No word yet on any suspension to Zdeno Chara, although a decision is expected sometime today. As of now, the Bruins are progressing as if Chara will be available for tomorrow’s game against Buffalo.
“This is a bridge we’ll have to cross when we get there,” said Claude Julien. “Right now, we’ve got to be thinking that he’s going to be there. If that doesn’t happen, then management has to make a decision here.”
Chara explained that during his conference call with Mike Murphy, VP of hockey operations, he went through the play and described it from his perspective.
“It’s been hard,” Chara said. “I obviously feel bad about what happened. I’m trying to make a strong hockey play and play hard. Unfortunately the player got hurt and I had to leave the game. It is in my mind.”
Like he did last night after the 4-1 loss, Julien defended Chara. Julien noted that Chara has not been suspended before.
“When you’re [6-foot-9] and probably one of the strongest guys in the league, you can’t not go out there and not utilize that to your advantage,” Julien said. “He plays hard. But at the same time, he plays clean. It’s already a challenge for a guy like him, at 6-foot-9, to keep his elbows down. The minute he lifts them up a little bit, he hits guys in the head. He’s made a really good adjustment in regards to that. It’s always easy to criticize. It’s always easy to attack a guy. But if you take time to look at the situation and you take time to see what he has to go through, there’s always going to be a challenge for him — the big bully because he’s 6-foot-9. Yet he’s never shown that more than when he’s defended himself, he’s defended his teammates. He’s always been a clean player.”