Prior to Sunday night, Zdeno Chara hadn’t played in front of Bruins fans in Boston since March 7 of last year.
Of course, plenty transpired for Chara over the 13 months that followed. After leading the Bruins through the restarted 2019-20 campaign in the Toronto bubble, Chara left Boston for the nation’s capital in free agency. The veteran defenseman returned to Boston as a visiting player in early March, but he and the Capitals battled the B’s in an empty arena, as TD Garden at that time prohibited fans from attending games amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
But that wasn’t the case for Chara’s second trip to Boston this season, as a few thousand Bruins supporters were on hand Sunday night. The B’s once again honored Chara with a tribute video, and the future Hall of Famer received a standing ovation from the limited number of fans in attendance.
Chara, as he made clear via Instagram on Monday, appreciated the gesture and still holds Bruins fans and the city of Boston near and dear to his heart.
“Boston fans, it was nice to hear your appreciation last night in person,” Chara wrote. “My time in Boston is something that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Thank you all for so many memories.”
Chara and the Capitals will square off with the Bruins once more before the start of the 2021 NHL playoffs, and that matchup in Washington D.C. will be both teams’ final game of the regular season. Given the way this season has played out thus far, the May 11 tilt could have major playoff implications.