It didn't take long for things to get contentious between the Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings during Saturday night's divisional tilt. Within the first 30 seconds of the game, Red Wings agitator Steve Ott and Bruins captain Zdeno Chara were tangled up and nearly came to blows.
It was what the referees didn't see that led to the altercation, and while the men in stripes missed it the cameras didn't. The NHL's Department of Player Safety announced Sunday that Ott has been fined $2,222.22, the maximum allowable under the collective bargaining agreement, for spearing Chara.
Here is the infraction in question:
If there's one guy in the NHL you would rather not anger, it's probably the 6-foot-9 Chara, but Ott has always been pretty eager to poke the bear, this time in a more literal sense. The referees gave those two every chance to work it out on their own, but the linesmen stepped in before it could escalate any further.
The two players each received minors for unsportsmanlike conduct. Had Ott's spear been caught, he would have risked a major penalty and game misconduct.
While the Red Wings were spared having to kill off a five-minute penalty at the start of the game, they still ended up losing 1-0 to Boston.