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BOSTON (CBS) – When Zdeno Chara signed with the Boston Bruins in 2006, he was immediately named the team’s captain.
Chara has earned the “C” on his sweater since, but none more than this season and, more notably, this postseason.
“He’s the leader of our hockey club, the team captain,” Coach Claude Julien said Wednesday before Game 6 of the Bruins-Lightning Eastern Conference Finals. “When games are on the line like that, they’re big games, you always rely on somebody to lead the way, and he did a great job of that last game. “
Chara has been one of the Bruins best players on the ice this postseason and leads the team with a plus-11. He has two goals and three assists in the playoffs, although none in the series against the Lightning
What Chara really brings to the table is a big-bodied defender that has not been afraid to throw his weight around against Tampa.
“At the other end of the ice he created a lot of things and we’re going to need him to do that again tonight if we expect to have an opportunity here,” said Julien.
Chara is known for his blistering slap shot, but found himself down near the net during the power play in Game 5 in hopes it would help spark the anemic man-advantage. There is a chance Chara could see some more time in the trenches Wendesday night, depending on how Game 6 plays out.
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“I liked what he did last game in front of the net, but he’s only going to be useful in front of the net if we put him there,” said Julien. “If we get control of the puck and we get some shots on net, and the first few power plays, we didn’t really get control of the puck. It didn’t matter who was in front at that point. So I didn’t mind what he did. And I think we need to see how this game unfolds. But it’s certainly a possibility.”
Every game of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Bruins and Lightning can be heard on 98.5 The Sports Hub with pregame coverage beginning 60 minutes before each game with the Dunkin Donuts Bruins Pregame show.