Montreal Canadiens vs. Boston Bruins: Will Anyone Fight Zdeno Chara?
The Canadiens currently sit three points behind the hated Bruins in the Eastern Conference’s Northeast Division standings where the “Big Bad Bruins” currently sit in first place.
With Boston holding two games in hand, finishing first overall in the Northeast looks to be a bit of a pipe dream for the Canadiens, but you just know that the Canadiens are going to put as much heat as they possibly can on the Bruins, especially in light of what happened in the last meeting between these two clubs at Montreal’s Bell Centre.
For those of you that do not remember (as if that’s really possible), coming off a previous game in which both teams had engaged in a brawl, many fans were looking for the Canadiens to exact a measure of revenge upon the Bruins.
The Canadiens did so on the scoreboard, beating the Bruins for the fourth time on the season by a score of 4-1.
Unfortunately, that game was not without incident, as a hit along the boards on Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty from Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara resulted in a serious injury when Pacioretty appeared to be pushed into the stanchion that separates the two benches, which led to a severe concussion and a damaged vertebra.
Despite cries from the media, fans and many players, Chara was not disciplined by the NHL, resulting in Montreal fans protesting and calling for the heads of both NHL Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations Mike Murphy (who made the call not to suspend Chara) and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, who employs Murphy.
Heading into tonight’s action, it appears as if Bettman and company are taking no chances. Bettman has made an effort to speak to both organizations about tonight’s game, making it clear that he does not want to see dangerous hits and/or a donnybrook.
With the entire NHL and its fans anticipated to be watching this game, nobody wants to see anyone get hurt.
And besides, what are the Canadiens (who have been known to be called “the Smurfs” on occasion) going to do anyways? Have Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban slew-foot another player? Take a shot at Chara?
With few pugilists on the Canadiens roster and with few players (if any) that can handle Chara in a scrap in the entire NHL (remember when Chara tossed Bryan McCabe around like a rag doll???), few people expect the Canadiens to go after Chara, at least not in a fight.
It appears that, as in most cases when these “revenge games” pop up in the schedule, the Canadiens will have to be satisfied with beating the Bruins the best way they know how: on the scoreboard, where they have already beaten Boston in four of five matches.
Sorry, Montreal fans—if it’s revenge you are looking for, it appears as if that’s just not an option.
Until next time…