Tag:Max Pacioretty
Posted on: April 11, 2011 12:52 pm
Edited on: April 11, 2011 12:58 pm

Chara won't face questions from Montreal police

Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara will not have to worry about talking to the police when the team’s first-round series shifts to Montreal. 

Boston GM Peter Chiarelli told reporters on a conference call that he’s been assured there won’t be any “Montreal investigation” distractions, according to CSN New Englands’s  Joe Haggerty. It’s unclear where exactly the investigation launched in the aftermath of Chara’s check of Habs forward Max Pacioretty stands. 

The March 8 collision sent Pacioretty off a divider between the benches at the Bell Centre, resulting in a broken bone in Pacioretty 's neck and a concussion. Pacioretty was stretchered off, although he has returned to some light skating in recent days. It's unlikely Pacioretty will make it back for the playoff. 

Chara was given a major interference penalty and a game misconduct, but was not suspended by the NHL. That caused an immediate uproar in Montreal and the police began a probe to see if Chara committed any crimes with his check. 

Game 3 of the series next Monday will mark the first time the Bruins have played in Montreal since the incident. 

-- A.J. Perez
Posted on: April 1, 2011 3:51 pm
Edited on: April 1, 2011 3:52 pm

Pacioretty skates briefly before Habs practice

Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty, injured in a gruesome collision with a padded stanchion on March 8, skated for about 20 minutes before his club’s practice on Friday. 

Pacioretty suffered a severe concussion and a broken vertabra in his neck in the collision, the result of a check from Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara. Chara not suspended for his role in the incident, a decision that didn’t sit well with Habs fans, and prompted politicians and sponsors to question the NHL's approach to head injuries.

Montreal coach Jacques Martin told reporters afterward that the short session at the team’s training facility in  Brossard, Quebec, was the start of his rehab, The Canadian Press reports . Pacioretty’s agent, Alex Schall, said earlier this week that it’s unlikely Pacioretty will return this season. 

Here’s a clip of Pacioretty’s return to the ice:
Posted on: March 25, 2011 3:09 am
Edited on: March 25, 2011 11:53 am

Morning Skate: Fireworks lacking in Beantown

The sequel is never as good as the original. In the case of the Boston Bruins vs. Montreal Canadiens, the last one wasn't that good either.

Thursday's “rematch” between the Canadiens and Bruins again wasn’t competitive, not that many remember Montreal eased to a three-goal win on March 8. No, that game was all about Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara's check that sent Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty off a padded divider between the benches. The collision left Pacioretty with a broken bone in his neck, a concussion and a good portion of Quebec in an uproar.

It was payback time Thursday, right? Not quite. Chara, who was not suspended for the collision with Pacioretty, was the games No. 1 star with three assists as the Bruins extended their Northeast Division lead with a 7-0 victory. On a night that featured three shootouts in games that will help determine the postseason order, what transpired at TD Garden wasn't nearly as compelling. 

There were a couple roughing penalties and Montreal’s Paul Mara and Boston’s Gregory Campbell were sent to the box for fighting, but those things happen in just about any blowout.

"We just went out there, we were focused on doing it right," Bruins coach Claude Julien told CSN New England. "And for us, it's a win that we needed, for all the right reasons, standings and everything else. I think our guys felt good about our performance tonight, and rightfully so."
Line Changes

Even as police in Montreal investigate whether Chara violated any laws with his check a couple weeks ago, Boston authorities won’t be involved this time --- unless somebody wants to file a missing team report. The Bruins dominated in every facet, including nearly doubling up the Habs with 41 shots on net. Boston goalie Tim Thomas, one of the leading candidates for the Vezina Trophy, made 24 saves for his eighth shutout of the season. 

There was a confession after the game, but nobody was Mirandized. 

Veteran Bruins forward Mark Recchi told The Boston Globe he intentionally tried to take the heat off Chara when he told  a sports talk station that Montreal embellished the severity of Pacioretty’s injuries, comments that drew strong rebuke from the Habs’ locker room earlier Thursday. 

"Well, I have to be honest with you guys, I wanted to take the heat off Zee for a day,'' Recchi told reporters afterward. "I'm a big boy. And I think anyone who knows me, knows that I have great respect for the Montreal organization. I played five years there. I have great respect for Doctor [David] Mulder, the medical staff there.

"I had five great years there,'' Recchi said of his time in Montreal. "I took the pressure off Zee. In 22 years, I've respected all my teammates, all the players I play against. My record has shown that. For 22 years. I just took the pressure off Zee for one day, I'm a big boy, I can handle that.''

