Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: zdeno chara
Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara will not be in the lineup against the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday.
Bruins coach Claude Julien made the announcement after the morning skate Thursday.
Chara is on injured reserve because of an upper-body injury sustained Sept. 24 during a preseason game against the New York Rangers. He had practiced Wednesday and served as a substitute on the second power-play unit.
Last season Chara, 38, had eight goals and 20 points in 63 games. He missed two months because of a knee injury.
From WEEI's DJ Bean:
Bruins captain Zdeno Chara skated by himself again prior to Thursday’s practice as he continues to rehab an upper-body injury injury suffered in last Thursday’s preseason game against the Rangers.
Chara was on the ice for at least 15 minutes, working with strength and conditioning coach John Whitesides. He worked mostly on retrieving pucks, catching passes and stick handling. It does not appear Chara is ready to shoot the puck, as he abstained from shooting aside from an occasional lazy wrist shot.
Claude Julien said on Tuesday that he was close to being ready to practice with teammates, but the fact that he was still working by himself Thursday suggests it’s unlikely he will join the team for the Bruins’ 11 a.m. practice.
via Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe,
Chara skated off the ice at 4:12 of the first period. It was announced that he had an upper-body injury. Coach Claude Julien did not have an update on Chara’s status immediately after the game, saying only, “He’s going to get evaluated, I guess, closely. We’ll see. Upper body.”
"We're not rebuilding, but we have to bounce back. We've got to regain our identity back, playing with more energy, more passion and bringing that consistency every night and that's when we were on top of our game when we play with that edge."
-Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins. Much more from Chara by Joe McDonald at ESPN.
from Joe McDonald of ESPN,
With the Boston Bruins beginning a new chapter in their storied history with a new general manager in Don Sweeney, and a revamped roster that includes plenty of new players, many think the of newcomers like Matt Beleskey or Jimmy Hayes would need to make a serious impact in order for the Bruins to be successful.
That statement is 100 percent true, but the success of the Bruins in 2015-2016 needs to begin with captain Zdeno Chara.
The 6-foot-9, 255-pound veteran defenseman had one of the worst seasons in his 17-year career during 2014-2015. Not only did he miss 19 games due to a torn ligament in his left knee, the 38-year-old never regained his form when he returned to action in mid-December.
Chara was slow, not the dominant defender the league has known, and yet was still forced to play an average of nearly 25 minutes per game. After the Bruins failed to reach the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time in eight seasons, Boston’s captain admitted he was never fully healed from his knee injury.
TSN's Travis Yost examines the "$6 million AAV club" of defensemen's respective impacts upon their employers, and he comes to the following conclusion(s):
1. It’s difficult to really find a beef with Erik Karlsson winning last season’s Norris Trophy. His team was significantly better by all three metrics with him on the ice (each comfortably clearing our above-referenced averages for the $6-million AAV Club). What’s interesting, though, is just how similar two defencemen – Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang, and Florida’s Brian Campbell – look here. Letang was having an absolutely monstrous season for the Penguins and had the raw point totals that voters love before his season was cut short due to injury. Say what you will about his sometimes-wild, sometimes over-tempo style of play – it clearly has a beneficial impact on Pittsburgh, much like Karlsson has for Ottawa. As for Brian Campbell, I recall a time when the general consensus about his contract was “it’s a disaster, and he’s borderline untradeable”. He’s been a machine for a few years now, though it's fair to wonder if his age – he turned 36 last May – is going to start having a depreciable impact.
Pro Hockey Talk is focusing on the Boston Bruins today, and James O'Brien superbly summarized the "State of the Bruins":
If nothing else, you shouldn’t confuse next season’s Boston Bruins with the group who failed to make the playoffs in 2014-15.
After a pretty impressive run of seven postseason berths, the Bruins fell two points short of the postseason, but apparently the bitter flavor of that campaign was too much for management.
Granted, as much as new GM Don Sweeney wants to modernize the team’s transition game, there are still some core tenants remaining.
The defense will depend upon aging star defenseman Zdeno Chara, perhaps more than ever. Tuukka Rask may be expected to earn every cent of his $7.5 million salary in 2015-16. It looked dicey for some time, but Claude Julien remains behind the bench.
It’s tough to gauge what, exactly, we should expect from a very different Bruins team. People probably won’t be any happier if they miss the playoffs again, though.
from Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe,
Zdeno Chara is not sure what happened. A switch flipped somewhere, and he went from being regarded as one of the best defensemen in the National Hockey League to an also-ran with too many years on his birth certificate and too many miles on his skates.
