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.