A 6’9″ locomotive smashes a player into a partition with the puck nowhere near, a blatant infraction, and the player goes down, out cold, with doctors and trainers scrambling to hold his head steady as he’s strapped onto a stretcher. The locomotive gets thrown out of the game, and it’s discovered that the receiver of the attack has suffered a fractured vertebra in the neck and a severe concussion.
If no names had come about and you were simply told of this occurrence, wouldn’t you think the 6’9″ locomotive might receive at least some kind of discipline because of his brutal actions?
Well, the rub is this. Big Zdeno Charo will play the next game, and the game after that, while Max Pacioretty lays in a Montreal hospital bed after almost dying and with the possibility that his playing days are in the distant future only if he’s 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, even those with cool and calm demeanors, would have been furious, 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 has a son on the Bruins, didn’t feel Chara did anything worthy of a suspension. Then why is Max in a hospital bed, assaulted, 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? Wow. For those who haven’t seen it, Max 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? Everytime I see a clip of this I ask myself what was so wrong with this little push. What a ridiculous thing for someone to get his shorts in a knot about.
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?
It’s insane. Everything about this entire mess. TSN’s Bob McKenzie and all the rest of people out there who think there was no justification for a suspension have it wrong. A player the size of this Bruin must be responsible for damage done. Especially when the puck was nowhere near.
Thank God Max is alive and not paralyzed. And if one of these worse situations had actually happened, would Mike Murphy still allow Chara to continue playing the next game? Because what’s the difference between what happened and what could have happened?