Tag:Canadiens
Posted on: March 14, 2011 3:12 pm
Edited on: March 14, 2011 6:01 pm
 

Bettman introduces measures to curb concussions



NHL commissioner Gary Bettman introduced a five-step plan to reduce concussions on the first day of the league’s general managers meetings on Monday. 

"There's no one single thing that is causing concussions," Bettman said. "In fact, the trend as to why concussions happen is different than a lot of people are suggesting or speculating."

Here’s the proposal Bettman laid out in Boca Raton, Fla., to stem the league's vexing concussion problem: 
  • Brendan Shanahan, the former NHL player who now serves as NHL vice-president of hockey and business development, will work with manufacturers to improve equipment. One thought, Bettman said, is to make player equipment smaller.
  • The NHL, the first major North American sports with a concussion protocol, will revise its guidelines. If a player is thought to have a concussion, he must be removed from the bench and put in a quiet area where he’ll be assessed by a doctor, not just an athletic trainer. He will then be required to undergo the most recent Sport Concussion Assessment Tool. Here's a look at the SCAT2 protocol.
  • Coaches and the team will be penalized for players deemed to repeat offenders to rules that prohibit hits to the head. Call it the Trevor Gillies Rule. This will have to be approved by the Board of Governors, so it won't be in place until next season.
  • Safety engineers will conduct an inspection of each of the league’s 30 rinks to make sure they conform to new safety standards. This comes days after some experts pointed to the lack of sufficient padding on the divider Montreal’s Max Pacioretty collided with after a check form Boston’s Zdeno Chara.  The league will look at banning seamless glass currently in use at six rinks. 
  • The league will assemble a “blue ribbon panel” to continue studying concussions. The panel will include former NHL defenseman Rob Blake, Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman and Dallas GM Joe Nieuwendyk and will work with the competition committee to suggest new rules to protect players.


"We welcome these steps and look forward to discussing these and other issues with the NHL to provide a safer working environment for the players," National Hockey League Players’ AssociationExecutive Director Don Fehr said in a statement.

The general managers were shown a video breakdown of almost every concussion over the last two seasons along with statistical data, which revealed accidental concussions have nearly doubled from a season ago.

Bettman said 70 percent of concussions this season had accidental causes, like legal hits, teammates running into one another or players taking a puck off the head. Illegal hits accounted for 17 percent -- down nine percent from 2009-10 -- and fighting resulted in eight percent of concussions. The cause of the reaming concussions could not be determined. 

"This notion that the players have no respect for each other and they're going around hitting each other on the head on a regular basis and that's what's causing all the concussions just isn't accurate," Bettman said.

-- A.J. Perez

Photo: Getty Images

Posted on: March 9, 2011 3:45 pm
Edited on: March 9, 2011 5:59 pm
 

Zdeno Chara escapes suspension for hit



Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara escaped suspension for the check that left Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty with a severe concussion and a fractured neck vertebra, the NHL announced Wednesday afternoon. 

“After a thorough review of the video I can find no basis to impose supplemental discipline,” said Mike Murphy, the NHL’s Senior V.P of hockey operations, in a statement. “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.”

Instead of the boards, Pacioretty found the divider between the benches late in the second period of Tuesday’s game at Bell Center. Pacioretty’s head hit the turnbuckle and he crumpled to the ice, where he lay several minutes as medical personnel attended to him. (Here’s a link to the video.) Canadiens coach Jacques Martin described Pacioretty’s neck injury Wednesday as a non-displaced fracture of the fourth cervical vertebra.

“I’m not a medical doctor,” Martin told The Montreal Gazette and other outlets after practice on Wednesday.  “What’s important is that there’s no displacement.

“Our first concern (as an organization) is that he gets his health back as a human being. You hope he’ll recover and continue his career, but it’s too soon to know his (potential) limitations. He’s still under observation.”

Martin added Pacioretty would be out of action indefinitely.  
Chara, who also got into a scuffle with Pacioretty the pervious time these two teams met, was assessed a major boarding penalty and a game misconduct for the collision. 

"The one thing that everybody here hopes, is that the human side of us wishes for (Pacioretty) to recover quickly and well," Bruins coach Claude Julien told Comcast SportsNet New England. "That would something that everybody hopes, here. I know that (Chara) is going through a lot of stuff right now, and is being perceived as a dirty player, which anybody who knows Z, knows that's not the case."

