2013 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Six

Was Bruins’ Chara playing injured during Stanley Cup Final?

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There was talk that Zdeno Chara was playing hurt in the Stanley Cup Final, which was proven as fact following Monday night’s Chicago Blackhawks Game 6 victory.

With the win, the Blackhawks hoisted the Stanley Cup for the second time in four years.

It appeared to some, including CSN New England’s Joe Haggerty, that Chara, the Bruins’ towering defenseman and captain was playing with some sort of injury during the final.

But, Chara would not confirm that. However, his coach did admit that Chara was not at 100 per cent health, which is common for players during the playoffs.

“You have to give them credit for putting a strategy together, but at the same time Zdeno is one of those players that unfortunately wasn’t 100 percent,” said Claude Julien, as per CSNNE.com. “So he battled through it, and that’s what I mean by being proud of those guys.

“Playing hurt is part of it, and our guys did that. That’s why I say you’ve got to be extremely proud of those guys. It’s going to take a little while before we can realize the accomplishment that  we had in making it to the Final again, but right now it doesn’t feel good.”

Chara wasn’t the only member of the Bruins playing in discomfort or full-on injury.

Patrice Bergeron was playing with a broken rib and a separated shoulder.

Fresh off Stanley Cup loss, Bruins won’t use compliance buyouts: report

2013 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Six
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The Boston Bruins were two wins away from hoisting the Stanley Cup.

Instead, they felt the crushing blow of defeat, as the Chicago Blackhawks, in thrilling but improbable fashion, snatched the victory in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final.

That gave the Blackhawks the Stanley Cup championship for 2013. For the Bruins, the process has already shifted to the club’s off-season plans, and that includes the compliance buyout, which every team is allowed two.

The buyout period begins Wednesday, just 48 hours after the Bruins lost the silver chalice.

According to a report from Joe Haggerty of CSN New England, the Bruins will not use the buyouts.

Instead, the players would like to see the group stick together going forward.

“We say the same things every season,” Bruins forward Shawn Thornton told CSNNE.com.

“Some things are probably going to change in the offseason, but we’re a tight group in there. We get along and we’ve loved each other for the last few years. [The Stanley Cup Final loss] is a tough pill to swallow right now, that’s for sure.”

Video: PHT Extra — what’s next for ‘Hawks, Bruins?

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Following Chicago’s wild and crazy Stanley Cup win on Monday, Brough and I spoke with NBC’s Kay Adams about what the future has in store for the two finals participants.

While neither team faces a major overhaul this summer, there are some key free agents that need to be sorted out — and with free agency set to begin in a week-and-a-half, there’s not a lot of time to get ’em sorted.

So, what does the future have in store for Chicago and Boston?

Watch the video to find out…

Julien remains proud of Bruins despite ‘toughest’ loss

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Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien thinks that his team’s series finish against the Toronto Maple Leafs was crazier than Monday’s Stanley Cup-clinching 3-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks, but tonight was the “toughest” loss he’s experienced.

That doesn’t mean he’s down on his team, however.

” … I’m going to stand here and tell you how proud I am of our team, how those guys battled right until the end,” Julien said. “Without getting into all these injuries today because it’s not the time, we battled through a lot. You know, when you realize that you’re a couple wins away from a Stanley Cup and how those guys push through a lot of things, I have nothing but good things to say about it.”

He lamented a dominant first period that only ended up providing a 1-0 lead, but most of all, Julien said it hurts to fall just short of generating a championship for Boston following recent tragedies.

“You know, at the end of the day, I think that’s what hurts the most is in the back of our minds … we wanted to do it for those kind of reasons, the City of Boston, what Newtown has been through, that kind of stuff,” Julien said. “It hit close to home, and the best way we felt we could try and cheer the area [up] was to win a Stanley Cup.”

“I think that’s what’s hard right now for the players. We had more reasons than just ourselves to win a Cup.”

Maybe the title wasn’t there, but the Bruins put up an effort that a city – and head coach – can be proud of.

Video: Chris Kelly gives Bruins 1-0 lead

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Going into the 2013 Stanley Cup Final, Boston Bruins center Chris Kelly failed to register a single playoff point. Perhaps he’s been saving his best for last, then?

Kelly scored the 1-0 goal in Game 6 on Monday, giving him three points in this series:

While he’s known more for his complimentary play, the 32-year-old must be relieved to finally find the net. Of course, having Tyler Seguin on his line doesn’t hurt, either.