Chara 'respects' Pacioretty's emotional response

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Chara 'respects' Pacioretty's emotional response

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

BOSTON Zdeno Chara, in a brief conversation with reporters Thursday morning after an optional skate at TD Garden, said he understood the strong emotions expressed by Max Pacioretty from his hospital bed on Wednesday night.In an interview with Bob MacKenzie of TSN.ca, Pacioretty accused Chara of trying to guide his head into the turnbuckle Tuesday night, and proclaimed that Chara meant to do it."Chara -- who said he didn't even know it was Pacioretty that he was hitting -- knows the Montreal forward is emotional after suffering a severe concussion and a non-displaced fracture of the fourth vertebrae. But he reiterated there was nothing intentional or purposeful about his check, from which the injuries resulted when Pacioretty slammed into the stanchion between the benches at the Bell Centre.
"Pacioretty is in the hospital, said Chara. He has the right to be emotional, and I respect that. As hockey players, we all feel bad when something like that happens no matter whether youre the home team or the visiting team. Theres always concern when somebody gets hurt.It was a hockey play. It wasn't intentional. That's not my style. I never try to hurt anybody. It's not what I attempted to do.Chara said he was also relieved there was no further discipline from the National Hockey League as a result of the hit, and added he fully intends to keep playing the tough, clean, punishing brand of hockey thats always been a staple of his game and allowed to reach All-Star and Norris Trophy levels.Chara has gone 13 years and 913 games without a supplemental discipline infraction, and one gets the sense he takes that as a badge of pride."Im satisfied and happy about it. Relieved, said Chara of the NHLs decision. They looked at it and made a decision, and I respect that.Chara also said he was made aware of the political and police machinations stirring at Habs Outrage Ground Zero in Montreal. Charas response: he was planning to simply play his game and not worry about grandstanding prosecutors and politicians looking to curry favor with votersangry Canadiens fans."I've got some media info on the police investigation this morning, said Chara. I'm focusing on the game and playing hockey. We'll see" Injured Bruins defenseman Steve Kampfer has an interesting take on the CharaPacioretty situation. The Boston rookie played with Pacioretty at the University of Michigan for a season, and knows the kind of injuries the Canadiens forward has; he suffered a fractured skull and a broken bone in his neck after an off-ice incident with college football players during his time with the Wolverines.Kampfer called Alec Schall the agent he shares with Pacioretty when Pacioretty had his head and neck slammed into the turnbuckle, and talked to him for 90 minutes.I told my agent Ill be the first one to talk to Max if he wants to talk, said Kampfer. Ive gone through this before. I can definitely give him some pointers along the way of what hes going to expect and what hes going to encounter.But at the same time, I support Zee. Hes essentially my mentor and Im learning a lot of things from him. I believe that what Chara said is what happened. Pacioretty is recovering and hes getting bits and pieces of whats going on. I guess he lashed out in the media, and you expect that kind of thing from a guy thats hurt. Hes definitely hurting because hes looking at his season possibly being over. Thats never easy to swallow. Kampfer, who's recovering from a concussion, said he had a "setback" with a headache onWednesday night after attempting to ride the bike for 15 minutes, andwill rest and make another attempt over the next fewdays.
Tim Thomas looks like he'll be getting the start against the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night, and it appears his left glove hand is just fine.
Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

B's determined to 'keep it going' during good offensive run

B's determined to 'keep it going' during good offensive run

BRIGHTON, Mass. -- The Bruins are going through a nice, little bountiful stretch of offense right now after a half-season of struggle.

The Bruins are averaging more than three goals per game in their last 12 contests, and have scored a whopping 22 goals in their last six games including dropping six scores on the Flyers Saturday afternoon at TD Garden. Combine that with the 7-for-25 performance on the power play during the month of January, and things are finally starting to catch up with a Bruins team that was all shoot/no score for months of frustrating hockey this season.

