BOSTON (CBS) – Being a finalist for the Norris Trophy is nothing new for Zdeno Chara, but the Bruins Captain is still humble about his fourth nomination.
“It’s obviously a big honor,” Chara said Monday as the Bruins prepare for Game 6 of their playoff series against the Montreal Canadiens. “I’m very humbled and very thankful. Especially after you consider how many guys had great seasons and breakout seasons. I’m very thankful that the people who did vote recognized the definition of the Norris Trophy award. A big thank you to all the people that helped me get there. Especially my teammates, the whole organization and obviously my family and fans.”
Since 1953, the award has been given “to the defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-around ability in the position.” As Boston’s best defender, Chara often finds himself on the ice against the opposing teams best talent, and for long stretches at a time.
“It’s something that I take a lot of pride in,” said Chara. “I’m very competitive when it comes to defending the top lines and playing against the top lines. It’s not an easy job but I get up to it every night.”
Zdeno Chara Talks Norris Trophy
“It’s a big motivation for me every night to face such skill and great players,” said Chara.
Even going against the opposition’s best players, Chara still led the NHL in plus/minus with a plus-33.
“He’s a well deserving player for many reason,” said Head Coach Claude Julien. “Everybody who knows him here knows he plays a lot of minutes and plays against the other team’s top line. He’s utilized as a shut down defenseman against the best players of other teams.”
“If you’re talking Norris and a defenseman that brings a lot, he’s one of them,” Julien continued. “I don’t think there are too many players in this league that raise their hands and say they enjoy playing against him.”