6 foot 9 captain Zdeno Chara is arguably one of the biggest pieces of the Boston Bruins lineup — and having him missing from said lineup is sure to hurt the team in some way or another.
The veteran defenseman has been in and out of the lineup, though, since last season; the 38 year old Trencin, Slovakia native was out with a knee injury, then a broken foot, and admitted to playing the bulk of the 2014-2015 campaign on a torn PCL once the year had wrapped up.
Now, he’s being held out of the first game of the 2015-2016 season — leaving the Bruins injury depleted before the puck has even dropped on game one.
Zdeno Chara not playing tonight, per Julien
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) October 8, 2015
Last season, the Bruins missed out on the post-season for the first time since the pre-Peter Chiarelli era — but they did so with a number of lineup regulars held out for chunks of time. Blue liner Kevan Miller was shut down for the year with shoulder surgery, centre David Krejci was in and out with varying injuries throughout the year, Chara’s injuries held him out quite a bit, and everyone from Chris Kelly to Tuukka Rask slipped in and out of being healthy as the year wore on.
This year, a handful of players will be missing from the ice already as well; Seth Griffith is out with a lower body injury, Dennis Seidenberg is out with surgery, and now Chara is out with the same day to day issue he’s been having all pre-season, which is believed to be an upper body injury sustained during the team’s pre-season contest on September 24th. The team will have to see the puck drop against the Winnipeg Jets down a small handful of the team’s strongest players; it’s not a life-changing situation, but it’s certainly not the way the Bruins wanted to start out their year.
The good news, though, is that Boston shouldn’t be without Chara for long. The massive defenseman participated with the team in morning skate on Thursday, and he’s been at practice throughout the week; this may just be a precautionary measure.