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Greg Wyshynski

Habs fan survives bloody beating in Boston

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When I interviewed Steve Williamson -- that dude who traveled around the NHL to see 30 games in 30 nights -- one of his most pointed observations about fan culture was during his visit to Boston. It was a night when Montreal was in town, and he spun a tale about a poisonous atmosphere filled with animosity, nastiness and, eventually, police intervention. I thought about that atmosphere when reading the Boston Herald's rather horrific report about Jean Pierre Masse, 28 of Montreal (not pictured), taking what witnesses described as "two Adam Vinatieri-like boots to the head" (somewhere, Stephen Gostkowski quietly weeps) and leaving a "pool of blood that spilled into the gutter." All because he was wearing a Canadiens jersey, according to witnesses:

"He (Masse) was wearing glasses," [witness Hugo] Contant recalled yesterday. "And he had a red Canadiens shirt on. When he approached them, they began yelling things like, ‘Go home, you French (expletive)' - things like that. I heard (Masse) laugh and say, ‘We don't want to fight . . . we don't want any trouble,' as he tried to pass. Then someone punched him once, maybe twice, in the face. He went down and his eyeglasses came off.

"That is when I see this other man in the Bruins shirt walk up and kick him in the head, while the man was still laying in the street," Contant said. "And then he kicked him again in the face. That's when I ran to him, because I thought they would kill him. When I got to him, I thought he was dead. That is when I screamed, ‘Look what you've done!'"

Ah, sweet Boston: Always an oasis of cultural sensitivity. The Montreal Gazette reports that Boston police officers arrested Patrick O'Brien and Jared Callen, both 21 of Winchester, and charged them with assault & battery by means of a dangerous weapon. Police told the Gazette that the "incident is considered isolated," and that there isn't typically violence after Bruins games. That said, let's just be happy Masse wasn't wearing a Yankees hat with his Habs sweater ... and that no one decided to take a piss on him, either.

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