While “dial 911” has become something of a rallying cry between Montreal and the Bruins in the weeks since Zdeno Chara’s hit on Max Pacioretty last month, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli has been assured that Chara won’t face undue scrutiny from the Quebec authorities.
There is still an ongoing criminal investigation and there were fears that Chara might be distracted by the actions taken by the police when the Bruins travel up north for Games 3 and 4.
“They’ve been very good, the authorities up there, and I anticipate nothing untoward will happen when we get up there,” said the GM during a conference call today.
Chiarelli also said that although he expects extra enthusiasm from fans of both teams, he’s not anticipating any sort of extra security concerns.
As for Chara, he has been booed lustily in every visiting arena since he became one of the premier defensemen in the NHL. If the incident with Pacioretty did anything, it re-focused the Bruins captain, who made a strong push down the stretch to win a second Norris Trophy in three years.
A lesser player might’ve wilted under the scrutiny.
“I was really impressed with the way that he handled it and the way that he played. His play didn’t falter,” said Chiarelli. “I mean Zee gets booed pretty much everywhere in the Northeast anyways, so I don’t think that’s obviously much of a change for him. I think this guy should be a strong Norris candidate. I think his year, I think he’s been very good this year and it’s just, this incident may overshadow the fact that he’s deserving of a candidacy for the Norris. And again I think he’s had a real strong year and his game is not sexy, but his game is really, really effective.”
Chara can quiet the boos by playing his best and leading the Bruins to victory. If this series is short, the authorities won’t even have time to find a cell and handcuffs big enough to hold the tallest player in NHL history.