PITTSBURGH - Montreal must be a pretty peaceful place these days.
That's why police there have the time to conduct an investigation into the hit by Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara that seriously injured Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty.
Pacioretty was rammed into the boards at an intersection where the boards meet the glass and his head snapped back from the check. He sustained a severe concussion and a broken bone in his neck.
The NHL reviewed the play and determined no penalty was needed beyond the five-minute major Chara got for interference.
For once, the NHL was right.
It was a terrible injury, but there was no apparent intent to injure on Chara's part.
It was an unfortunate circumstance of playing a violent game, and it was made worse by the coincidence of occurring at a spot on the rink that left Pacioretty in an dangerously vulnerable position.
You can make a case that NHL rinks are too small for 2011-sized players. You can rightfully claim that the partion into which Pacioretty was hit is unsafe and should be addressed in rink design. You can argue that NHL players need to be more conscious of each others' safety.
But you can't make a criminal case.
The grandstanding going on in Montreal only detracts from the real issues.
There were 13,904 tickets sold for the opener of the Arena Football Pittsburgh Power Friday night, and that tells us something we already knew: Pittsburgh is a football town.
The Steelers have been selling out since 1972, so that isn't a revelation.
But when a secondary attraction like Arena Football can sell that many tickets, it shows the appeal of the sport.
There were 25 baseball crowds last season smaller than the 13,904 the Power drew on Friday.
One step forward
A basketball season that started with great promise for Duquesne seems to have ended in disappointment as the team did not make the NCAA?Tournament.
The Dukes lost seven of their last nine games, including a loss to No. 12 seed St. Joseph in the Atlantic 10 tournament.
You see the news footage from Japan of lives being devastated by natural disasters, and the inability of the NFL owners and players to divide $9 billion seems even more trivial.
Mehno can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org