As just about everyone associated with the Boston Bruins has said over the last month, it’s gonna be wicked weird lining up against Zdeno Chara after 14 distinguished, Hall of Fame-level years serving as captain in Boston.
But that’s what was bound to happen when the Bruins moved on from the 43-year-old defenseman this offseason, and Chara in turn signed on with the Washington Capitals and a chance to play his former Bruins teammates at least eight times this season. The Bruins are bracing for the weirdness now that it will be here at puck drop on Saturday night.
“It’s a tough one to explain. I think there will be some feelings involved. Seeing him in any jersey other than a B’s jersey is going to be pretty different and weird,” said Connor Clifton. “Looking across at him in warmups tonight is going to be something very different. You just try to see past that and get ready to face the Washington Capitals tonight.
“Seeing a guy like Big Zee and how he approaches the game, his life, his character, his leadership, his dedication…it’s all extremely evident as soon as you meet the guy. He’s a caring guy. I was lucky to play with him, learn from him and call him a friend.”
Patrice Bergeron anticipated it might be the strangest he’s felt playing against an old teammate since the Bruins faced off against old friend Andrew Ference and the Edmonton Oilers back in the 2013-14 season.