As fierce as the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins rivalry may be, Habs fans showed they can still be respectful when it comes to recognizing a legend.
That was the case on Tuesday night when fans at the Bell Centre gave the Bruins’ defenceman a warm ovation in honour of his 1,500 NHL game, the sixth most all-time for blueliners.
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“I thought it was very classy,” said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. “They’ve got good fans in Montreal … I don’t happen to like the Canadiens, [but it] doesn’t mean I don’t like their fans. They’re good people, and they know hockey, so I was glad to see it.”
Montreal won a see-saw of a game, 5-4, in what was Chara’s 970th game for the Bruins. The 42-year-old Slovakia-native is normally met with boos every time he touches the puck on the Canadiens home ice.
Chara is arguably the catalyst to one of hockey’s most famous rivalries, especially after his concussion-causing hit to former Hab Max Pacioretty at the Bell Centre in March 2011.
“I really appreciate that,” Chara said. “It was very classy and something I will definitely remember. We’ve had some battles. It’s a good rivalry; a lot of history with both of these teams, so it’s always fun to play these games.”