I for one was very much looking forward to the potential interactions that we would see this season between veteran Washington Capitals defenseman Zdeno Chara, a long time captain of the Boston Bruins, and his former teammates on the Bruins, and on Friday night we got to see the first few sparks of what is to come.
The game on Friday night was an emotional one for both teams thanks in large part to a devastating hit that was delivered by Capitals forward Tom Wilson to Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo, one that saw Carlo taken to the hospital in an ambulance. That emotion was on full display throughout the contest and although Wilson would eventually answer for the hit by dropping the gloves with the newest member of the Bruins, former Montreal Canadiens first round draft pick Jarred Tinordi, that would do very little to settle the game down.
The Bruins responded well to losing one of their most important players on the blue line, dominating the Capitals throughout the contest and eventually taking a 5 - 0 lead, which no doubt added to the tension between these two teams. By the time the third period had rolled around both teams were at each other's throats, and it was just over midway through that third frame that we saw things boil over between former teammates.
I'm sure it will come as a surprise to no one to learn that it was notorious Bruins agitator Brad Marchand that finally got under the skin of Chara, but he did so not by agitating the big man himself, but his teammates. After a scrum between the two teams had cooled down, Marchand decided to get one last cheap shot in on Washington's Nick Jensen while the official's back was turned. Chara saw the whole thing go down however and immediately tried to reach over the NHL official to get a piece of his former teammate, but thankfully for Marchand another former Chara teammate was there to save him.
The man who has replaced Chara as captain of the Bruins, Patrice Bergeron, almost immediately climbed onto Chara's back to restrain him, preventing the big man from getting his mitts on Marchand. Chara still tried to take a swing at Marchand but with Bergeron on his back he was unable to really connect, but he may still get his chance considering these two teams will meet three more times this season.