Boston Bruins star defenseman Zdeno Chara had a rough night Sunday in his team’s 3-0 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series between the clubs.
The captain was on the ice for all three goals against, and was victimized twice on Matt Cullen’s shorthanded goal — once when Chad LaRose intercepted his cross-ice pass and once on the coverage skating back to prevent the goal. But Chara’s off night doesn’t have head coach Claude Julien worried.
“I think if you take the good games that he’s played and the tougher games that he’s had, they outnumber those (bad ones) by quite a bit,” said the bench boss after his team held a meeting at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington, Mass. “It was a tougher night for the whole team. I guess because he gets a lot of credit for the way he plays, when he’s not on top of his games the first thing we do is notice it. But he’s going to be fine.”
Chara was unavailable for comment after the meeting. When one reporter questioned Julien about Chara’s health (the reporter recalled a Game 1 situation where Eric Staal slashed Chara and the blueliner skated off awkwardly), Boston’s coach threw water on the idea the Chara is ailing.
“He’s 100 percent, no questions asked,” Julien declared. “Honestly, there’s no issues there. I don’t know where that’s coming from. But there are no issues there at all.”