“That’s what struck me — what’s different?” the Bruins captain said Saturday. “One season I’m a Norris Trophy runner-up and the next season I’m too old. One year, all of a sudden you’re too old. It wasn’t fair.”
Injuries had intervened — a torn ligament in his left knee in October cost him 19 games — and he had struggled to return to form in the months following. He was injured again, this time a nondisplaced fracture of his left fibula, at the end of the regular season....
“I don’t understand why all of a sudden my age is an issue just because I got hurt and I missed a lot of games, a big chunk of the season,” said Chara, 38. “I don’t like it. I don’t like when people start to judge you based on age or the amount of games you played.
“I still feel very motivated, very confident that I’m going to be healthy and strong next season. I don’t know. Obviously I am planning to play beyond what maybe people are guessing or expecting. My plans have always been to play in this league at a high level for a long time.
“Age is obviously a number, but some players or some people are meant to play for way beyond that.”
via Hometown Hockey,
After being drafted by the New York Islanders in 1996, Zdeno Chara left Slovakia and moved to the other side of the world to pursue his pro hockey career. But before playing in the NHL, the 19-year-old had his first taste of North America in Prince George, where the 6-foot-9 defenseman played a season with the Cougars.
Below, watch Ron MacLean's essay on Prince George, BC....
from Caryn Switaj at BostonBruins.com,
The Bruins have been without captain Zdeno Chara for 19 games. Head Coach Claude Julien is planning on having him back in the lineup on Thursday night, when they host the Chicago Blackhawks at TD Garden.
"Not officially, but I’m counting on him," Julien said Thursday morning, while the team was on the ice for a pregame skate.
While the official decision hadn't yet been made for tonight, the talk about Chara's impending return has made for an excited Bruins' room.
Since he suffered the knee injury on October 23, it's been a long month and a half for the Bruins without their longtime leader.
"There was definitely some adversity throughout that time, and I think we've managed it pretty well overall," said alternate captain Patrice Bergeron, looking back on his time out of the lineup (the Bruins have gone 11-7-1 in his absence). "We definitely had some ups and downs, but it's still definitely going to give us a lift to have our captain back if he is back tonight."
continue, much more on the Bruins...
from Caryn Switaj of BostonBruins.com,
"This is completely different, separate, isolated from the other ligaments that are more critical in the maneuvering of the knee, so good news is, it's isolated to that ligament," Chiarelli told media during the press conference.
"Bad news is he's out 4-6 weeks. Might be a little earlier than four weeks, but a conservative time frame would be 4-6 weeks."...
"Well, it's obviously a blow," said Chiarelli. "He's one of the premier defensemen in the League, but I'd rather have it 4-6 weeks than 4-6 months."
The good news is that as of right now, Chara will not require surgery for his recovery.
"Right now, it's not a likely option," said Chiarelli. "But as you said, anything can happen. Anything can happen with anything, so I mean, I can't give you a 100 percent statement, confirmation, really on any injury."
Below, the play he may have possibly injured his knee.
from Joe Haggerty of CSNNE,
Zdeno Chara is famous for always looking for ways to improve his game, even after 1,132 games, even after 17 years in the league and even after reaching the pinnacle with a seemingly annual honor as a finalist for the Norris Trophy. It’s perhaps become a bit easier to search for improvement in recent years, though, as Father Time is catching up to the 6-foot-9 defenseman just a bit.
As the NHL gets faster and sleeker as an overall style of play, Chara needs to work that much harder to keep up as the largest individual in the league. The Bruins are doing their part by dropping his ice time: it’s gone down nearly a full minute over the course of four seasons from 25:26 in 2010-11 to a 24:39 mark last season that stood as his lowest ice time total in his Bruins career.
Chara is also doing his part to work on his speed and agility during his notoriously rigorous offseason training, and keep up with players in the league that are now literally half his age.
from Joe Haggerty of CSNNE who answered some questions from fans...
w/ cap issues, too many D and age starting to show, how do you feel about shopping big Z while value is still high?
JH: I feel like this may happen eventually if he continues to show his age in key spots during the season (cough, cough…the playoffs), but the Bruins would need to develop an exit strategy first. I don’t see anybody on Boston’s roster that could step in and become the defensive stopper and play 25-30 minutes a night against the other team’s best offensive players.
