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Canadiens fans call for Zdeno Chara’s arrest, Air Canada threatens to withdraw sponsorship 03.09.11 at 7:11 pm ET
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Canadiens fans have a hard time being taken seriously in Boston, and they’ve really hurt their case this time.

According to the Canadian Press, Montreal police have been ‘inundated’ with phone calls demanding Bruins captain Zdeno Chara‘s arrest. Chara was not suspended Wednesday after his hit on Max Pacioretty sent the Canadiens forward into a stanchion and left him with a severe concussion and fractured vertebrae.

The calls reportedly began coming in heavily in the minutes following the league’s ruling to not suspend the Bruins’ captain. The police have requested the fans stop.

Meanwhile, in a matter to be taken a bit more seriously, Air Canada has reacted to the hit by threatening to withdraw its sponsorship if the league doesn’t take “immediate” and “serious” action against head shots.

Director of Marketing and Communications Denis Vandal sent what the Toronto Sun called a “strongly worded letter” to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.

“From a corporate social responsibility standpoint, it is becoming increasingly difficult to associate our brand with sports events which could lead to serious and irresponsible accidents; action must be taken by the NHL before we are encountered with a fatality,” Vandal wrote.

“Unless the NHL takes immediate action with serious suspension to the players in question to curtail these life-threatening injuries, Air Canada will withdraw its sponsorship of hockey.”

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Zdeno Chara: ‘Obviously I feel bad’ about hit on Max Pacioretty at 3:07 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — Bruins captain Zdeno Chara spoke briefly after the team’s practice Wednesday, reflecting on how things have been for him since he was ejected from Tuesday night’s game for hitting Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty into the beginning of the glassed area between benches.

[Listen to Chara explain his position on the hit, how badly he feels and where he goes from here.]

[Bruins coach Claude Julien said this won't change his view of Zdeno Chara, whom Julien believes is a clean hockey player.]

[Patrice Bergeron, who went through a serious concussion of his own several seasons ago, can relate with both sides of this story but Bergeron explains his support of Chara.]

“It’s been hard,” Chara said. “Obviously I feel bad about what happened. I am trying to make strong hockey plays and play hard. It’s very unfortunate that a player got hurt and had to leave the game. It is in my mind.”

UPDATE: Chara had a hearing with the league via conference call at noon Wednesday and was later notified he would not be suspended or fined for the play, which left Pacioretty with a severe concussion and fractured vertebrea.

“We just described the play. We said things that we said, and we’re just waiting to hear back,” Chara said at the time.

The captain noted that he has not yet reached out to Pacioretty but plans on it.

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Max Pacioretty has severe concussion, fractured vertebrae at 12:43 pm ET
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Canadiens coach Jacques Martin announced Wednesday that forward Max Pacioretty, who was motionless on the ice after taking a hit into a stanchion along the boards from Zdeno Chara Tuesday night, suffered a severe concussion and fractured the fourth cervical vertebrae.

“Max will remain at the hospital for further observation,” Martin said in a statement. “There will be no other prognosis for the time being, but he will obviously be out indefinitely. The most important thing for our organization right now is Max’s recovery. We will continue following recommendations from the doctors and of course, Max and his immediate family would appreciate privacy in this matter.”

Chara will find out Wednesday whether he will be disciplined for the play, on which he received a five-minute major for interference and a game misconduct.

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Tim Thomas, Tuukka Rask get early work in prior to Bruins’ practice at 12:29 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — The Bruins returned to practice at Ristuccia Arena on Wednesday after an ugly 4-1 loss to the Canadiens on Tuesday.

Prior to the rest of the team taking the ice, a group of players consisting of Shane Hnidy, Patrice Bergeron, Tyler Seguin, Matt Bartwkoswki, Daniel Paille and Brad Marchand took shots on goaltenders for Tim Thomas and Tuukka Rask. There were reports that Thomas may have suffered a hand injury Tuesday morning, but Thomas seems fine.

Zdeno Chara was on the ice when the rest of the team came out, which was a little after 12:40 p.m. We’re awaiting word on the result Chara’s call with the league this morning after he was tossed for a his hit on Max Pacioretty on Tuesday night. Word on Pacioretty via the Canadiens that the Habs forward suffered a fractured vertebrae and a severe concussion on the play.

The skate also featured some tweaking of the lines. Looks like Rich Peverley has jumped up to the second line, with Mark Recchi dropping back onto Chris Kelly‘s line.

Milan Lucic – David Krejci – Nathan Horton

Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – Rich Peverley

Mark Recchi – Chris Kelly – Michael Ryder

Tyler Seguin/Daniel Paille – Gregory Campbell – Shawn Thornton

Still no sign of Andrew Ference, though Matt Kalman at The Bruins Blog reported Wednesday that he skated earlier in the day.

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Zdeno Chara following Max Pacioretty hit: ‘That’s not my my style to hurt somebody’ 03.08.11 at 10:53 pm ET
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Bruins captain Zdeno Chara was given a five-minute interference major and a game misconduct when a hit along the boards forced Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty to hit his head on the glassed area and left him motionless on the ice. After the game, Chara spoke about the play.

“Obviously, that wasn’t my intention to push him into the post,” Chara told reporters following the game. “It’s very unfortunate. In that situation, everything’s happening fast, and you’re not planning to do that. That’s not my style to hurt somebody. I always play hard, play physical, but I never try to hurt anybody. I’m hoping he’s OK.”