Murphy said he not only took into account the video evidence, but the entirety of Chara’s 13-year NHL career. Chara drew an automatic one-game suspension under the NHL’s instigator rule as a member of the Ottawa Senators in December 2005, his only career suspension. 

“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,” said Murphy, who handled the decision because Colin Campbell, the league’s normal disciplinarian, has a son, Gregory,  on the Bruins.  

Before news Chara avoided a suspension broke, some of Pacioretty’s teammates openly wondered how such a veteran player like Chara could have been caught in that position.

“I don’t know what Chara was thinking, what he felt or what his awareness was on the ice,” Habs forward Michael Cammalleri said on the team’s official website. “I can’t comment on his intent. There are two types of hits in hockey -- the kind that are strategic and tactical, designed to get the guy off the puck and make a play, and then there’s the kind when you catch another guy in a vulnerable position and try to inflict some damage. It’s how a lot of people are taught to play when they’re young, and it makes it a tough mandate to change that attitude.”

For Pacioretty's linemate Scott Gomez, said something he heard was just as jarring as watching the collision. . 

"What I remember about it was the sound -- it sounded like a gun: bang!" Gomez told The Associated Press. "Stuff like that is tough to look at."

Photo: Getty Images
Posted on: March 9, 2011 12:51 pm
Edited on: March 9, 2011 1:25 pm
 

Pacioretty has neck fracture, severe concussion

Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty suffered neck fracture and a severe concussion as result of a brutal headfirst collision with a divider after a check from Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara on Tuesday night. 

Montreal coach Jacques Martin described Pacioretty’s neck injury Wednesday as a non-displaced fracture of the fourth cervical vertebrae. Pacioretty appears to have avoided an injury to his spinal cord.

“Max will remain at the hospital for further observation,” Martin said in a statement. “There will be no other prognosis for the time being, but he will obviously be out indefinitely. The most important thing for our organization right now is Max’s recovery. We will continue following recommendations from the doctors and of course, Max and his immediate family would appreciate privacy in this matter.”

Pacioretty lay on the ice for several minutes, but was conscious and able to move his extremities as he was transported to the hospital. Here’s a link to our orginial story (with video) and another post on whether Chara, who was given an interference minor and ejected, should be suspended. 

Chara had a confernce call with league officials earlier today, The Boston Globe reports
Posted on: March 8, 2011 1:39 pm
Edited on: March 8, 2011 1:49 pm
 

Playoff watch: Bruins, Habs set for another round


Boston Bruins (38-19-8) at Montreal Canadiens (36-23-7) 

Bell Centre, 7:30 pm ET

SEASON SERIES: Boston 1-2-1; Montreal 3-1-0  

IMPLICATIONS: A Boston win and a Flyers loss Tuesday would pull the top two teams in East even in the points department. (Flyers would still technically be in first since they'd still have more wins.) Montreal could pull within three points of the Northeast lead with a regulation win. 

BREAKDOWN: The Habs won the first three meetings, outscoring the Bruins 10-6 in those games. Then came their last meeting, a slugfest Boston won, 8-6, on Feb. 9. That contest included 45 penalties for a total of 182 minutes -- and two of the dozen fighting majors was the result of a goalie fight (above) between Montreal's Carey Price and Boston's Tim Thomas

“It was pretty crazy,” Boston forward Milan Lucic told CSNNE.com's Joe Haggerty. “Especially that second period with eight goals scored, and four for each side. I remember watching the highlights later and hearing  (Bruins play-by-play announcer) Jack (Edwards), say ‘Mercy.’ It was fun to be in, and I know our fans talk about it and remember it.”

The same goalies in net for the last meeting are expected to get the call again tonight. Last game was long on penalties, but short on saves. 

MATCHUP TO WATCH:  Boston LW  Milan Lucic vs. Montreal LW Michael Cammalleri.  Cammalleri took a “therapy day” on Monday, a day away from the rink that might have been needed since he has two points in the seven games since he returned from injury. The Bruins are nearly perfect, 21-1-0, when Lucic scores, something he did twice in the last meeting. 

KEY STAT: 710. The total number of meetings between these two Orginal Six clubs, second only to Detroit vs. Chicago (712).
Photo: Getty Images
 
 
 
 
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