who was penalized in the last few minutes for crosschecking Michael Bournival in the face.

Self destruction, and don’t blame the zebras for ruining the party.

It wasn’t easy for the Canadiens though. Not by a country mile. The Bruins spent far too much time in Montreal’s end, pelting 30 shots at Carey Price while just 18 went Tuukka Rask’s way.

The pressure was on, but Price was once again outstanding, and when a goalie allows just one goal in two pressure-packed playoff games, you know he’s zoned in, and now even more so, the sky really is the limit.

I wonder what Don Cherry is doing, now that the bear got poked not quite the way he was thinking. Put away your Bruins cufflinks and ties, Don. And if you dig deep, maybe you can think of  a couple of nice words to say about the Montreal Canadiens next time you’re on TV. Can you bring yourself to do this, or is it simply impossible?

Brad Marchand? Such a despicable piece of work. We know he’s not exactly a Mensa candidate, but showering Price with snow was truly an idiotic move. And his punching, slashing, chopping, and hacking added up to exactly nothing.

And I don’t know yet what tasteless and classless things Milan Lucic said to Dale Weise during the handshake, but whatever it was, I suppose it’s not all that surprising.

But that’s all I want to say about that team. They’re hibernating and we’re moving on to meet the Rangers to decide best in the east. How cool is that?

This series win was all about hard work and digging deep. About plumbers becoming household names and guys believing. It was about not giving up, giving all they had, and we as fans benefit from having such a character team to cheer for.

We savour this, let it sink in for the next few days, and focus on how the boys match up against Henrik Lundqvist and Marty St. Louis and rest of the Blueshirts.

But right now, our team got it done against a very fine Bruins team, and it’s something to be very proud of.

 

 

 

 

I just can’t say enough about this team right now. Such character throughout. Digging deep, playing with heart and soul, and winning games six and seven

Photo ‘Ruins

Game 1: Thursday May 1 at Boston, 7:30 p.m.
Game 2: Saturday, May 3 at Boston, 12:30 p.m.
Game 3: Tuesday, May 6 at Montreal, 7 p.m.
Game 4: Thursday, May 8 at Montreal, 7 p.m.
Game 5 (if necessary): Saturday, May 10 at Boston, TBD
Game 6 (if necessary): Monday, May 12, at Montreal, 7 p.m.
Game 7 (if necessary): Wednesday, May 14, at Boston, TBD

Bruins 3

Bruins 4

Bruins 1

Bruins 7

Bruins 10

Bruins 5

Bruins 8

Bruins 9

Bruins 2

Bruins 11

Bruins 12

Bruins 14

Boston 12

Radio Guys In Beantown

Ian Sirota pointed out a piece to me which is simply wonderful to see.  I’m just so proud of Boston fans for keeping their time-honored tradition of crying about Montreal alive and well.

It stirs my soul. Kleenex must be a huge seller in Massachusetts.

It’s just heartbreaking that an inferiority complex has been built up around decades of being inferior to the Canadiens. Aren’t there enough shrinks in Boston to help deal with this massive problem?

The entire thing is right here where you can watch with your heart’s content a couple of Boston radio jocks babble on about Habs fans on something called the Felger & Mazz show on WBZ.

“Well, get ready for this crap. It’s gotten as bad as ever up there. It’s one thing the ‘Montreal diving’, right? That’s one part of it. But, it feels like the whole fan and media experience up there is all about waiting for the call .

“I think there’s something really wrong with those people up there. Like, there’s something in that culture . . . That’s your hockey-viewing experience? Crying about officials and crying about penalties? Like, that’s all they do! Watch it! Watch a game at the Bell Centre! It is one constant cry to the [officials] for a call. And more often than not, they get ’em . . . 

“So, you know, if the Bruins get by Detroit, [they’ll play] Montreal. So, 9-1-1 operators, be at the ready up in Montreal . . .”

“Get ready for that. Get ready for that crap.”

Something in our culture? I didn’t know that. This is why it’s good to hear opinions from others. We learn things about ourselves we might not have ever known.

