More expected of Chara

chara103009.JPG

Prior to last night’s game-winning goal, Zdeno Chara was beaten to the puck by Zach Parise. (Jim Davis/Globe Staff)

According to Claude Julien, Zdeno Chara has been good. But not great, which is what the Bruins have come to expect of their captain.

“Good,” said Julien. “But can be better. He knows that. He’s been good. There are some games where we’ve seen him be dominant like we have in the past. But so far, he hasn’t been dominant night in and night out like he has been. He’s frustrated a little bit too.”

In 11 games, Chara has zero goals and six assists while averaging 24:34 of ice time per match. Chara’s offensive numbers are down, but his shutdown game has been off as well. Last night, Zach Parise won a puck battle against Chara behind the Boston net, then gained position on the captain in front.

Advertisement

“His whole game, at times, has been up and down a little bit,” Julien said. “He’s never been terrible. But there are some nights where I’d say he’s been OK. When you talk about Z, for our team to have success, we’d like to see him the way he was last year — being a stellar defenseman, being stingy, and being a defenseman that every team hated playing against.”