BRIGHTON, Mass – Zdeno Chara won’t be playing in Monday night’s final game ahead of the pre-Christmas holiday break due to a scheduled procedure related to his broken jaw suffered during last spring’s Stanley Cup Final.
The 42-year-old captain has suffered from some infection issues after wires and screws were surgically installed in his jaw during the healing process, so Chara is going to have all the hardware removed now that his mouth has healed up.
The hope and expectation is that there will be no more recurrence of the infection issues once all the medical paraphernalia has been removed from his jaw.
The timing obviously isn’t ideal with the Bruins headed into a Monday night showdown with a Washington Capitals team that’s beaten them twice and with Boston having lost eight of their last nine games in their worst tailspin in a few seasons.
“It’s never going to be perfect. We tried to plan this and make the decision ahead of time, and that’s what it was. We tried to take advantage of the little break we have coming up so it wasn’t too demanding on the body,” said Chara, who hadn’t missed a single game yet this season while posting five goals and 13 points in 37 games along with a plus-18 rating this year. “The area where the surgery was done got infected, which is kind of rare. But it does happen. After the decision was made to remove all the plates and screws and clean it up. It’s pretty much the same [procedure] but instead of putting the plates in it will be taking the plates out.”
The good news is that Chara is expected to be good to go following the three-day holiday break and that means the B’s captain is expected to play against the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night once regular season play resumes in the NHL. In his absence, the onus will be on young D-men like Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo to hold Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin in check with Boston’s defensive stopper taking a rare absence from the lineup for the procedure.