The Boston Bruins are off to a solid 11-8-0 start to the year, and much of the success has to be attributed to the tight defensive hockey the team is playing. That might take a hit over the next two games, as the team has officially announced that Zdeno Chara will miss tomorrow’s game against the Ottawa Senators, and is questionable for Friday’s matchup. Without Chara, the Bruins’ and their 6th place ranking with 44 goals against is in jeopardy. Even at his advanced age (39), the Solvakian defender is a monster on the ice, limiting goal opportunities and dominating puck battles.
- The team will get David Pastrnak back though, in a hope that his added offense will equal out the defensive loss. The Bruins’ leading goal scorer this season was out for two games this weekend before returning to practice today. Skating alongside Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, the former first-round pick has 10 goals in 14 games, on pace to shatter his career-high of 15. At just 20-years old Pastrnak looks like he’s developing into a top-line winger, capable of skating opposite Marchand for many years. Coach Claude Julien says he’s likely to play “unless there’s a setback tomorrow”.
- Kevan Miller was also cleared to return to practice today, and took a regular turn alongside Joe Morrow among Boston’s defense pairings. While Julien wouldn’t say whether Miller would get back into the lineup, his return obviously lines up fairly well with Chara’s absence. “We’re going to have some decisions to make before tomorrow’s game” is all the coach would say. Miller has yet to suit up for a game this year after breaking his left hand and needing surgery prior to the season opener. The 29-year old played in 71 games for the club a season ago, notching 18 points and 53 penalty minutes.