ST LOUIS – After playing through the Game 5 loss with a broken jaw, 42-year-old Bruins captain Zdeno Chara spoke to the media on Saturday at the Enterprise Center after communicating through written answers just 48 hours earlier.
Chara said that he feels fine after playing through what’s believed to be a fractured jaw and looks like he is going to be good to go for the final couple of games in the Stanley Cup Final, starting with the do-or-die Game 6 in the Blues building. Chara won’t get the same long, extended and ultra-respectful ovation in St. Louis that he received in Boston, obviously, and now the focus goes from inspirational moment to staying alive in a do-or-die elimination game for the Black and Gold.
“I feel fine playing. Obviously, it was a quick turnaround following the last game here, but I feel fine,” said Chara. “There are no limitations, so I would play.”
Chara played 16:42 of ice time in the Game 5 loss to the Blues just a couple of days after a rocketed Vladimir Tarasenko shot rode up and broke his jaw, and sources indicated to NBCSportsBoston.com that his jaw wasn’t wired shut and that he was able to speak. The B’s captain did just that from the podium during an off-day press conference and continued to inspire marvel and disbelief from his teammates while playing through an injury that would sideline most.
“He’s our leader. He’s the toughest guy out there. He doesn’t take any days off unless it’s impossible to play,” said Tuukka Rask. “It’s an emotional lift for all of us. He’s the backbone of our defense, so it’s a great help to have him out there.”
Chara said he’s working to keep up his nutrition and his hydration while clearly not being able to eat and drink as much as he usually does, and it did appear that perhaps he was taking an IV between periods in Game 5 to stay hydrated during the game. At this point taking press conferences and getting through that first game while admittedly protecting his injured jaw at times by guarding against oncoming attackers, it’s expected that Chara will remain out on the ice for the B’s killing penalties and shutting down opponents while showing exceptional toughness at a time of year when that should be rewarded by the hockey gods.
Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.