You could force Johnny Boychuk to play that role or push Dougie Hamilton into it before he’s potentially ready to take that on, but that could have negative consequences. Just look in Toronto where the Maple Leafs have pushed Dion Phaneuf into a stopper D-man role that he’s really not suited for, and Toronto’s entire defensive effort has been compromised because of it.
The bottom line: the guy was a Norris Trophy finalist last season and had an excellent year. Be careful what you wish for, especially now that the 6-foot-9 defenseman has agreed to park his big frame in front of the net on power plays. That’s been a big difference-maker.
more Boston related questions and answers...
From the NHL:
NHL ANNOUNCES 2013-14 ALL-STAR TEAMS
LAS VEGAS (June 24, 2014) -- Center Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins and defenseman Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins, who each earned his third career berth on the First All-Star Team, head the list of players voted to the 2013-14 National Hockey League postseason All-Star Teams. Crosby received First Team honors for the second consecutive season, while Chara earned a spot on the First Team for the first time since 2008-09.
Joining Crosby and Chara are two second-time selections to the First Team, right wing Corey Perry of the Anaheim Ducks and defenseman Duncan Keith of the Chicago Blackhawks. The squad also features two first-time recipients, left wing Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars and goaltender Tuukka Rask of the Bruins.
Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: alex+ovechkin, alex+pietrangelo, anaheim+ducks, boston+bruins, boston+bruins., chicago+blackhawks, colorado+avalanche, corey+perry, dallas+stars, duncan+keith, jamie+benn, joe+pavelski, nashville+predators, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+getzlaf, san+jose+sharks, semyon+varlamov, shea+weber, sidney+crosby, st.+louis+blues, washington+capitals, zdeno+chara
It's 5:31 AM and I'm sitting in disbelief, having watched a very solid Slovakian team lay an absolute egg in Sochi--and the Slovenians play wonderful, fantastic hockey en route to a 3-1 win, earned after forty minutes of scoreless hockey and moribund Slovakian showings against a plucky, speedy team, which gave the crazy Slovenian fans at the Bolshoy Ice Dome all sorts of reasons to cheer
For Red Wings fans, watching Tomas Tatar and Tomas Jurco play dominant hockey is fine and all, but Tatar and Jurco were by far the best players on team that was made mincemeat by a line of Anze Kopitar (1 goal, 5 shots, and Slovenia's only NHL representative) and current KHL'er Jan Mursak, and at the other end of the ice, Robert Kristan stopped 27 of 28 shots--Jurco's shutout-spoiler came with only 18 seconds left in regulation--while Zdeno Chara looked all alone on defense and Jaroslav Halak was just as shaky as St. Louis Blues fans feared he'd be at the Olympics.
The Slovakians never seemed to recover after Tomas Kopecky left the game in the 3rd period thanks to an inadvertent elbow to the head, as the AP's Larry Lage noted...
from Kerry Fraser of TSN,
Just as Jiri Tlusty was in motion to shoot the puck Zdeno Chara made a swing with his stick in desperation from a position well behind the shooter. Clear contact was made above the blade of Tlusty's stick resulting in a clean snap of the shaft and ultimately the loss of a scoring opportunity.
I have called penalty shots for much less!
more and watch the slash below if you missed it earlier...
Wow, I am sure most of us can recall some minor pulls, tugs, etc. that have been called.
Guess chopping Jiri Tlusty's stick is OK.
Sharks winger Tommy Wingels was forced from a game in Boston after taking a high hit from Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara with 2:28 to go in the first period. Wingels did not return.
from Kevin Kurz of CSNBayArea,
If McLellan had a problem with the Chara hit, he didn’t express it in his postgame presser, although he said earlier he “didn’t have a good angle, so I can’t comment.”
“You know what, every time somebody is hit now we quickly run to the video and we analyze – was it legal, was it illegal? It’s a hard game, and it’s played by hard players that have to get involved physically night in and night out,” said the head coach. “They have to take some lumps, too. We have to give some lumps, we have to take some lumps. If it’s dirty, I think it should be severely dealt with. If it’s hard hockey, than so be it.”
more on the game...
Watch the hit below and because of the far away camera view, I can't really tell what kind of hit it was...
from Joe Haggerty of CSNNE,
Should Chara have popped into his neighbor’s party given that the Cup’s appearance came courtesy of the 6-foot-9 defenseman and his B’s teammates falling in Game 6 of the Cup Final.
