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Chara: 'It was just a hockey play'

BOSTON -- Zdeno Chara did not take part in the Bruins' optional skate today in TD Garden but he emerged in the Bruins locker room this morning and took a few questions from the media about the Max Pacioretty incident and its aftermath.

Obviously, Chara said he was satisfied the NHL did not suspend him for the play. He also said he understood Pacioretty's angry reaction in an interview from his hospital bed last night with TSN.

"I totally understand. He's in the hospital so he's got the right to be emotional so I respect that," Chara said. "I obviously feel bad he got hurt. As a hockey player we all feel bad when something like that happens. ... I'm wishing him to a fast recovery and hopefully he'll be back on the ice soon. That's all we love to do. We love to be hockey. When we go out there, we take risks and sometimes we do get hurt. But it's just very unfortunate."

Chara denied Pacioretty's assertion that he intentionally drove the Montreal player into the stanchion by the Bell Centre benches.

"It was just a hockey play that developed," Chara said. "I know deep down I didn't do it intentionally. I said it before it's not my style. It's not what I try to do. I never try to hurt anybody. I play physical. I play hard. That's not what I intended to do."

"There's always going to be two sides to that," said Bruins coach Claude Julien. "We're supportive of our player. We know he didn't do it on purpose. It wasn't intentional. But at the same time, I understand their frustration at the other end becaue we've been on the other side of the coin (think Matt Cooke-Marc Savard), and it's normal to be frustrated."

The Chara interview only lasted about two minutes before Chara was whisked away by a Bruins PR official. Here's the audio from the session:

Zdeno Chara

---Mike Harrington


Boston Bruins | Sabres
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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

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Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

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Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

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