It’s obvious these radio jocks are concerned about the prospect of their beloved team meeting Montreal, who won three of four games this season against the Bruins and are currently resting while the Bruins continue.

Bruins fans know it’ll be a deadly series. So bring it on.

I would however, like to talk a bit about this Felger guy’s take on Habs fans.

This disappoints me. All along I thought I was watching the game and now I find out I’m only looking for the officials to make calls in our favour.

This is something I’ll have to work on. I thought watching the officials was what I was supposed to do. Like Ron Maclean does.

I would, however, like to point out that we definitely don’t spend all our time doing this.

We also like to look around for cleavage, tight jeans, and the beer guy.

And because we only watch the officials, we’ve missed Brad Marchand dive, Milan Lucic spear, and Shawn Thornton mug. But afterwards, when we’re not watching the officials, we notice Claude Julien moan and tell reporters  his team would never dive, spear or illegally mug.

These two Boston radio guys also bring up the police aspect after the Chara hit on Max Pacioretty.

The fact is, if Chara would have gotten just one game suspension instead of nothing, the outcry would’ve been much less. No police. No complaining.

Max’s neck was broken on a play that could’ve been avoided. The puck Max was chasing was already thirty feet down the ice. Thankfully Mark Recchi made us feel better when he said Max was fine.

I can only imagine the wailing from Beantown if Alexei Emelin had done the same thing to Patrice Bergeron. Not to mention the five games Emelin would’ve received.

Bruins now lead Detroit 3-1 in their series and chances are good now that it’ll be a Boston-Montreal series coming up. We won’t won’t really see much of it, though. We’ll be watching the officials.

And when the Canadiens aren’t playing, like now because they swept their series of course, sometimes we watch The Daily Show.

 

 

The Violence Post

Enjoyed very much seeing Pens backstopper Marc-Andre Fleury blow it last night and allow the Columbus Blue Jackets to even the series. Fleury fumbled the puck at the boards near his net, the Jackets grabbed it and tied the game with 22.5 seconds left, and then in overtime Fleury fluffed a long shot from Nick Foligno.

Remember when Fleury and Peter Budaj almost came to blows back on January 22nd? Fleury had this huge grin on his face that cried out to be shut tight with a solid right into grinning mouth, stopping just short of his tonsils and causing him to pick pieces of teeth and throat mucus out of his mashed potatoes for the following month.

Zdeno Chara laughed in the face of Detroit’s Brendan Smith when the two stood toe to toe Sunday night, and how great it would’ve been to see Smith throw a punch and flatten Chara’s nose. Chara is 6’9″, but his nose is only four feet long and possibly made of the same stuff as humans. So it could be breakable.

It would be cool to see an accidental stick land hard between Milan Lucic’s legs tonight. Strictly accidental because I don’t condone violence. But enough to cause Lucic to squeal like a pig for the next three weeks and speak like Cindy Lauper forever after.

A seven-game suspension for Matt Cooke? When he gets back, his Wild teammates and Avs’ Tyson Barrie should meet him at the golf course and one after another practice prostate examinations with their wedge irons. Maybe use wooden-shaft Ben Hogan-endorsed models that might accidentally break halfway up.

Success In Beantown!

What a valiant, gutsy, never-quit effort by the Canadiens in Boston as the team ends the Bruins 12-game win streak with an incredible 2-1 shootout win with Alex Galchenyuk doing the deed.

Just a gigantic effort from a team that lost two thirds of its fourth line early when Dale Weise was slammed into the boards and hurt his shoulder or arm, and Travis Moen in defence of Weise fought Kevan Miller, took a punch to the head, and was helped off with obvious concussion symptoms.

Peter Budaj was as solid as a rock, and it’s funny about this guy. We’ve seen him mediocre at times, but not always. Sometimes he great, like tonight, when he stopped all but one deflection and was a wall in the shootout.

As much as I get nervous when I learn Budaj’s starting, tonight he showed that when he’s on, he’s an excellent net custodian.

Alexei Emelin had a big night, scoring the lone regulation time goal for his team, and he threw his weight around, including a beauty Bob Baun-like clean check on Milan Lucic, which of course the Bruins took offense to. Zdeno Chara was ridiculous in his reaction.

