BOSTON – It’s not every day you see a player decide to jump Zdeno Chara from behind in a fit of rage, but that’s exactly what happened with Evander Kane on Tuesday night.
The game had already been decided and the scoring already completed with the Bruins up 4-1 in the third period when Chara came in hard with a finished check on Kane behind the Boston net. The Sharks left winger decided to take matters into his own hands when he jumped the 6-foot-9 Bruins captain and tackled him to the ice.
An enraged Chara quickly got back up and the two threw down in a hockey fight where the 6-foot-9 defenseman landed a couple of heavy right-handed punches. Kane was slapped with an instigator penalty along with the fighting major and then handed a game misconduct for continuing to argue with the referees once play had resumed.
Kane tries to drop Chara from behind, but he didn’t account for him getting back up... pic.twitter.com/rT8w4JLWRh— Bruins (Guy Boston Sports) (@Bruins_GBos) February 27, 2019
The NHL Department of Player Safety is actually reviewing the initial Chara hit on Kane, given the contact to the head, and Kane called it “a classic headshot” following the game.
“It was a hit right to my face, head, whatever you want to call it. Clearly I get up and look at the referee who’s watching from the corner and he’s standing there with both arms down. I’m absolutely stunned,” said Kane, who finished with zero shots on net in his 10 plus minutes of ice time. “If I’m going to be officiated in a different way, what am I supposed to do outside of defending myself. I’m not going to sit there and take a direct shot to the head.
“I watched the replay, it looks like he elevates his shoulder into my head, I know he’s a big boy. We’ve seen it throughout the league, looks exactly the same to me. That’s a classic headshot.”
🏒BRUINS 4, SHARKS 1
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Reviews of the video showed that Kane was hunched over when the contact was made, and it certainly didn’t look like the kind of check to the head that usually warrants supplemental discipline. Chara said following the game that he was simply finishing his check, and that he didn’t feel there was anything to it beyond the normal physical contact.
“I was just playing hard and finishing my check,” said Chara. “Again, it’s something that happens during games. It’s a physical game, maybe some frustration on his part, I’m not sure, I can’t really speak for him. I’m just obviously, bracing myself for a check and it just happened.”
Chara has never been hit with any supplemental discipline during the course of his nearly 20-year NHL career, and that’s a pretty incredible feat given the physical nature of his defensive game. It remains to be seen if that’s going to change as the NHL reviews the incident with Kane from Tuesday night, but it sure doesn’t feel like one of those situations where the league needs to use the 41-year-old as an example.
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