The B's blue-line will be tested this late this week, as they will be without the Big Man for the final two games before the Olympic break. Chara, who was selected to carry the Olympic flag for his home country of Slovakia in the opening ceremonies, will be forced to miss both Thursday, and Saturday's games for the B's.
"This is a unique situation, and as an organization, we've chosen to take the direction of supporting him and that's the way it is, and we'll make due," said Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien, following Monday's practice.
To fill in for the Captain, the Bruins have decided to call up defensemen David Warsofsky, who joined the team for practice to prepare him for this weeks games against St. Louis, and Ottawa. Warsofsky has been recalled three times for the B's this season, the first time for December 19th, against Buffalo, where he made his NHL debut.
"Providence left for St. John's today so they're gone for the week, so it was important to have him with us here and gives him a chance to practice with us for a little bit before Zee leaves," Claude said.
In his four games with the (NHL) B's this season, Warsofsky has recorded seven shots, including a goal (in his most previous call-up), with a plus/minus of 0.
"I think we were all wondering what was going to happen with that situation, so luckily I got the call, and I'm just looking to make the most of it," Warsofsky said, following practice.
The Marshfield, MA native is in his third year in the Bruins organization, and is enjoying his chance to get some action in the big league. Having a few games under his belt has felt good, and Warsofsky feels much less nervous about his upcoming stint.
"I think when I first got called up, all of the focus is on your first NHL game, so you kind of get those nerves out of the way," Warsofsky said. "And just - it's another hockey game - I've played thousands of them in my life, and just do what I can do."
Claude Julien seems very confident in Warsofsky, and praised his play, particularly in his last game with the B's:
"I think anytime you have a player who plays an X amount of games, the more he plays, the better he feels, the more confidence he gets along the way," Claude said.
"I just felt that the last few games he played with us, he seemed to get better and better and right now, we're in need of a left defenseman, and when we were in a need of a right one, it was [Zach] Trotman, so that's how we've kind of determined guys coming up."
"But certainly was real happy with the way he played, especially his last game in Ottawa, he seemed to play with a lot of confidence, carried the puck well, made good plays and obviously scored that goal. Just his whole game was good, and moved the puck well."
The Bruins will be without their captain for just the second time this year, and the defense will be tested, missing Chara, McQuaid (possibly returning, however it's unlikely), and of course, Dennis Seidenberg. The B's will have to rely on their less experiences blue-liners, such as Torey Krug, Dougie Hamilton, Kevan Miller, and Matt Bartkowski, led by veteran Johnny Boychuk.
Of course, this group of guys have proven themselves worthy of more ice-time, so it's safe to say that the Bruins are in good hands, especially with Tuukka Rask and Chad Johnson in net.