Found February 08, 2014 on
The Boston Bruins withstood big, early hits by the Blues. (Photo credit: Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
There was a 6-foot-9 void on the Boston Bruins blue Thursday night, and the St. Louis Blues took advantage it. That void is of course left by Zdeno Chara, arguably the Bruins most important player, who will be missing the last two games before the Olympic break to carry his native Slovakia’s flag during the Olympic opening ceremony. It did not take long for Chara’s absence to be exploited as the Blues rugged forwards came out and used their physical forecheck against the Bruins undersized defensemen.
With Chara out, Johnny Boychuck suddenly became the Bruins most veteran defenseman with 298 NHL games played. The other five Boston defensemen had a total of 230 career NHL games played. That inexperience on the back end cost the Bruins and they found themselves down 2-0 early in the second period.
On St. Louis’s first goal scored by Alexander Steen, Matt Bartkowski gave the prolific goal scorer too much room on the outside and Steen ripped a slapshot past Tuukka Rask. Although Bartkowski was playing the Bruins style of defense by protecting against the centering pass and giving up the perimeter, he gave too much room to a player with the goal scoring ability of Steen. It was a similar play by Kevan Miller in the second period that led to another goal by St. Louis, putting them up by two.
It is impossible to know whether or not the inexperienced mistakes by two young Bruins defensemen could have been avoided if Chara had been playing. However, with Chara out of the lineup, coach Claude Julien had to give his young defensemen more ice time than usual.
Down 2-0 against one of the best teams in the NHL, missing their captain and with only two games left before a two-week break most teams would have rolled over. This Bruins team however showed their championship pedigree and battled back.
The Bruins finally breakthrough for their first goal midway through the third period. (Photo credit: Mark Buckner/NHLI via Getty Images)
After getting the better of the play to close the second period, they came out in the third and continued to pressure St. Louis. That pressure finally paid off nearly halfway through the third when David Krejci scored on a wrist shot from the high slot with Milan Lucic screening Blues goalie Jaroslav Halak.
Once Boston got their first goal, it seemed inevitable a second one was coming and it did not take long for it to happen. Just over two minutes after the Krejci goal, a deflected slapshot by Boychuck rebounded off the end board to the side of the net where Brad Marchand was there to put the puck in the back of the net and tie the game at two.
The Bruins resiliency earned them a point and sent the game into overtime. In Boston’s previous overtime games this season coach Julien has been aggressive, sending out three forwards and only one defenseman, trying to avoid the shootout. His strategy worked, but not in his teams favor.
With less than two minutes left in the overtime period, Carl Soderberg tried passing the puck behind his own goal, but his pass was blocked by T.J. Oshie and the puck trickled off the side of the net to the right post. Oshie quickly skated to the puck and jammed it past Rask for the winning goal.
It was a tough loss for Boston because of the way they battled back from an early deficit and really got the better of the play in the final 40 minutes and in overtime. In fact, they were inches away from ending the game moments before the Oshie goal when Jarome Iginla had an open net, but the Blues Alex Pietrangelo was able to get his stick in front of the shot and save the game for St. Louis.
Despite the disappointing loss the Bruins showed they are capable of playing at an extremely high level even with the void left in Chara’s absence. Coming back after being down 2-0 on the road in a hostile environment confirmed what we already know about this Boston team; there is no quit in them.
BEST OF MAXIM
Zdeno Chara took an early leave from the Boston Bruins and arrived in Sochi yesterday to help carry the flag for his native Slovakia during the Opening Ceremonies. The 6’9 NHL defenseman wound up running into 4’10 Canadian figure skater Kirsten Moore-Towers, and the pair took a great picture together. Zdeno Chara is at least three Russian Dolls bigger than Kirsten Moore-Towers...
Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara had the honor of serving as Slovakia’s flag bearer during Friday’s opening ceremony at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
The 36-year-old defenseman will captain Slovakia’s hockey team, which begins group stage play on Feb. 13 against the United States.
As an NHL star, Stanley Cup champion, one of the tallest athletes and an all-around nice...
Bruins Captain & Slovakia flag bearer, Zdeno Chara is already making his presence felt at the Olympics in Sochi.
Ran into Zdeno Chara today. Couldn’t resist taking a picture pic.twitter.com/sYNOIbrWLn
— Kirsten Moore-Towers (@Kirsten_MT) February 7, 2014
Team Canada figure skater Kirsten Moore-Towers towers (pun intended) at 4 foot 11 inches and is cast in the shadow of...
Bruins captain Zdeno Chara has many nicknames including Big-Z & the Devourer of Souls. However, I never heard of this name of reptilian origin….behold the “Charazard”!
Am I the only one that doesn’t get this? This looks more dragon than lizard to me. Or is a dragon a lizard? I am confused….maybe I am too old?
To each his (or her) own…
If you like this engima wrapped...
Much has been made of the various problems encountered in the days leading up to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Unfinished hotels, stray dogs, toxic water, and of course, the bathroom problems. It’s enough to make someone just want to fall asleep and forget about it.
Except if you’re 6’9″ Olympian Zdeno Chara.
The Boston Bruins defenseman, who will be part of Slovakia’s...
Slovakian hockey player Zdeno Chara's bed is way too short, but would you expect anything less out of Sochi?
Hey, in case you weren’t aware, Zdeno Chara is tall. Too tall for Sochi’s Olympic village beds. But don’t worry, an ottoman extension will fix that. At least he was one of the lucky ones to get a pillow.
Article found on: Next Impulse Sports
WILMINGTON, Mass. — Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara is a really, really big human being. This bit of information is no secret, of course, and it’s been played out over and over again during the Boston defenseman’s career.
His 6-foot-9 frame is in the news once again, as a reported photo of Chara’s bed in the Olympic Village surfaced upon his arrival in Sochi for the Winter...
Zdeno Chara in SochiZdeno Chara had the honor of carrying the flag of his native Slovakia during the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games this past week. This meant that he was going to miss the Bruins games in St. Louis and in Boston against Ottawa. Bruins fans have been wondering since it was announced how the B’s back end would fair without three big pieces of its defensive...
Johnny Boychuk walked through the Bruins dressing room on Wednesday afternoon asking teammates and media to “get me my cane” as he stalked off from a post-practice shower.
It wasn’t in reference to any general body soreness or pain after throwing his weight around against the Canucks on Tuesday night, but instead about his role as the veteran leader of the B’s defensemen...
(Chara carrying the flag for Slovakia via ESPN)The Bruins are back in Boston after their over time loss against the Blues in St. Louis. The Bruins will be without Zdeno Chara for the last game before the Olympic break as Chara carried the flag for Slovakia yesterday. Fans, the Olympics are almost upon us.The Senators are 6th in the Northeast division with a 26-21-11 record. Its been...
The Boston Bruins are in St. Louis to take on one of the best teams in the league, and they’ll have to do that without one of the NHL’s best defensemen.
The B’s will take on the Blues in their second-to-last game before the league-wide Olympic break, and they will have to do so without Zdeno Chara. The Boston captain is in Russia where he’ll be the flag bearer for the Slovakian...
That's probably Tuukka Rask after looking at the defensive pairing that could be in front of him tonight. It should surprise anyone that Zdeno Chara will not be playing tonight because he's on a plane to ********** Russia. I have no problem with Chara heading to Sochi to be the flag bearer for Slovakia. When the season began Boston made it a point to lower Chara's minutes...