“I think what people have to understand is Zdeno is not a dirty player,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said in his postgame interview with NESN’s Naoko Funayama. “He certainly never meant for that to happen. I think if anything he tried to rub him out in the boards. Unfortunately it’s the partition that did the damage. If it’s anywhere else on the ice, it might be a normal interference call at worst. Unfortunately he hit the partition. That’s something that we’ve happen often. I know there’s padding there and we’ve tried to rectify that as far as helping guys not get hie in that area, but it still continues to happen.”

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Canadiens gain ground as Bruins lose in Montreal at 10:11 pm ET
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The Bruins were beaten handily Tuesday night, dropping a 4-1 contest to the Canadiens and losing their captain for the third period at the Bell Centre.

Canadiens forward Lars Eller scored two goals in the first period, with Brian Gionta and James Wisniewski adding power play goals in the second period. Eller entered the game with five goals through 61 games this season.

Milan Lucic broke up Carey Price‘s shutout bid at 13:21 of the third period, scoring his 29th goal of the season.

A very scary moment came with 15.8 seconds remaining in the second period, when Zdeno Chara finished a check along the boards on Montreal forward Max Pacioretty. The 22-year-old hit the glassed area between benches before falling to the ice, remaining motionless as he was placed on a stretcher. Chara was given a five-minute major for interference, as well as a game misconduct. Pacioretty was reportedly able to move his extremities after leaving for the hospital.

Tuukka Rask took the loss for the Bruins, losing his first game since Feb. 11. He allowed four goals on 24 shots.

The Bruins are now 1-3-1 against the rival Canadiens this season and 0-2-1 in games played at the Bell Centre. With the win, the Canadiens are now just three points behind the Bruins for the Northeast Division lead.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

- Pacioretty has used multiple occasions this season to establish himself as a villain in the eyes of Bruins fans, but the scene at the end of the period is as scary as it gets, regardless of who you root for. It’s hard to tell whether Chara, whose past dealings with the Habs’ agitator led to natural speculation following the hit, meant to go after Pacioretty, but the B’s captain has never been a dirty player. The guess here is that he wasn’t trying to start Tuesday.

- Brad Marchand had a chance to get the Bruins on the board earlier in the third period on a penalty shot after a trip from Roman Hamrlik, but was stopped after going low on Price. The B’s young winger also had an opportunity when Price dropped a puck right in front of him with the B’s killing a Tyler Seguin penalty in the first period.

- Adam McQuaid and Nathan Horton, both of whom entreated the game top five in plus/minus, both posted a minus-1 after being on the ice for Eller’s first goal. Of course, it was hard for Bruins players to not end up with a negative rating on a night like Tuesday. McQuaid and Horton entered the night first and fourth in the league with a plus-27 and plus-25, respectively.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

- Lucic is now one goal away from 30 goals in a season in which he hoped for 20. He took a nice pass from Krejci to get the Bruins on the board in the third period, and both players now have 12 points in their last nine games.

- The B’s once again went scoreless on the power play, making it 1-for-21 since Tomas Kaberle joined the team. The positive in that is that the four power plays were the most they’ve had since Kaberle’s first game with the team, when the B’s had five against the Senators on Feb. 18. Again, they still haven’t scored since that day.

- Kaberle isn’t known for shooting, and he proved it by totaling just five shots on goal over his first eight games with the B’s. His three shots on goal Tuesday were the most he’s posted as a member of the Bruins.

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Steven Kampfer had ‘choice words’ for former teammate Max Pacioretty 02.11.11 at 11:23 am ET
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Maybe there are no Max Pacioretty fans in the Bruins dressing room after all.

Max Pacioretty has frustrated plenty of Bruins, including college teammate Steven Kampfer

Such a development can’t be extremely shocking, as it was Pacioretty, the Connecticut-born Canadiens winger who scored the game-winning goal against the Bruins in overtime on Dec. 16 and proceeded to shove Zdeno Chara in celebration, Eric Byrnes style.

Pacioretty’s latest stunt pulled was in the scrum following Brad Marchand‘s late hit on James Wisniewski on Wednesday. With players coming to the scene, Steven Kampfer arrived only to be jumped by Pacioretty. Chara came to Kampfer’s aid and got tangled up with the 22-year-old Pacioretty.

“I wasn’t expecting to get jumped from behind there,” an agitated Kampfer told WEEI.com following the game.

There is more to the story when it comes to Kampfer and Pacioretty, as the two played college hockey at the University in 2007-08, Pacioretty’s lone season in Ann Arbor. Unlike the game’s goalie fight in which Tim Thomas and Carey Price ended up smiling at one another, there was no resolution between the two former teammates.

“I grew up with Max playing with him. We had some choice words for each other after the game, especially to our agent,” Kampfer said Friday. “We had some choice words shared back and forth through him, but it happens. It’s part of the game.

“It’s the way he plays the game. He plays hard. He’s a gritty player. He’s good. He plays his style and he forces guys to play to him. He gets under guys’ skin, and it’s good for Max.”

In that same scrum, Kampfer wound up tied up with Wisniewski. After a couple of punches were thrown, the two decided against squaring off at the expense of five minutes in the sin bin. Kampfer remains the lone Bruins blueliner to not have a fighting major this season.

“If you think that that’s going to happen any time soon, you might be waiting a little while here,” Kampfer said with a laugh. “I’d have to be pretty mad to throw. I’m not saying I won’t, but I’m not saying I’m planning to either.”

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