The eyes of the National Hockey League will be on the Bruins-Canadiens game tonight. In the wake of the Zdeno Chara hit on Max Pacioretty in Montreal on March 8, as well as the 189-penalty minute game at TD Garden on Feb. 9, the league has dispatched a couple of its top referees, Dan O'Halloran and Dan O'Rourke, to referee tonight's sixth and final regular-season meeting between the two Northeast Division rivals. Commissioner Gary Bettman took general managers Peter Chiarelli and Pierre Gauthier aside at the GM meetings last week to warn them that there will be repercussions if tonight's game turns ugly, an unseemly prospect that no one in the league offices cares to see. But does that mean the Bruins, clearly the more physical of the two teams, will not be able to play their game against the skilled, smaller Montreal team? "I hope not," Bruins winger Milan Lucic said after practice yesterday afternoon. "Physicality is a part of this game and being able to hit, forecheck and whatnot is a big part of our game and a big part of my game. I don't think at all that we should shy away from that and I don't think we're going to. There's no reason why we should. We can't lose that edge. Obviously, it's unfortunate that a guy got hurt in the way that (Pacioretty) did, in a play that happens in hockey that we've seen so many time before. And we're happy to hear he's making a full recovery. But we can't lose that edge and we've got to play physical." Mark Recchi had a pointed take on the Pacioretty injury, speaking yesterday on 98.5 The Sports Hub. "Obviously yeah [the Canadiens embellished it]," Recchi said. "He does have obviously a fractured vertebra, but the concussion was obviously really a nonfactor. Maybe a day or two; maybe a day he felt it and then he was fine a couple days later. I believe, yeah, they were trying to get Zdeno suspended and they embellished it a little bit." Aside from that, Shawn Thornton said the B's don't have to play outside the rules to play their game.
Battle lines are drawn
Boston Herald | Mar 24