Chara Expected to Be Ready to Play in Stanley Cup Final

RALEIGH, NC – Zdeno Chara was a surprise scratch from Thursday night's Game 4 lineup with an injury that has him day-to-day, but that didn't stop the 6-foot-9 defenseman from taking the ice with his teammates once they'd wrapped up the Eastern Conference Final series.

The Bruins won without their shutdown D-man in a 4-0 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena to close them out in a sweep, but Chara dressed up in full uniform to be with his teammates on the ice for the handshake line prior to accepting the Prince of Wales Trophy for winning the East. It was a bit odd that the 42-year-old Chara didn't play given that he was participating in practice and even spoke to the media at the podium on the Wednesday off-day in between games.

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So perhaps it shouldn't be a surprise that Chara isn't expected to miss any time at the start of the Stanley Cup Final, and should get at least a week to rest his bumps and bruised prior to that best-of-seven series getting going.

"I believe he'll be ready to go next round," said Bruce Cassidy, when asked about Chara's undisclosed injury.

The belief here is that whatever injury Chara is suffering from wasn't all that serious, and that the 42-year-old might have played if the Bruins weren't up 3-0 against a Carolina team that had have proven to be inferior to them. Without him Torey Krug stepped up to play 27 minutes of ice time, Brandon Carlo topped 23 minutes of ice and Charlie McAvoy logged 22 plus minutes while completely shutting down Carolina's attack.  

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