- The Recap: Game 6 ECQF: Habs vs Rangers
- The Recency Bias: Round 1 – Game 6
- What Just Happened? Habs’ Season Ends at MSG
- The Recap: Game 5 – ECQF: Rangers vs. Habs
- The Recency Bias: Round 1 – Game 5
- What Just Happened? Rangers top Habs 3-2 in OT
- The Forum: The First Round… So Far
- Dwight King Not Proving His Worth
- What Just Happened? Rangers Even the Series
- The Recap: Game 4 – ECQF – Habs vs Rangers
An Injury Makes All The Difference
- Updated: October 25, 2014
In case any of you Habs fans have not heard, the captain of the Boston Bruins, Zdeno Chara, suffered an injury, a torn ligament, on Thursday October 23, that will keep him out of action for a period of 4 to 6 weeks.
While this may seem to be a minor detail to some, keep in mind that the Bruins, currently in fifth place in the Eastern Conference, rely heavily on Chara. No Bruins player is playing more minutes per game than the 6 foot 9 Slovak and is as crucial to the success of the team as he is. He eats a lot of minutes on even strength, power play and on the penalty kill.
Playing time aside, Chara brings a physical presence like no other… the guy is 6 foot 9! Who wants to drop the gloves against him? In that aspect, the big bad Bruins have dwindled in size since last season. With the departure of Shawn Thornton, and now the injury to Chara, the Bruins will need to rely on Milan Lucic to keep the other teams respectable towards the Bruins’ top players. Suddenly, the fear level is not as elevated as it was for other teams.
Furthermore, one may wonder what happens if it is determined that Chara requires surgery after 4-6 weeks. What would be the impact on the Bruins? Well, that would leave them with a fairly inexperienced defense following the recent trade of Johnny Boychuk to the New York Islanders for salary cap purposes. Essentially, if Chara was to miss the rest of the season, for example, it would simply take Boston out of the equation in the East. Unless you could trade for someone to replace him in the following categories: minutes per game, including power play, penalty kill and physical intimidation. Oh, and the new guy would also need to be a leader! Where would you find such a replacement? And what would you trade to obtain that player?
It is certain that the Bruins would not be able to find a true replacement for Chara, although they may seek to partially replace him. The problem at this time, across the NHL, is that injuries are taking a toll on the blue line teams, and that the trading price is getting higher every day.
What would the Vancouver Canucks ask for Kevin Bieksa? As crazy as it may sound, they would probably ask for Lucic straigth up! And why wouldn’t they? The Canucks are off to a decent start and are not desperate to make a deal as the Bruins may be! Keep in mind that this does not even take any salary cap into consideration, so some trades would not even be possible. And let’s not pretend that the Habs and Bruins would conclude a trade… that would just be silly!
Whether you love him or hate him, Zdeno Chara was, and is, the cornerstone of the Bruins’ defense, and they will suffer a great deal until he returns to the active roster, which may, or not, happen in 4-6 weeks.
In the meantime, all other 15 teams in the Eastern Conference suddenly feel a few inches taller and can’t wait to play the Boston Bruins, either at home or on the road! When’s the last time you heard that?
The Eastern Conference is suddenly wide open! Who wants it?