Chara told The Globe he appreciated the gesture: 

"I obviously don't know exactly all the comments,'' Chara said of the remarks Recchi made on 98.5 The Sports Hub. ``But he's such a great teammate and such a respected guy and leader. It's a thrill to have him. We all learned so much from him. He's obviously the next Hall-of-Famer and such a classy guy. Like I said, I can't thank him enough to be my teammate and be part of this team, and helping all of us to be better.''

HILLER PULLED IN RETURN: Jonas Hiller, who hadn’t played a game since Feb. 13 as he was sidelined with vertigo, lasted only 11 minutes, 39 seconds into Thursday’s game in Nashville. He allowed three goals on nine shots before Dan Ellis was tapped to enter the game. Ellis actually took the loss in the Preds’ 5-4 victory. 

"I didn't think he saw the puck," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle told Eric Stephens of The Orange County Register. "I understand his first game back, it's not easy to pull him. In my mind, you don't do that against him. You do it for the rest of the team. That's what I always say."

Pittsburgh 2, Philadelphia 1 (SO)
Ottawa 2, NY Rangers 1 (SO)
Atlanta 2, NY Islanders 1
Boston 7, Montreal 0
Nashville 5, Anaheim 4
St. Louis 4, Edmonton 0
Toronto 4, Colorado 3   Phoenix 3, Columbus 0 
Los Angeles 4, San Jose 3 (SO)

-- A.J. Perez

Photo: Getty Images
Posted on: March 24, 2011 4:36 pm
Edited on: March 24, 2011 4:52 pm

Playoff Watch: Bruins, Habs set for rematch

WHO CAN CLINCH: No new teams can clinch tonight. 

ALREADY IN: The Vancouver Canuck, Philadelphia Flyers and Washington Capitals

GAME OF THE NIGHT: Montreal Canadiens (40-27-7) at Boston Bruins (40-22-10), 7 pm ET

This game would certainly have importance even if Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara’s check didn’t leave Montreal Canadeins forward Max Pacioretty with a broken bone in his neck and a severe concussion the last time these two teams met. The Bruins lead the Northeast by three points over the Habs, who are 4-1-0 against Boston this season. 

The reaction (overreaction?) by Montreal fans after Chara was ejected -- but not suspended -- over the incident on March 8 has quieted some since it became known that Pacioretty could make it back for the playoffs. Then Boston forward Mark Recchi goes on a sports talk radio station this week and says the Canadiens “embellished it a little bit.”

Still, there’s not likely to be the revenge-filled fracas that was the Pittsburgh Penguins-New York Islanders game on Feb. 11, which resulted in 23 games worth of suspensions. NHL commissioners Gary Bettman already warned Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli and Montreal Canadiens GM Pierre Gauthier against such an incident happening tonight, TSN.ca reports. 

“Everybody talks about revenge and what’s going to happen – and the build-up,” said Milan Lucic told CSN New England’s Joe Haggerty. “I’m sure they’re saying the most important thing for them is getting the two points, and I’m sure for them the most important is getting the two points because they’re right behind us in the standings.”

ALTERNATIVE VIEWING: Anaheim Ducks (41-27-5) at Nashville Predators (39-25-10), 8 p.m. ET

This game could mark the return of Anaheim Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller, who missed 15 consecutive games and 17 games total with vertigo. He was activated Wednesday and backed up Ray Emery in the Ducks’ 4-3 OT victory over Dallas. Hiller was a contender for the Vezina Trophy before his bout with dizziness forced him onto the IR. The Preds will counter with Pekka Rinne, whose goals-against average (2.07) is second only to Boston’s Tim Thomas this season. 

GOLF WATCH: The Ottawa Senators will need a victory to avoid elimination. The Colorado Avalanche and Edmonton Oilers are already mathematically eliminated. 

-- A.J. Perez

Photo: Getty Images
Posted on: March 21, 2011 1:47 am
Edited on: March 21, 2011 1:00 pm

Morning Skate: How long should Matt Cooke sit?

Zero? Eight? The 10 remaining games the Pittsburgh Penguins have left in the regular season and the playoffs? 

Exactly how long Pens forward Matt Cooke will be suspended for his elbow to the head of New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh Sunday afternoon overshadowed a solid day of hockey as all six games on the slate had some sort of playoff implications. Here's a look at the hit  in case you missed it. 

Cooke, the third rail that he is, will do that to a news cycle. 

A look at his checkered past -- which goes well beyond the fact he’s only been forced to sit 10 games during his career -- and there’s no way Cooke can be considered a victim. Still, he picked the worst time in league history to blindside a player, even though McDonagh remained in the game. Cooke received an elbowing major and a game misconduct for the third-period hit. 

