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Max Pacioretty plays for first time since Zdeno Chara hit

Max Pacioretty

Montreal Canadiens’ Max Pacioretty keeps his eyes on the puck during warmups before a preseason NHL hockey game against the Buffalo Sabres in Montreal, Wednesday, Sept., 21, 2011. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Graham Hughes)


The last time we saw Max Pacioretty on the ice for the Montreal Canadiens, he was being taken off on a stretcher after being run into a stanchion by Bruins captain Zdeno Chara. After police investigations, a feisty playoff series between the Bruins and Canadiens, and just over six months gone, Pacioretty was back on the ice in a game.

Pacioretty suited up tonight for the Canadiens in their preseason game against the Buffalo Sabres and for Pacioretty, it was his first step towards getting back into the mix full time for Montreal.

After suffering broken vertebra in his neck and a severe concussion, Pacioretty playing once again gives the Habs great hope that he’ll be able to continue his ascension in Montreal as one of their better forwards. Seeing him get back to action also shows the strangeness for how treating a concussion works. We’ve seen how guys like Sidney Crosby, David Perron, and Peter Mueller among others have lost months and even a season’s worth of action while dealing with their head injuries.

Pacioretty is just over six months removed from his concussion and is back to game action. Some believe that players who suffer concussions can come back quickly and get right back to action. Given the severity of Pacioretty’s injury, you’d think that six months would be a relatively quick amount of time. Judging these injuries based how others treat them, however, is wrong to do. Different players respond differently to treatment. Pacioretty has apparently moved quickly in his recovery.

After seeing Chara’s investigation in Montreal come to a close and with Pacioretty back on the ice, the only final piece left for full closure is for both of them to face each other on the ice in a regular season game. Good luck toning down the hype that will build for that first match up in Montreal.