Posts Tagged ‘Zdeno Chara’

Sweep

June 7, 2013

sweep0023

Improbable? Maybe. Glorious? Definately.

Chara Hospitalized

April 16, 2011

News this morning that Zdeno Chara spent last night in the hospital for dehydration. Disturbing news for Bruins fans, indeed, heading into the crucial game two tonight at TD Garden of the B’s-Habs first round series with their team down 1-0. Word so far is that he will play but how effective he might be is certainly a relevant question.

The real question, to me, is why? Is he ill? It happened after practice on Friday and one has to wonder, was he not caring for himself properly during practice? Did the training staff drop the ball by not noticing that the player was not up to snuff. Does a guy like him, who logs so many minutes in game action, even need to practice at this point of the season if he’s not completely 100% healthy?

All things we need answers to. The severity of the issue/illness will need to be explained but don’t be surprised if information is short from the Bruins organization itself. Right now it’s a wait and see situation with a nation of Black and Gold fans holding their collective breath.

Winding Down, Gearing Up

April 8, 2011

This is an odd part of the season. Finishing up the regular season schedule whilst waiting for the Playoffs to begin can be a tedious excercise for both fans and teams when your position in the post-season is secured and pretty much set. The Boston Bruins are in danger of falling into cruise mode because of the seeming insignificance of the remaining games. New York Islanders? Ottawa Senators? New Jersey Devils?
Teams full of guys scheduling golf vacations.

It’s dangerous because it can lure a team into a malaise at the most important time of the year. All indications were that the Bruins were gearing up at the right time and then the two recent New York games seemed to show a team getting sleepy at the wheel. We all know what happened after the 1st period of that game at MSG. It was all too hauntingly familiar to what happened last season in Philadelphia, wasn’t it? Up 3-0 and you go to sleep as if the game is won. Meanwhile, an emotional, tough team gets on it’s horse and never gives up and ends up beating you silly.

It was one of the themes of the Boston Bruins’ 2009-2010 season and I mentioned it frequently here. It’s like the team can’t handle it’s own success. It gets complacent. That’s what allows teams to come back from 3-0 against you.

Seems to me it starts with the best players. Tell me what the top scoring line of Milan Lucic, David Krejci and Nathan Horton have done since the team clinched a playoff spot? Do they, more than any other players on the team, look like they’re going through the motions? Against the Islanders it seemed like they were skating in a practice scrimmage at Ristuccia. Non factors. If it wasn’t for the spark shown by the fourth line of Shawn Thornton, Gregory Campbell and Daniel Paille, you would have lost that game.

Not really the signs you want to see from your team. Let’s hope that higher gear is still there and will be in motion next Thursday when the playoffs actually start. If not, there may be some truly hopeless Bruins’ fans wandering the streets outside TD Garden like the living dead. Again.

A few more notes on the end of the season.

  • It looks more and more with each passing day that the Montreal Canadiens will be the opponent in the first round. Can you imagine it? Can you picture the epic insanity of that? Apocalypse Now, folks. 2012 is here. World War III. Throngs of marching protesters in Montreal. Max Pacioretty potentially being in uniform to face Zdeno Chara. Total madness. I’m drooling already. Prepare for posts every hour on the hour during that series, people. This is what we live for.
  • This Saturday Mark Recchi will pass Chris Chelios for 4th All Time on the NHL’s games played list. The three guys ahead of him are Gordie Howe, Mark Messier and Ron Francis. Hallowed company and a monumental achievement by the gentleman. He will be honored accordingly one would think during the team’s final home game of the regular season.
  • The Bruins yesterday signed free agent college forward Carter Camper from Miami (of Ohio) University. A smallish forward at 5′-11″ and 173 lbs he was nonetheless an explosive scorer with 183 points (69-114-183) in 156 games in his college career. He’s a 2011 Hobey Baker Award finalist and will report to the Providence Bruins. An interesting addition and a great hockey name.
  • Steven Kampfer has been assigned to Providence leaving Shane Hnidy as the B’s 7th defenseman. He could return before the playoffs begin along with other possible depth players as the P-Bruins season will end without a trip to the Calder Cup Playoffs.
  • Playoff Power

    March 28, 2011

    To be honest, the news last night following the Bruins’ 2-1 victory over the Flyers in Philadelphia wasn’t that the team had clinched a playoff spot for the fourth straight year. Really, that hasn’t been an issue in doubt for many months here. It was pretty well expected and, regardless of where they end up in terms of position, the real story this season would have been if they didn’t make it to the post-season.

    No, the real headline following the game was that the team scored not just one but TWO power play goals. In the same game.

    Can anyone remember the last time that happened? I’ll tell you. January 18th on the road against Carolina.

    28 games ago.

