Top Left Header
Header
Sports
Arrow
Title - Hockey Country
Follow OurHometown.ca on... Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow us on RSS Follow Us with E-Mail Updates!
Follow Me on TwitterGreg Smith is the Ottawa Senators' correspondent for OurHometown.ca. Greg was born and bred in Ottawa. An original Senators season ticket holder, he has followed the Senators from their infancy, including attending the very first inter-squad game in Hull and first regular season game to this their 20th year in the NHL. Greg previously interned at CBC radio sports in Toronto for a month before hosting his own radio talk show on CKCU radio in Ottawa for two years. Passionate about his Senators, Greg will provide current news and views on the Ottawa Senators organization from a global perspective. Greg is the Editor-in-Chief of FightingForStanley.ca If you have questions or wish to contact Greg, you can email him at gsmith@ourhometown.ca.
Chara, Public Enemy Number One returns to Montreal
Greg Smith
OurHometown.ca

Fighting For Stanley
Chara, Public Enemy Number One returns to Montreal
Zdeno Chara, public enemy number one will make his return to the ice in Montreal tonight as the Boston Bruins visit the Montreal Canadiens. To say that Chara is public enemy number one is an understatement in a city that boils with reverent hockey fever.
PHOTO CREDIT - The Star Phoenix

Ottawa - Oct. 29, 2011 - Zdeno Chara, public enemy number one will make his return to the ice in Montreal tonight as the Boston Bruins visit the Montreal Canadiens. To say that Chara is public enemy number one is an understatement in a city that boils with reverent hockey fever. You can argue that the Toronto Maple Leafs are the most hated team in Montreal, but is there really any player who is hated more?

The ire of all Montreal Canadiens fans stems from the incident on March 8, 2011 when Chara checked Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty into the stanchion at the end of the bench. The location of the hit and blunt force resulted in Pacioretty suffering a non-displaced fracture of his 4th vertebra and a severe concussion. Pacioretty missed the remainder of the season but to his credit, Pacioretty recovered in time to start the 2011-12 season with the Canadiens and is leading the team in scoring with 9 points in 10 games. Chara, who was remorse in his statements, seems to have had little after effects from the hit. At first he was tentative and cautious for about 5-10 games, but since then has put the incident behind himself, leading his team to a Stanley Cup victory.

Depending on what side of the fence you sit on, the hit was either malicious or not. Almost to a man, every Montreal Canadiens fan thinks the hit was malicious and the Chara meant to hurt Pacioretty. Boston Bruin fans think the hit was a penalty at worst and that Chara was just following through on the play. The referees gave Chara a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct. NHL VP of hockey operations Mike Murphy reviewed the tape and decided that justice had been done and the no further punishment was needed.

At 6 feet 9 inches and 260 pounds, Chara is the biggest player to ever play in the NHL. His physical style and thundering body checks have become legendary amongst current NHL players. Pacioretty, who is 6 feet 2 inches and 210 pounds, was caught in the wrong place on the ice and was defenseless while getting rid of the puck.

Regardless of whether the hit was malicious or illegal by NHL rules, was Chara’s action warranted? What protection should be afforded a defenseless player? Was it strictly just a case of being hit at the wrong place on the boards? Has the game become too fast? What respect do the players have for one another? The hit leaves many questions unanswered and always will.

Outcry from the hit was immense. Radio call in shows were jammed with angry fans; print media plastered pictures of the now infamous hit all over their pages, with commentaries calling for Chara’s head. A criminal investigation was announced by the Montreal police. Air Canada threatened to remove its sponsorship if the league didn’t take measures to prevent further violence in the league. Video of the incident was played and re-played over many times on TV news and sports shows, with personalities taking both sides of the argument.

Tonight is the first night that Chara returns to the Bell Centre for a regular season game against the Canadiens. Oh sure, Chara has been back before, but that was for a playoff game. Stakes are too high in the playoffs to settle old scores which have to be put on the back burner. Any mistake, any retribution at the wrong time in a playoff game can not only cost your team the game but could wind up costing them the series. Players are careful in just how far they can go in the playoffs.

However, the regular season is different. This is the time that old scores can be settled. The city and media will be at a fever pitch when the game starts, that’s what hockey in Montreal is all about. The Canadiens will have to be weary not to get caught up in all the emotion. The NHL will be watching closely and so will I.


Follow OurHometown.ca on... Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow us on RSS Follow Us with E-Mail Updates!
Send Us Your Thoughts


Title - Story Count
7,741 Stories & Growing Daily...

To date OurHometown.ca has posted a total of 7,741 stories! News, sports, hockey, lifestyle, opinion and more!

Be sure to check out our Contributors and Columnists archives!

Dubnyk was nothing more than adequate for the Edmonton Oilers in 2013


Title - More OH Headlines
Click on Photo or Story Title for more info
Windsor-Essex well represented on Day 3 at Rio 2016
Tim Raines and the 2017  Hall of Fame Vote
Cornwall to host 19th Annual Shorty Jenkins Curling Classic
NBL Canada Board issues fines to Halifax Rainmen
SNAPSHOT - Ontario native eyes second Super Bowl ring
OurHometown.ca News Database Last Updated:
Mar. 27, 2018 @ 12:24 PM EDT






Footer
Free Sitemap Generator