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No kidding: Bruins defense not as airtight without Chara

Dec 16, 2011, 8:30 AM EDT

Zdeno Chara Getty Images

This might be stunning news, but the Bruins’ defense just isn’t quite the same without Zdeno Chara.

We know, it’s crazy talk, but the Bruins have been giving up a lot more shots on goal in their two games without the perennial Norris Trophy finalist. While they’ve won both games without Chara, things just aren’t the same.’s Joe Haggerty hears it from everyone on the Bruins about having to be better defensively, but Patrice Bergeron sums it up best saying, “We need to be better and can’t allow that many shots while relying on our goalies to carry us.”

Carry them they have. Tim Thomas and Tuukka Rask both have been outstanding in both games and have stopped 88 out of 90 shots the last two games.  Averaging 45 shots against is brutal for any team to handle, even the Bruins who already allow an average of over 31 shots per. Maybe the Bruins defense just likes to make sure their goalies stay awake.

Most teams would suffer in a big way going without their top defenseman but the Bruins have persevered. It’s almost as if they’re a team capable of winning the Stanley Cup all over again.

  1. xxshookonexx - Dec 16, 2011 at 9:40 AM

    Slow news day?

  2. sonofsamiam - Dec 16, 2011 at 10:15 AM

    Isn’t it odd how before the finals last season, very few people gave the Bruins a chance. Now, they are often being talked up as a threat to repeat.

  3. 8man - Dec 16, 2011 at 10:30 AM

    Yes. They are good enough to contend for the cup. If they can stay relatively healthy. My top four teams as of now in order are: Bruins, Wings, Flyers and Canucks.

    It is my considered opinion, that if the season ended today, the Stanley Cup finals would contain some combination of the above.

    A big, valuable no-prize to whomever can guess how I decided this.

  4. nhlbruins90 - Dec 16, 2011 at 10:31 AM

    Our top D man goes down, and we still manage to win. As Dale Arnold said, ‘no Chara, no Thomas, no problem.’ That pretty much sums it up.

    • pastabelly - Dec 16, 2011 at 2:19 PM

      Not a problem if you’re playing an uninspired LA Kings time that just fired its coach and a pretty mediocre Ottawa team.. Andrew Ferrence actually led the team in minutes played against Ottawa. That can’t happen against the Flyers.

  5. govtminion - Dec 16, 2011 at 10:46 AM

    A well-designed team SHOULD be able to weather missing a top player for a while. That’s the whole idea. The Flyers are proving that right now as well, and the Penguins… well, the last year and a half for them has been a textbook case of thriving despite missing top talent.

  6. boston25rocketman - Dec 16, 2011 at 11:38 AM

    No surprise about the increase in shots our goaltenders have faced. Remove a Norris candidate who often plays up to 25 minutes/night against the opposing teams top lines, more pucks will get through. Guys like Seidenberg and Ference are good players but aren’t gonna give you what Big Z does night after night.

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