Category Archives: Zdeno Chara
For many of us, it is clear that our Boston Bruins embody integrity. Throughout the regular season, instead of hearing rumors about extracurricular drunken player excursions or domestic abuse charges, we are bombarded with charity events. Our Boston Bruins have a captain who has climbed Mount Kilimanjero; Andrew Ference and Zdeno Chara are also involved in Right to Play, whose mission is to improve the lives of children in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the world “by using the power of sport and play for development, health and peace.” (Source)
The Boston Bruins certainly make mistakes, like any group of mortals, and nothing is more indicative of this fact than the now infamous green finger event involving Andrew Ference. When he shows us his middle finger, however, we’re shocked exactly because such behavior is uncharacteristic our Boston Bruins. The last time we drafted a rat like Brad Marchand, for instance, it was two and a half decades ago. But even Marchy is loved because although he’s a regular disturber, he doesn’t stoop to Averian antics or resort to feminine antics involving his teeth.
Marc Savard was also involved in a biting incident, as we know, and although there was speculation as to whether Carcillo was tugging on Savard’s front teeth, no one thought this was acceptable behavior, if it did indeed take place. But let’s not shame the memory of one of the best centers ever to wear a Bruins jersey. Marc Savard, who stands 5’9″, was always the first to jump to the defense of his teammates and wasn’t afraid to stir it up. He was also not the kind of player to stoop to the level of cheap-shotting highly respected players with the moral character of someone like Patrice Bergeron. The same cannot be said of players like Alex Burrows, who had, admittedly, toned it down this past regular season.
Had the cowardly Burrows even transpired with some other player, like Brad Marchand or Milan Lucic, there would likely not have been much commotion regarding the incident. But the outrage wasn’t primarily about his non-suspension, even though Jarkko Ruutu was suspended 2 games for the exact same act. The outrage wasn’t over the scrum, either. It was over the fact that the well-respected Bergeron entered the scrum merely to push aside the instigating 3rd man in. There was no observable hostility of cheap-shotting on his part.
Scrums are part of the game, and sometimes, so are cheap shots. Yet you won’t find Lucic sucker-punching a player like Kevin Bieksa or conveniently falling over rival Carey Price with intent to injure–you can take that promise to the bank. With the aggression of the Boston Bruins comes a code of conduct centered on honor and respect.
Emotions can get the better of you in intense contexts. The Boston Bruins, despite their undeserved reputation, are rumored in some circles to be ‘dirty’. Nothing could be further from the truth. As a Boston Bruins fan, we are often taken aback by teams like the Philadephia Flyers and the Montreal Canadiens for this very reason–we forget that not everyone follows the same code.
The code of integrity in question was highlighted by Kevin Bieksa himself last month, when he argued that his team had crossed a line that put into jeopardy the integrity of the game of hockey itself:
“I know guys will do whatever it takes for a power play to win a game,” Bieksa said. “But sometimes they’re crossing that line of integrity. I think for the better of the game, for the good of the game we need people to stay on that line and not cross it, and not dive and exaggerate for calls.” (Source)
Our Boston Bruins are not merely playing for the Stanley Cup in this final round; they are playing for each other. This is what they do. Their last game with the Tampa Bay Lightning was one of the most intense and hard-hitting hockey games many of us had ever witnessed, and not one penalty call was made. To the admission of both coaches, this was not due to officiating leniency but to the fact that both teams respected the boundaries of physical play.
There is a place for hard-hitting hockey, and many of us want to keep it that way. There is also a place for fighting, and many of us very much want it to stay that way. There is no place, however, in a Stanley Cup final for hits aimed at the termination of budding careers or feminine antics of the kind that will be permanently recorded in the history books. If the Boston Bruins lose this series, they will do so with integrity. If they get their name on the Stanley Cup, it will be for their ability to play hockey.
Win or lose, as the world watches these two teams battle it out for the greatest prize of all, one great result that will come out of this Stanley Cup final is that the world will be able to judge for themselves the character of this Boston Bruins team. This is a we can be proud of. This is a team we’re already proud of.
Watch out for… (From this post)
No, not Lucic (primarily). Yet this is what the Vancouver media has been advertising. The Canucks might be surprised to learn that Milan Lucic is no longer the greatest threat when it comes to physical play. Who to watch out for, then? Here’s my subjective list, in order of perceived toughness, taking into account recent play but not discounting a sudden resurgence of malice.
