Chara 'respects' Pacioretty's emotional response


Chara 'respects' Pacioretty's emotional response

By Joe Haggerty

BOSTON Zdeno Chara, in a brief conversation with reporters Thursday morning after an optional skate at TD Garden, said he understood the strong emotions expressed by Max Pacioretty from his hospital bed on Wednesday night.In an interview with Bob MacKenzie of, Pacioretty accused Chara of trying to guide his head into the turnbuckle Tuesday night, and proclaimed that Chara meant to do it."Chara -- who said he didn't even know it was Pacioretty that he was hitting -- knows the Montreal forward is emotional after suffering a severe concussion and a non-displaced fracture of the fourth vertebrae. But he reiterated there was nothing intentional or purposeful about his check, from which the injuries resulted when Pacioretty slammed into the stanchion between the benches at the Bell Centre.
"Pacioretty is in the hospital, said Chara. He has the right to be emotional, and I respect that. As hockey players, we all feel bad when something like that happens no matter whether youre the home team or the visiting team. Theres always concern when somebody gets hurt.It was a hockey play. It wasn't intentional. That's not my style. I never try to hurt anybody. It's not what I attempted to do.Chara said he was also relieved there was no further discipline from the National Hockey League as a result of the hit, and added he fully intends to keep playing the tough, clean, punishing brand of hockey thats always been a staple of his game and allowed to reach All-Star and Norris Trophy levels.Chara has gone 13 years and 913 games without a supplemental discipline infraction, and one gets the sense he takes that as a badge of pride."Im satisfied and happy about it. Relieved, said Chara of the NHLs decision. They looked at it and made a decision, and I respect that.Chara also said he was made aware of the political and police machinations stirring at Habs Outrage Ground Zero in Montreal. Charas response: he was planning to simply play his game and not worry about grandstanding prosecutors and politicians looking to curry favor with votersangry Canadiens fans."I've got some media info on the police investigation this morning, said Chara. I'm focusing on the game and playing hockey. We'll see" Injured Bruins defenseman Steve Kampfer has an interesting take on the CharaPacioretty situation. The Boston rookie played with Pacioretty at the University of Michigan for a season, and knows the kind of injuries the Canadiens forward has; he suffered a fractured skull and a broken bone in his neck after an off-ice incident with college football players during his time with the Wolverines.Kampfer called Alec Schall the agent he shares with Pacioretty when Pacioretty had his head and neck slammed into the turnbuckle, and talked to him for 90 minutes.I told my agent Ill be the first one to talk to Max if he wants to talk, said Kampfer. Ive gone through this before. I can definitely give him some pointers along the way of what hes going to expect and what hes going to encounter.But at the same time, I support Zee. Hes essentially my mentor and Im learning a lot of things from him. I believe that what Chara said is what happened. Pacioretty is recovering and hes getting bits and pieces of whats going on. I guess he lashed out in the media, and you expect that kind of thing from a guy thats hurt. Hes definitely hurting because hes looking at his season possibly being over. Thats never easy to swallow. Kampfer, who's recovering from a concussion, said he had a "setback" with a headache onWednesday night after attempting to ride the bike for 15 minutes, andwill rest and make another attempt over the next fewdays.
Tim Thomas looks like he'll be getting the start against the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night, and it appears his left glove hand is just fine.
Joe Haggerty can be reached at Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Morning Skate: 'After Hours'? Injured Jagr is open


Morning Skate: 'After Hours'? Injured Jagr is open

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while wondering if it shouldn’t be more of an issue that potential Red Sox manager Alex Cora was good buddies with Dustin Pedroia when the two played together in Boston.

*Jaromir Jagr suffers a lower-body injury and then goes on Hockey Night in Canada’s “After Hours” program to show once again how wonderful it is to be “The Jagr.”

*The Ottawa Senators get Erik Karlsson back this week, but now they’ve lost power forward Bobby Ryan for a month with a broken finger.

*The Montreal Canadiens are getting exposed for the very flawed team that they are during a brutal start to the 2017-18 season.

*Keep an eye out on the Los Angeles Kings now that they’ve suffered an injury with Jeff Carter and do appear to be in the running for the playoffs this season.

*New Jersey Devils fans help a singer belt out the national anthem after there might have been a case of forgetting the words.

*Doug Gilmour might not have always enjoyed the prying eyes while playing in Toronto, a case that gives you an idea what it’s like to be a pro hockey player in a market like Toronto where everybody knows your name.

*For something completely different: There’s no doubting that Aaron Judge has brought life and energy back to the Yankees and that’s something that’s very good for baseball.


