Montreal Canadiens fans put aside a rivalry to recognize a legend.
Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara received a standing ovation from the crowd at Bell Centre, and the Canadiens celebrated his 1,500th game Tuesday.
“I thought it was very classy,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. “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.”
Chara played his milestone game in Montreal, becoming the sixth NHL defenseman to reach 1,500 games. The crowd cheered, and the Canadiens acknowledged their longtime rival with stick taps. Canadiens captain Shea Weber, shared his appreciation for Chara’s longevity.
“That’s pretty amazing for anyone to do,” Weber said. “He’s a guy that put a lot of hard work and dedication into his career. … I don’t know if many guys would be able to do what he did, especially the way the game is now. But kudos to him, he’s been great.”
Montreal’s 5-4 win was Chara’s 970th game for the Bruins, and the reaction was a distinct difference from the boos he usually receives.
“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.”
NHL.com Independent Correspondent Sean Farrell contributed to this story