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BOSTON -- Bruins coach Claude Julien announced Saturday the team will be without captain Zdeno Chara for the final two games before the Olympic break.
Chara will serve as captain for Slovakia and also will carry his country's flag during the opening ceremonies, so he'll miss Thursday's game in St. Louis against the Blues, and Saturday's against the Ottawa Senators at TD Garden.
Julien said he has no issue with his veteran defenseman missing two games in order to participate in the opening ceremonies. The organization gave Chara its blessing in the matter.
"What this guy has done for our organization and the honor that it represents to carry the flag for your country, how can you not support that opportunity," Julien said. "So we're doing a job here, it wouldn't be different if he was injured, I'd rather send him there knowing that he's healthy and he's getting rest versus having a guy injured in your lineup not knowing when he's going to come back. So we're not under bad circumstances, we're under good circumstances with him."
With Chara unavailable for those two games, the Bruins are hoping to get injured defenseman Adam McQuaid back in the lineup. He has missed the last six games with a leg injury. He has been working out for the last week, but hasn't been back on skates yet.
The team is trying to figure out whether McQuaid should just rest and rehab and not return until after the Olympic break, or if he can play in those two games that Chara will miss.
"Well, if he's 100 percent he's going to go," Julien said. "We've always said that, there's no use holding a guy back if he's 100 percent. But there's no doubt if he's not quite there yet, then the next two weeks will be really useful for him. So that's what we have to decide here but especially with Zdeno being gone here the last two games, if he's 100 percent you want him in the lineup."