BOSTON | Jason Chimera was definitely going to hit Boston Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid, and for a while it looked like a shoulder-to-shoulder check. But when McQuaid turned at the last second, the Washington Capitals forward sent him flying into the boards.
McQuaid remained down on the as Chimera was escorted over to the penalty box amid booing. The 32-year-old seemed to be jawing on the way to the box and was soon sent off the ice and down the tunnel to the visiting locker room.
Chimera was given a five-minute major for charging and a game misconduct. Given how the play developed with McQuaid turning away, Caps coach Dale Hunter did not agree with the calls.
“Well, I seen it. The guy turned at the last second, so it’s tough on the refs, I know that,” Hunter said. “But it’s one of those things that it’s tough for Chimmer to stop, but you’ve got to keep playing on. There’s no sense in arguing; call’s made and move on.”
Bruins coach Claude Julien did not think Chimera’s hit was ill-intentioned.
“He was going hard, and maybe it was a little bit reckless, but there’s no doubt in my mind that it wasn’t intentional,’ Julien said. “Mac just turned at the last second and put himself in a but of a vulnerable position, but, still, I agree with the referee’s call: It was a bit of a reckless hit and it deserved probably a five [minute penalty].”
McQuaid eventually skated off the ice but did not return. McQuaid does have a history of concussions.
Julien said McQuaid “wasn’t feeling quite right.”
The Caps killed off the penalty, and Alex Ovechkin was being double-shifted to take Chimera’s spot. Chimera joined Washington’s other scratches in the TD Garden press box during the second period and declined comment when approached by reporters.
While Julien’s response was measured, some Bruins players expressed displeasure about Chimera’s hit.
“You never want to see your guy go down, especially like this,” forward David Krejci said. “I think a place like that, you know, whatever. But it shouldn’t go into hockey.”
Defenseman Greg Zanon called it a “dangerous hit.”
Ex-Caps defenseman Joe Corvo defended Chimera in saying “it was hard for him to stop.”
Chimera will not have a disciplinary hearing with the NHL. He was on the ice for a very optional practice Friday.
Video courtesy CSN Washington: