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Hold the phone, Habs fans

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff  March 10, 2011 08:26 AM

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Canadiens fans are clearly handling the whole Zdeno Chara-Max Pacioretty situation in a rational manner.

I suppose the upset was that Montreal didn't go into one of its occasional riots after the NHL announced yesterday that it would not fine or suspend the Bruins defenseman for his hit on the Montreal forward. Habs fans did, however, flood Montreal police emergency lines to file complaints against Chara. Today, CTV reported that Montreal police will actually launch an investigation into the incident. Seriously. 

An online petition to charge Chara with assault also had nearly 800 signatures as of this morning. "Zdeno Chara deserves to be held responsible for breaking a man's neck," it reads. "It is not enough that he may or may not have intended to injure - we have to be responsible for our actions. If that hit wasn't assault causing bodily harm I do not know what is! Please sign and put pressure on the NHL and the Montreal police to take this seriously."

Whether or not the league should have considered the hit more egregious is still up for debate, but getting the police involved? That's something you'd expect from...well, Habs fans. 

Meanwhile, Pacioretty did little to smother the flames, telling TSN's Bob McKenzie that he was "disgusted" that Chara didn't face a suspension. 

"I am upset and disgusted that the league didn't think enough of (the hit) to suspend him," he said. "I'm not mad for myself, I'm mad because if other players see a hit like that and think it's okay, they won't be suspended, then other players will get hurt like I got hurt."

"It's been an emotional day. I saw the video for the first time this morning. You see the hit, I've got a fractured vertebrae, I'm in hospital and I thought the league would do something, a little something.

"I'm not talking a big number, I don't know, one game, two games, three games...whatever, but something to show that it's not right."

"I heard (Chara) said he didn't mean to do it. I felt he did mean to do it. I would feel better if he said he made a mistake and that he was sorry for doing that, I could forgive that, but I guess he's talking about how I jumped up or something.

"I believe he was trying to guide my head into the turnbuckle. We all know where the turnbuckle is. It wasn't a head shot like a lot of head shots we see but I do feel he targeted my head into the turnbuckle."

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About the Author

Eric Wilbur is a Boston.com sports columnist who is still in awe of what Dana Kiecker pulled off that one time in Toronto. He lives in the Boston area with his wife and three children. Comments and suggestions for the best Buffalo wing spots are encouraged.

Contact Eric Wilbur by e-mail or follow him on Twitter.

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