The Stanley Cup Playoffs always produce some magic and sometimes in ways that you really would not have expected. Perhaps I should have anticipated that the handshake line between the Washington Capitals and the Boston Bruins would be an emotional one, regardless of who proved victorious in this series, but it honestly wasn't something that had truly crossed my mind until I witnessed it on Sunday night.
On Sunday the Bruins finished off an impressive first round series against the Washington Capitals, one in which they bounced back from a tough loss in Game 1 with 4 consecutive wins to advance to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. As is tradition in the sport of hockey the two teams put aside their differences after it was all said and done and met one another at center ice in order to participate in one of the oldest traditions in all of sports, the handshake line.
This one however was a little bit more special than usual due to the fact that it featured long time Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara, only this time he was sporting a Washington Capitals uniform. You could tell immediately that it was an emotional moment for both Chara and several of his former teammates, many of who he spent several years fighting alongside of and many of whom he captured Stanley Cup glory with as well.
A few of the notable moments in this one included a heartfelt hug between Chara, who captained the Bruins for an incredible 14 seasons, and the man who would take over his role as captain Patrice Bergeron as well as some nice exchanges with players like Bruins forwards David Krejci, David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand and a nice big hug from defenseman Charlie McAvoy who Chara reportedly had a big influence on during his time with the Bruins.
It is the kind of moment you will only ever see in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and given Chara's age at this stage of his career it maybe the very last time we ever get to see a moment like it. Obviously things did not go the way Chara would have liked, but perhaps he can find some joy in knowing that his long time colleagues are moving on to the next round.