For as shocked as the collective masses were when Zdeno Chara — donning a full face shield to protect his battered face/jaw — skated out on the TD Garden ice Thursday morning, the same couldn’t be said for those within the Bruins’ locker room.
“That’s just Zee. … It doesn’t surprise me at all,” Jake DeBrusk said.
Less than 72 hours after taking a puck to the mouth and exiting Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final with a reported broken jaw, Chara has somehow managed to put himself back into the conversation for playing in what will be a pivotal Game 5 against the Blues Thursday night, with his participation in the team’s optional skate standing as the first step for the 42-year-old captain.
While NHL PR noted that Chara cannot talk or open his mouth, he was able to provide a few written responses to the press corps Thursday morning. To the surprise of few, sitting out was not going to be an option for the defenseman if he gets the green light from the medical staff.
“At this time of the playoffs, everyone has injuries and there are challenges that you have to overcome to play,” Chara said. “I’m no different than any player on either team.”