Punish the Action Not the Consequence.

The Bruins and the Habs is one of the most fiersome games in hockey. Hard hitting, hard fighting, hard scoring. It is in short just hard. But Tuesday nights game in Montreal saw Bruins defenceman and captain Zdeno Chara but a devastating hit on Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty. It left the young forward with concussion and a broken vibrate.

Since then fans of both times have been hot on the internet claiming the rights and wrongs of the hit. And now the NHL has spoken and not handed out further suspension to the 6ft7 slovakian Chara. This has sparked a frenzy on twitter with habs fans claiming conspicy to such an extend that you would be forgiven in thinking it was 1955 and Maurice Richard had just punched an offical.

The hit for which Chara was given a match penalty is now being investigated by the Montreal and provencial police in Quebec. But I think some this is a bit silly and over the top reaction by partisan fans which I would expect.

For me Chara’s hit was a reckless and high but he did not go out to hurt a player. Chara is, as every good defence man is, a hard hitter that wont be intimidated and he was right with his time losing 4 – 0 to send a message that his team wont take that beating lying down. Does not mean it was acceptable to hurt a player but should we as fans say that it is wrong to check and be aggressive to try to boost your team?

It is a question of ruling against the action not the consequence. And a hit in those circumstances is common place. The difference here was that the hit took place near the benches and the momentum of the hit carried Pacioretty into a post at the start of the plexi glass and the end of the benches. That momentum helped by Chara going for the hit and mistiming it. I hope that decision not to punish Chara further is the start of common sense officating whilst still be tough on nasty and plays. For me the decision not to punish Chara further is wrong a couple of games added on would have been fair but also the league and teams should be looking at bench safety as well. Instead there is a pre occupation with punishment leading to a waste of time police investigation. This was a hockey incidient that took place during a game. The police should go back to catching thieves and issuing speeding tickets instead of bowing to peer pressure.

http://article.wn.com/view/2011/03/10/Police_investigating_Chara_hit/

http://sports.jrank.org/pages/3857/Richard-Maurice-Richard-Riot.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mx2AxYxgqRA

http://www.france24.com/en/20110310-police-open-probe-chara-hit

Neil Tucker

Neil has written on ice hockey for many websites concentrating on British ice hockey mostly. Neil also covers ice hockey in other countries and organises his Blueliner Hockey Tour. A graduate of the Manchester Metropolitan University Neil turned his hand to hockey writing in 2009. As well as contributing on Blueliner Hockey Neil has contributed to Get Real Hockey and Slapshot Magasine.

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