Brutal loss shows Bruins reaching their limit for injuries


Brutal loss shows Bruins reaching their limit for injuries

BOSTON – It feels like the Bruins might finally be hitting their critical mass with all of the injuries in the first few weeks of the season.

The B’s were down Tuukka Rask, Adam McQuaid, Kevan Miller and David Krejci as the new injuries Saturday night and clearly missed those players, along with the others currently out with injuries in a 5-4 overtime loss to the Buffalo Sabres at TD Garden. The Bruins had a three-goal lead in the second period and a two-goal lead in the third but frittered away both while allowing the hapless Sabres to outshoot them 21-6 in the third and overtime.


Anton Khudobin battled his rebound control for most of the game while facing 42 shots on net but it was the absence of Miller and McQuaid in the D-zone that made it a little too easy for Buffalo to push Boston when it mattered late.

Torey Krug was on the ice for the last three of Buffalo’s goals and was out penalty killing late in the third period in a spot where he would never have been in if the B’s were healthy on the back end.

“That’s where the appreciation comes in for the Kevan Miller’s and the Adam McQuaid’s of the world. They’re not always flashy, but in those instances, they’re money. They get it done. And that’s why they are paid to get it done,” said Bruce Cassidy. “So yes, we miss them. But, last week we missed other players. So the guys that are out there, it’s up to them to get it done, right?

“It didn’t happen tonight, and hopefully we learned from it and can be hungrier the next time. There’s not much else to analyze that. That was it. Someone had to play in that situation. We pick guys who we figure would get the job done, and it didn’t work out for us. Next time, we’ll keep working at it.”

As part of the injury factor, there are also players that are banged-up and back in who are also clearly not back to full strength. Patrice Bergeron (lower body) and David Backes (diverticulitis) are both back from their early-season issues and Krug continues to play with a healing fractured jaw, but all three key players combined for just a single assist and three shots on net in a game that featured nine goals.

Krug was the most noticeable weak link in the loss as he was overwhelmed in the D-zone on the game-tying goal when an Evander Kane shot bounced on him on its way into the goal. Krug was down on his stomach after losing his balance while battling in front of the net. Krug then was out for an extended period in OT before bumping a Sabres player around the crease who fell into Khudobin just as Ryan O’Reilly was pushing the game-winning goal past him.

Krug spoke on Saturday morning about feeling like things were starting to come together for him but he finished a minus-3 against the Sabres with his big, bad teammates out with injuries. He's a startling minus-8 after the first two weeks of the season.

“Obviously we have to do a better job tonight. Two-goal lead in your own building, it’s got to be the hardest place for the opposing team to come in and overcome that. We’ve got to be better,” said Krug. “I thought I had an opportunity to win a battle in the corner on that loose puck. Just trying to swat away and all of a sudden it comes out the other side, and we just couldn’t overcome. That’s survival mode. “Especially when they were able to make changes like they were. We just got to stay calm, composed, and make sure we’re not getting beat one-on-one. We obviously managed it for a while, but we just couldn’t get the puck back.”

It was also clearly about Khudobin, who had a big chance to put the Bruins team on his back with Rask out with a concussion. The Russian netminder made 37 saves and at times looked energetic and ready to battle between the pipes but at other times couldn’t make the clean save that the Bruins needed in order to get a whistle and calm things down. In OT, Khudobin couldn’t make a clean glove save on a Rasmus Ristolainen tester from the high slot that would have allowed the Bruins to get some tired players off the ice in the 3-on-3 OT.

Instead, Krug, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak were out on the ice for 2 minutes, 15 seconds and eventually got beaten on O’Reilly’s play that took the puck straight to the Boston net. Cassidy called it an “erratic” night for Khudobin when they needed calmer, more poised play from their goaltender and that was clearly a reflection of the Black and Gold missing Rask.

“[Khudobin] was erratic. He battles. We love that about him. He battled to the end. [He] certainly made his share of saves. We need to be better in front of him,” said Cassidy. “But there were times that, there were fires that needed to be put out [on plays] that shouldn’t have been necessary. But that happens sometimes.

“[There were instances] in the third period, plus overtime, where we needed to calm the game down. Whether it’s a face-off, even right before the overtime goal, we had opportunities to get possession out of that pile. They came out with it. And that’s what I said. They were hungrier than us. Late, they won more pucks. If we win that puck out of that pile, we might not be talking about losing. Maybe we get out of trouble and it goes our way. We’ll never know.”

Maybe things would have gone the Bruins way if they had more of their walking wounded back and contributing. Instead, it feels as if the B’s are being tested with new, damaging injuries with each passing day. A number of those had a direct impact on a brutal loss to the Sabres on Saturday night. One has to wonder if there are more of those coming until the Bruins can start stabilizing their medical situation.