What a decade this was in New England sports! As we move into the 2020s, join NESN.com in counting down the best moments in New England sports from 2010-2019. (And check out the rest of our “Best of the Decade” content here.)
The Bruins and Blues battled it out until the very end in a seven-game fight for the Stanley Cup. But, if you’re a Bruins fan, the signature moment might have occurred before Game 5.
Zdeno Chara took a puck to the face in Game 4 and needed medical attention on the ice. The defenseman was able to skate off the ice and walk down the tunnel, leaving a puddle of blood behind. Chara returned to the bench for the third period in Boston’s eventual 4-1 win over St. Louis.
The then-41-year-old barely could talk and appeared to be in obvious pain when he tried to do so. But Chara not only didn’t miss Game 5, he was in the starting lineup at TD Garden. He sported a full mask on his helmet to protect his face and when his name was announced by the PA announcer, the home crowd went absolutely nuts.
Relieve the epic moment in the video below:
Chara admitted he was overwhelmed by the response, calling it “very humbling.”
While the defenseman didn’t make the scoresheet in Game 5, he did log 16 minutes of ice time and scored a goal in Game 6 while amassing two hits and a blocked shot, throwing himself around as if he was 100 percent healthy, in the heartbreaking Game 7 loss.
What’s even more impressive about Chara’s return is just how extensive the injury really was. He revealed there were “multiple fractures” in his jaw and needed to have pins inserted in his mouth to keep his jaw in place because it was separated in two spots.
This moment never will be forgotten by Bruins fans, especially after learning what Chara dealt with in order to give the B’s a chance to win.