By S. Bradley

BOSTON — In the tradition of the 2001-02 New England Patriots, Bruins captain Zdeno Chara wanted to publicly declare that this season’s team is a singular unit with no player above another.

So just like that Patriots team took the field prior to that Super Bowl victory as an entire team, Chara had his teammates join him for the presentation of the Prince of Wales Trophy after Boston downed Tampa Bay, 1-0, at the TD Garden in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final.

In sticking with a hockey tradition, however, Chara did not touch the trophy.

“It’s something that I decided not to,” he said. “I decided to have the whole team with it and to take a picture with it. It’s something we are proud of, but also we know there is a bigger fish to fry.”

Chara said he told alternate captains Mark Recchi and Patrice Bergeron during the team’s initial celebratory scrum what he had planned for the trophy pose. Then the rest of the team knew to follow.

“It’s great,” said Bergeron. “He told us before – me and Rex – he said ‘I want everybody out there.’ It shows we’re a team. It’s not one guy, it’s everyone. We’ve said that all year and that’s why we’re here.”

Role player Chris Kelly was one of those honored to be part of the presentation.

“That’s Zee for you though,” said Kelly a Chara teammate in Ottawa prior to Boston. “It’s truly a team sport. And you need everyone to contribute. I think tonight was the definition of a team game. We used everyone, everyone had a huge role and that’s important.”