BOSTON (CBS) – Zdeno Chara is back from his Olympic trip to Sochi, ready to continue the Bruins’ quest for another Stanley Cup title.
But before he sets his sights on the rest of the NHL, the Bruins’ captain took some time to reflect on the last two weeks in Sochi, which he called “one of the greatest experiences” of his life.
“It was amazing. Every Olympics are very special, but this Olympics were, I would say, amazing. Everything about it I enjoyed,” Chara said from his locker in the TD Garden. “It was one of the greatest experiences of my life.”
Chara’s trip was a little more special than others, as he had the honor of carrying the flag for Slovakia during the opening ceremonies.
“It was a dream come true and it’s an unbelievable feeling to be able to carry your country’s flag,” said Chara. “It was a huge honor, and like i said before, it’s something I’m very thankful for. It wouldn’t have happened without the cooperation of the Bruins organization and the coaching staff and my teammates. So a big thank you goes to them and the Slovak Hockey Federation.”
And while there were plenty of reports out of Sochi about the less-than-desirable arraignments, Chara said he had no problems — even with his sleeping arrangements.
“I had a normal bed just like everybody else,” he said.
Chara’s Slovakia team went winless during the winter games, going 0-3 in the preliminary round and falling to the Czech Republic 5-3 in the qualifying round. He said he is anxious to congratulate teammate Patrice Bergeron and head coach Claude Julien for winning another gold medal with Canada, and he’ll extend his congrats to silver medalist Loui Eriksson (Sweden) and bronze medalist Tuukka Rask (Finland) as well.
But once that is out of the way it will be business as usual for the Bruins’ captain, as the B’s open up the post-Olympic break against the Sabres in Buffalo on Thursday.
“Back to business,” he said. “We leave tomorrow (for Buffalo). It was a very short break for some of us, but that’s the way it is. We have to get serious and finish the season strong.”
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Chara isn’t concerned about any lingering fatigue from the Olympic games, though he did admit to feeling a little jet-lag on Monday.
But it will take a lot more than a little jet-lag to slow down a fierce competitor like Chara, especially once his Bruins get back on the ice against NHL foes.
“It will probably take a few days (to shake it off),” he said. “You just have to get through it and be smart about your body and nutrition. I’m sure I’ll be fine.”
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