Montreal police open investigation on Chara hit


Montreal police open investigation on Chara hit

Associated Press

Montreal police started a criminal investigation Thursday into theon-ice hit by Boston's Zdeno Chara that left the Canadiens' MaxPacioretty with a severe concussion and cracked verterbra.Police said they are acting on a request by Quebec's director ofcriminal and penal prosecutions, Louis Dionne. Police added that afterevidence is collected it will then be determined if there are groundsfor prosecution.The NHL said a day earlier it would not suspend Chara for Tuesdaynight's hit, when he slammed Pacioretty into a glass partition.NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman declined to comment Thursday while onhis way to a congressional briefing in Washington, D.C. focusing on thestate of hockey in America.There has been strong debate this season over injuries from hits tothe head. Pittsburgh star Sidney Crosby is among those sidelined withsuch an injury.In a related matter, Air Canada has told the NHL it is consideringwithdrawing its sponsorship unless the league tightens rules to reducepotentially serious injuries.Dionne filed his request for an investigation after watching television footage of Chara's hit, his spokeswoman said."The police investigation will be held. Like all policeinvestigations, evidence will be gathered and an investigation reportwill be submitted, spokeswoman Martine Berube said. "(The DCPP) willthen evaluate to see whether there's grounds for prosecution.''Asked what kind of punishment could be assessed in a case likeChara's, she replied: "It's too early to say. That would depend on whatcharges are laid. That's a little difficult to predict at this point.''Pacioretty, a left wing from Connecticut, is a regular top-lineplayer for Montreal. With he and Chara racing for the puck near theplayer benches, Chara checked Pacioretty into the boards, sending himslamming into a stanchion supporting the glass.The hit drew criticism from Gary Lunn, the minister of state forsports, and others outside the league. Lunn called it unacceptable.But the league deemed it "a hockey play that resulted in an injurybecause of the player colliding with the stanchion and then the icesurface.''

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

BOSTON -- With three crushing losses in a row at a time when results are really all that matters, the Boston Bruins are reeling at the wrong time during the regular season. The B’s tried their best to win a game 0-0 with strong defense against a sleepy Chicago Blackhawks bunch on Friday night, but ultimately coughed up a Marian Hossa goal in the final minutes for a 1-0 regulation loss at TD Garden.

The defeat continued a swirl downward for the Black and Gold over the last week, and was a second straight shutout loss on home ice for the first time in almost 15 years. The losing stretch has also kicked up the chatter that Claude Julien is in trouble as head coach of the Bruins, and the hockey club’s underperformance up and down the lineup is ultimately going to cost the NHL’s longest tenured bench boss his job.

The Ottawa Senators have passed the Bruins in the Atlantic Division, and it’s only a matter of time before the Toronto Maple Leafs move by them as well with both Toronto and Ottawa holding six games in hand on Boston. Combine all of this with the B’s having missed the playoffs in each of the previous two seasons leading into this one, and it shouldn’t be at all surprising that Julien is squarely on the coaching hot seat.

The B’s bench boss was asked about his job security after the Chicago loss, and clearly didn’t appreciate the tough, but appropriate question.

“Well, I’m not into shock-journalism,” said Julien in a prideful tone. “So I’ll stay away from that question if you don’t mind.”

The Bruins posted their Saturday schedule shortly after Julien and the B’s players had addressed the media following the loss, and sure enough the embattled coach is scheduled to address the media post-practice as part of the regular practice day routine. So it doesn’t seem that a move with Julien is imminent this weekend despite another loss, but both the coach and the players know something is going to happen to shake things up with this team if they continue to struggle.

“Right now it’s a results based situation, so if you’re going to keep losing games then probably something’s going to happen,” said Torey Krug. “But right now we’re just pretty down emotionally after this game, so I don’t want to look at the big picture. I just [want to] focus on what’s going on in this room, and hopefully we can come back with a good effort the next game.”

A good effort might help Julien’s standing with the Bruins in the short term, but it’s impossible to imagine the B’s bench boss making it through the rest of the Bruins regular season given all of things working against him right now.