Yet while Pacioretty feels better physically, he's not mentally over the hit from Zdeno Chara that left him with a concussion and a broken vertebra.
Pacioretty is still upset with Chara, to the point where he had to turn off his TV when the Bruins' captain lifted the Stanley Cup last week, according to The Gazette in Montreal. The report says Pacioretty wishes Chara was suspended for the hit and that he hopes the league shows more consistency in its rulings on head shots.
Chara's hit on Pacioretty was not a head shot, in that Chara's principle point of contact was not Pacioretty's head. Instead, Chara hit Pacioretty shoulder-to-shoulder then shoved him late into the stanchion between the two teams' benches.
Chara was assessed a five-minute major penalty for interference and a game misconduct on the play, but the league's senior VP of hockey operations, Mike Murphy, said he could find no reason to punish him further.
"I could not find any evidence to suggest that, beyond this being a correct call for interference, that Chara targeted the head of his opponent, left his feet or delivered the check in any other manner that could be deemed to be dangerous," Murphy said, adding that Chara had no suspensions in his 13 NHL seasons.
Chara called Pacioretty to apologize after the hit, and Pacioretty later said he forgave Chara and respected him for the phone call. Pacioretty later had to issue an apology of his own after making fun of the size of Brad Marchand's nose during a Bruins-Canadiens playoff game.
Pacioretty also addressed people who have questioned the severity of his concussion, after the 22-year-old Connecticut native tweeted that he was seeing the movie Hall Pass in a theater less than a week after sustaining the injury.
"I still get some nasty emails from Bruins fans, but I wasn't faking it and neither was [Nathan] Horton [in the Stanley Cup Final]," Pacioretty said. "Every brain reacts differently to concussions. We were both out cold but, fortunately, we haven't had any serious side effects."