Pens GM Ray Shero is just a few days removed from advocating a ban on all head hits  -- including hits similar to the check that has kept Pittsburgh superstar Sidney Crosby out for more than two months with a concussion -- at the league's general managers meeting. Majority owner Mario Lemieux even offered up a tiered fine system for teams whose players are suspended by the league. 

That fact it occurred on national TV where NBC analysts Eddie Olczyk and Pierre McGuire labeled the hit as dirty doesn’t help either. 

Line Changes

"I don't think you can talk about eliminating headshots as an organization and not expect that to be examined," coach Dan Bylsma told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review . "It looks to be contact right to the head. The league will look at that at treat it as such."

The Pens will likely soon get the ”clear and strong message” Lemieux wrote was lacking from the league after the NHL’s  response to last month’s fiasco between his team and the New York Islanders

If just about any other player -- maybe outside of maybe New York Islanders enforcer Trevor Gillies --  delivered the hit, this wouldn’t have lit up Facebook and Twitter like it did. The perceived hypocrisy for a team advocating for more stringent rules governing head hits despite continuing to employ Cooke was just too much for fans and pundits alike not seize upon. 

Here’s a quick roundup of opinions:

Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal :  
If this isn’t a suspension for the rest of the season, then the NHL’s Lord of Discipline, Colin Campbell, is really going soft. Maybe the real message for Cooke, though, would also be a detention for the playoffs, when the games really matter — when Cooke will hurt not only himself but his teammates by his absence in a lineup that is already short-staffed.

TSN’s Darren Dreger :
With the red-alert sensitivity to head hits, especially illegal head hits like the one that earned Cooke a major and game misconduct, it's conceivable the Penguins veteran, a repeat offender with a reputation for delivering cheapshots, could earn a 10-game suspension or more. That's based on league-wide reaction. 

Former NHL player Jeremy Roenick :

“I feel bad for Mario. He stuck his neck on the line to clean up dirty plays and his own player again puts him in a tough situation.”

Alec Schall, agent for injured Montreal Canadiens player Max Pacioretty

“Should NHL rules protect players like Cooke or Crosby? I say let's protect (Cosby) and when we want flying elbows to the head we can watch MMA.”

 Mike Brophy of Rogers Sportsnet :

The eyes of the hockey world will be on the NHL's hockey operations department to see how it handles the latest Cooke catastrophe. Anything shy of a major suspension (minimum 10 games) will not be met with support.

“I didn’t see him coming,” McDonagh said of Cooke. “I had no idea. I know it hurt, that’s for sure.”

I don't think you can talk about eliminating headshots as an organization and not expect that to be examined," coach Dan Bylsma said. "It looks to be contact right to the head. The league will look at that at treat it as such.


NY Rangers 5, Pittsburgh 2  
New Jersey 3, Columbus 0  
Nashville 4, Buffalo3 (OT)  
Montreal 8, Minnesota 1
Anaheim 5, Calgary 4 (OT)  
Chicago 2, Phoenix 1  

-- A.J. Perez
Photo: Getty Images
Posted on: March 18, 2011 4:30 am
Edited on: March 21, 2011 1:01 pm

Morning Skate: String of suspensions may continue

Apparently, the fact the NHL doled out suspensions on consecutive days didn't stop the questionable hits on Thursday.

Nashville Predators forward Patric Hornqvist delivered an elbow (or at least a shoulder) to Boston Bruins forward Tyler Seguin late in the first period, a collision that resulted in a gash near Seguin's ear that required stitches. North of the border, Tampa Bay Lightning captain Vincent Lecavalier was tossed after a two-hand chop delivered to Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban

So much for deterrent value. 

San Jose Sharks forward Dany Heatley was suspended Wednesday and Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand received a ban on Thursday, each receiving two games for blindside hits to the head. 

And Hornqvist, who received an elbowing major and a game misconduct, appears to be the most likely between two players ejected Thursday to be on tap for another ban. (The collision takes palce about 45 seconds into this replay .)

"I came into the room, and (the trainer) said 'nice ear lobe, it looks its falling off' and I got stitches," Seguin told CSNNE's Joe Haggerty after the Bruinhs fell, 4-3, in overtime. 

Haggery reports that the Preds tried to explain away the hit.
Preds coach Barry Trotz attempted to claim that his player “pulled his elbow in” at the last minute on the hit, but that leaves no explanation for how the 19-year-old’s ear was gruesomely ripped open and sewn together after the game. Perhaps it was the leprechauns on St. Patrick’s Day, eh Barry?

While it wasn’t a headshot, Lecavalier didn’t exactly deliver a love tap to Subban. Here's the video of the incident .  

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Lecavalier received a slashing major and a game misconduct after two-hand hack to Subban. Subban, who received slashing minor on the play, went to the locker room before he returned to the game.

