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Reaction to Zdeno Chara's hit

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff  March 9, 2011 08:18 AM

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Opinion on the hit by Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara is, as can be expected, running the spectrum.

Here's a brief review of how some journalists see things.

TSN columnist Bob McKenzie says Chara deserves a two-game suspension. He bases his opinion on precedent that illegal plays (Chara was called for interference) that result in injury "generally run in the two-game neighborhood, give or take a game." But McKenzie also acknowledges this case is difficult.

"So if I were in the unfortunate position of having to rule on this one, I would be looking at a two-game suspension. For me, no more, no less. And it's that type of ruling that would make no one happy," McKenzie wrote.

Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette says it's up to the NHL to send a strong message in this case.

"Here’s another chance for the National Hockey League to show it’s determined to get rid of head shots like this one," Hickey wrote.

Another Gazette writer, blogger Ted Bird, says he doesn't believe Chara was being malicious. Several other columnists give Chara the benefit of the doubt and write this one off to one bad decision.

"It's difficult to believe and impossible to prove there was any malicious intent on Chara's part. He's big, tough and mean, but he doesn't have a reputation for going out of his way to hurt people," Bird wrote.

The Hockey News' Ken Campbell also challenges the NHL to send a message.

"Even the cleanest players in the league get reckless sometimes and that was the case with Chara on the hit on Pacioretty. A case of wanton recklessness should be enough to land Chara into some serious disciplinary trouble," Campbell wrote.


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