WILMINGTON, Mass. -- Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara told reporters on Tuesday that he has spoken with Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty, whom he injured with a controversial hit that set off a firestorm in Montreal.
“Yes, yes I did [reach out to him], we talked,” Chara said at Tuesday’s Bruins practice. He did not go into details on what the two discussed.
When Chara knocked Pacioretty into the stanchion that separates the two benches in Montreal on March 8, it not only resulted in a severe injury to Pacioretty (concussion and a fractured vertebra in his neck), it enraged Canadiens fans and even resulted in a police investigation that is reportedly still ongoing.
With a first-round Stanley Cup playoff series between the Bruins and Canadiens on tap, Chara faced a bevvy of Pacioretty-related questions Tuesday. He said he didn’t think he would be affected by the vitriol he expects from Habs fans when the series shifts to Montreal for Game 3 on Monday.
“It’s been like that for years and basically it’s not going to be any different,” Chara said of his first visit to Montreal since the hit. “We all just have to focus and play our game. Playoffs is a new season and like I said we all have to focus on the game.”
As Chara sees it, first rounds are always turned up a notch emotionally and whether he and the Bruins are playing their rivals or any other team, they treat it just the same.
“First rounds, everyone’s always excited and you can see there is a lot of energy, a lot of jump,” Chara said. “There is a lot of physical part of the games and that’s just normal. You can’t let that affect you whether it’s Montreal or whoever it is. You just have to stay calm and focus on what you have to do. I just play hockey, that’s my focus, playing hockey.”
On Monday, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said he did not anticipate any legal troubles for Chara while the team was in Montreal for the series.