On Max Pacioretty: The turnbuckle talks

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On Max Pacioretty: The turnbuckle talks

By The Bell Centre Turnbuckle
As told to Mary Paoletti
CSNNE.com

I haven't slept for two days.

I'm sick.

The pain isn't the problem; I've been hit before. It's the flashbacks I can't handle.

Everything moving so fast... Chara's hulking frame bearing down on Max... Max's head just... I don't know... it was like time stopped when we collided. To me, Max fell to the ice in slow motion. He looked like a dead leaf broken off of a Maple in October, floating down, discarded.

Why the hell do I even exist?

I'm "the only thing that keeps the boys from hurting each other on the bench."That's what they told me when I first got to Montreal. But what now?

A severe concussion. Fractured vertebrae.

Patches wouldn't be hurt if I wasn't there.

Maybe Zdeno Chara did want to put Max over the boards. I was there for that January 8 game and saw their little shoving match. Bruins v. Canadiens is one of the fiercest rivalries in sports and I expect that tempers will flare. But you can't tell me that Chara hoped Max's head would smack into of me

Oh, God.

I could change. I want to change.

Padding just isn't enough. I could get a makeover to look like Edmonton.

Or Detroit.

Things look a little different there, but it doesn't change the game. If anything, it helps. Guys have enough to worry about, flying around out there on the ice at 35-40 mph, without having me in the way. If guys want to break each other's faces on the bench, fine, that's a choice. But broken vertebrae? Nobody chose that outcome.

And the thing that really kills me? This has happened before.

Remember Ryan Smyth? I know everybody in Colorado, and when he got checked into the home turnbuckle by Jack Johnson, my buddy was distraught. He went through the same identity crisis that I'm dealing with. I tried to reach out on Tuesday night after the Bruins game, but he never responded. He totally shut down after Smyth got hurt.

That was two years ago.

I don't want to be like that. I don't want to hurt anybody else.

Nobody from either side is happy about what happened to Patches, because if the physicality of the game changes then we all lose. Wasting resources on a police investigation into Chara's hit is ridiculous. The guilty party is here; it's me. I'm coming forward and I want to get involved in the NHL's new initiatives to make the game we love safer for the guys who play it.

That's something we can all agree on, right?

McIntyre still building and earning trust of B's coaching staff

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McIntyre still building and earning trust of B's coaching staff

BRIGHTON, Mass -- It hasn’t been an easy road for Bruins rookie goaltender Zane McIntyre since getting called back up by Boston a few weeks ago.

The 24-year-old netminder is trying to give the B’s top-level goaltending while earning the trust of the Bruins coaching staff, and adjusting to the sporadic playing time that goes along with playing understudy to a No. 1 netminder like Tuukka Rask. The three goals allowed in the third period of Sunday afternoon’s 5-1 loss to the Penguins didn’t look good on paper, but really there wasn’t much McIntyre could do with the defense totally breaking down in front of him during a 12-shot barrage in the final 20 minutes.

The 3.95 goals against average and .860 save percentage certainly look like a little frightening for the first-year goalie, but the truth is there’s going to be some bumps as he adjusts to life as a backup for the first time.

“[The adjustment] is mostly between the ears, to be honest,” said McIntyre. “I have confidence in my physical abilities and I know what I can do, and what makes my game successful. So right now it’s just building confidence every day in practice and staying persistent, staying with it. I know good things are going to happen when you surround yourself with good people, and the biggest thing is battling every day and making sure I’m contributing to the team.”

McIntyre will certainly have to be sharp if he’s put back in the crease on Tuesday night against the Red Wings after Rask exited from Sunday’s loss in the second period with symptoms of a migraine. The Bruins top goalie missed practice on Monday while getting himself checked out medically, and there’s a chance he could be out if the symptoms are in any way related to the Roman Josi shot he took off his neck last week.

“I’m just taking it day-by-day to be honest. That’s what I’ve always done in the past, and I’m just trying to build up confidence every day,” said McIntyre, who had been lights out in Providence prior to getting the call to Boston. “We’ll just see what happens and roll with it.”

That’s a challenge McIntyre will certainly be up for in a different way than Sunday’s mop-up duty, but it remains to be seen just how steady-footed the Bruins will be about their goalie situation if Rask is expected to miss any time this week.