The Bruins are whiners that way. Clean checks shouldn’t cause nastiness and scrums. But with that team, it’s part of the agenda.

Mike Weaver was awesome, thumping and blocking and making the right plays and hitting a post, and when Marc Bergevin said after acquiring this guy last month that they’d been trying to get him for awhile, I’m now starting to understand why.

The Canadiens in the third took four straight penalties, and without whining about a couple of others, I’d like to say here and now that that the holding call on Brendan Gallagher was absolute bullshit.

And it was just three seconds left in the Habs fourth penalty, a high stick from Francis Bouillon (which was deserved), when the Bruins tied it up on a deflection which ultimately sent it to the shootout where the Habs joyfully burst the Bruins’ bubble.

What a gutsy showing from the Canadiens. They were outplayed for much of the first half, but they held their ground, held their lead, and Budaj stood his ground. And slowly but surely they began to get more shots, play slowly increased in the Bruins end, and they made a great game out of one that could’ve easily gone south quickly.

Yes the Bruins look good. They’re a great team and could go far in the post season. But one thing’s for sure. The Habs can beat them.

Like tonight, with two important guys gone early. With the back up in nets.

A tense game ending in a win for the Canadiens and putting a happy halt to that 12-game Bruins streak.

I truly love when Bruins fans go home miserable. Oh how they must hate the Habs!

Random Notes:

Brad Marchand had a chance to put his team ahead in the shootout and I cringed as he skated in. How gross would that have been to see The Nose win it. But he didn’t. And Galchenyuk did!

Shots on goal – Boston 29, Habs 22

Dale Weise and Travis Moen appeared to have suffered some serious stuff, it certainly didn’t look good, and with Brandon Prust and Lars Eller already out, we don’t have a fourth line anymore.

Next up – Buffalo Tuesday evening. Carey Price should start, although it’s still a bit of a mystery how hurt he actually is. Talk about his shoulder came up on TSN 690 this afternoon, and he was already nursing a lower body injury. So we’ll see.

Arrgg, Grrrrrrr

Maybe Sidney should be careful about the way he’s been talking to the big lug lately.

Thanks to Hobo for sending this pic along. Imagine how funny it would be if we actually saw this?

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It’s kind of like Andre the Giant throwing some poor mortal around. Andre lived in Montreal at one time, wrestled at the Forum, and I like to think he was a Habs fan. So no way am I comparing this gentle giant to the guy in Boston.

Anyway, Chara’s a mere 6’9″, 255 lbs. Andre the Giant was 7’4″, 424 lbs and would have crushed the wee lad.

Andre was 46 when he passed away due to heart failure in 1993.

2455647-andre_rumble

Those Bruins Bastards

You don’t hate the Boston Bruins more than I do. Looking at them hurts my eyes. Messes with my mind and mood. If they’re about to go all the way, I might walk on nails, get my chest hairs ripped out with duct tape, and visit the dentist, all around game time of the final night.

But I sure respect what they’re doing right now. At this writing, it’s 5-1 Bruins in the third period of game two. Boston also won the first, with both games on the road. They’re playing like they can win it all. They’re shutting the Pens down. They’re tough and disciplined and everyone seems to be on the same page.

It hurts me to write that.

This is what the Canadiens have to become. Tough, with scorers scoring. With a goaltender to be relied upon. With a strong defence. With a few more bigger bodies.

What a novelty act the Bruins have going. Everyone playing well at the same time. I’m not used to that as a Habs fan.

And as much as I despise the Bruins, Matt Cooke plays for Pittsburgh. So what’s a neutral fan to do?

Pittsburgh isn’t exactly on my wish list. And they’re in deep trouble, even though they finished head and shoulders above everyone else in the east during the regular season, with 72 points, nine more than the second-place Habs.

They were unstoppable. They grabbed Jerome Iginla and Brenden Morrow to join Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. They enjoyed a 15-game winning streak late in the season. They were a machine.

And the Bruins are killing them.

