Ah, the bad blood between those age-old rivals, the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens, is alive and boiling.
When the Bruins visited their Northeast Division counterparts on Wednesday night, the Montreal faithful booed lustily each time Boston defenceman Zdeno Chara touched the puck. Towards the end of the first period, when the Bruins’ captain was struck on the chin by the puck as the Habs’ Tomas Plekanec tried to clear it out of the Montreal zone with a slap shot, the Bell Centre attendees cheered as Chara went down on the ice. The big Slovak would make his way to the dressing room and later return to the game with a bloodied chin.
“It’s very disappointing,” said Chara, who delivered a regular-season-ending hit on the Habs’ Max Pacioretty last March. “You have a guy lying on the ice kind of hurt and they give a standing ovation for that. What can I say? There’s nothing much I can say about that. I can’t control that, and I moved on. I got up, I got stitched up, and I was back in the second.”
In the second period, the Bruins’ chief instigator, Brad Marchand, delivered a dangerous-looking low hit by on defenceman Alexei Emelin. The Montreal defenceman stayed in the game, and Marchand drew a two-minute clipping penalty.
According to Sportsnet’s John Shannon, the NHL has reviewed Marchand’s questionable hit on Emelin. Although the Boston forward should not expect further discipline, he might get a phone call from the league.
Marchand, who was suspended five games in January for clipping Vancouver’s Sami Salo, addressed the fans’ response to Chara’s injury after the game (above).
“It’s embarrassing. The fact that they were cheering like they did when he got hurt, it’s very classless,” Marchand said. “It could’ve been a very dangerous situation.”
(with files from AP)