“If you want sustained success then you have to be good defensively, but you also have to score some goals. That’s definitely part of it and we have to keep it going,” said Patrice Bergeron, who has four goals and eight points in his last nine games after struggling out of the starting gate. “You’re not going to get rewarded every night like we did [against the Flyers], but you have to find that consistency where you’re close to having that every night.”

One thing nobody should expect out of the B’s, however, is to get outside of what they do well now that they’ve started slapping some numbers up on the board. Instead the Bruins are intent on their bedrock of disciplined defense and sensational goaltending with the added offense just making it much tougher to beat them these days.

“I don’t know if we can stand here and say we’re going to sustain that we’re scoring lots of goals. I think what we need to sustain here is winning more games than we lose,” said Claude Julien. “That’s what we’ve got to sustain. Whether it’s a 1-0 or 2-1 game, or it’s a 5-2 or 5-3 game it doesn’t really matter. It’s about winning hockey games much more than it’s about how much you scored, and how much you don’t score.

“Overall when I look at the scoring chances we’re giving up per game, that doesn’t seem to have changed. Goals allowed may have changed a little bit lately, but overall I think we’ve been very steady in that area [of defense].”

So now the Bruins will again be looking for that ideal balance of offense/defense when they take the ice against the Islanders on Monday afternoon for their second straight matinee at TD Garden. 

Morrow has 'confident feeling' as he readies to jump into B's lineup

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Morrow has 'confident feeling' as he readies to jump into B's lineup

BRIGHTON, Mass. -- It’s been a long month of bag skates and lonely practices for Bruins defenseman Joe Morrow.

That’s about to change thanks to injuries to both Kevan Miller and Colin Miller, who are both not expected to be able to play against the New York Islanders on Monday afternoon at TD Garden. That means Morrow will be in the B’s lineup for the first time since a Dec. 12 win over the Montreal Canadiens, a span of 16 consecutive B’s games that the 24-year-old has been watching from the press box.

Morrow skated in a pairing with John-Michael Liles in Sunday’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena prior to Monday’smatinee, and obviously he’s looking forward to getting back into games given this season’s sporadic practice schedule.

“[Playing well after sitting for long stretches] isn’t necessarily something you want to be good at, but if you are good at then it’s a good tool to have in your bag. It’s a confident feeling that I’ll be able to come in [and play well],” said Morrow, who has an assist and a minus-3 rating in 13 games for the Black and Gold this season. “I’ve stayed in good shape and worked hard in practice, and that’s all I can do up until this point.

“Put simply, [this year’s compacted schedule] is exhausting. Countless times I’ve skated by myself, and anybody would tell you there’s nothing harder than skating by yourself on a sheet of ice. Mentally and physically it’s just exhausting. There haven’t been many practices and there haven’t been many game-type situations in the practices we do have. Skating with the whole team is almost like a pregame skate scenario. But you’re still skating every day, so it’s putting it upon yourself to go out there and stay ready for things.”

The one issue for Morrow, a former first round pick, over the last couple of seasons has been maintaining a high level of play once he draws his way into the lineup. It feels like there’s a drop-off in his play once he’s played a few games in a row whether it’s physical mistakes or mental lapses in his play, and that’s something he wants to avoid when given an opportunity to suit up.

“I feel like when I have played this year that I’ve been quite consistent and that I’ve played well,” said Morrow, the last remaining part of the 2013 Tyler Seguin trade still in a Bruins uniform. “I’m just in a situation that the cards are playing out the way that they are, so it depends on how many games I get whether it’s one, two, 30 or however many games are left [in the season]. It’s realistically entirely up to me. If I can shake the rust out in the first couple of shifts and start from there, it’s going to be a big positive in my book. It’s the really the only option I have left now.”

Given that Colin Miller began skating on his own on Sunday morning, it might not be a very big window for Morrow to impress upon the coaches just how badly he wants to play. But one would expect he’s going to bring his best on Monday against the Isles with the hopes that it will be somebody else sitting up in the press box when it once again becomes a D-man numbers game for the 7-8 players for six lineup spots.