Damian Cristodero of The St. Petersburg Times reports on what Lecavalier said preceded the slash and his reaction to the ejection:

"He slew-footed me a couple of times in front of the net," Lecavalier said of Subban. "And when I went around the net, he slashed me twice on the wrist, and that's when I turned around and slashed him back."

Subban went down holding his left arm. But the Lightning said its replays showed Subban was slashed on the thigh.

"I don't know about getting kicked out of the game," Lecavalier said. "Obviously, he came back, and he was well on the next shift." Subban was unavailable to reporters after the game.

PACIORETTY PROGRESSING: Max Pacioretty, the Canadiens forward carted off after his head collided with a stanchion last week, could be back as soon as the playoffs, Habs coach Jacques Martin told reporters on Thursday. 

“Good news today regarding Max Pacioretty,” Martin told The Montreal Gazette . “He’ll be able to return to training with contact within four to six weeks of his injury.”

That would mean he’d be able return to full practices as quickly as April 5, five days before the end of the regular season. Martin added that Pacioretty, who suffered a broken bone in his neck and a severe concussion, would “be on complete rest” until Saturday and would follow the league’s new concussion protocol that dictates a player’s route back to game action after a concussion. 

That’s certainly not bad for those who watched as he lay on the ice and wondered if the 22-year-old would be able to walk -- let alone play hockey --  again.  


Atlanta 4, Philadelphia 3 (SO)  
Detroit 2, Columbus 0  
Florida 4, Toronto 0 
Ottawa 3, New Jersey 1 
Montreal 3, Tampa Bay 2 (SO) 
Nashville 4, Boston 3 (OT)  
Dallas 5, Chicago 0  
Phoenix 3, Edmonton 1 
Calgary 5, Colorado 2
San Jose 3, Minnesota 2  
St. Louis 4, Los Angeles 0  
Posted on: March 16, 2011 3:24 am

Morning Skate: Pacioretty returns to Bell Centre

Max Pacioretty walked into the same arena he left stretchered out on exactly seven days ago. 

For his Montreal Canadiens teammates -- many seated feet from where his head bound off the turnbuckle after a check from Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara -- it was a welcome sight. His visit to Bell Centre was brief and included a chat with the team doctor before he returned home to watch the game, a contest the Habs dropped, 4-2, as the Washington Capitals won their ninth game in a row.

"The fracture in his neck has to heal but he doesn't have concussion symptoms and that's the key part," said defenseman James Wisniewski told The Canadian Press. "We've seen guys miss a significant part of time this year with headaches and stuff like that so for him to get out here and come to a game it's important and really meant a lot." 

While Pacioretty appears to be ahead of schedule as he recovers from a severe concussion and a broken bone in his neck, the league’s general managers met for a second day in Florida to discuss head injuries among other topics. 

There wasn't a consensus on recommending a “zero-tolerance” rule for all head shots, not that the Pacioretty-Chara fit into that category anyway. That hit was one of growing number of concussions as result of coming into contact with the boards -- and it appears boarding and charging will be monitored more closely going forward. 

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“There were a number of instances of boarding and charging, which while legal under the current rules, may be the types of hits that we can take out of the game (and) keep the fundamental physicality of the game,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said on Tuesday.

The league, however, didn't say Chara was even guilty of boarding either. It remains just what the referee at the time called it: a five-minute major for interference and game misconduct. That’s it. 
“As I've said, we have (general) managers that have played in the '60s and '70s and managers who have come off the ice recently,” NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell said. “We have got a pretty good feel on that hit, and the direction and the feedback we . . . (got was there was) nothing we thought was wrong in the hit.”

Bettman added: “When we polled the managers, overwhelmingly they thought it was a hockey play and a bad, unfortunate, horrific accident”

But the padded stanchion Pacioretty's head hit, however, may be reexamined. 

“We feel that some of the things we are going to look at, the playing surface, the boards, the extensions, are things that we have to do,” Bettman said. “But the actions of the player involved there, we didn't feel there was anything wrong after we reviewed everything today.”

That probably did little to placate the Montreal fans still miffed that Chara skated, even if The Montreal Gazette reported the Facebook-inspired rally was largely a bust a bust.

New Jersey 4, Atlanta 2
Washington 4, Montreal 2
Boston 3, Columbus 2 (SO)
NY Rangers 6, NY Islanders 3
Carolina 1, Buffalo 0
Philadelphia 3, Florida 2
Pittsburgh 5, Ottawa 1
Los Angeles 4, Nashville 2
San Jose 6, Dallas 3
Phoenix 4, Calgary 3\

-A.J. Perez
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

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com