BOSTON (CBS) — The play of Bruins captain Zdeno Chara in the team’s second-round playoff series against the Montreal Canadiens was a point of much debate over the past week, as many fans and media members assumed the 37-year-old defenseman was either greatly fatigued or was playing through an injury.
As it turns out, the latter seems to have been the truth.
Via TheScore, Chara suffered a fractured finger during the series — an injury that will require surgery.
The report cites Slovakian national team general manager Otto Sykora, who spoke to Hokej.sk about the possibility of Chara joining the team for the world championships.
Sykora told the website that Chara is expected to undergo surgery on Friday.
The report said that Chara suffered the injury in Game 4, though it was in Game 3 that Chara was slashed on the hand by Michael Bournival and then spent several minutes in the locker room. Chara returned to that game, and he played the rest of the series, but he was clearly not his Norris-level self.
Chara was again slashed in the hand by Max Pacioretty in Game 7, which prompted Chara to let go of his stick and show clear pain before heading to the bench. Pacioretty attempted to hit the hand with another slash later in the game, perhaps an indication that the Canadiens were aware of Chara’s injury.
Chara averaged 23:34 of ice time during the final four playoff games, and he led all Bruins skaters with an average of 25:20 time on ice throughout the playoffs.
Bruins president Cam Neely told Felger and Massarotti on Thursday that he was not aware of any injuries on the team, including Chara.
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