FanDuel - WFBC

March 09, 2011

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle:

A place to discuss the sports stories that aren't making news, share links that aren't quite front-page material, and diagram plays on your hand. Remember to count to five Mississippi before commenting in anger.

posted by huddle to general at 06:00 AM - 36 comments

Holy crap, Chara.

posted by fabulon7 at 08:07 AM on March 09

Catch of the day.

posted by rcade at 08:57 AM on March 09

Catch of the day.

The guy next to him definitely owes him another beer.

posted by graymatters at 11:03 AM on March 09

Holy crap, Chara is right.

I didn't see the game. Couple of questions come to mind, though. 1-Is there anyone on Montreal who is capable of sending a message to Chara that the hit was bullshit? 2-Did they do it? 3-For the anti-fighting crowd, should a player be suspended for doing so?

posted by tahoemoj at 01:34 PM on March 09

1 no 2 no 3 - (not in that crowd)

Came dangerously close to having the first in-game NHL player death last night. The league needs to ban Chara permanently. It was a deliberate act to seriously injure an opponent.

Here's how it's likely to play out:

1. Chara's first serious infraction this year and 2. he's a big part of the Bruins success both on the ice and financially

My guess is that equates to 5 games.

Best case scenario is that Pacioretty is able to walk again someday.

posted by cixelsyd at 03:16 PM on March 09

Came dangerously close to having the first in-game NHL player death last night. The league needs to ban Chara permanently. It was a deliberate act to seriously injure an opponent.

Just out of curiosity, what is your stance on Bertuzzi still playing in the NHL?

posted by NoMich at 03:29 PM on March 09

Absolutely fucking unbelievable. It apparently will take a death for the NHL to pull its head out of its ass.

posted by wfrazerjr at 04:26 PM on March 09

Came dangerously close to having the first in-game NHL player death last night. The league needs to ban Chara permanently.

Oh just stop it. I'm not defending the hit, but I do think there's a heck of a difference in proving intent between Chara rubbing some guy out next to the start of the boards versus Matt Cooke lining up Marc Savard with an elbow. If the latter isn't much of a punishment, they've painted themselves into a corner for the former.

posted by yerfatma at 04:31 PM on March 09

Look, the NHL takes it's lumps for their "wheel of justice" style of secondary punishment, but I believe they got this one right. Last night's hit wasn't a grossly intentional hit meant to injure, a la McSorley or Bertuzzi. And it wasn't committed by a repeat offender, a la Cooke or Gilles. I've already said that the major and game misconduct was too much, but referees always over-react when there's an injury involved. Bottom line, there was nothing in the hit that warrants any more punishment. It sucks that the guy getting hit was injured, but that tends to happen in contact sports...

posted by MeatSaber at 04:50 PM on March 09

Just out of curiosity, what is your stance on Bertuzzi still playing in the NHL?

Same stance - he shouldn't be playing

Oh just stop it

Agreed they are in a corner.

Unlike other sports, I'm somewhat objective towards hockey in that I don't have specific teams I like to follow. I do prefer physical hard hitting teams and games, but hate the blind side / head hunting crap that has taken the place of face to face hitting or even fighting.

I see absolutely no difference between Chara or Cooke's actions - they were deliberate attempts to injure. Explain to us why boarding and ramming a player's head into a upright should be considered more acceptable than charging and an elbow to the head?

posted by cixelsyd at 04:54 PM on March 09

I disagree that it was a deliberate attempt to injure. To me, that is poor rink design that is asking for trouble, and I'm surprised we don't see this more often.

posted by bender at 05:20 PM on March 09

I really don't know what to think about the hit--it looked dirty, but I'm also enough of a hockey fan to know that Chara is considered a tough, rather than dirty player. I guess only he knows what was going through his head at the time, and how aware he was of the potential of the result.

That being said, I hope someone steps up and makes him pay the price for that result. The guy's enormous, but not known to be terribly prone to fighting. Not sure who might be successful, as Rupp, Koci, and Laraque have all recently taken a shot at him and come up short. Maybe Gionta on Gomez' shoulders under a big trenchcoat?

posted by tahoemoj at 05:47 PM on March 09

I hope someone steps up and makes him pay the price for that result. The guy's enormous, but not known to be terribly prone to fighting.

Color me biased, but I think there is a reason he's not prone to fighting: I've see people try to go with him. It ain't pretty.

posted by yerfatma at 05:53 PM on March 09

I've see people try to go with him. It ain't pretty.

