Monday, December 12, 2011
Chara day-to-day; unlikely to play Tuesday
By Joe McDonald
WILMINGTON, Mass. -- Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara is doing better than he expected after he suffered a lower-body injury during Saturday's 5-3 victory over the Blue Jackets in Columbus.
He did not practice with the team on Monday morning at Ristuccia Arena and said afterwards that it's unlikely he will play against the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday at TD Garden, but he's optimistic he won't miss too much time.
"There's no timeframe when I'm going to be back, but most likely I won't be playing tomorrow," Chara said. "Honestly, it's in a stage where we can't talk about anything more than 24 hours ahead.
"The plan is to take a day at a time. You can't really put a timeframe on it. Basically, it's how it feels and it feels better than I expected."
Chara appeared to injure his left leg in a second-period collision with Blue Jackets forward Antoine Vermette and did not return.
The Bruins are 4-5-3 in the 12 regular-season games Chara has missed during his tenure in Boston. Despite not skating on Monday, Chara was still able to get in an off-ice workout.
"I don't want to miss any games," Chara said. "I want to play as much as I can, and if it's possible, play all the games. Nobody wants to miss games and it's something I take a lot of pride in and anytime I can play, I'll play. Through injuries or sickness or whatever it is, but you also have to be smart because you don't want to do something that will cause serious problems or things that can hurt you in the future."
Bruins coach Claude Julien said after Monday’s practice that he expects his captain to be back sooner rather than later. In the meantime, the coach won’t change his game plan.
“We don’t believe in changing our game because one guy is out, or whatever the case may be,” Julien said. “We play the same way. We just need guys to step up and be able to fill in some of the minutes he takes during a game and that’s as far as we’ll go with an injury.
“When you lose a key player it’s a big void, but other teams, including ourselves, have dealt with that in the past and there’s nothing more you can do about it. To say he leaves a big void doesn’t mean we can’t fill it and that’s the way we feel right now. We’ve got enough guys who can come in and do the job.”