I try not to write with emotion, usually you end up looking like a fool. However there are times when it's impossible to separate emotion from a situation, and this is one of those times. For the last month we've been hearing from every corner of the media that the Boston Bruins play hockey the right way; hard-nosed and honest, physical and willing to drop them when needed. The Montreal Canadiens however have been cast as a dirty, diving little hockey team that wins by cheating only. I think we saw tonight, in the worst way possible, how wrong this narrative is.
The Canadiens came out flying tonight, and after Boychuk attempted to take out Subban's knee, Ryan White obliterated him in a fight. From there the Canadiens played a near perfect 40 minutes of hockey, and Boston was frustrated.
Then the hit. A hit by someone who I always had respect for as an honest hockey player who doesn't regularly go over the line. I cannot express how wrong I was about Zdeno Chara. While Pacioretty did NOT have the puck, Chara put his stick in his skates, put him off balance, and drilled his head into the glass stanchion at the end of the bench. If it was anyone else on the Canadiens, there is no way Chara lays this hit, but Pacioretty committed the unforgivable sin of giving Chara a little shove after scoring on the Bruins in overtime 2 games ago in the season series. Since that moment this is the second time (to my knowledge) that Chara has deliberately tried to injure Pacioretty. The first was a vicious two handed slash to Pacioretty's ankle in the 8-6 loss on February 9th.
As Max Pacioretty lay unconscious on the ice, all I could think of was Steve Moore seven years ago this very day. I sincerely hope Pacioretty hasn't suffered the same fate. As they called off the rest of the period, my thoughts ran to supplementary discipline, and how little faith I have that the NHL will do anything. This is a captain of one of the most important franchises in America, a nearly $8 million per year defenseman and the best player on his team. To think the NHL has the balls to give more than a slap on the wrist, is vastly overestimating the proven moron that is .
When play resumed, it was clear the Canadiens players no longer had their minds on hockey, and I assumed that the Bruins would play the same way, but I was wrong. Right away the camera showed Marchand (he of these classless comments courtesy The Globe and Mail) chirping at Cammalleri. Soon after Campbell laid a filthy hit from behind on Subban, and in the waning minutes Lucic and Horton attempted to goon it up when Gomez, Gionta and Pouliot were on the ice.
The Canadiens however, didn't go for the hurt. At no point in the game did the Canadiens attempt to injure a Bruins player. They played a clean, hard, physical game and picked the Bruins apart piece by piece until it was 4-0 and they didn't need to try anymore. The Montreal Canadiens tonight showed their quality, and the Boston Bruins showed their lack of the same, typified by their captain blaming the victim for his injury.
Zdeno Chara on the hit: "Unfortunate when I pushed him that he leaned & jumped a little into glass extension"
Max Pacioretty is awake and talking in hospital, and has control over his extremities.