Funny, you'd think that a 6'9" guy who goes around 260 and has an Olympic wrestler for a father would be kind of a pushover. He's just lucky I hung up the blades a few years ago.

posted by tahoemoj at 05:59 PM on March 09

I hope someone steps up and makes him pay the price for that result

Bryan McCabe (6'2'' 220 lb) wishes the player who steps up the best of luck

posted by tommytrump at 06:06 PM on March 09

Just out of curiosity, what is your stance on Bertuzzi still playing in the NHL?

I hate that he is on the Red Wings.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 06:21 PM on March 09

I hate that he is on the Red Wings.

That makes 2 of us...

I see absolutely no difference between Chara or Cooke's actions

So there's no difference between incidental and intentional? Chara didn't grab Pacioretty and drive him into the partition. If this same play happens in a corner, we're not even talking about it today.The only way to get rid of these kind of plays is to ban contact of any kind in hockey. Good luck with that.

Hypothetical...if Brashear hadn't been knocked out by McSorley's slash to his head, does it make slashing guys in the head OK, as long as you don't injure them? Punishing a player because of the result of a play is the wrong way to go. If you punish Chara for this hit, you have to punish every player who shoves an opponent, whether they're injured because of it or not. That what happened in the Gilles incident earlier this week. Clutterbuck wasn't injured on the play, but Gilles still elbowed him in the head...hence the 10 game suspension. Punish the intent...

posted by MeatSaber at 06:41 PM on March 09

Chara absolutely deserved to be suspended in my opinion. Chara had to know where the stantion at the end of the bench was. That hit is sickening, and considering Chara and Pacioretty had a pre-existing rivalry it makes it all the more suspect. I'm pretty shocked that the NHL did nothing to discipline Chara. Past history as a clean player should not have any bearing on the discipline meted out. The NHL suspended Trevor Gillies 10 games for a hit to the shoulder of Cal Cluttberbuck and Chara gets nothing? I'm dumbfounded.

posted by insomnyuk at 09:01 PM on March 09

I hate that he is on the Red Wings.

I don't know what I would do if Rutherford made Bertuzzi a 'Cane. I think it's a joke that he's still allowed to don any NHL uniform.

posted by NoMich at 09:19 PM on March 09

Chara had to know where the stantion at the end of the bench was.

Yes, in the second-and-a-half or so in question, I'm sure he considered that, the current real interest rate and the price of diesel before deciding whether or not to lay his shoulder into another hockey player.

posted by yerfatma at 10:30 PM on March 09

If this same play happens in a corner, we're not even talking about it today.

Well, that's the point. It didn't happen in a corner.

What Chara did was push Pacioretty's head into a dangerous position. It was dangerous SPECIFICALLY because of the location. Chara knew where he was on the ice, and what would happen. I'm sure he didn't expect the Pacioretty to be that badly injured..

The problem I have is that Chara waited to make contact until JUST that moment. That's why it was interference. Pacioretty had dumped the puck well before that.

lay his shoulder into another hockey player

He didn't check him with his shoulder. He pushed him with his forearms. If he checks him with his shoulder, he'd be leaning into the boards as well, and might have clipped the turnbuckle as well.

But he didn't.

To me, that is poor rink design that is asking for trouble, and I'm surprised we don't see this more often.

That glass area is the separation of the benches. Unless you have glass across the top of the boards on the benches as well (thus limiting line changes to the doors), you will always have a point where the glass starts/stops on that side.

And it happens often.

1 2 3 4

posted by grum@work at 11:24 PM on March 09

Asked about the play, Chara said, "It's just one of those thingslike glass extensions, doors, even hockey nets are part of the game and obviously players run into them.

Yeah, it sucks when players "run" into things. You f-n goon.

before deciding whether or not to lay his shoulder into another hockey player.

You did watch him push his head into the partition after he lays his shoulder into him right?

posted by tselson at 11:29 PM on March 09

You did watch him push his head into the partition after he lays his shoulder into him right?

Yup .. video doesn't lie.

Absolutely fucking unbelievable.

Pretty much sums up my thoughts as well.

posted by cixelsyd at 11:37 PM on March 09

I doubt there's anything either side can say that's going to change the other's mind, so I'll leave it at that. But I just want to add that anyone using Chara's and Pacioretty's "prior history" as a reason for Chara to seek some kind of revenge is just plain misled. Pacioretty gave him a shot behind the net after a goal in their last game. If that's cause for vigilante justice in the NHL, then every player is seeking revenge of every other player in the league...

