Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 2/16/12

How far is too far? Hockey fans cheer for big hits and fights. When two guys drop the gloves, they want the guy on their team to rearrange the other guy’s face. It’s worse with rivals. Fan bases can develop an unbelievable hatred for one another, and no two groups of fans are a better example of that than the Bruins and Canadiens. That being said, is cheering when a rival player takes a puck to the face uncalled for?

We know Montreal fans despise Zdeno Chara in particular. Last season, Chara laid a questionable hit on Max Pacioretty and the people of Montreal actually forced the police to investigate it as a crime. Clearly they were happy to see him get nailed in the face by a puck on Wednesday night — even though the puck drew blood.

“That was embarrassing,” Brad Marchand according to CSNNE.com. “The fact that they were cheering like they did when Zee was hurt was classless. We’re out there trying to do a job. It’s entertainment for them, but at the same time you have to be concerned that it’s people’s lives at stake. Concussions and stuff like that are a very serious thing, and you don’t have to disrespect guys when they’re trying to make a living for their family and they’re hurt like that.”

Chara was not amused, either.

“(The) way the fans (react) I can’t control, but at the same time it’s not sportsmanlike and it’s disappointing,” Chara said. “When a guy is laying down on the ice hurting and there’s a standing ovation for that … what can I say? There is nothing much I can say about it.”

The bottom line is a puck to the face can do some serious damage. Chara was lucky to come away with just a cut, but in my opinion those cheers are an example of taking a rivalry too far.

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