There are a handful of players the Boston Bruins could lose for a long time and still be able to stay above water. Defenseman Zdeno Chara isn’t one of those players.
That’s why Bruins fans were holding their collective breath over the last couple of days after Chara sat out Saturday’s game in Ottawa with an undisclosed injury. The Bruins were banged up defensively as it was, and the injury might have had the most pessimistic of Boston fans thinking Chara would be out a little longer than the “day-to-day” that was originally announced.
Any and all of those fears were erased Tuesday morning when Chara announced he’d be back in the lineup that night against the New York Islanders. Chara declared himself good to go, which obviously is great news for a Bruins team that really can’t use any more injuries, especially on the blue line. The Bruins already are without Dennis Seidenberg after the veteran defenseman was lost for the entire season with a torn ACL and MCL, suffered Friday night against the Senators.
Chara likely will be joined in the Boston lineup Tuesday night by fellow blue liner Kevan Miller. He was recalled Monday, which would seem to indicate the Bruins have the young D-man in their plans to try to absorb the loss of Seidenberg. If Miller were to be sent down again, he would have to clear waivers, assuming he plays Tuesday, as it will mark his 10th NHL game.
Chara, Miller and the rest of the Bruins’ defensive corps will look to close out 2013 on a winning note in front of Tuukka Rask. The B’s No. 1 goalie was first off the ice at morning skate and is expected to get his final start of the calendar year. It’s unclear who will start in net for the Islanders, as New York did not hold a morning skate.
Bruins (26-11-2, 54 points)
Milan Lucic — David Krejci — Jarome Iginla
Brad Marchand — Patrice Bergeron — Reilly Smith
Matt Fraser — Ryan Spooner — Nick Johnson
Daniel Paille — Gregory Campbell — Jordan Caron
Zdeno Chara — Johnny Boychuk
Adam McQuaid — Torey Krug
Matt Bartkowski — Kevan Miller
Islanders (12-21-7, 31 points)
Thomas Vanek — John Tavares — Kyle Okposo
Eric Boulton — Frans Nielsen — Brock Nelson
Peter Regin — Ryan Strome — Cal Clutterbuck
Colin McDonald — Casey Cizikas — Matt Martin
Thomas Hickey — Andrew MacDonald
Calvin de Haan — Travis Hamonic
Matt Carkner — Brian Strait