First, the Boston Bruins put Max Pacioretty in a hospital courtesy of a questionable hit by Zdeno Chara.
Then they kicked him — and the Montreal Canadiens — when he was down, as Mark Recchi had the audacity to question the extent of Pacioretty’s injuries.
As somebody who always enjoyed watching the Big Bad Bruins while growing up, it’s a shame to see them deliver so many low blows.
It’s a credit to the Canadiens for not turning Thursday night’s rematch into a bloodbath — even though they got thrashed 7-0 in Boston. Remember the old days when you’d be bracing for a scene with the likes of John Wensink, Terry O’Reilly, Stan Jonathan and Mike Milbury squaring off in a brawl with Larry Robinson, Doug Risebrough, Pierre Bouchard and Gilles Lupien?
Not that this year’s version of the Canadiens have enough knuckle-chuckers to try creating a YouTube sensation brawl, nor do the Habs really have anybody fully equipped to enforce frontier justice on Chara, but the last thing the NHL needs is another Todd Bertuzzi incident.
Tough, honest, hard hockey is perfect. It’s the way the game was meant to be played. Gong-show antics out of Slap Shot aren’t.
Truly baffling in the whole situation is how the Bruins, especially Recchi, failed to take the high road.
You can’t help but wonder what Recchi would have said if the Pittsburgh Penguins claimed Marc Savard embellished his injury woes in an attempt to have Matt Cooke suspended last season. And you can imagine the reaction if the Philadelphia Flyers said Bruins’ Patrice Bergeron was doing something similar when he was drilled by Randy Jones and was knocked out for a year. Keeping the sniping and the sticks on the ice is more appropriate.
The league made sure to tell both teams to prevent a gong-show from taking place Thursday night in Boston.
Thankfully, the Canadiens went with the better tact.
Maybe next time, the Bruins will, too.
After all, they have a habit of finding themselves in this kind of spotlight lately.
Who could have guessed six months ago the Calgary Flames would be so dearly lamenting losing David Moss and Brendan Morrison to injury? Would the Flames be a slam-dunk playoff team had Morrison not suffered a knee injury and Moss hurt his ankle in practice? Probably, but they still shouldn’t have won just once in seven games ... Sure, Miikka Kiprusoff hasn’t stolen any games of late, but think where the Flames would be without him. Kiprsuoff has a 33-23-6 record while backup Henrik Karlsson has a 4-5-5 mark ... It is worth pointing out Karlsson has taken four losses, including three in extra time, this season, after coming into the game when Kiprusoff has deservedly been yanked ... A weird statistical quirk from the Flames’ 6-3 loss to the San Jose Sharks: Tim Jackman was the only Flames player to be on the plus-side.
It was understandable for the Vancouver Canucks to trade away Michael Grabner, but somebody explain why the Florida Panthers let him go via waivers. Grabner, who was claimed by the New York Islanders just before the season, has since become only the third rookie in Isles history to score 30 goals. The others are Bryan Trottier and Mike Bossy ... Is there any doubt the best division in the NHL is the Pacific? All five teams are in the hunt to make the playoffs. “I think they’re just complete (teams),” said San Jose Sharks captain Joe Thornton. “They all have excellent No.-1 and No.-2 lines. They all have depth on defence and spectacular goaltending.”
You don’t say
“Why wasn’t the crowd singing along during the French part of the Canadian anthem?” Sharks forward Logan Couture after Cirque du Soleil’s Joi Marchetti provided a bilingual anthem before the Sharks-Flames tilt Wednesday in San Jose.