The series-clinching game against Carolina was the first time in 98 playoff games that captain Zdeno Chara didn’t take the ice for the Bruins. The now 42-year-old defenseman last missed a playoff game on April 16th, 2011. Coincidently, that was the last year the Bruins hoisted the Stanley Cup. It didn’t matter as the Bruins have lived the “next man up” mantra all season long and game four was no different as they finished off the sweep of the Hurricanes.
With the Stanley Cup Finals expected to start a week from Monday (5/27) in Boston, the Bruins will have an extended layoff which could bode well for the grizzled veteran.
”I’m not living in how or where Zee feels. I expect he’ll be fine,” General Manager Don Sweeney said via Pro Hockey Talk. ”But I’m not going to sit here and make a proclamation in terms of promises. I do believe that time will be used effectively and he’ll be fine. But sometimes those are out of your control.”
Prior to Sunday’s practice, Chara participated in a 30-min morning skate with fellow defenseman, Steven Kampfer. Kampfer stepped into the lineup in game one of the Eastern Conference Finals when Charlie McAvoy served his one-game suspension. However, both players did not participate in the full practice session. In addition, David Krejci also missed practice but according to reports, it was just a maintenance day for the veteran forward.