Montrealers are very upset about what happened over the last 48 hrs, especially since the NHL decided that the Chara hit on MaxPac was "a hockey play."
I'm sorry if I offended any of my readers by using the photo in the previous post, which isn't pretty. But to me it's very indicative of what really happened, that this player did intentionally shove Pacioretty's head into the turnbuckle.
If anything, the NHL is being consistent, because in my opinion Cooke should have been suspended big-time for his hit on Savard last year, and Richards as well for his hit on Booth, among others.
Yesterday and last night many commentators were saying that in life, even if you didn't mean to do something like if you accidentally ran over a kid in a school zone or something -- you're going to go to jail.
Agreed. It has nothing to do with intent. But the NHL isn't the real world. If Tom Kostopolous had drilled Pacioretty, they would have thrown the book at him. Chara's an all-star, so he gets off clean. But it appears Montreal, Air Canada and even the Federal Government are taking steps to make sure this doesn't go away, and that's great.
Pacioretty contacted TSN's Bob McKenzie at around 9pm last night to let his feelings be known, for the record:
"I am upset and disgusted that the league didn't think enough of (the hit) to suspend him. I'm not mad for myself, I'm mad because if other players see a hit like that and think it's okay, they won't be suspended, then other players will get hurt like I got hurt."
"It's been an emotional day. I saw the video for the first time this morning. You see the hit, I've got a fractured vertebrae, I'm in hospital and I thought the league would do something, a little something. I'm not talking a big number, I don't know, one game, two games, three games...whatever, but something to show that it's not right."
"I heard (Chara) said he didn't mean to do it. I felt he did mean to do it. I would feel better if he said he made a mistake and that he was sorry for doing that, I could forgive that, but I guess he's talking about how I jumped up or something." "I believe he was trying to guide my head into the turnbuckle. We all know where the turnbuckle is. It wasn't a head shot like a lot of head shots we see but I do feel he targeted my head into the turnbuckle."
If anyone could get a sense of Chara's true intent, it would be Pacioretty. This is like if JFK survived the assassination in Dallas to then say "the shots... they came from the grassy knowl."
There's a general feeling that fans and society as a whole is getting a bit tired of this and with the lack of action by the NHL. Now it seems the Montreal police department is moving forward with a criminal investigation on the Chara hit. This probably won't result in anything except maybe for providing a nice distraction for the big Bruin dman. Maybe they'll get into his head and he won't play at his full capacity...
Also, Air Canada has written a terse letter to Gary Bettman threatening to pull their sponsorship unless the league begins to do something about the violent hits and the non-punishments. You can bet, there's a lot of Habs fans on Air Canada's executive board.
Now this is how things get done in our world -- with the power and leverage of the almighty dollar. Imagine this turned into a Tiger Woods-style sponsorship fiasco for the NHL!? Sponsors leaving, fans turning their backs on the game... could be a disaster for the league.
What the league also needs to realize is that this affects viewership and hockey participation across the board. If the NHL doesn't put measures in place to protect its players, why would any parent want to enrol their kids into youth hockey programs, if they think there's a chance their kid could be irrevocably hurt!?
I'll tell you something what I really didn't like -- the way the NHL's statement as well as Chara's and coach Julien's statements were worded. Why is Pacioretty labeled as "the player" or "the opponent"??? Why is the victim often forgotten in our society? Couldn't Chara have apologized, said he made a mistake, and call Pacioretty by name? Same thing with Julien. Honestly I have lost total respect for coach Julien, I think he's a bald faced liar. Since the game last month, I think he's gotten caught up in the whole big, bad Bruins thing. He's still bitter Gainey fired him.
Chara's a liar too. Says he didn't know who it was. He's clueless on the ice. Okay... an all-star veteran dman, but he doesn't know who's on the ice and where he is on the ice. Right.
They skated towards the puck. Max chipped it past him and as Chara approached the boards he looked to see who it was!!! Then the hands came up. If he had kept his hands down, it would have been a bad hit, but most likely Max's head never flies into the turnbuckle. To say "the player jumped up" is truly ridiculous. The good thing in this? This will hopefully not go away, and dog Chara the rest of the year until the Bruins get eliminated. And the bigger burn on Chara, as I mentioned in my last post, this will become the defining moment/memory of his hockey career.
Well we must continue, and continue we shall. The Habs are in St. Louis tonight for the Price/Halak showdown. Halak and the Blues played last night, winning in OT. This is Eller's big chance to pick up where he left off from the last game and show the Blues they made a big mistake in trading him.
Hopefully the Habs can use the Pacioretty hit as motivation and ramp up their intensity down the stretch.