Chara was a minus-6 in the final three B’s losses to the Blackhawks in the Final, and was on the ice for a boatload of goals against as Boston’s defensive stalwarts collapsed against Chicago’s best players. A hip pointer helped add to Chara’s struggles, but it’s clear the Blackhawks really gave the B’s shutdown pair of Chara and Dennis Seidenberg some major problems.
While B’s teammates like Chris Kelly, Shawn Thornton and Tuukka Rask have talked about how much the “loss still stings” and how much it “sucked” less than two months later, Chara had no problems posing with Hossa in front of Lord Stanley’s Cup.
It was a 180 degree turn from the stoic, guarded persona Chara took on during the two month playoff run when he wasn’t interested in giving anything more than one sentence answers, and rightly put all focus into his efforts on the ice.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
The 2013 Stanley Cup Final has turned torturous for the Trencin Tower of Power. He was on the ice for five of Chicago’s six goals Wednesday night in Boston. He was on the ice for all three here in Game 6, including a pair by the clever, opportunistic Patrick Kane, and the empty-net dagger by Dave Bolland with 14 seconds left.
The Bruins are in a predicament, but that’s not solely because of their 6-foot-9-inch defensive zone monster. Hardly. Chara has not played well the last two games, but that’s a three-part issue: his own play, that of his teammates, and that of a rejuvenated, speedier Chicago attack that picked up its pace and pluck once Kane and Jonathan Toews were reunited on the same line for the start of Game 4.
The Hawks have played to their strength — their speed — and that has caused Chara to be uncharacteristically flat-footed a few times in the last two games. On Kane’s second goal Saturday night, Chara was near the Bruins’ goal line, fishing with his stick as Bryan Bickell dished out the pass that Kane expertly sent to the top shelf with a quick backhand lift.
A confident Chara would have reached Bickell in time, eliminated him on the spot, and instead of a pass to Kane, the play would have been headed out of Boston’s end. Chara knows that. We’ve seen it a million times in his years in Black and Gold. But we’ve also seen that if he struggles at all, it’s when small, skilled forwards zip around in Boston’s end and create options or skate into options.
Emelin had just crosschecked Tyler Seguin in the ribs.
from Joe Haggerty of CSNNE,
The numbers don’t lie, and Chara is a minus-7 over his last four games while showing signs of fatigue. There isn’t a soul that thinks it’s desire or effort that’s at the heart of Chara’s difficulties, and his coach thinks it’s merely the 6-foot-9 defenseman trying to do too much with so many of his teammates struggling around him.
“You talk about mistakes, but those are made when you’re not on top of your game,” said Claude Julien. “When you play with energy and you play with smarts you make good line changes. That energy level stays where it should be and your work ethic stays where it should be.
“But you’ve got only some guys producing for the team, and there are not enough of them. So they try to do a little more and produce a little more, and it hurts them more than it helps him. It just snowballs from there. We’ve got to rely on everybody to do their jobs and do them well.”
via the BostonHerald,
Bruins D-man Zdeno Chara is feeling better than expected, and may not be sidelined long with the suspected left knee sprain he suffered Saturday.
“Good, good, better than I expected,” said Chara, who disputed the idea that he will definitely miss one week. “The plan is to take it a day at a time. You can’t really put a time frame on it. It’s about how it feels, and it feels better than I expected. And then we go from there, see how it is tomorrow. You really know when you sleep on it, (see how it) the next day. So far, it’s been really good. It’s something I’m pleased with. There’s no time frame on when I might be back. Most likely I won’t be playing tomorrow, but that’s all I can tell you right now.”
via Fluto Shinzawa of the Bruins Blog at the Boston Globe,
Zdeno Chara will most likely not be available for games this week against Los Angeles, Ottawa, and Philadelphia because of a leg injury, according to a source.
If his recovery goes well, Chara might be ready for the Bruins’ home game against Montreal on Dec. 19. Or the Bruins could opt to keep Chara out of uniform until after Christmas to give his injury more time to heal. The Bruins play at Phoenix on Dec. 28.
“The guy’s 8 feet tall, and he’s jumping a player. That doesn’t translate as being very tough in my eyes. I’m emotional just like everybody else. When you see that happening to your own players, you wanna ... you know, I had some choice words, too, but it is what it is.”
-Cam Ward of the Carolina Hurricanes talking about Zdeno Chara jumping in on a scuffle in front of the Canes net. Watch that below and more from Ward by Mike Cole of NESN.
