Chicago 'should try again' to outwork Chara

Chicago 'should try again' to outwork Chara
June 22, 2013, 2:15 pm
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CHICAGO – Claude Julien and the rest of the Boston Bruins have a message for any Chicago Blackhawks, be they Jonathan Toews or Bryan Bickell, or any other brave soul. If any member of the Blackhawks feels like they’ve unlocked the mystique and intimidation factor of 6-foot-9 Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara, then they should try to repeat their Game 4 efforts again in Game 5 on Saturday night at the United Center.

Chara was a minus-3 in the 6-5 overtime loss to the Blackhawks, and was on the ice for five goals against in his worst performance of the entire postseason. But those goals included a Chicago power play goal, two odd-man rushes where he was hung out to dry, a play where he was slew-footed by Bickell prior to the puck getting shot at the net and the OT game-winner came from Chara’s opposite side.

None could really be attributed to Chara being at fault, and truth be told Dennis Seidenberg probably had most of the mistakes in Game 4. But a minus-3 is a minus-3, and it’s a ghastly number you don’t see very often beside Chara’s name on the plus/minus ledger.

So the Bruins welcome Chicago to give Chara their best punch again, and see if they can outwork or overwhelm Big Zee by attacking him directly.

“They’re allowed comments, and if that’s what they think then they should try it again,” said Claude Julien. “A lot of people have tried to figure out Zdeno. With the type of player that he is and people talk about five goals against, were [the goals] all his fault?

“None of them were his fault, actually. It’s just one of those situations where he’s one of the best players on our team, he’s one of the best defensemen in the league and I don’t think there are too many flaws in his game. My only response is that my player is going to be good and ready tonight, and they can try it again tonight if that’s what they think.”

Chara didn’t have anything to say to the media prior to Game 5, and he’s been incredibly business-like in his approach during the playoffs.

Short sentences and clean and easy thoughts all built on winning are all Chara will utter, so it’s no surprise the Bruins captain didn’t have a lot of time for the distraction Toews and Bickell are attempting to conjure up. Instead Chara will let his talking take place on the ice where he’s not planning on being minus-3 again in the remaining three games of the Stanley Cup Final series.

His teammates constantly expect the best out of a leader that seems impervious to pain or physical overpowering on the ice, and filled with a focus that allows him to look past distraction.

“[Chara] is the one guy that you have the utmost confidence in,” said Tyler Seguin. “He’s one player that nobody is going to outwork. I don’t think anyone works harder than him, so I don’t think he’s going to shying away from anyone tonight.”

The betting here is that Chara knows exactly what’s been said by players in the Chicago dressing room, and his considerable pride will be kicking in as he’s snuffing the life out of the Blackhawks offense during the game. It will be best vs. best again in Game 5 with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane matched up against Chara and Seidenberg, and the Bruins will expecting a very different outcome.

If it goes Chicago’s way again in Game 5 and Chara is a minus player, then perhaps the Blackhawks are right. If the Blackhawks struggle for scoring chances and their marquee offensive talent puts up zeroes, then guys like Toews and Bickell might think better of poking the biggest bear in the cage.