    So, yeah, it was good to see. I know, I know. It’s baby steps but at least they’re steps in the right direction. The team will go nowhere in the playoffs without a successful power play so, needless to say, it’s now or never to get the thing into shape. Last night was at least a small, positive indication that the one issue that has plagued the team the most all season long might be able to become functional when the team needs it most.

    The forwards are moving a bit more, Tomas Kaberle and Zdeno Chara look more active at the points and things might just start clicking if the stars can align themselves here. They seem to have the right pieces to the puzzle. Let’s just hope the puzzle assembler is up to the task.

    That means you, Julien. Make it work.

    Statement Game

    March 25, 2011

    habs suck

    With all the anticipation, hype and hyperbole leading up to last night’s epic season finale between the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins at TD Garden, there was the nagging thought in a lot of folks’ minds that the actual game could never live up to it. The pregame buzz was electric, there were players making incendiary comments in the media from both sides. Journalists and talk show hosts were warring with each other on the airwaves and in print. The monsterous (and absurd) shadow of what happened between Zdeno Chara and Max Pacioretty was looming over everything. How could a regular season game in March ever live up to that sort of billing?

    Well, in the minds of the Bruins and their fans, it did and then some.

    In the minds of the Montreal Canadiens and their fans, limping meekly back north of the border with their wee little tails between their legs, it was just flat out embarrassing. Let’s be honest. The Habs were boarding the team plane halfway through the thrid period. Standing around with not an ounce of compete left in them, allowing the Bruins to make plays and score at will. The shame had sunk in deeply at that point and they did not handle it well.

    That’s really the essense of it. You can’t help comparing the differences between the Bruins’ loss in Montreal when they actually came out and competed in the third period even when the game was out of reach and the Habs’ pathetic performance last night as it seemed like they were dreaming about their post-game manicures before eight minutes had gone by in the final period. Embarrassing.

    Meanwhile, Bruins, their fans and the city of Boston had a lot to be proud of. How about the fact that we cheered the Canadian national anthem? Right from the start we showed how much classier we are than the hissy fit gang in Montreal. Then the players on the ice took the game into their hands and, without any of that horrible, bullying Boston goonery that makes the Habs have sweaty bad dreams, beat them so utterly and cleanly it was a revelation.

    How about Nathan Horton taking a nasty slash to the face. He didn’t hit the ice and wriggle about with a Mike Ribiero epileptic seizure, even though he was bleeding profusely from a cut above his eye. He got treatment and, on the ensuing power play, he was out there to score a goal. Now that’s revenge.

    How about Gregory Campbell scoring a 5 on 3 short handed goal. How in-your-face is that? Was there a better Men Against Boys moment in the game? How about a team with a 7-0 lead laying out, blocking shots with mere minutes left trying to protect the shut-out for their goaltender, who was excellent in net? The Bruins did it all last night.

    While the Canadiens, who had all the motivation in the world to show up and play, did nothing. It wasn’t just the score that was embarrassing. Here was a team who should have been ready to defend their fallen teammate against the Big Bully who rammed him into the stanchion. Here was their chance to show Max Pacioretty that they had his back and that Zdeno Chara would have to answer for his horrible crimes.

    Nothing.

    The Habs tried to throw a few hits on him but they just bounced off. No one challenged him. No one even gave him a dirty look from what I could see. Likely in fear that they would have to back it up. Just an amazing display of cowardice, really. They couldn’t even take him off his game. He had three assists.

    Actually, I give full credit to Paul Mara, only part of the team for a few weeks, as the only guy to show up and show a little sack. Apparently he’s dropped the gloves a lot lately for the gutless Habs and we all know that’s not his game. He did it again last night but instead of inspiring his team I think he shamed them. Your late season rent-a-player non-fighter was the only guy to represent the logo on your jersey in this one, Montreal.

    Feel shame.

    In the end, the taunting sounds of the Ole-Ole song came cascading down from the stands to fall upon the beaten Canadiens like a shroud of disgrace. They had, to a man, quit. Failed to show up to the most important regular season game of the year for them. The Division now likely lost to their most hated rival thanks to a pathetic, gutless performance that embarrassed an entire Province.

    The Bleu Blanc et Rouge showed their true colors once again.

    Yellow.

    The Ultimate Dive?

    March 23, 2011

    max pacioretty injury

    It’s time some things were said out in the open.

    Who better, then, than Former Montreal Canadien, current Bruin and future Hall-of-Famer Mark Recchi to get the ball rolling. Here’s a guy with unassailable integrity. A guy who has seen all the game has to offer. A guy with the perspective that 1600+ NHL games and seven different teams can give you. Leave it to a guy like that to cut through the bullshit and get to some truth.

