Bruins – Canadiens Game Four, Bell Centre, Montreal

Which Boston Bruins team will show up this evening in Montreal. We all hope that it will be the one that was on the ice for the first two periods of game three. Thanks to the Canadiens desperation, we do not want to see the third period Bruins in which they were helter skelter, could not get the puck out of their own end and gave up 13 high quality shots on net while managing just two shots on the Montreal goaltender.
In that third period, it was the first time that Tim Thomas displayed the Vezina Trophy candidate goaltending that he showed pretty much all season long! Although the two goals he did surrender had a lot of “softness” in them which in the playoffs just cannot happen!
This series has shown that the first goal scored is the all important factor. Montreal did it in the first two games, while the Bruins built a three goal lead before hanging on in the aforemention third period. But they also played inspired hockey in those first two periods. They took advantage of the turnovers that Montreal handed them and made Carey Price look beatable.
We could talk about some of the bad things the Bruins did in that game, such as the “too many men” penalty in the first minute of the game. Or the power play, or lack there of but these things have been going on all year and the Bruins have been able to survive it. They managed their way to a 103 point season with scoring efficiency and a darn good penalty kill. They seem to no longer rely on the power play which is a good thing. It hasn’t produced all season and there is no reason to think that will change in the playoffs. Just decline the penalties.
Home ice has not meant an advatage for either squad although if you have ever witnessed a playoff hockey game in the old Montreal Forum or currently the Bell Centre, you can see and feel why opponents can feel intimidated playing there. Boston seems to not have that problem, its what that crowd can do to stimulate the Habs when they need to comeback such as Monday night or worse, when the get the lead and stymie the Bruins.
Win or lose tonight, the Bruins will be back home to play in front of their fans Saturday night at the TD Garden. A Boston win tonight and it’s a best-of-three anyone’s series and a happy flight from Dorval Airport to Hanscom Field. A loss would put the Bruins in a familiar hole in which history does not lie on their side!
~Diehard

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Let’s drop the puck for chrissakes!

So this is what its all about. The Montreal Canadiens and their fans. Its not about what happens in a hockey game. Its not about the discretion of the discipline bosses in the NHL. Its all about what happens to the players that wear the Bleu, Blanc, et Rouge.
Well, not really or better yet, not at all!
Just because a Habs player was in a serious collision with a Bruins player and the stanchion in the Bell Centre, everyone in the Country to the North has their panties in a bunch!
Air Canada has threatened to pull all of their NHL advertising dollars if the league doesn’t do something “serious” and “immediate” about head hits. Even better, Montreal authorities have opened an investigation into the Zdeno Chara hit on Max Pacioretty after a request by Quebec’s director of criminal and penal prosecutions, Louis Dionne.
As my Friend Big K said a few weeks ago; “Can’t we all just play hockey!”
Really, this is getting a bit ridiculous. The two players were racing for the puck near the player benches, the six-foot-nine Chara checked the six-foot-two Pacioretty into the boards and the young Hab slammed into a stanchion supporting the glass.
Pacioretty and a host of Quebecois seem to think that it was a deliberate attempt to injure. That Chara had the time, thought process and wherewithall to do this heinous deed.
The National Hockey League didn’t think so, a lot of other level-headed people including yours truly didn’t think so. However, the hockey Xenophobes in Quebec know its true because it happened to a Canadien player and it was perpetrated by the dastardly Boston Bruins. And now to pacify the masses the Bruins large defenceman is on Canada’s 10 most wanted list!
Canadiens and their fans should stop all the whining every time one of their players get hurt or injured. It WAS a hockey play and the rinks are built that way. This stuff happens.
The Canadian media and Parliament wanted the NHL to send a message. What message was there to send? Get rid of the stanchions in NHL Rinks? Get rid of body checking? Oh, I see they wanted Chara’s head on a platter!
Things happen in a hockey game. Not all are good.
Pacioretty on Mark Eaton of the New York Islanders….Bad.
Dave Forbes on Henry Boucha…. Bad.
Marty Mcsorley on Donald Brashear…….bad.
Maxime LaPierre disgusting hit on Scott Nichol….Bad.
Wayne Maki on Ted Green….. Bad.
Rick Judzio on Marc Tardiff…. Very bad.
Chara… A hard hit in a hockey game.
The thought of trying to have a Bruins player arrested in a regular season game…please. Air Canada…please.
Thank you Gary Bettman. I rarely agree with most decisions you make, see Phoenix Coyotes, but your response to the Airline threat was right on!
Its time for all concerned to get back to playing hockey and move on. Go Bs and Go Blues!

