Wednesday's season-opener against the Washington Capitals didn't exactly go the way the Bruins had hoped. The Caps thrashed the Bruins and took away a 7-0 victory on home ice, but not before some controversy was brewed up at Capital One Arena.

After Washington forward Lars Eller scored his third-period goal that made it 7-0, he proceeded to skate past the Bruins bench and celebrated his tally with a rather unspectacular celebration in front of a frustrated Boston group.  Some of the veteran members of the Bruins, including Brad Marchand, took offense to Eller showboating in front of their bench in a blowout. 

They let Eller know about it with a verbal warning, but that wasn't enough for Marchand. Later in the period, the Bruins winger went out of his way to get a piece of Eller.

Marchand received a five-minute major for fighting, a two-minute minor for instigating and a 10-minute misconduct at the conclusion of the fight. Replays showed that Eller took a couple of big shots to the head during the scrap and he was bloodied up pretty good as he headed off the ice for repairs.

After the game, Marchand confirmed that Eller's celebration was the reason for the fight. 

Marchand, who has a well-earned reputation of being an agitator, didn't exactly give Eller a fair shot to turn down the fight, and that's something that he may have to answer for down the line. The NHL rulebook requires at least two willing combatants in any permissible fight, and guys are supposed to wait until both parties shed their gloves before engaging and throwing punches. With how quickly Marchand engaged Eller, some felt as though he "jumped" the Capitals forward.

Some even took exception to him challenging Eller at all, as the Capitals forward isn't known to be a fighter. This was the first fight of his NHL career. 

On the other side, some felt as though Marchand was within his right to confront Eller after the celebration in front of the Bruins bench. It's viewed as an infringement of the sport's "unwritten rules" and is apparently considered worthy of a response. 

But, again, the response is only acceptable if it's determined that there are two willing parties ready to go. Eller eventually settled into the bout and attempted to throw some punches in Marchand's direction, but the crux of the controversy here is whether or not Marchand gave him any choice. 

It seems rather unlikely there's supplemental discipline coming -- the instigator and misconduct penalties are standard in these situations -- but given Marchand's lengthy history with the league's Department of Player Safety (he's been suspended five times), pretty much anything he does is scrutinized with a more intense lens than most other players.

In any case, I've always felt the best way to prevent opponents from showboating in front of your bench when you're down by seven goals is to not allow them to lead by seven goals. It's also not super ideal to have your leading scorer from last season fighting in a seven-goal game.