Zdeno Chara Honored for Milestone, Helps B's Beat Bolts
Bruins captain Zdeno Chara played in his 1,000th NHL career game on Saturday, March 24 in Los Angeles. Prior to Tuesday's game against Tampa Bay, the Bruins held a special pre-game ceremony to honor Chara in front of the home fans.
Chara was accompanied by his wife Tatiana and Daughter Elliz Victoria as he was given a few gifts from his coaches and teammates.
After a video tribute, Chara spoke about his appreciation for the Bruins organization, fans and most importantly the players, saying, "I would like to thank all of my teammates. I love you guys, you're the best."
The Bruins captain became the 277th overall player, and 91st defenseman to accomplish this feat. But aside from all the festivities, there was a game to play -- one that Chara had a huge impact on.
"It’s obviously very nice to get that recognition and ceremony. Like I said, I very much appreciate it. It’s very nice from the NHL, the Boston Bruins organization, from my teammates and everybody that supported me," said Chara. "But when that ceremony is over, you have to focus on the game and you just got to be ready because you have to play 60 minutes. There’s no other way to really describe it, just be ready and play hard the whole game."
Chara did just that as he had another solid game for the Black-and-Gold, logging 24-plus minutes and recording three assists on the B's first three goals.
When asked about Big Zee, Brian Rolston responded, "He’s so hard to play against; he’s a tremendous leader. Obviously he does that by example, but he’s the toughest guy to play against in the league – far and none. If you were to pull the forwards on every team they would say the same thing and coming in on a nightly basis knowing that you have to face him – it’s a tough task."
Brad Marchand also spoke highly about Chara, saying that the Bruins would have never won the Stanley Cup last year if he wasn't part of the team:
But while the Bruins are playing with a lot of confidence, Chara recognizes that the final games of the season can't be overlooked.
"Any time at this point of the season you want to get as many points as possible and play well," said Chara. "Like I’ve been saying for the last two weeks, we want to go into the playoffs with our game on the right track and be ready for the playoffs."
Follow Andy on Twitter: @Andy_Deossa