BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston Bruins punched their ticket to the Stanley Cup Final by completing a sweep of the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night, but they did so without their captain.
But fret not, Bruins fans. Boston head coach Bruce Cassidy gave a quick but promising update on Zdeno Chara following Boston’s 4-0 win in Raleigh, and expects the 6-foot-9 defenseman to be back out there whenever the Bruins take the ice for the Cup Final.
“I believe he’ll be ready to go next round,” Cassidy told reporters.
Chara was a surprise scratch from Thursday night’s tilt, but the belief is it was nothing serious and that the 42-year-old would have laced them up if the Bruins weren’t up 3-0 in the series. Cassidy’s comments seem to confirm that notion.
Boston’s blue line played well in front of Tuukka Rask without Chara on Thursday night, as the netminder logged his second shutout of the postseason. Carolina put just 24 shots on net with Torey Krug (27 minutes), Brandon Carlo (23 minutes) and Charlie McAvoy (22 minutes) leading the defensive charge for Boston.
And Chara has plenty of time to rest up ahead of the Cup Final. The Bruins will now face the winner of the San Jose Sharks-St. Louis Blues Western Conference Final, with San Jose leading the series 2-1 heading into Friday night’s Game 4. The Bruins will get at least a week off as they wait for their opponent, giving Chara and everyone else on the roster a chance to heal up their nicks and bruises before Game 1 in Boston.