Julien '100 percent' behind Chara's actions

Julien '100 percent' behind Chara's actions
March 4, 2013, 1:30 pm
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WILMINGTON, MA – One could argue all day whether the Bruins would have held on for a Sunday night win over the Montreal Canadiens if Zdeno Chara hadn’t been slapped with 17 minutes worth of penalties and instead had been given a five minute fighting major and a two-minute minor for roughing.

The Bruins captain had been on the ice for both of Montreal’s goals through the first two periods, but at least one of them was a “soft” power-play score that trickled through Tuukka Rask’s five hole. But the simple fact is that Chara is the league’s best defensive player, and the Bruins are much more hard-pressed to hold onto a one goal lead with their 6-foot-9 intimidator sitting in the penalty box for nearly an entire period.

Chara clearly could have been a difference-maker if he was a net-front presence on the game-winning goal scored by David Desharnais. But it’s also well-established that Chara did the right thing from a hockey perspective and a leadership perspective by attacking Alexei Emelin after his dirty cross-check to the ribs of Tyler Seguin.

Chara continued to earn the miles of respect he already has within the Boston room, and Seguin gets a little more dogged, determined and courageous out on the ice knowing that Big 'Z' has his back.

So it’s no surprise that Claude Julien once again supported his captain following a brief, optional practice at Ristuccia Arena on Monday morning.

“What Zdeno Chara did yesterday, I support 100 percent,” said Julien. “Besides that 17 minutes of penalties he got, what he did is going to go a long way for our hockey club. Especially for Tyler Seguin. Tyler’s a good player. He needs to know everybody’s got his back. Zdeno showed that yesterday. That will allow Tyler to become a better player. When you know people have your back, you can play at ease. That thing that Zdeno did yesterday is certainly going to help Tyler be comfortable.”

There are a handful of times throughout the season when Chara needs to take matters into his own hands so young budding superstars like Seguin know that they’re protected. That’s exactly what the Bruins captain did on Sunday night against the hated Habs despite the consequences. And everyone associated with the Black and Gold organization was on board with it.