- Johnny “The Bulldozer” Boychuk (See Hit) (See him Floor Coburn)
- Andrew Ference (Infamous Halpern Hit)
- Dennis Seidenberg (Big Hit in Tampa Series)
- Brad Marchand (You’d think he was 6 foot tall)
- Nathan Horton–that’s right. He does more than just score. (Flyers Series Highlights)
- Adam McQuaid (Fight vs. Paul Gaustad)
- Zdeno Chara needs no introduction.
- And yes, even Mark Recchi (You’d think he was a youngin’)
- Lucic? Also needs no introduction. It depends on the night. He could be at the top of this list on some nights, but he’s been busy feeding Nathan Horton lately.
- Shawn Thornton? He may or may not get ice time. If he does, you’ll notice.
- Gregory Campbell, who can also be a real offensive threat and isn’t afraid to mix it up
It’s not about the number of hits. It’s about momentum. And maybe some killer instinct.
Analysis by BruinsUnite
As Lucic remarked, “there’s only one way to overcome this 2-0 loss and that’s for the Bruins to unite”
“We’re going to have to unite as a team here, and do it together.” (Video)
But there’s another component missing here: Focus. No fan who knows this team well really doubts that they’re hungry to go further, and some are even hungry for the ultimate prize. But that goal seems so distant right now that the focus must be on the here and now: Game 3.
What keeps a Bruins from plunging into misery right now is the insight that 2 separate commentators contributed this week on The Sports Hub (98.5 Boston). They remarked that a trip to Montreal is just what the Bruins need right now and that the Bruins went into Game 1 with a little too much uninformed confidence; overconfidence makes you gutsy and sloppy. Maybe a taste of the Bell Center is just what the doctor ordered.
Obvious retort: The Bruins haven’t won a game in Montreal in a long time.
Obvious reply: This is the playoffs and an entirely different set of rules apply.
Maybe the Bruins will suddenly start playing like themselves again.
Maybe they’ll stick to short passes, realizing that long passes get intercepted (hear that, Julien?) and score another goal– recall the short-pass goal from Marchand to Bergeron in the last game.
Maybe Lucic will start playing like a professional athlete again.
Maybe Thomas will act like the Vezina winner he is, and begin to control his rebounds.
Maybe they’ll stop turning the puck over and taking unnecessary penalties.
All this doesn’t seem like much to ask, and if it’s what we get from the Bruins, this will suddenly become a 2-1 series and those numbers ain’t bad. A one win difference will calm everyone down from their current state of panic.
Analysis by BruinsUnite
Bruins captain Zdeno Chara was hospitalized last night for dehydration, the team announced this morning. “As of Saturday, he was being evaluated by the team’s medical staff” but Coach Claude Julien said today that he expects Chara to be in the lineup for tonight’s Game 2. (WEEI)
“Chara had five shots on goal in 25:06 of ice time in Thursday’s Game 1” and was arguably the only player apart from Brad Marchand who was psychologically present for Game 1. Chara was on his game and performed according to the usual expectations, which are quite high.
Game 1 Performances: Carey Price not a Major Factor
Brad Marchand played, well, just like Brad Marchand. He’s fast, intelligent in his decision-making, plays with the physicality of player twice his size and does his best to draw penalties. All that is enough to get the job done–in the regular season. Let’s hope the same will hold true in the post season.
In contrast with the performance of the rest of his team, Marchand was the highlight of the night for many Bruins fans.
On the D side of things, the essential components that Chara brings are sometimes overlooked in a fast-paced game in which the fans are focused on the next much-needed goal. But this analyst counted approximately 4 excellent Montreal opportunities directly shut down by Zdeno Chara Thursday. Were it not for Chara Thursday, the game could easily have ended 6 – 0. Read the rest of this entry
Analysis by BruinsUnite
As Douglas Flynn at NESN reports, things are going to be getting a little weird after this first week of playoff activity because after Thursday’s Game 1, Saturday’s Game 2, and Monday’s Game 3 in Montreal, “the clubs have to wait until next Thursday for the second game in Montreal, with Game 4 pushed back a day because the Bell Centre is occupied on Wednesday for a Rush concert.”
The strange scheduling situation might be indicative of a hidden layer in this program, or it might just be a pleasant coincidence for the Canadiens. If foul play has occurred, the greatest beneficiaries will be already hurting investors with a great deal to lose if the Habs go down. This will be revealed in what follows.
First, let’s look at the weird series of Bell Center events that lie ahead.
Playoff Schedule Weirdness
You would think that the Bell Center is more than capable of scheduling a Rush and Lady Gaga concert around its all-important hockey team. Maybe that’s exactly what Geoff Molson has done. Read the rest of this entry