    A short time before 4 p.m. today he appeared on 98.5 the Sports Hub with Michael Felger, Tony Masserotti and Jermaine Wiggins, he was asked, as you might expect, about some of the furor that might surround tomorrow night’s must see game at TD Garden between the B’s and Habs as a result of the Zdeno Chara/Max Pacioretty incident.

    The conversation turned to the miraculous, amazing, medically astounding recovery of Max Pacioretty who, mere weeks after suffering a reported “severe concussion” and fractured vertebra is making seemingly incredible (some might say unbelievable) progress and the reports he will be ready for the playoffs. Recchi was asked if it bothered him that its seems now that Montreal may have embellished the injury reports in order to try to get Zdeno Chara suspended.

    His answer was an emphatic yes.

    “I think they were trying to get Zdeno suspended and they embellished it. The concussion was really a non factor.”

    The full interview will be posted here if you want to hear it. It’s an excellent, honest interview from an intelligent, experienced player with no time for bullshit. He tells it like it is and admits what many others, fans and players, have been thinking around the league since we first saw Pacioretty’s interview with Bob McKenzie mere hours after the incident when he sounded just fine. When he statred “tweeting” in a cheerful manner the next day. And was released from the hospital in short order.

    Max Pacioretty was never that badly injured, folks.

    And you all know it.

    The Canadiens, management and fans, wanted punishment for Zdeno Chara so badly they dramatically exagerrated the injury reports to make it seem Pacioretty had a far more serious head injury than he actually had, hoping the league’s sensitive nature to such injuries would get Chara a lengthy suspension. Whether it was revenge or tactics, they lied. They flat out lied.

    And that’s fucking sick, people. That’s as cowardly and gutless as it gets. That’s dirty fucking pool, my firends.

    Because, let’s be honest, we all know now exactly what a “severe concussion” looks like. We’ve seen the haggard visage of guys like Marc Savard and Patrice Bergeron when they finally (after more than 24 hours, mind you) met with the media. Gaunt, hollow-eyed shells of the person they once were. Plagued by debilitating headaches, spending days and weeks and months in darkened rooms dealing with depression. We’ve read Paul Kariya’s accounts of looking into a mirror and seeing a stranger and not being able to get off the edge of the bed.

    We’ve seen how it took them all years to get back. Years. Kariya was never the same. Savard might never play again.

    None of them were tweeting from their bed in the hospital, were they?

    The Canadiens should be ashamed of themselves. An issue this serious, an injury too many have had to deal with, and they try to fake it? Indefensible. Even for a team who’s calling card has been the Art of the Dive. Even with a fan base that mealy mouthed and pathetic and cluelessly hysterical. It’s one thing to go pinwheeling to the ice hoping for a tripping penalty. This is a level far below that.

    This time they’ve dived too far.

    You Go, Bruce

    March 15, 2011

    bruce boudreau

    G’day, Bruce.

    I think I love you.

    What’s that, you say? No poofters?

    I think that’s also the message you have for the planned gathering of poofters outside of the Bell Centre before tonight’s Canadiens-Capitals game.

    For those of you who don’t know, a group of know nothing, whining, prissified douche bag Canadiens fans (wait, is ther another kind?) are planning on staging a protest outside of the Habs’ home rink tonight to demonstrate their distaste for “hockey violence”. Of course, it all stems from the ongoing (overblown) outrage (in Montreal) over Zdeno Chara’s well documented hit on Max Pacioretty.

    Washington Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau, well known for his no nonsense approach and (thanks to HBO’s 24/7 show) salty language, has a message for the dandified assemblage.

    Fuck off.

    “You don’t like it, don’t come to the games.”

    “Listen, I don’t want to get into any controversy, but if that was Hal Gill that hit David Krejci, I don’t think there’d be a protest going on here tonight.”

    Good god, I could not have said it better myself. The fact that it comes from someone of position and power within the league is just the icing on the cake. It’s about time someone put these preening, cry baby panty wastes in their place, isn’t it?

    So you go, Bruce. You tell it like it is, man. One bit of advice, however. Get out of town quickly after the game. The Montreal Police might be out to arrest you for using obscene language after the avalanche of phone calls from Habs’ fans starts coming in.

    Meanwhile, a wonderful related post over at Days of Y’Orr today: Get The Fire Extinguishers Ready.

    Jesus, I’m starting to enjoy this a little too much, aren’t I?

    Tee hee hee.

    Cherry’s Solution

    March 14, 2011

    Props to Grapes for looking at the Chara/Pacioretty situation with clear vision and not the hysteria tinted goggles a lot of the whiners and crybabies in Montreal (and elsewhere) have been using.

    Don Cherry on Coach’s Corner, Saturday March 12th:

    Skip to 2:12 for a brilliant (and disturbing) montage of video showing just how many times this exact same hit has happened, not a one of which resulted in a player’s suspension.

