You just knew honoring Zdeno Chara in the Bell Centre was going to be a little dicey. And when the announcement of Chara’s 1,500th game came during the second media timeout in Tuesday’s game, it first sounded like the boos were going to rule the day. But soon the applause started to fill in and, when Chara acknowledged the crowd by standing and waving, he got an appreciative roar.
After the game, Chara said the feeling was mutual.
“Obviously that felt really nice. I really appreciated that,” said Chara. “It was very classy and it’s something I will definitely remember.”
It may not have matched the poignancy of the night in 1942, when the Habs and Bruins players came together to carry Milt Schmidt, Woody Dumart and Bobby Bauer on their shoulders in that famed line’s final game at the Garden before going off to World War II. But there aren’t many other moments vying for second place in this heated rivalry.
In this current iteration of the rivalry, Chara has been the face of the Bruins to many of the Canadien fans. When he drove former Hab Max Pacioretty into the Bell Centre stanchion back in 2011, he became public enemy No. 1. Many even wanted him to be arrested.