Boston was nothing to write home about during the regular season, ending up with one point less than Montreal and showing little of what we’ve become accustomed to in the past few years. Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand, and Zdeno Chara were only heavy winds instead of gale force hurricanes. It was like the Bruins in general had seen better days.

But this team obviously knew what they’re doing, and even though the Habs finished ahead of them, they weren’t about to concede anything. The playoffs are a different animal, and the Bruins seem to have it figured out.

Most of them only made it to grade three, but they’ve got the playoffs figured out.

 

Bruins Dump Manhattanites

I haven’t been watching a lot of hockey lately. Am I bad?

I am, I guess. A lousy hockey fan.

When the Canadiens are gone, the enthusiasm for spending two and a half hours in front of the boob tube takes a major hit. Other teams don’t interest me a great deal. I hated them all during the regular season, and I’m not all that fussy about liking any of them now.

Don Cherry would probably say I’m a poor hockey fan. Don also says fans should cheer for the team nearest where they live.

I lived in Toronto once. And he expects……?

I did watch game five of the Bruins-Rangers series on Saturday night, when the Bruins eliminated New York four games to one. I would’ve liked to have seen Boston get walloped and the fans sent home sad, but now they’re happy in Beantown, and this makes me sad.

And prior to the game, TSN showed Tuukka Rask’s goal miscue from game four about twenty times. It was quite a moment. Rask has been involved in a couple of priceless video moments, including a temper tantrum after a Habs loss (below).

Wouldn’t it be funny if the overhead clock fell fifteen feet in front of Brad Marchand and it still clipped his nose?

I don’t really care about these enemy teams. I just kept thinking, while watching the Bruins, that they remind me of throwing up after eating too many orange and black jelly beans.

I also saw that Rangers’ coach John Tortorella has a decent tan, and I don’t know whether you caught it or not, but Boston’s Zdeno Chara is fairly tall. Did you notice that?

It’ll now be Pittsburgh against the Bruins in the eastern final. Go Pittsburgh, I suppose.

All I really want from here on in is to see a record-breaking overtime game. One that goes about seven or eight overtime periods. Then I’ll be interested.

Here’s Rask/Habs moment, when he wiped out after losing 6-5 in a shootout on March 27.

And here’s the goal TSN kept showing.

It’s Good To Be A Habs Fan

The Habs are gone, and for now………

No more P.K. Subban wheeling around and rushing like a man possessed, or blasting a missile from the point, or sailing across the ice, fired up, in the moment, to level an oncoming enemy.

No more Brendan Gallagher crashing the net, standing firm as bigger opponents try to figure out how to take his head off without getting penalized, with the young fellow holding his ground as he’s mugged and coming back for more. No more of the little bugger pushing hard against the gigantic Zdeno Chara and other behemoths, and when seeing this, how could it not touch our hearts.

No more Brandon Prust sticking up for his teammates, and sometimes finding himself on the scoresheet after giving the proverbial and impossible 110%. No more choirboy Lars Eller getting better each game, or witnessing 19-year old Alex Galchenyuk slowly make his way to a brilliant future.

No more of the players we cheer for on some nights when they’re on fire, and want to ship to Vladivostok when they’re struggling.

No more beautiful blue, white, and red uniform with the big CH on the front. The uniform the Rocket wore. How it must feel to put this sweater on. Fans of other teams don’t understand, and I guess we don’t expect them to.

No more Pierre Houde shouting “et le but,” or, from any of the English voices, “he shoots, he scores,” as one or another Montreal Canadien lights the lamp, and we celebrate and crave more.

No more anticipation of a big game, especially at the Bell, with a booming rendition of the national anthem beforehand, with the crowd ready and expectations high, with little kids carrying the flag or pretending to light up the ice. I applied for this flag job a few years ago, only to be told I’m about 50 years too old.

No more games, for a few months, for us who cheer for our Montreal Canadiens. We who feel the magic. Magic in the crest. Magic in a big night.

It’s over for now, until they come together once again, when, as we always have, we’ll hope and dream and yell at the referee.

Until then, until we see the blue, blanc, and rouge take to the ice, the games might as well be played in Oregon.

Boring, Oregon.

Boring

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