From Matt Kalman at NHL.com:
Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara left the scrimmage portion of his practice session early Monday during training camp at TD Garden after taking a shot off the inside of his left leg.
“Right now it’s a contusion and we’ll evaluate as we go along here,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “This is training camp and if he needs an extra day here, we’ll give him an extra day. If not, then he’ll be back on the ice tomorrow.”
Plus more on training camp in Boston today at the Boston Globe.
If you think that determining who the top goalie will be for fantasy teams this season is tough, wait until you attempt to sift through the number of defensemen who have been at or near the top of the scoring race the past couple seasons. I attempted to narrow down this list to five defensemen, but I had waaaay too difficult a time with that. Plus I’d be subjecting myself to far too much criticism from the masses! (By the way, I love the comments… keep ‘em coming.)
Filed in: Fantasy Hockey and Gaming, thegoods13, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: dan+boyle, defensemen, drew+doughty, duncan+keith, dustin+byfuglien, fantasy+hockey, keith+yandle, lubomir+visnovsky, mike+green, nicklas+lidstrom, shea+weber, zdeno+chara
from the CP at TSN,
A police investigation into Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara has been completed and the file has been transferred, as per standard procedure, to criminal prosecutors.
Now that the investigation’s over Crown lawyers must decide whether to lay charges over Chara’s devastating hit against Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty.
Geez, a full two minutes for Tim Thomas, Zdeno Chara and Patrice Begeron to talk about winning the Cup.
Wonder how much time they would get if the NHL wasn’t on NBC?
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
And so, two games into the 2011 Stanley Cup finals, we ask this question of Boston captain Zdeno Chara: mountain or rubble?
With the Bruins trailing 2-0 in their first Stanley Cup finals appearance since 1990, they face arguably the franchise’s most important game since they last won a Cup in 1972.
Lose in Monday night’s Game 3 and go down 3-0 against the Vancouver Canucks, and the series is over. Win, and the series script takes on a completely different tone.
This is not to suggest that Chara, the man who filled the Bruins’ captaincy when he signed as a free agent prior to the 2006-07 season, is required to take the entire Bruins squad on his mighty Slovak shoulders and single-handedly deliver victory. But surely it isn’t asking too much of the 6-foot-9 defenseman to lead by example, set a tone through his play and demeanor and inspire the rest of the Bruins.
He has the wherewithal and skill set to be that kind of player.
Q. Everyone is talking about creating more traffic in front of Luongo there. You seem to present the size. How much more help do you need of guys getting in his face?
ZDENO CHARA: I think it’s got to be a commitment from everybody, be willing to do that job, not just on power-plays. Obviously, five-on-five, whatever situation that is.
Q. Z, can you talk about on the power-play screening the goaltender, talk about the specific skills besides blocking the view of the goalie?
ZDENO CHARA: I think it’s a combination of being aware of where the puck is, obviously you have to be in the right position. Really, it’s just basically having the right instinct, where your feel the puck’s going to be, kind of predict a little bit, too.
A ton of quotes from the Boston Bruins today, including Claude Julien, Patrice Bergeron, Mark Recchi, Tim Thomas, Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg.
BOSTON BRUINS HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN:
On if they are done celebrating the Game 7 win…
Well I think one thing that we were done celebrating was the next day. That night was an opportunity for us to enjoy the moment and rightfully so but next day it was about getting our rest. And we started working on things yesterday and so it’s preparation here for the, for what we feel is obviously the biggest part of the season coming up. So it’s sunk in. I mean it sunk in that we’re there. It also sunk in that we’re not done. We realize that there’s a lot of work ahead of us, probably the hardest games to win as you know will be against a team that kind of dominated the league this year. And we know we’re capable of doing it. We certainly don’t feel like we’re a team that is not capable of winning games against this team and we’re going to have to go out there and prove it. And that’s the thing that we want to do, is prove that we’re as good a team as they are and that’s where the challenge lies.
On how big a factor Tim Thomas’s experience will be in the Stanley Cup Final…
from Joe Haggerty of CSNNE,
Zdeno Chara may finally be rounding into the leader everyone always wanted him to be.
That’s no knock on the 6-foot-9 defenseman and Bruins captain in his fifth year with the team, and his 13th year in the NHL, of course.
It’s more a nod to the demands that come along with wearing the ‘C’ on the Black and Gold sweater of the Spoked ‘B’ tribe, and the downright crazy expectations of a frothy fan base that hasn’t tasted from the Stanley Cup in 39 anguish-filled years.
