According to multiple reports, Bruins’ captain Zdeno Chara suffered a broken jaw when a puck hit him in the face early in the second period of game four. The 42-year-old defenseman missed the remainder of the second period and returned only to sit on the bench for the third.
— Jeremy Rutherford (@jprutherford) June 4, 2019
The Bruins have yet to comment on the situation, however, if true, it would really be a blow to an already thin defensive corps. In addition to Chara’s (likely) absence for the remainder of the Cup Final, the Bruins have been without Matt Grzcelyck for the past two games and Kevan Miller for the entire postseason. Head coach Bruce Cassidy said they will re-evaluate Grzcelyck when they return to Boston but it’s looking more and more likely that one or perhaps two players will have to be inserted into the lineup for game five.
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John Moore has filled in admirably for Grzelyck and Steven Kampfer is a candidate to step in once again if/when Chara is officially ruled out. However, don’t rule out the possibility that 20-year-old Finnish defenseman, Urho Vaakanainen could make his playoff debut on Thursday night in Boston.
Vaakanainen was the 18th overall pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft and began the season with the Bruins. However, he played just two games with the Bruins after an injury derailed his debut. He spent the remainder of the year in Providence (30 Games) where he tallied 14 points (four goals, 10 assists). Now, he may be called upon to fill the some of the mounting holes on the Bruins blueline.