    Couple highlights:

    Cherry to Montreal Canadiens chairman Geoff Molson:

    “Tell you one thing, Geoff, call all your players together in the dressing room. And you say, ‘How do you feel playing 41 games with the boards in Montreal?’ Worst in the league for injuries. Ask them that instead of going in the paper.”

    “Let’s start with your building, your stanchion and turnbuckles are a joke.”

    Cherry to Air Canada:

    “Air Canada, you should be ashamed of yourself. By the way, where are their corporate headquarters? We know where they are…Montreal.”

    Spot. Fucking. On.

    Henrik Sedin and Joe Thornton: Shut Up

    March 11, 2011

    It’s official.

    The modern NHL is now Salem, Massachusetts circa 1692 and Zdeno Chara is a Witch.

    I don’t know how else to explain the mounting hysteria surrounding this incident. I swear to you, I’ve taken off the Black and Gold sunglasses, people. I’ve looked at this from every angle and am making a sincere effort to be as objective as possible.

    I think the NHL made the right decision in this case. Period.

    Zdeno Chara did nothing illegal.

    Zdeno Chara did not intend to injure Max Pacioretty.

    Some people see it otherwise.

    Chiming in from out west, a couple of high profile players have decided to speak out publicly about the incident. Henrik Sedin and Joe Thornton have both donned their Puritan robes and and want to stand witness at Chara’s dunking into the waters to see if he floats.

    In the case of man-boy Jumbo Joe, he seems to be suggesting that the Boston Bruins are immune from league discipline thanks to some sort of magical artifact they keep buried beneath TD Garden, possibly an enchanted black magic totem of such power that it clouds the vision of authority figures making decisions about NHL rules (A Witch! A Witch!). It probably makes sense to him somewhere inside that cavernous, empty tree-stump of a head lolling about on his neck. How else can one explain a league MVP and perrennial leading scorer who has failed his team and choked out of the playoffs 12 years in a row? It’s obvious someone has put a curse on him.

    Witches in Boston!

    Sedin’s comments are more tempered but still swim within the same stream of illogic. He seems to be suggesting that, because there was an injury, even if Chara did nothing wrong, nothing that dozens of other players do night in and night out, that there still should have been a suspension to send a message. So what’s that message, though? That any accident that results in a head injury should mandate suspension? If a shot gets deflected into the bench and a guys gets hit in the head, should the deflecting player be suspended, then? Jesus, it makes me nervous about the Stanley Cup Finals. What if the team captain when passing the cup off to a teammate accidentally drops it on the guy’s head? 10 games the following season?

    I have a better idea. Or rather, my equally rational comrade-in-arms Gonz did (credit where credit is due, mate). Let’s have everyone skate around with a big hunk of memory foam strapped around their heads. They’ll look like living bobble head dolls. Wait. How about giant plastic dog collars that won’t allow players to lift their arms above their shoulders? Speed limits. Guys who skate faster than 10 mph go straight to the box. Or maybe anyone taller than 6′ 2″ has to skate on their knees.

    What? You want a safer game right?

    Yes, it’s concerning that there seems to be a rise in the number of head injuries in the NHL these days. I think it has a lot to do with the speed of the game and the size of the players. If there’s a disregard for safety amongst the players, it needs to be addressed, of course. I have a hard time believeing, however, that so many guys are out there trying to intentionally hurt others.

    The bottom line is that hockey is a violent contact sport, by it’s nature. There have always been unfortunate injuries. There always will be. I think people are doing their best to make it safer without compromising the integrity, the essense, of what makes the game great. A hysteria driven witch hunt may be more dangerous to the sport we love than a few concussions, however. You have to ask yourself; if you change the NHL too dramatically, what have you changed it into? How watered down do you want it?

    You know what? If it’s too much for you maybe just switch over to some curling. But remember. If anyone trips and hits their head on those big rocks?

    Immediate suspension.

    Arrest Max Pacioretty

    March 10, 2011

    Now.

    Montreal Police: Get into that hospital and drag his evil ass out of that bed and straight to the klink. No trial needed. That video is all the evidence you need. Did you see how dirty that boarding hit on Mark Eaton was? How illegal? What’s the statute of limitations on attempted murder?

    I’m sure Max Pacioretty, and all Canadiens fans for that matter, are just as “disgusted” by his actions in that game against the Islanders as they are about Zdeno Chara’s hit on Tuesday. In fact, it must just be some sort of technical oversight that he hasn’t turned himself in already, given his strong feelings on hockey plays that injure others.

    In fact, considering what I see here, I’m thinking Chara deserves a civil recommendation for attempting to bring justice to such an obvious evil-doer.

    It wasn’t a hit into the stanchion.

    It was a citizen’s arrest.