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How the Montreal Canadiens feel about Zdeno Chara’s hit on Max Pacioretty

Mar 9, 2011, 3:19 PM EDT

Boston Bruins v Montreal Canadiens Getty Images

As the NHL ponders what kind of punishment is appropriate for Zdeno Chara and the hockey world hopes that Max Pacioretty’s injuries aren’t career-threatening, it’s important to note how players are reacting.

Despite the fact that this hit was a perfect storm of historical bad blood and horrible timing, it’s not exactly an extraordinary moment considering the revenge-minded climate that often pollutes the game. (Last night was, after all, the seven year anniversary of Todd Bertuzzi’s atrocious attack on Steve Moore.)

It’s natural, then, to wonder how Pacioretty’s Montreal Canadiens teammates feel about the incident. Will they be out for blood the next time the two teams meet? Do they think that Chara intended to injure Pacioretty? Here are a couple of comments straight from Canadiens players, via Ken Campbell of The Hockey News.

Players in the NHL are also hyper aware of their surroundings and who is on the ice at all times – or at least they should be. Given that line of reasoning, Pacioretty’s teammate Michael Cammalleri has no doubt Chara knew exactly who he was dealing with when he lined Pacioretty up. Cammalleri said he still had not seen the hit, but had a feel for what his teammates thought about it.

“What people are upset in this room is that I guess he drove the elbow through the head with an intent to injure kind of thing,” Cammalleri said. “I don’t think Chara premeditated this, but from experience when a player gets under your skin for whatever reason, you remember it and you notice when he’s out there. You know whom you’re playing against. Especially a divisional opponent because you’re so familiar. You can almost tell by the movements of a player. There’s a lot of tells, from what brand of stick they’re using to how they tape it.”

Canadiens goalie Carey Price said the history between Chara and Pacioretty probably played a part. In a Jan. 8 game between the Canadiens and Bruins, Pacioretty scored in overtime, then shoved Chara out of the way, which was the genesis of the hard feelings between the two players.

“Well that’s the whole thing,” Price said. “They do kind of have a history and that adds fuel to the fire. The only person who knows is (Chara).”

When I first reacted to the hit, I couldn’t help but mention that overtime goal (and Chara’s angry reaction) as well as the ultra-violent previous game between the Boston Bruins and Canadiens. It’s easy to wonder whether or not the two players’ previous history factored into the ugly hit by Chara.

Ultimately, we may not ever know what Chara was really thinking, but we will know if the NHL will give him more time to think about it with a suspension soon enough.

  1. scott24105 - Mar 9, 2011 at 4:35 PM

    Maybe Cammalleri should watch the video before making a comment. Chara never elbowed him. He had one HAND on him and was looking up ice as the both angled towards the boards. To say this was done on purpose is an absolute joke. I hope he makes a speedy and full recovery, but unfortunately it was just bad luck.

  2. scott24105usucks - Mar 9, 2011 at 8:31 PM

    scott24105, you must be blind and dumb. what the video on youtube. you can put your eye glassess on and you will see his elbow on his head. You and Chara and the NHL are a bunch of ass wipes.

  3. derpdederpdederp - Mar 10, 2011 at 12:13 PM

    the bleeding hearts calling for charas head are a joke. you cant suspend players based on injuries resulting from a hockey play. that sets the unwanted precedent that all hits, even legal ones, are subject to suspension if there is an injury on the play. the league needs to focus on getting matt cooke style try-to-ruin-a-guys-life cheapshots out of the game, and this was in no way on of those. it was just a tough hockey play, albeit interference, that resulted in an unfortunate injury. the 5 and a game chara received on the ice was punishment enough. good for the nhl for realizing that

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