The Boston Bruins deserve tons of credit as a team for holding the Pittsburgh Penguins to two goals in four games. To some, Zdeno Chara was the main reason why.
Plenty of others might not have noticed how much of a difference-maker, but players from the Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks sang his praises to the Sporting News on Tuesday.
“We call him a mutant, just ’cause he does un-human-like things,” Tyler Seguin said. “A lot of times, I think he goes under the radar, and I think he doesn’t get as much credit for some of the little things he does. He buys into everything, being our captain and leader, and a true teammate.”
Chara won the Norris Trophy in 2009, but the award is often handed to blueliners who rack up points. Bruins head coach Claude Julien considers him that valuable season-in and season-out, though.
“Even when he didn’t get the mention in those top three, I said it before, he’s always been a Norris Trophy winner for us,” Julien said. “You have no idea what this guy does for a hockey club. The few times he’s been out of our lineup, you’ve seen a difference. That’s the impact that he has on our hockey club.”
The Bruins have been impressive – Tuukka Rask included – yet the 36-year-old defenseman guarding the goaltender might be the top reason people might choose Chicago over Boston.