Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara suffered a leg injury, which caused ligament damage, and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks, a source confirmed to ESPNBoston.com.
The source said Chara might need surgery. Chara suffered the injury in the first period of Thursday’s 3-2 defeat to the New York Islanders at TD Garden in Boston. Chara’s final shift came at the 8:13 mark of the opening frame. Early in the shift he put a hit on Islanders captain John Tavares, in the slot in front of Boston goalie Niklas Svedberg. He did not show any hint of an injury, and finished his shift before heading to the locker room.
TSN was the first to report the injury.
In coach Claude Julien’s post-game presser, he gave no update on Chara’s condition.
“No, no report yet,” Julien said. “I haven’t even checked in on the situation. First of all, we won’t know anything until he sees the proper people in the medical staff. Nothing right now.”
Boston is already down one d-man; Kevan Miller is out indefinitely with dislocated right shoulder.
Veteran defenseman Dennis Seidenberg provided insight into losing Chara:
“It’s very tough,” Seidenberg said. “[Chara is] our leader, and it’s always tough when a guy like that goes down. We have to embrace the opportunity and play better and make up for that if possible.”
The Bruins have not gotten off to a fast start. With Thursday’s loss, the Bruins stand at 4-5 through nine games and are fifth in the Atlantic Division, four points behind leader Montreal. They have no one in the top 31 in points, no one in the top 30 in goals, and two players in the top 20 in assists (Chris Kelly and David Krejci). With the loss of Chara’s leadership, it remains to be seen what is going to happen during the chunk of time that they are without their captain. Everyone is going to have to step up and dig deep. The Bruins can ill afford to have this down their season. And, if Chara does have surgery and is forced to miss even more time, then the Bruins might have to make a change to help out their already thin defensive depth, all while keeping the team under the salary cap.