BOSTON -- The Bruins appear to have dodged a bullet, or more specifically dodged an injury to the one player they can’t afford to lose with the playoffs coming up. Zdeno Chara got his legs tangled with Florida rookie Jonathan Huberdeau in the final six minutes of the third period and was whistled for an interference call at the end of Boston’s 3-0 victory on Sunday afternoon.
After the collision, the 6-foot-9 Bruins captain and perennial Norris Trophy candidate stayed on the ice and spent time on all fours stretching out his knee and ankle while getting up very gingerly. Chara skated slowly under his own power to the penalty box while adjusting his leg pads. The Bruins coaching staff no doubt was busy thanking the hockey gods that they had averted a disastrous injury less than 10 days away from the playoffs.
“He just went down, I thought he was -- again, he got tangled up with I think it was [Jonathan] Huberdeau. The last thing you need is those kind of injuries on those kind of penalties,” said Claude Julien. “So maybe we dodged a bullet, but those are things that you fear this time of year. You don’t want those unnecessary injuries to happen.”
Chara was still getting treatment from the Bruins training staff following the game and it appeared to be more of a strained muscle issue than a structural problem with the knee or ankle. It will probably be classified under the “unknown” category of injuries that most never hear about once players begin to tough things out during the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Chara put in 23:26 of ice time and had a plus-2 rating to go along with two shots and a registered hit on Sunday.