It was a flashback of sorts for Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara
, as he skated around the ice at Scotiabank Place with the crowd on its feet.
But they weren't celebrating a goal or an assist for the home team Senators -- Chara's old team from 2001-06 -- they were celebrating history.
Not only did Chara break his own record (105.9 mph) with a 106.4 mph slap shot in his first attempt, but he set it again minutes later with a blistering 108.8 mph slap shot en route to winning his fifth-straight hardest shot competition.
"[The reaction] was great, very supportive," Chara said. "Very happy with the standing ovation - it was very much appreciated.
"I was also glad I could break the record here in Ottawa where I played and spent some time - some great years."
Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber, who was paired with Chara in last year's contest, set the bar high with a 104.9 mph shot.
But Chara answered and broke his 2011 record, and after Weber's second attempt, the captain of Team Chara blasted his own record.
"You know I was surprised with that myself," Chara said. "But yeah, I said before every All-Star hardest shot I try to do my best and improve and it worked.
"It was a great feeling. I didn't see the number until I peeked over the guys because the radar was kind of late to show the numbers, but when I saw it was 108.8 I was surprised myself, but obviously very happy."
In the finals, Chara put together 106.9 and 107 to defeat Weber, who followed close behind at 106.
"[Weber's] one of the best shooters in the league, he has a really hard shot," Chara said. "But we've been paired together for the last few years and I know how hard he shoots. You just, like I said go out and try to do your best."
In the last three contests, Chara has set and re-set the record. In 2009, he broke Al Iafrate's 16-year record with 105.4, and since then he has only distanced himself from any hopeful contenders.
For forward Tyler Seguin
, watching his teammate torch the clock was his favorite part of the night.
"I know he worked hard to improve and to see him to do that, I couldn't be happier," he said. "It was one thing last year being part of it, and after I said to the media I don't think anyone will ever beat it again.
"It's pretty incredible."
What would be even more incredible is if Chara topped out at 110 mph. For the six-foot-nine inch defenseman, it's certainly a possibility.
"We'll see," Chara said. "I want to be better every season when I step on the ice. In everything I do, I want to do better and improve so hopefully I can keep going." --- Anthony Gulizia