Chara couldn’t just be a sterling leader by example or the hardest worker on the team as he’s always been during his All-Star, Norris Trophy caliber career with the Islanders, Senators and Bruins
From last night, in case you missed it:
And Kurtenblog’s Twitter:
From Arpon Basu at NHL.com:
Chara did not speak to the media after taking part in the entire skate, leading his teammates in the post-practice stretch, but Bruins coach Claude Julien suggested the chances his captain will play Monday night are strong.
“As of right now he’s looking good,” Julien said. “But I can’t stand here and say he’s definitely in.”
from the Boston Herald,
Bruins captain Zdeno Chara was hospitalized for dehydration last night, two sources told the Herald, and as of this moment is still being evaluated by the Bruins’ medical staff.
Presented with the information, team spokesman Matt Chmura confirmed that Chara was hospitalized last night. Chmura would not speculate on Chara’s availability for tonight’s Game 2 against the Montreal Canadiens.
added 11:05am, via Elliotte Friedman tweet,
Julien:until our medical staff tells me he can’t go, Chara is in tonight
From the CP via TSN:
“We’re still doing the investigation, but it’s going to be long,” said Sgt. Ian Lafreniere said Thursday.
Lafreniere said Chara doesn’t need to worry about being detained the minute he lands in Canada.
“It’s not the way we’re going to do things. We know who Mr. Chara is and we don’t have to apprehend him at customs.”
Some stories have surfaced out of Boston that Chara might face legal trouble in Canada, while others have indicated the case against the Bruins captain had been thrown out.
From Jesse Spector at The Blueshirts Blog:
One more injury for the Rangers in this MASH unit regular season, and it’s a big one. Ryan Callahan is “out indefinitely” with a broken ankle, and John Tortorella called it a “long-term” issue after the winger blocked a Zdeno Chara slap shot late in the third period of last night’s 5-3 win over the Bruins at the Garden.
Callahan, who returned to the lineup on February 1 after breaking his hand blocking a Kris Letang shot on December 15 in Pittsburgh, will not need surgery.
Video below shows shot block which caused the injury:
Canes, Bolts Present Huge Tests for Each Other this Weekend (and a Quick Thought on Boston/Montreal)
For the Carolina Hurricanes, tonight’s game in Tampa against the Lightning, the first half of a home-and-home between the two clubs, is about picking up two points and doing their part to stay alive in the race for the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
The ‘Canes trail eighth-place Buffalo by three points as each team prepares for its 74th game of the year tonight, with the Sabres hosting the Florida Panthers.
For the home squad, it’s about picking up the pieces and restoring whatever’s been lost of late. The Lightning have managed just a single regulation win this month and have seen their prolific offense dry up, averaging only 2.18 goals per game in March. Take out last Monday’s six-goal outburst in Toronto and that number shrinks below two – unfathomable, really, for a team that had averaged over three tallies per game not all that long ago.
Tampa Bay’s miserable March has included a quartet of losses to also-rans most recently, falling to Ottawa twice, Florida and the New York Islanders, but tonight, the Lightning will be forced to match the intensity level of a team still very much alive in the playoff race and combat the desperation that comes with so much on the line.
The Lightning aren’t in any real danger of missing the post-season – in fact, with a pair of regulation wins over Carolina tonight and tomorrow, they’ll close the book on that remote possibility outright – but, with their production having plummeted so severely these last few weeks, there’s no doubting the very real threat of an early playoff exit. With nine games remaining on the regular season docket, Tampa has some time to figure things out but, the worse this gets, the harder that will become, meaning the time to put an end to their current struggles is now.
Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes, Montreal Canadiens, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: dwayne+roloson, ryan+malone, steve+downie, steve+yzerman, zdeno+chara
We’ve learned over the years not to expect much from so-called revenge games, like tonight’s Montreal/Boston showdown – the first meeting between the two since the ill-fated collision of Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara, Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty and a poorly-placed, scarcely-padded stanchion.
You know, the hit that was either attempted murder on Chara’s behalf or a hockey play gone afoul, depending on who you ask?
You know, the hit that either concussed Pacioretty and fractured a vertebra in his neck or resulted in a little boo-boo, depending on whether or not Mark Recchi is asked his opinion?
Yeah, you know.
