Boston Bruins Captain Zdeno Chara to Miss Time With Injury After Leaving Game Against St. Louis Blues on Tuesday
The injury bug has once again made its way to Boston. While the team has been dealing with injuries to David Pastrnak, Kevan Miller, Noel Acciari, and up until recently, Anton Khudobin, they’ve still found ways to win. When captain Zdeno Chara went down against the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday, however, his absence was noticeable and resulted in a loss.
Through the Bruins’ 19 games so far this season, Chara has looked great. The 39-year-old defenseman has averaged 23:26 of ice time and has been a great partner for 19-year-old rookie Brandon Carlo. Unfortunately for both Carlo and the Bruins, Chara was taken out of Tuesday night’s tilt against St. Louis in the second period, and the Blues took advantage of the situation.
“I didn’t even realize that he was gone, to be honest with you, until the intermission,” Rask said. “I think … (the Blues) were strong on the puck in the second and created some chances and played a good period. But it happens in hockey, you can’t always dominate the whole 60 minutes.”
The Bruins had leads of 1-0 and 2-1 in the game, but gave up both and eventually took the 4-2 loss. Without Chara, there was a noticeable decline in Carlo’s game – something the rookie acknowledged and took responsibility for.
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“I struggled a bit there in the second for sure,” Carlo said. “Definitely some onus on me for those goals. But I think regardless I got to play my game and play the right way regardless of who’s across from me. Definitely a bit more responsibility on myself to get in better position there and keep those ones out of the net.”
Missing Time Leaves a Hole
The Bruins announced Wednesday that Chara suffered a lower-body injury and would not be traveling to Ottawa with the team. The Bruins also announced that they would provide an update on Chara’s status ahead of their game against the Calgary Flames on Nov. 25.
With Chara set to miss the Bruins’ divisional game against the Senators. it’s likely that Kevan Miller will return to the Bruins lineup. The healthy defensemen on the roster now include Carlo, Torey Krug, Adam McQuaid, John-Michael Liles, Joe Morrow, Colin Miller and Kevan Miller. At the Bruins’ practice Wednesday, the defensive pairings indicate that Kevan Miller is healthy and ready to go – just in time considering the injury to Chara.
The Bruins defensive pairings at practice were as follows:
Liles – Carlo
Krug – McQuaid
Morrow – K. Miller
The bottom pairing could be a concerning one for the Bruins if Kevan Miller isn’t ready to go Thursday against Ottawa. While both Morrow and Colin Miller have shown positives signs this season, neither are renowned for their defensive prowess. If they ultimately end up playing together, it’s likely that Julien will use them in very specific situations to limit their defensive deficiencies. If Kevan Miller is ready to go, then the bottom pairing will have a legitimate defensive-minded player who can use the bottom-pairing minute to ease his way back into the flow of the game.
Hopefully Chara’s injury is nothing too serious and the captain can return to the lineup sooner than later. Despite his age, Chara is still legitimately the Bruins top defenseman – whether or not he should be is a different story, but that’s just the way it is right now for Boston. On a more positive note, however, Pastrnak skated with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand at the Bruins’ practice Wednesday which should indicate he’s ready to return to the lineup against the Senators.