Mark Recchi Agrees Montreal Canadiens Exaggerated Max Pacioretty’s Concussion

It was only three weeks ago that Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara checked Canadiens winger Max Pacioretty into the corner of the glass, fracturing his vertebrae and giving him a concussion (watch the video). The NHL did not suspend Chara for the hit, recognizing it was a legitimate hockey play that did not have malicious intent. That responses did not sit well with Montreal fans who essentially demanded a police investigation into the situation.

As Pacioretty continues to recover, the teams will meet on Thursday night in their rematch and there is little doubt Montreal will be seeking revenge. As if that’s not bad enough to ponder, there’s Mark Recchi’s comments which have added a new wrinkle to the situation.

The Bruins veteran winger joined The Sports Hub in Boston for an interview with a host who was convinced the Canadiens embellished the extent of Pacioretty’s concussion. Recchi completely agreed with that idea, as I learned from Goon’s World. In the interview, Recchi said “[Pacioretty] does obviously have a fractured vertebra, but the concussion is obviously really a non-factor. In maybe a day or two — maybe a day he felt it — but he was fine a couple days later. They were trying to get Zdeno suspended and they embellished it a little bit. In terms of that side, they’re doing whatever they could to get him suspended.”

Recchi noted how Pacioretty was tweeting from a movie less than a week later and said that was inconsistent behavior for someone who had a severe concussion. He could be right about his comments and it wouldn’t surprise me. The people of Montreal have acted so irrationally throughout this whole affair that would actually fit in with the way they’ve been doing things.

Montreal Launching Police Investigation into Zdeno Chara Hit on Max Pacioretty

We all know the people of Canada take their hockey seriously. When someone gets injured as a result of what Canadiens fans consider to be a cheap shot, some sort of repercussion is expected. As you can probably imagine, Canadiens fans were not happy when the NHL decided not to fine nor suspend Zdeno Chara for this hit on Max Pacioretty, which left the 22-year-old with a fractured vertebra and severe concussion.

Being upset is one thing, but do the police really need to get involved?  According to the Montreal Gazette, via Barstool Sports, Montreal police have launched an official investigation into the hit Chara put on Pacioretty.  Wow.  Assault charges have been handed down for hockey hits before, but am I the only one who actually saw what happened?

If the hit Pacioretty took happened two feet to the left or right, we wouldn’t even be talking about it.  Unless you think Chara is the most accurate head-hunter in the history of athletic competition, you can’t honestly say his intention was to nearly decapitate Pacioretty on the turnbuckle that jets out next to the team benches.  Watch the tape.

Said Pacioretty about the incident: “I am upset and disgusted that the league didn’t think enough of (the hit) to suspend him. I’m not mad for myself, I’m mad because if other players see a hit like that and think it’s okay, they won’t be suspended, then other players will get hurt like I got hurt.”

Lock him up.  Bread and water for the next two years.

Zdeno Chara Check Knocks Out Max Pacioretty (Video)

File this one under freak accident. Unless Zdeno Chara has pin-point accuracy in his attempts to hurt other players and knows how to use the structure of the rink to injure people, there’s no way the hit he put on Montreal’s Max Pacioretty during Tuesday night’s Bruins-Habs game was intentional. Canadiens fans will certainly argue otherwise, but watch the footage.  Fortunately, Pacioretty is said to be okay after the hit.  Check out the Zdeno Chara-Max Pacioretty knockout video, courtesy of NESN:

Chara was given a five-minute major, but only because Pacioretty was hurt so badly.  Had the same play happened at any other spot on the ice, the result would not have been a disaster and Chara may have even avoided a penalty.  We’re all glad Pacioretty is okay and nobody ever wants to see something like that happen, but it would be a shame to see the NHL suspend Chara for an unfortunate coincidence. The main thing we should learn from this incident is that the NHL needs to pad the area that separates the team benches. With guys flying around at such high speeds, it’s not safe to have rock solid glass and steel jetting out from the bench area. This injury is a tough way to figure that out.

