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Thomas, Chara and Bergeron skip Ottawa trip, won’t play Thursday

Apr 4, 2012, 1:01 PM EDT

Tim Thomas, Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara

Tomorrow’s Boston-Ottawa tilt was supposed to be a postseason preview.

Instead, it’ll be more like the preseason.

The Bruins announced that captain Zdeno Chara, starting goalie Tim Thomas and second-leading scorer Patrice Bergeron won’t make the trip to Ottawa and, ergo, won’t face the Senators.

Defenseman Johnny Boychuk also didn’t travel with the team, but that was due to his injured leg that required an MRI.

The big news is that Boston’s resting three of its most important players against a division rival and likely first-round opponent (Boston is the No. 2 seed; Ottawa almost locked into No. 7.)

That said, it’s not an entirely surprising move.

One, the Bruins have played a ton of hockey over the last 12 months with Chara (25:02 a game), Bergeron (18:34) and Thomas (58GP) among the busiest. Two, they’re locked into second place and unable to gain anything from the Ottawa game. Three, why bother giving the Senators a free shot at any of your stars?

The interesting thing to watch moving forward is how other potential first-round opponents handle their regular-season finales. Pittsburgh and Philadelphia (the East’s likely 4-5 matchup) face off in the regular season finale on Apr. 7; the top-seeded Rangers play Washington — currently battling for eighth — in the last game of the year as well.

Out West, current No. 5 seed Detroit hosts No. 6 Chicago on Saturday (the ‘Hawks are just one point back of the Wings) while current No. 7 seed Phoenix plays No. 2 St. Louis on Friday.

  1. govtminion - Apr 4, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    You couldn’t ask for a better opportunity to rest key players than this. Very smart move.

    (Cue people complaining about the Bruins throwing the game)

  2. pastabelly - Apr 4, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    I haven’t seen any complaints except for one Flyer fan. This is part of the game.

  3. bergeronforselke - Apr 4, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    Yeah, Flyers and Caps fans may not like it but a big B-o-o H-o-o to them.

  4. mcmurphy22 - Apr 4, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    It’s a part of every game, smart move. Can’t get hurt if you don’t play/rest for the weary. Wouldn’t mind seeing Seids get a game off as well, might depend on Johnny demo’s condition though.

  5. 8man - Apr 4, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    Let them have game 82 off as well. Hell, lock them in their homes!

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