- Sunday night's game between the Bruins and Canadiens had it all - an intense rivalry game for the top position in the East that saw fights break out, back-to-back goals, a thunderous atmosphere and a B's team that pressed until the end, but couldn't find their comeback magic, falling to the Habs 4-3.
Tyler Seguin, Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron racked up a combined eight points on the night, scoring two goals and recording six assists. And Seguin definitely had an extra spark to his game, firing five total shots on goal, including one at the very end that saw him robbed by Peter Budaj.
But no greater spark came than when Captain Zdeno Chara dropped the gloves with less than five minutes to go in the second period.
Seguin skated through the neural zone and passed the puck up to Bergeron, before Montreal's Alexei Emelin came cross-ice and hit No. 19 on his left side, breaking his stick and sending the B's forward sliding to the ice towards the Bruins bench. Seguin immediately went off the ice and down the tunnel to get checked out.
Meanwhile, Big Zee took an exception to the hit and fought Emelin in the corner behind Budaj, landing eight or nine upper cuts on the Hab.
"I mean, obviously the guy just broke his stick cross-checking Tyler and when he went down I was just reacting to it," Chara told media postgame. "But he’s one of our best players and I’m not going to just watch him getting crushed like that."
"We really are brothers. We just play for each other and protect each other."
"I like to play and play hard and play physical, and what it comes down to is, I’ve never had a problem with it, but obviously it’s not the first option," Chara added on the fight, that landed him a two-minute instigator, five for fighting and 10-minute misconduct that kept him out of much of the third period.
"Zdeno did what he had to do because when a guy cross-checks one of your good players in the ribs and breaks his stick," Coach Julien told media during his postgame presser. "I support that. It's a teammate protecting a teammate and he was one of our good players tonight, too, Tyler."
"We're a team that reacts to those kind of things, and when people take liberties on our good players we go to their defense."
"Well yeah, you know, but it’s frustrating," Coach added, on the 17 penalty minutes to Chara. "Right now the frustrating part is that you end up with 17 minutes in the penalty box when you should have been on the power play. It’s as simple as that."
"I didn’t see it, but everybody told me," said Seguin, on being in the dressing room for his teammates's fight. "That’s the character of our team. Everybody always has each other’s backs."
"He’s the first guy I went up to after I went back to the dressing room after the period."
"Those are the penalties that we’ll definitely kill off," added Seguin, on the 2-5-10 line to Chara to kept the B's best defensman off the ice for the extended time, and the saw the Bruins successfully kill off the shorthanded situation.
"Those are the ones that don’t hurt you. Definitely nice to see our team sticking together as always."
Following tonight's game, the B's locker room was full of teammates rightfully disappointed by the loss, but not disappointed at all in the fervor of their Captain to stick up for a fellow brother in the spoked-B.
"Zee stepped up for a teammate and that’s what you have to do in that situation," said Marchand. "Guys like Zee and the rest of our teammates don’t like it [the hit] and Zee did a nice job stepping up there."
"Definitely, Zee's the best defenseman in the league and when he’s not on the ice, it’s a huge advantage to the other team," added Marchand. "But at the same time, guys have to step up in that situation when someone stands up for a teammate the way that Zee did, we all have to step up and make sure that we back him up and we didn’t do that tonight."
"Obviously, he stood up for Seggy there," said Bergeron. "We should have done the job."