Mar 4, 2014, 10:22 AM EDT
If you’ve been watching the Boston Bruins or the Olympics at all, you’ve probably seen a lot of Zdeno Chara.
This season, the Bruins captain is averaging 25:59 of ice time per game, his highest amount since 2008-09 when he was logging an average of 26:09 per game. In his past two games, back-to-backs no less, he played right at his average minutes for the season.
As Fluto Shinzawa of The Boston Globe says, maybe it’s time to give the big guy a breather.
Chara’s done his job in the three post-break games. Against Washington, Chara helped to prevent Alex Ovechkin from scoring at even strength. One night later, Chara and Dougie Hamilton kept New York’s top line of Chris Kreider, Derek Stepan, and Rick Nash from beating Rask.
But Chara’s heavy legs indicate he’s not running on a full tank. Playing 25-plus minutes in back-to-back games uses a lot of gas.
The results are still there, although dropping games to the Sabres and Capitals coming out of the Olympics wasn’t ideal for the Bruins and neither is burning out Chara before the playoffs.
How do you ease Chara’s minutes then? Shinzawa suggests they take a look at landing Islanders defenseman Andrew MacDonald at the deadline. The problem there is Isles GM Garth Snow is asking for a healthy, and perhaps overpriced, return for the impending unrestricted free agent.
- Five big games to watch this weekend 1
- Video: Kessel, Booth get into altercation at Leafs practice 25
- Playoff watch — what the bubble teams need to do 27
- After Howard fails to ‘bounce back,’ Mrazek to receive ‘opportunity’ 33
- Bruins can’t hold Ducks off, suffer sixth loss in a row 32
- Ticket punched: Rangers become first team to clinch 2015 playoff berth 14
- Coyotes ‘win’ against Sabres in OT 51
- Marchand: If Bruins miss playoffs, ‘this is going to be a much different group next year’ 20
- Is Lecavalier offering to retire early to facilitate trade out of Philly? 28
- Hextall insists he’s ‘on the same page’ with Snider 16
- Dreger: ‘In Kessel’s case, I firmly believe he’s going to be traded’ (73)
- Red Wings beat Blues in OT, but should winning goal count? (56)
- Tank-worthy? Connor McDavid finishes OHL season with 120 points in 47 games (56)
- Report: No fine or suspension for Tyler Toffoli’s hit on Alex Burrows (51)
- Coyotes ‘win’ against Sabres in OT (51)