September 22nd 2011.
NHL Preseason Montreal vs Boston, in my hometown of Halifax Nova Scotia. I, along with about 9999 other fans have tickets to what I expect to be one of the biggest stories of the NHL season.
Anyone who follows hockey knows what happened on March 8th in Montreal. Zdeno Chara pulled off the what became as the Revenge Hit heard by everyone except the NHL. (In case you want to review, here is the link of the hit.
Most, if not all of the Montreal fanbase , myself included, know that this was intentional. And most Boston fans feel differently. And we all know Chara got away with it.
But whatever your feelings on the hit, we cant deny that this was a brutal hit.
But When you follow it up with this and Nathan Horton spraying a fan with a water bottle, one would expect that the NHL would do something to rein in the brutal and vicious tactics of the most disrespectful team in the league.
Nope. What they got instead is a fine of a couple thousand bucks in Hortons case and less than that for Ference. Pretty much 15 minutes work isn't it?
Well, in my opinion, this season ought to be better. Colin managed to get what he wanted in the end. His sons name engraved on the Stanley Cup. I know some Boston fans are going to tear me up for this, but its simply a fact. Now, Boston WAS the better team against Vancouver. No doubt. But really, neither team should have been there.
Vancouver walked through their division all year, getting a third of their season wins against bottom feeders. No wonder they had the Presidents trophy. Calgary, Edmonton and the like? Nobody else in their division even MADE the playoffs.
As for Boston, well they broke a neck, broke a back, concussed I don't know how many players, threw water at fans, and flipped off the Bell Center. But very small calls, no calls or suspensions all followed. I said all along the fix was in for them to win the Cup. And when, in game 7 versus Montreal, every Montreal player was waved out of every face off, when not one Bruin was, I knew where the game was going. And in game 7 against Tampa, with not ONE penalty called, that gave advantage to Boston again. (Best 5 on 5 all year) And it killed Tampa. And I'm sorry but the Rome-Horton hit was much cleaner than the Chara-Pacioretty hit and Rome is out for the series?
How could this coming season get worse?
But I think the biggest story of the 12 season will be the first meeting between Chara and Pacioretty. Much like it was after the little tap Chara took to heart, we are all left wondering what the next chapter is going to turn into. Will it turn into a good show, a good story? One where you take a pair of good players, and put them on the ice and watch them play the best hockey they can?
That is my hope.
But maybe it will be the third chapter in one of the ugliest stories written in recent hockey memory.
Personally, I think Pacioretty will do what he always does. He will come to play hockey and I will love watching it.
But I wish I knew what Chara will do .