Tanguay: Here's why Chara is as important as Brady

Tanguay: Here's why Chara is as important as Brady
May 1, 2014, 2:45 pm
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(USA Today Sports Images)

 

 

 

 

So -- for saying Zdeno Chara is as important to the Bruins as Tom Brady is to the Patriots, as I did Wednesday night on Arbella Early Edition -- I'm an ass.

Okay, we already know that.

But I'm also right.

Zdeno Chara is an elite, once-in-a-lifetime defenseman. The Bruins have been fortunate to have three of these -- Chara, Orr and Bourque -- in the last 50 years. Some teams aren't lucky enough to have one. 

The same can be said for No. 12 in Foxboro. Brady is a once-in-a-lifetime quarterback. The Patriots have been fortunate to have some great QBs over the years -- Steve Grogan, Drew Bledsoe -- but, of course, Tom tops them all. 

My point is that the Bruins' window of opportunity to win another Stanley Cup is about the same as the Patriots'. Both teams have two years, tops, to take advantage of the final quality years of their two players.

Now, I'm not comparing an NHL defenseman to an NFL quarterback. The two positions could not be more different. But the impact they can have on a game is the same: insurmountable.

We all know Brady’s resume, so let’s focus on 'Z'. His size, combined with his skill, gives his nightly first-line opponent insomnia. Just think about how the Bruins' blue line would look without him. Sure, Dennis Seidenberg is good when healthy, but he's no Chara. And the rest of the guys, like Johnny Boychuck and Kevan Miller -- easy to root for, certainly -- are riding the coattails of their captain. Dougie Hamilton? Please. Good offensive skills but is he taking Sid the Kid into the boards? Ahhhh . . .  NO!

And I haven’t mentioned the power play. What makes this Bruin team different this year? The third-line play, yes, but for once we're not grimacing when the Bruins go on the man advantage. Remember when it was sooo bad we wished the Bruins could refuse the penalty? Torey Krug is part of the reason, but who the heck can stop 'Z' when he's parked in front of the net?

To me, my position is clear and easy to understand. If you can't see that, you're beyond help.