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Desharnais believes Habs left Chara tired in Game 5

May 11, 2014, 8:45 PM EDT

Zdeno Chara, David Desharnais AP

During the 2013 Stanley Cup Final series, Jonathan Toews made waves when he discussed why the Chicago Blackhawks “shouldn’t be scared of” Zdeno Chara. It seems like the Boston Bruins behemoth is being badgered again, as Montreal Canadiens center David Desharnais told NHL.com that the big blueliner grew tired in Game 5 (which Boston won).

“He’s an excellent defenseman; it’s definitely not easy to play against him,” Desharnais said. “I think [Saturday] we found a way to get him tired a bit more and to pressure him.

“When you do that, he’s just another defenseman.”

Desharnais was playing it pretty safe right there, but if you’re Bruins head coach Claude Julien, you probably want to triple the font on the phrase “he’s just another defenseman.”

Julien would probably provide the same response on this subject that he did back in last year’s playoffs:

“I mean, they’re allowed their comments. If that’s what they think, then they should try it again,” Julien said. “A lot of people have tried to figure out Zdeno, and he’s the type of player he is …”

If nothing else, the 37-year-old defenseman should be fresher than previous postseason runs. He averaged a playoff career-high 29:32 minutes per night in Boston’s run to the championship round last year, but he’s being used more conservatively so far in this postseason. He’s logging just under 26 minutes per night (25:53), well below his career 26:57 average in the playoffs.

Then again, maybe that means that Boston is a little concerned about the “Big Z’s” fatigue levels. (Of course, it could also have a lot to do with the emergence of young defensemen such as Torey Krug and Dougie Hamilton.)

Either way, the Bruins probably aren’t sweating it and might even get a little bulletin board material out of the deal.

  1. govtminion - May 11, 2014 at 8:50 PM

    “Yep, we wore him out… you know, we lost the game and we’re behind the 8-ball now having to win two games in a row to survive, but we wore out Chara. That’s a victory of sorts, right?”

    He’s not getting younger, we know that. But, as the article noted, Julien doesn’t need to lean on Chara as much as he used to, now that guys like Krug, Hamilton, etc. have stepped up as much as they have. (Same reason they don’t need to rush Seidenberg back). So… it’s going to take more than that to shut down Boston- and the Habs have to find a way to do it twice this week if they’re going to move on. Long odds, to say the least.

  2. dropthepuckeh - May 11, 2014 at 9:04 PM

    Chara is not fast, never was and never will be. I do think he has lost a step in his stride but I’m not sure it matters as it relates to shutting down the opposition. His reach, his fitness level and his experience are enough to keep operating at an elite level and playing the role of the #1 defenseman. How many players who play 26+ minutes in a playoff game aren’t tired at the end??

  3. muckleflugga - May 11, 2014 at 9:16 PM

    chara was showing signs of wear two games back, in the last game he looked dead on his feet at times … not his fault, he’s beaten like a rented mule on any given night

    the same can be said of lucic and iginla, all with short, choppy strides and inability to get over their skates … thornton, the three minute man, a worthy mutt and try-hard, but a plug by every definition

    les canadiens and their blazing speed will hound all four ragged, much as bruins have been dogging subban with the standard lower order hockey and fundamental boston mugging

    at home, canadiens only need to get themselves reorganized, then skate these stiffs out of the building … a bit of finish around bruins net wouldn’t hurt

    count on a seventh game, and count on canadiens winning … no canadiens, nhl playoffs fall off the charts in canada, and that will not be allowed to happen

    there’s just too much beer and too many wings in canadian coolers

    • pepper2011 - May 12, 2014 at 10:00 AM

      I know you are just a troll, but don’t you get sick of making a fool of yourself?

      Thornton logged more ice time than Dale Weise last, but yeah. He also logged as much or more than Briere. Is he a top 9 forward. Nope, but if you can’t recognize his value; you clearly don’t understand hockey.

      You can roll him out there 7-10 minutes a night that are relatively worry free. He will provide energy and that line has pretty good puck control. Example: last game Thornton had more (twice as many) shots than: Eller, Gionta, Gallagher, Weise, Vanek, Prust.

      The Habs are cracking because they can’t get Lucic to retaliate. Again, Last game was by far his strongest. I believe “Lucic is just imposing his will on the Canadiens” was spoken.

      Iginla – Had a goal and has hit at least 3 posts in this series.

      Try using facts rather than nonsensical rambling to prove you took a creative writing class.

  4. Moop - May 11, 2014 at 9:57 PM

    Even if Chara slips a little. (and I would only refer to him as “just another defenseman” on his worst days), I wouldn’t be too worried. The situation is different from last year; sure, we have no work-horse in Seidenberg, but Krug and Bartkowski have now experienced the playoffs before and are a year older. They know what it takes. Hamilton didn’t play much in the playoffs this year but he’s really grown this year as a defenseman. Additionally, there’s still Tuukka Rask to worry about even if you think you’ve worn out Chara, and Rask seems to have found his game for the rest of this series.