Was Youth Team Westwood Warriors’ Decision to Lose Game Unethical?

A controversy in a Winnipeg High School hockey league last week that resulted in two coaches being suspended has captured people’s attention. The Westwood Warriors were leading 3-2 against the Collège Jeanne-Sauvé Olympiens on Thursday when they decided to pull their goalie to allow the Olympiens to win.

Several games were being played at the same time and the coaches had learned that if they won, they’d have to face the Oak Park Raiders in the semifinals. The Raiders had the league’s best record in the regular season so they understandably wanted to avoid having to face them. They pulled their goalie and lost 4-3, setting up a rematch in the semis against College Jeanne-Sauve.

The controversial decision created a buzz around the area and sparked concern amongst league officials and fans. The players on the Warriors didn’t like losing on purpose and actually volunteered to play the Raiders on Friday in a play-in game that they lost 4-1 — eliminating themselves from the playoffs.

The choice to lose was met with widespread criticism because it goes against the ethics of the league and spirit of the game. In a poll on SI Hot Clicks, where I first learned about the story, 71% of voters said they didn’t like the move. I was one of the people in the minority who said they were fine with the decision.

Here’s why.

[Read more...]

Rate the New Jonathan Toews ‘History Will Be Made’ Stanley Cup Commerical (Video)

The NHL is certainly not the most popular sport in the U.S., but they aren’t going down without a fight. The “History Will Be Made” advertising campaign for the Stanley Cup that was launched last March may have inspired a parody or two, but if you ask me it’s getting the job done.  The newest edition of the campaign, which features Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, is a home run.  Check out the Jonathan Toews “History Will Be Made” Stanley Cup commercial, as pointed out by The Big Lead:

If you don’t appreciate that commercial you either really, really, really hate hockey or you really, really, really, hate kids.  Forget about the fact that some of those little tykes grow up and drink themselves silly.  The Toews commercial has set the bar high, and I’m looking forward to seeing what else the NHL will come up with as we approach the postseason. Your move, Where Amazing Happens.

Jim Jorgenson vs. Judd Blackwater Hockey Fight (Video)

If you are a big hockey fan, you probably know that leagues like the AHL and ACHL are known for having some pretty sick hockey fights.  Players tend to play like they have more to prove than NHL guys, and that can lead to tempers flaring and an abundance of dust-ups.  Rarely do we get to see a knockout like the one that occurred during Wednesday night’s game between the ACHL’s Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs and the Allen Americans.  Check out the Jim Jorgenson vs. Judd Blackwater fight video, courtesy of Barstool Sports:

If Mick were in Jorgenson’s corner for that one we would have heard “Down, kid! Stay down!” The difference between Jim and Balboa is Jorgenson should have stayed down. That, and Rocky was a movie. Those punches actually hurt.

Florida Panthers TV Ratings Lower than Infomercials

We’ve noted that hockey ratings have improved on a national level, but that doesn’t mean there is a trickle down effect to all local levels. In Florida, where attractions include hot women and hotter beaches, the competition is the Miami Heat, and the Panthers are struggling to find an audience on TV.

The Panthers have averaged a .19 local TV rating, placing them last of the 22 teams studied by the Sports Business Daily. Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald took things a step farther and learned that the Panthers, who average around 3,000 viewers per game, are watched less than infomercials for the AbCoaster, and Ninja Professional Blender, Chopper and Ice Crusher. Now that’s sad.

I could go a few different ways here. We could easily blame the NHL for expanding to an area it doesn’t belong, but that is only a part of the problem. The real blame goes to the Panthers for putting out a poor product.

The Panthers haven’t made the playoffs since 2000, and haven’t finished higher than third in the division since then. With a playoff push or a winning team, I’m sure they’d have more people attending games and watching them on TV.

Look, South Florida has trouble getting fans to watch and attend Marlins, Hurricanes, and Panthers games, but the teams need to help. If you’re not winning, you’re not going to get viewers who have hundreds of other more appealing options both on TV and around the city. Fact.