And, if you don’t, you’ve either been in a coma (or maybe just napping, according to Recchi?) or under a rock somewhere since the play in question went down a little more than two weeks ago.
via the CP at The Hockey News,
Quebec’s Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions has requested a police investigation into Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara over the hit that hospitalized Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty.
The agency has forwarded its recommendation to the provincial government’s Public Security department.
This does not mean there will be an investigation—much less an attempt to prosecute—but simply signals the first step in any such procedure.
The move comes after the National Hockey League declined to suspend Chara.
via BostonBruins tweet,
The NHL has informed the Bruins that there will be no fine and no suspension for Chara
From the NHL:
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.”
From Ken Campbell at The Hockey News:
“What people are upset in this room is that I guess he drove the elbow through the head with an intent to injure kind of thing,” Cammalleri said. “I don’t think Chara premeditated this, but from experience when a player gets under your skin for whatever reason, you remember it and you notice when he’s out there. You know whom you’re playing against. Especially a divisional opponent because you’re so familiar. You can almost tell by the movements of a player. There’s a lot of tells, from what brand of stick they’re using to how they tape it.”
Canadiens goalie Carey Price said the history between Chara and Pacioretty probably played a part. In a Jan. 8 game between the Canadiens and Bruins, Pacioretty scored in overtime, then shoved Chara out of the way, which was the genesis of the hard feelings between the two players.
“Well that’s the whole thing,” Price said. “They do kind of have a history and that adds fuel to the fire. The only person who knows is (Chara).”
Other Team Reactions:
from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,
Thanks to the Twitterverse, reaction was instantaneous. Canadiens fans wanted Zdeno Chara arrested, while Bruins supporters dismissed it as a love tap (as usual, the most gutless were profane in their disagreement, secure in the knowledge they could safely slur over the Internet). People without Montreal or Boston logos in their avatars lacked any kind of consensus. And after watching several different replays many different times, I can’t say Chara deliberately tried to injure Pacioretty.
But that’s the NHL’s biggest problem right now. What’s made it better than ever has also made it more dangerous than ever.
From Bob McKenzie at TSN:
To me, it looked as though Chara was compensating for potentially being beaten to the outside by Pacioretty and after the puck had been advanced up the ice, the big defenceman attempted to rub the Canadien winger into the boards.
But here’s the bottom line for me. Chara was rightfully assessed an interference penalty on the play. Because of the obvious injury, it was a five-minute major.
Certainly, if the partition weren’t there, it would have been no more than a two-minute minor for interference and there almost assuredly would have been no injury on the play. But the partition was there and, ultimately, Chara is responsible for the outcome. He made an illegal play that caused injury and even if there was an absence of malice, Chara is still responsible.
Chara received five for interference, a 10 and game misconduct.
The video is from the French feed for Montreal.
Update 9:45pm ET: via CKAC, Pacioretty was apparently conscious on the stretcher, while still on the ice.
Update 9:49pm ET:: via Francois Gagnon on Twitter—
#Habs le transport de pacioretty vers l’hopital se veut d’abord et avant tout une mesure préventive…
(Translates roughly that Pacioretty is being transported to the hospital, intended first and foremost as a preventative measure…)
Update 9:59pm ET: more tweets from Francois Gagnon (These translated via Google) -
Habs # Crusader as it exits the locker room, the CEO Pierre Gauthier was still angry, but seemed relieved by the positive news
NHL should impose a minimum of 10 games. unless Bettman still talking about bad luck ...
More video below…
via Joe Haggerty tweet,
Zdeno Chara said he got idea for hat-tossing pantomime after his hat trick from Peter Bondra, and always hoped he’d be able to do it someday
Chara’s hat toss starts at the 1:50 mark of the video.
from Joe Haggerty of CSNNE,
Chara was also out on the ice for all three of Montreal’s goals in the final few minutes of the third period and the overtime session, and he clearly had some explaining to do.
Chara’s icing attempt at an empty-net goal with Carey Price yanked from the Montreal net turned out be a big play in the game: it forced a face-off in Boston’s defensive zone with their fourth line on the ice when it missed wide of the net by a mere four inches.
That sequence of events perfectly set up Brian Gionta’s game-tying goal second later after a James Wisniewski point shot bounced off both Tim Thomas’ skate and Gionta’s skate before skidding by the stunned B’s goaltender.
Chara was his usual solid Slovakian presence throughout the game, and the B’s Captain went cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs after the game was over.
more plus watch Chara go ‘cuckoo’ below…