Jason Chimera didn’t want to talk about his hit on Boston Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid and subsequent major penalty and game misconduct when it happened on March 29. Coach Claude Julien and others in the home locker room at TD Garden made it clear they did not think the Washington Capitals forward was trying to injure McQuaid.
Chimera did not receive any kind of supplemental discipline, as it was clear McQuaid turned at the last second. The 32-year-old discussed the incident Monday with the Caps’ first-round series against the Bruins coming up this week.
“Obviously, my record speaks for itself. I’m not a dirty player. I think I play the game the right way and I play it pretty hard,” Chimera said. “I’ve never really been close to a suspension before. I think it was one of those things he turned … and I don’t want to hurt anybody, obviously. That’s the main thing. He got hurt on the play and you don’t want to see anybody get hurt and he stayed down for that time. It was a play that happens sometimes so quick that you can’t really react too much and you try to let up a bit.”
Chimera was given a five-minute major penalty for charging, as it did appear that he lined McQuaid up from several strides away. The hit likely would have been shoulder-to-shoulder, but Chimera understood the difficulty of the situation.
“I was obviously mad at the call because I knew what happened. I think it’s a tough situation for the refs, too,” Chimera said. “They see a guy down, they see a guy that went into the boards pretty hard. They got to make a decision, too, and they made that decision. Sometimes I think maybe if they would have looked at it, it may have been two minutes or something, but not a five-minute major.
“So I think they’re in a tough spot, too. The game happens so fast. You got to really be on the ball to make a two-minute call. You see someone down you got to protect your players, too.”
McQuaid, who has a history of concussions, missed four out of the final five games with what the Bruins are listing as an “eye laceration.” The big defenseman played just seven minutes vs. Ottawa on Thursday.