Oh, and I haven't really paid a ton of attention to the East this season, and I had no idea who Pacioretty was before this incident, but I already hate typing his name...it's like typing Joe Nieuwendyk...

posted by MeatSaber at 03:50 AM on March 10

Yes, in the second-and-a-half or so in question, I'm sure he considered that, the current real interest rate and the price of diesel before deciding whether or not to lay his shoulder into another hockey player.

Everything in hockey happens in a second and a half. When Alex Ovechkin scores a goal while spinning and on his knees or back, those adjustments are made in a second and a half. When Matt Cooke doesn't avoid Marc Savard, that decision is made instantaneously.

Look, I don't think Chara intended to injure, but do you I think he was aware of where he was on the ice? Sure, because he's a Norris trophy defenceman and positioning himself is key. He knew the bench was right there, and from my vantage point, he was trying to dump him in there...which is a dangerous move, given the fact that there's a post there +/- 2 feet. Those checks usually make Rock 'em Sock 'em, but in this case, he drove him into the post and cracked a vertabrae in his neck.

He made a risky move with another player's body, and that's suspendable behavior. It doesn't have to be intentional, and the results might be accidental, but he took a risk and guessed wrong and someone else payed for it.

posted by dflemingecon at 06:44 AM on March 10

I don't really disagree with anything in your last sentence. It's the NHL's own fault that the hit doesn't qualify as "suspendable". They need to suck it up and do what the NFL did this year and completely break from prior trends. It's not like they have to be fair.

posted by yerfatma at 08:18 AM on March 10

The horrible precedent this decision (to not punish Chara) makes is, players can reasonably expect to get away with seriously injuring one another if they can use the geometry of the rink as an excuse.

Screw that. It is Chara's responsibility to make sure he doesn't murder anyone. That responsibility extends to knowing the location of the upright pole that could break someone's neck, and backing off on a hit because of that knowledge.

By punishing him, the league would have told the players they were responsible for not doing this, ever again.

posted by fabulon7 at 08:56 AM on March 10

That glass area is the separation of the benches. Unless you have glass across the top of the boards on the benches as well (thus limiting line changes to the doors), you will always have a point where the glass starts/stops on that side.

No, you could pull the corner back away from the ice so that there is not an immoveable object to hit inches away from the playing area. If it's critical to have a separation, this could be replaced with some sort of breakaway panel so that a player hitting it doesn't get stopped in his tracks. The end of the bench could also be reconfigured there so that there is an angled panel that directs you back onto the ice rather than a 90-degree corner.

And it happens often.

All the more reason to make a change.

I have no idea if the hit was an intentional attempt to injure--only Chara knows that. However, a couple of fairly innocuous changes to the rink could make this a non-issue and protect players in the future.

posted by bender at 09:21 AM on March 10

Fans not satisfied with NHL ruling.

posted by cixelsyd at 10:22 AM on March 10

posted by NoMich at 11:14 AM on March 10

Chara was putting a body check on the man like he has done a thousand times before. it happens in a second. You see the man, you throw the check, you dont check where you are, you know you are near the boards and the angle you need, but you are not looking for the partition. It was a accident that prob should happen more, but there was no "intent " there.

posted by Debo270 at 01:05 PM on March 10

Fans not satisfied with NHL ruling.

As someone said on Twitter, "This from a city that burns cars when they win a playoff series."

posted by yerfatma at 03:46 PM on March 10

The fact the Montreal fans are calling for charges against Chara is laughable. I don't remember them getting all high-and-mighty about injuring players when Chelios almost decapitated Propp many years ago.

posted by grum@work at 06:41 PM on March 10

I think Chara should have been suspended.

I don't think that he foresaw the actual results. But I believe that he knew (or should have known) where he was on the ice. And I believe that he knew (or should have known) there was a very good likelyhood of Pacioretty running into the glass wall. We expect players to know when they're too close to the boards. We should expect them to also know when they're too close to the glass wall between the benches.

I'd like to believe that no one wants to seriously injure the opposition. But hit them hard enough to lower their game - absolutely. Blown ACL bad, ankle sprain good. That's a pretty fine line. We should make it clear that some things are automatically over the line.

posted by offsides at 01:01 PM on March 11

I think he meant to. Sure he didn't mean to break his neck, but he certainly meant to put him into the turnbuckle.

NHL blew this one, big time.

But you can safely ignore the bluster from Montreal. It's all a bit self-serving.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 06:20 PM on March 11

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