BOSTON (CBS) — We knew Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara played the final three games of the Stanley Cup Final with a broken jaw. But now that the postseason run is over, Chara revealed how broken his jaw actually was.
Chara played with multiple fractures to his jaw, the Bruins captain revealed Friday. Multiple. Fractures. What a beast.
Chara said his jaw was being held together by wires, plates and screws over the final three games of Boston’s Stanley Cup Final loss to the St. Louis Blues. He’s expected to make a full recovery in 5-6 weeks, though he was leaning toward the six-week mark. He said the wires in his mouth would come out “eventually.”
So don’t expect to see Chara’s pearly whites anytime soon, which is really throwing off his kids at home.
“I’m trying to smile. I have to wait until it’s a little more, I guess, flexible,” he told reporters on Friday. “[My kids] know. Sometimes as a father, it’s hard to see your children, for them to look at you and see your pain. But I tried to do my best to cheer them up.”
Chara said that he was on a liquid diet the first two days following the injury, which he sustained in Game 4 when he took a puck off the face.
“That was kind of challenging, but we did what we could to make everything work and be ready,” he said. “After that, you find ways to get small pieces of food in you and maintain the nutrition as much as you can.”
Chara said he wanted to play after he suffered the injury in the second period of Game 4, but doctors wouldn’t clear him. He still took a spot on the Boston bench for the rest of the game, hoping to inspire his teammates in a close game.
“My original plan was to go back in and play. I wanted to play really badly, it was a close game and we were in a good position. Sometimes you have to respect and acknowledge the medical decision is the right one,” said Chara. “It could have been a lot worse if something else happened to the same area.
“I just wanted to be with the guys, be there and support them. Be there in case we lost another defenseman. At that point I wouldn’t ask, I’d be willing to play,” he added.
Chara had an empty net goal and dished out nine hits over the final three games of the series with his broken jaw.
Elsewhere on the Boston roster, Patrice Bergeron will not need offseason surgery on the groin injury he played through during the Cup Final. Brad Marchand also revealed that he had a groin injury during the playoffs and that he aggravated his hand during Boston’s inter-squad scrimmage ahead of the Cup Final. Forward Jake DeBrusk alluded to the fact that he sustained a concussion in Game 2 of the first round after Toronto’s Nazem Kadri cross-checked him in the head, something he dealt with it for much of the postseason. Forward Noel Acciari also said he played with a broken sternum that he suffered in the second round against Columbus.
This is not players making excuses for what ultimately ended with a Game 7 loss. It’s simply life in the NHL: If you make a deep playoff run, chances are no one on your roster is completely healthy.