The Washington Capitals lost 8-4 to the New York Islanders Thursday night on Long Island but even in defeat former Boston Bruins captain, Zdeno Chara found a way to remind Bruins fans how much they and even more so, his teammates miss him.
As the Bruins were finishing off another dismal performance in a 4-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins at TD Garden, Zdeno Chara and his Capitals teammates decided to go down swinging in some pretty big dustups as time wound down in their game. With about 12 seconds left in regulation Chara and Islanders forward Matt Martin decided to tango and do the dance in what wasn’t exactly a thrilling bout but just two leaders doing what they’re supposed to for their teammates.
Zdeno Chara and the Capitals (23-9-4, 50 pts, .694%) are in a three-way tie with the Islanders (23-10-4, 50 points, .676%) and Penguins (24-11-2, 50 pts, .676%) but remain in first thanks to points percentage, a stat all fans need to start paying attention to the most as more games are postponed. The Bruins and Zdeno Chara Made it clear when they parted ways last December that there was no ill will from either side and both team and player expressed their sincere gratitude for each other.
However, it’s been painfully clear how much a revamped and much younger Bruins blueline has missed Zdeno Chara. To say the Bruins made the right move moving on from Chara would mean you really need to take off your Black and Gold glasses. Chara meanwhile has been a man on a mission as he’s helped the Capitals stay in or around first place for most of the season The 44-year-old Chara has two goals and seven assists and is a plus 12 in 36 games this season.
So while the Bruins trail the Caps, Pens, and Isles by nine points and are clinging to the last playoff spot in the East Division with a three-point lead over the Philadelphia Flyers, Zdeno Chara fights on playing top 4 minutes and has helped the Capitals become poised to hoist their second Stanley Cup in four seasons.
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Speaking of the Bruins’ defense, they remain a MASH Unit as Brandon Carlo, in just his second game back after a ten-game absence due to a concussion, left the game Thursday after just eight shifts and 6:59 TOI. On Friday, head coach Bruce Cassidy told the media that Carlo and Kevan Miller will not be able to play Saturday against the Penguins. (Boston Hockey Now)
It’s no secret that the Bruins need a top 4 defenseman before the NHL Trade Deadline and the market for such a player is quite crowded. With the recent season-ending injury to Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad, the Panthers and GM Bill Zito jumped into the fray hoping to somehow compensate for losing their top defenseman. After Zito signed top prospect and former Boston College goalie Spencer Knight on Wednesday, teams have been calling Zito about UFA-to-be goalie Chris Driedger who is 10-4-2 with a 2.18 GAA and .927 save percentage. Could Zito use Driedger to acquire another blueliner? (TSN)
Zito already added some defensive depth by signing the best defenseman in NCAA Hockey this past season in North Dakota rearguard Matt Kiersted off the NCAA Free Agent market. Sources have confirmed to BHN that the Bruins were one of the 20 teams interested in Kiersted. (Florida Hockey Now)
Last week the Boston Bruins found out that they would be part of a revamped NHL schedule due to COVID. After the Bruins COVID Pause from March19-25, the NHL announced last Sunday that the NHL season will not end on May 8 as originally planned and will go until at least May 11. On Friday, the league announced that the Vancouver Canucks will be on a COVID Pause until at least April 6 after what some are describing as a potentially major outbreak. (Sportsnet)
FOBHN Christian Arnold has a closer look at that big win for the Islanders Thursday and Matthew Barzal’s hat trick. (NYI Hockey Now)
With all that COVID news let’s end on two bright notes here. First, Andrew Ference and Boston Bruins team host and beat writer Eric Russo are doing a podcast that looks back on the brightest Bruins moment in the last 49 years with ‘Cue The Memories’. (Boston Bruins)
Of course, what’s always a bright day for anyone around Boston and a great source of hope is Red Sox Opening Day! Happy Opening Day everyone!