    If the Bruins play the way they did last night during Game 6, I’m not sure there’s much to worry about. The Canadiens really need to go back to what they were doing in games 3 and 4 to put themselves in the best position to avoid elimination.

  5. muckleflugga - May 11, 2014 at 10:08 PM

    from an arts perspective, that is a fantastic photo in the graphic … i’d pay money for a four by four print

  6. hockeyflow33 - May 11, 2014 at 10:46 PM

    The Canadiens can’t score an even-strength goal and we’re supposed to believe they can blow past Chara?

    • justinhbhb - May 11, 2014 at 10:54 PM

      … At least Montreal doesn’t have two players that received fines from the league this post season.

      • Moop - May 11, 2014 at 11:18 PM

        I can see it now. Pre-game tomorrow night:

        “Keys to Game 6:

        The Canadiens haven’t been fined AT ALL during the playoffs, so I think they’ll pull this one out.”

      • hockeyflow33 - May 11, 2014 at 11:28 PM

        Perfect comment from a Canadiens fan.

      • dboldave - May 12, 2014 at 7:26 AM

        You should also bring up how Montreal won the regular season series against Boston. Just as relevant!

  7. justinhbhb - May 11, 2014 at 10:57 PM

    If anyone has the traits to claim Chara is getting worn down- it’s Desharnais. He is fast and a playmaker who has been facing Chara shift after shift. I honestly think ( as in me trying to not be bias) that Bruins fans over estimate their defensive corps without Chara at his best. They may do fine against the East, but they are up for a rude awakening when they face the West.

  8. pastabelly - May 11, 2014 at 11:07 PM

    What kind of idiot actually says this stuff? No class.

    • justinhbhb - May 12, 2014 at 12:04 AM

      What kind a of idiot continuously shoves his stick into other men’s genitals? What kind of idiot squirts water form the bench at an opposing player involved in play? #twobruinsplayershavegottenfinesfordoingthesethings

      • mellard1121 - May 12, 2014 at 12:56 AM

        Well crosby speared moore tonight and lundquivst squirted crosby with water , so I guess its not just the bruins doing it , I mean if the best player in hockey is doing it and a top goalie is doing it can we just shut up about it now cuz obv it isnt just the bruins every team in league gets caught up in moment and does dumb stuff

      • drewzducks - May 12, 2014 at 1:10 AM

        You’re a pathetic moron fan of a joke of a team. That holds true even if the Habs rebound to win the last 2. You’re an embarrassment to hockey fans and at the same time, everything that Habs fans have come to stand for. John Kordic and Pat. burns are rolling in their graves at the likes of you.

      • pepper2011 - May 12, 2014 at 9:44 AM

        LOL.

        You are grasping at straws.

        “Wahhhhhhhh, the mean Bruins man squirted my guy with water”

        Even the NBC announcers are making fun of the Diving now.

        Did you hear Jones on the Gallagher hit. Also, the Subban dive at the end was hysterical too. He seemed very happy he drew the the penalty and got the meaningless PP goal. It’s a contract year, right?

  9. slaugin - May 12, 2014 at 7:03 AM

    Wait…. Desharmais is playing this series? Huh, could have fooled me. Maybe he is just skating around to tire Chara out instead of, you know…Scoring or being being noticed at all

  10. kovodisc - May 12, 2014 at 8:54 AM

    Seems like the picture in this headline contradict it’s content, no?

    Looks like Desharnais is the one that’s getting worn down…

    Speaking of worn down – I think the B’s have done a good job tenderizing the MTL blue line. It was evident in the last game that the Habs don’t want to take a hit on the boards in the defensive zone. Their heads are on swivels and have started turning over the puck with the looming hit.

  11. pats2001 - May 12, 2014 at 9:03 AM

    as a bruins fan i obviously love chara, but i have to admit that he has been getting on my nerves from time to time this series…and it has nothing to do with what desharnais thinks about chara’s conditioning level. it has to do with chara’s awful decision making with the puck lately. he has made some stupid, stupid decisions that have cost the B’s at least one goal, thankfully less. as he gets older and apparently slower, he needs to be even more careful with what he does with the puck. hopefully the coaching staff sees this and reminds him to make the safe and smart plays

  12. joeman26 - May 12, 2014 at 9:47 AM

    maybe Desharnais needs a squirt of the water bottle

  13. joeman26 - May 12, 2014 at 9:50 AM

    Chara logged a lot on minutes this year & not young so it stands to reason that he’s making mistakes….if they could it might be time to move him this offseason if they could…

  14. themagicman1223 - May 12, 2014 at 10:49 AM

    Desharnais’ an idiot, I hate that this guy plays for the habs. The funny thing is that Chara has completely shut him down by just playing him a bit physical. Desharnais is as soft as a marshmallow.

  15. the8man - May 12, 2014 at 11:42 AM

    The Habs are a very fast and skilled team. So yeah, when you play them, you are in for a bit of track meet. Fatigue will happen.

    Why is this news?

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