~Diehard

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NHL Verdict on Zdeno Chara

TORONTO – National Hockey League Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations Mike Murphy today issued the following statement on Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara’s hit in NHL game #996 last night against the Montreal Canadiens:

“I conducted a hearing with Boston Bruins’ defenseman Zdeno Chara with respect to the major penalty for interference and game misconduct that he was assessed at 19:44 of the second period for a hit on Max Pacioretty of the Montreal Canadiens.

“After a thorough review of the video I can find no basis to impose supplemental discipline. This hit resulted from a play that evolved and then happened very quickly — with both players skating in the same direction and with Chara attempting to angle his opponent into the boards. I could not find any evidence to suggest that, beyond this being a correct call for interference, that Chara targeted the head of his opponent, left his feet or delivered the check in any other manner that could be deemed to be dangerous.

“This was a hockey play that resulted in an injury because of the player colliding with the stanchion and then the ice surface. In reviewing this play, I also took into consideration that Chara has not been involved in a supplemental discipline incident during his 13-year NHL career.”

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Bruins don’t show up. Chara under scrutiny.

Hours after the Bruins laid an egg in Montreal losing again to the Candiens 4-1 it seems that Boston Captain will now be labeled a dirty player. At least by the fans in and from Quebec.
There are a number of questions from that game Tuesday night but lets get to the big story and that is, was it a dirty hit by Zdeno Chara? Did Chara intentionally run Max Pacioretty’s head into the turnbuckle at the end of the bench and start of the glass? Did he know exactly where he is on the ice. No one will really know what was in Chara’s head as he was finishing his check but for me, (No I have never played professional hockey but have played enough hockey to know what I’m saying) I think it just happened that they were coming upon that part of the rink. Turnbuckle hits have always been a part of hockey. It’s the nature of playing this beautiful but sometimes dangerous sport.
Ask Brooks Orpik. Ask Ryan Smyth. Ask many other professional hockey players about turnbuckles and open doors. It’s part of the game that you hope never comes into play, but it does!
You can look at the video, slow it down, look at still pictures and anything else you want. What happened at the Bell Centre last night was unfortunate for the parties involved and we all hope that Pacioretty is fine and will be back on the ice very soon. But lets calm down people. The turbuckles hardly ever come into play and it is very dangerous when it does happen. Tyler Ennis of the Buffalo Sabres had an encounter with the turnbuckle in Pittsburgh last night also.
You could say that I have a different perspective because I am a Bruins fan, and I am fine with that. But for those that know me, I am a hockey fan and have criticized Boston as much as their opponents and have a pretty good objective view despite my bias.
No, it was not a dirty hit. No, Zdeno Chara is not a dirty player although most Bruin fans would probably love it it he were.
Now lets move on from all the hysteria that is going on on sports radio and elsewhere and focus on the other thing that happened at the Bell Centre.
Not much fight in the Black & Gold as they were beaten in every aspect of the game. Skating, forechecking, fighting and the game were all big losses for Boston.
From the opening puck drop, you could see that things were not going to go right. Montreal did what I said they would in yesterday’s missive. Their skating and speed would be what would do in the Bruins. Also, the Bruins would have to stay out of the penalty box. They didn’t and the Canadiens again made they pay dearly, twice! And, although as mentioned, Tim Thomas does not have the greatest of stats against Montreal, I don’t know why he was not in goal last night considering the enormity of the “rematch”. Once again I go back to the Coach. Yes the Bruins are in a good spot in the playoff seedings, and we shouldn’t’ be questioning Claude Julien who has gotten them into this position, but some of the decisions before and during the games has me scrathing my head. Thomas should have been in net last night period. You are playing your biggest rival in the Northeast Division. You have chance to stretch your lead over the Habs to seven points and you don’t put your best lineup out to start the game. Granted, when you don’t score you can win and the Bruins scored a meaningless goal to break up the shutout. Hmmmmm.
There will be much more made of Tuesday nights events as the league weighs in on the Zdeno Chara incident. However, in the big picture, it seems to me the Boston Bruins need to figure out why they didn’t show up last night and have scored 5 goals in their last four games.

~Diehard

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