Bruins captain Zdeno Chara didn’t have his best game of the postseason Wednesday night when the Blackhawks evened up the Stanley Cup Final at two games apiece.
Two days later, it sounds like the Blackhawks are taking all the credit.
Chicago captain Jonathan Toews seemed to have gained some confidence after scoring his first goal of the series in that 6-5 overtime win, as No. 19 told reporters that his team has exposed him.
“[Chara] does a lot of good things, and he uses his size and his reach to his advantage, and I think maybe at times in the first couple games we were giving him a little bit too much respect by trying to keep the puck away from him,” Toews told reporters. “He’s not a guy that we should be afraid of. We should go at him, protect the puck from him, make plays around him and through him. We use our speed.
“You saw the goal that Marcus Kruger scored, [Michael Frolik] never stopped moving his feet and got around him — great play by those two guys to finish off that play. It’s a small example of the way we can expose him.”
The Blackhawks’ win featured goals by six different players. Toews buried the Hawks’ go-ahead goal to kick off the second period, and now has a grand total of two goals this postseason. His first goal came in Game 5 against Detroit back on May 25 when his team won 4-1.
Chara, meanwhile, was a minus-3 in the B’s Game 3 loss. It was only his third game of the playoffs where he ended in the red. The last time he was minus-3 in a game came Jan. 31, 2013, when his Bruins lost 7-4 to Buffalo.
“When you’re playing against [Chara], he’s out there for half the game,” head coach Joel Quenneville said. “I think that whether it’s staying away from him, going after him, playing through him, working his side or the opposite side, it’s something that with their team game, I don’t think you want to strategize too much. I think we should be more prioritized with getting in front of the goalies than worrying about Chara.”
Brad Marchand welcomed the chatter about his teammate, saying that the B’s are concentrating on themselves and aren’t going to start worrying about players on other teams, or what they’re saying.
“Zee’s one of the best defenseman in the league and guy that big and that strong you don’t really want to play around with a whole lot,” Marchand said. “They’re welcome to say whatever they want. We are just worried about how we have to play in the room. Zee steps up every night and plays his best so we can expect that.”
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