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Saturday, April 24, 2010
Chara decision doesn't surprise Julien

By Joe McDonald

BOSTON –- Even before the Bruins landed in Boston around midnight on Friday, the team already knew its captain Zdeno Chara would not be suspended for an incident that occurred in the closing seconds of Game 5 in Buffalo.

As the Buffalo Sabres were ready to celebrate their 4-1 Eastern Conference quarterfinal victory, an all-out scrum ensued with Chara right in the middle of it. The Sabres’ Paul Gaustad initiated the incident by slashing Chara, and after the on-ice officials handed out a slew of penalties, Chara was given an instigator penalty.

League rules state that a player who is given an instigator penalty in the last five minutes of a game automatically receives a one-game suspension. Sabres coach Lindy Ruff did his best to sell the league on a suspension to no avail.

“He shouldn’t be suspended for that anyway,” said the Bruins' Johnny Boychuk. “If they did, it would probably be a joke.”

After the game, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli put in a request with the NHL to have Chara’s instigator penalty rescinded, and after review the league acknowledged there wasn’t an issue.

“To me, it was common sense,” said Julien. “When you look at what happened and how it was put on paper after the game, it didn’t make much sense.”

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