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The Bruins and Canadiens have a lot of history. We know that. Zdeno Chara and Max Pacioretty also have a bit of history. At a game in January, Chara and Pacioretty had a scuffle after the Habs winger scored the game-winning goal in overtime. Pacioretty shoved Chara after the goal, and several players had to be separated.
Fast-forward to Tuesday night: Near the end of the second period against the Habs, Chara, perhaps seeking revenge, rode Pacioretty along the boards, and shoved him into the “turnbuckle,” or where the glass meets a team’s bench area. Chara was hit with a five-minute major and a 10-minute game misconduct. Pacioretty was taken away on a stretcher, and reportedly had movement in his limbs when he arrived to the hospital.
Was the hit dirty? Watch it for yourself:
“I knew we were somewhere close to our bench, but obviously that wasn’t my intention, to push him into the post. It’s very unfortunate, in that situation, everything’s happening fast. I wasn’t planning to do that. That’s not my style to (try to) hurt somebody. I always play hard, play physical, but I never try to hurt anybody. I hope he’s okay.”
We all know Chara is not a dirty player. While he probably wanted to rough up Pacioretty a bit, he definitely did NOT intend to hurt him. He wasn’t Matt Cooke, who deliberately elbowed Marc Savard’s head. He wasn’t Todd Bertuzzi, who rode Steve Moore straight to the ice head first. He was Zdeno Chara, who was just trying to send a message. Unfortunately, he also sent a message to league officials, who will most likely slap him with a 2-3 game suspension.