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No kidding: Bruins defense not as airtight without Chara

Boston Bruins v Columbus Blue Jackets

COLUMBUS, OH - DECEMBER 10: Zdeno Chara #33 of the Boston Bruins celebrates a second period goal while playing the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena on December 10, 2011 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

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This might be stunning news, but the Bruins’ defense just isn’t quite the same without Zdeno Chara.

We know, it’s crazy talk, but the Bruins have been giving up a lot more shots on goal in their two games without the perennial Norris Trophy finalist. While they’ve won both games without Chara, things just aren’t the same.’s Joe Haggerty hears it from everyone on the Bruins about having to be better defensively, but Patrice Bergeron sums it up best saying, “We need to be better and can’t allow that many shots while relying on our goalies to carry us.”

Carry them they have. Tim Thomas and Tuukka Rask both have been outstanding in both games and have stopped 88 out of 90 shots the last two games. Averaging 45 shots against is brutal for any team to handle, even the Bruins who already allow an average of over 31 shots per. Maybe the Bruins defense just likes to make sure their goalies stay awake.

Most teams would suffer in a big way going without their top defenseman but the Bruins have persevered. It’s almost as if they’re a team capable of winning the Stanley Cup all over again.