On Thursday, the Bruins announced that defenseman Zdeno Chara will not be in the lineup for tonight's season opener against the Winnipeg Jets at TD Garden. This news coming just two days after the Bruins' captain skated in a full practice for the first time since he suffered the upper-body injury in September 24th's preseason game against the New York Rangers.
Chara's status is currently "day to day," and it is unclear as to how long he will be sitting out.
The Bruins have already called it "a good sign" that Chara is out there practicing in full. However this injury has clearly taken a lot out of Big Z, as it has caused him to miss the final three preseason games and the last two weeks of practice.
Chara stated on Tuesday that he is "taking it one day at a time," and is not trying to rush things.
So far, all this preseason has done is bring back the harsh memories of last season, where the B's defensive core was plagued with injuries following the Johnny Boychuk trade. Dennis Seidenberg is already set to miss the first eight weeks of the season while recovering from back surgery. And now Chara is out.
The B's need Adam McQuaid, Torey Krug, Matt Erwin and Kevan Miller to not only step up while Chara and Seidenberg are out, but to stay healthy so that the remaining defensive unit remains in tact.
We all know how devastating it is for the Bruins to lose a leader and a physical presence like Chara for the first several games, especially when your coach is on the hot seat and fighting for his job.
After the miserable end to last season, it is essential that the Bruins get off to a strong start so that Claude's job security can increase and things do not get messy inside the locker room. If Chara is unable to go for an extended period to begin the season then that task only becomes more difficult.