It’s hard to believe that it was just two years ago that Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara was forbidden to fight by then-head coach Dave Lewis.
As the jumbo-sized defenseman proved tonight in the Bruins’ 4-2 win over Atlanta at the TD Banknorth Garden – a victor that completed a home-and-home sweep of the pitiful Thrashers – beyond his imposing presence down low, his rocket slap shot and his munching of minutes, Chara can also intimidate and pulverize opponents with the best of them.
The stage was set when Thrashers rookie Boris Valabik, trying to do anything to rouse his team, which was trailing 2-1 late in the second period, took some physical liberties with Bruins leading goal-scorer Phil Kessel – who’s upper lip was opened by the roughhousing.
Chara just couldn’t stand to see that happen, and when the whistle finally blew the 6-foot-9, 255-pound Beast of the East made the 6-7, 235-pound youngster pick on someone almost his own size. While the diminutive Kessel and his black-and-gold-wearing brethren watched, Chara used his fists to make sure Valabik knew that he wouldn’t get away with anything – not in the Garden, not anywhere. (more…)