That sentiment rule resonates across the National Hockey League when teams face the Boston Bruins, in particular, Zdeno Chara.
The enigmatic Evander Kane found out the hard way Tuesday after chirping the Bruins and the tallest player in NHL history all night. It didn’t end up well for the 6-foot-2 winger in his exchange with Boston’s 6-foot-9 captain.
Kane went after Chara one last time after an alleged high hit to the head area. Yes, it was high, but what else could Chara do in that predicament given the seven-inch height differential?
Alas, Kane attacked Chara with a takedown from behind and the two exchanged fist-a-cuffs. Advantage Chara. Kane got an added 10 minutes for instigating. He ended his night mouthing off toward the Bruins one last time before making his way to the locker room.
“It was a hit right to my face, head, whatever you want to call it,” Kane said. “Clearly I get up and look at the referee who’s watching from the corner and he’s standing there with both arms down and I’m absolutely stunned. If I’m going to be officiated in a different way, what am I supposed to do outside defend myself. I’m not going to sit there and take a direct shot to the head.”
“I know he’s a big boy. We’ve seen it throughout the league, looks exactly the same to me,” Kane added. “That’s a classic headshot.”
The league looked at the hit and had a different opinion. So much so where Chara didn’t even have a hearing with the Department of Player Safety.
To little surprise, Kane didn’t appreciate the developments and let his feelings known with another chirp, this time on an appropriate platform called Twitter.
Chara didn’t have much to say about his exchange following Boston’s 4-1 victory. His actions did all the talking.
“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,” the 41-year-old defenseman said. “Just obviously, bracing myself for a check and it just happened.”
This wasn’t the first time Chara got jumped from behind. It may not be the last.
But there’s a way to do appropriately get on Chara’s back. Just ask Brad Marchand.
“I jump him all the time, just in the room. If you’re going to fight him, that’s the way to do it,” Marchand said to a round of laughter from reporters after tying Rick Middleton for most shorthanded goals in team history on Tuesday. “You know, so, not a guy you want to square off with, but obviously a very tough man and a very scary man.”
Attacking Chara isn’t the smartest thing, yet Kane earned a little respect from Jake DeBrusk for his effort against a hockey giant built like a Marvel Superhero.
“Obviously not a guy you want to go against in Zee [Chara],” DeBrusk said. “I give him respect for fighting Zee and standing up for himself, but when you go after Thanos like that it’s a little tough.”
DeBrusk would know a thing or two about the code of honor. After all, his father, Louie, once fought a young Chara nearly two decades ago.
The Bruins and Sharks concluded their two-game regular season series on Tuesday. Wouldn’t it be fun if these two teams met again in June?
Tim Rosenthal serves as the Managing Editor of Bruins Daily. He started contributing videos to the site in 2010 before fully coming on board during the Bruins' Stanley Cup run in 2011. His bylines over the last decade have been featured on Boston.com, FoxSports.com, College Hockey News, Patch and Inside Hockey. You can follow Tim on Twitter @_TimRosenthal.
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