I was pretty psyched for the game last night, as it appeared it was going to be a great rematch from the last fight-filled victory against those fucking Habs.
The game started with a great bout between Upchuk and White, after Upchuk tried to drill Subban. Both players stood in there and traded blows in a pretty long fight.
And then the Bruins went to sleep. They slept and let the fucking Habs run goddamn circles around them. Kaberle (who still hasn't done shit, in my opinion) missed passes, Horton went wide when he should have cut to the middle, Rask failed to make the timely saves, blah blah blah. It's a blueprint that we're used to seeing unfortunately, and I expected more from the boys.
And then, with the 2nd period winding down, Chara absolutely destroyed Paccioretty by the bench. The sound it made when his face hit the edge of the boards made my stomach turn. He layed motionless for quite some time in a position that is normally reserved for unconscious people on The Family Guy (legs splayed, one arm in a weird position).
I've watched the replay about a million times now and here are my thoughts.
-It was not a dirty hit. At least several times a game, you see players get rubbed out in that same area. This one just happened with a huge amount of force, as both players (one of whom is 6'9" and 250+) were skating hard. The hit, and I hesitate to call it that as it wasn't an actual hit, was brutal. It was nasty. But it wasn't dirty. Yes, there is a difference. If Upchuk had connected with his earlier attempted hit against Subban, that would have been brutal, but not dirty.
-Chara is not a dirty player. To be honest, the Bruin player that most often comes to (and occasionally crosses) the line is Lucic. Players and fans around the league know that Chara is a huge man that generally plays much, much smaller than his actual size. I'm sure his career stats will show that he has more than the average amount of elbowing minors, but the guy is generally six to eight inches taller than most of the people he is hitting. Those calls are inevitable with a guy as tall as him.
-Chara spoke with the press after the game and stated that it was not his intention to do what happened. I believe him. Yes, I'm a fan of the Bruins. But I also think that I've seen enough of Chara over the past few years to believe what he's saying. His physical play has really tailed off since his arrival on the Bruins (hits, fights, etc.) and though the nastiness can come out on occasion, this is not how he plays all the time.
-I can't stand Paccioretty, with his turtling ways and the way he constantly runs his suck, but I do hope he is okay. No one likes to see anyone on the ice like that. This is a fucking game and these guys go out night after night and play a game that is fast, mean and dangerous. No other atheletes (possibly rugby players) could withstand the punishment these guys get every night. Hockey has always been a nasty sport, and that continues today, but what Chara did is not akin to a hit from behind (Cooke on too many occasions that I care to count). It's not a highstick in someone's face and it's not a suckerpunch. Both players were battling hard for their spot on the ice. Paccioretty lost. Like I said, I hope he's okay, but I still don't like him.
-Chara has a call at noon with the NHL. I'm guessing 3 games, as this hit was all over the broadcasts that normally could give a fuck about hockey. I don't agree with it, but what the fuck are you going to do?
There. It's going to be retarded over the next few days with all this shit swirling around, but the Bruins need to focus on the cause(s) of the fucking abortion they put on the ice last night. Drive on, focus on the fucking game, and figure out how to score some goals. How the Bruins respond after last night's game and its events will either help them rise and continue their push...or it will sink all chances and they'll slip quietly away over the rest of the season.