LAS VEGAS – Bruins captain Zdeno Chara and alternate Patrice Bergeron were both asked about Tim Thomas' decision to take a year off during their media day appearances with bostonbruinsTV on Tuesday.
|Bergeron & Thomas during the 2011 Stanley Cup Final |
"Well, for sure it's not going to be easy," Chara told BBTV. "You know I've been really surprised by the announcement he made but, we have to respect his decision and we'll see if he will or will not come play next season.
"If he doesn't then obviously we have to play without him."
"Obviously, you can't really judge…his way of thinking and what he wants to do," added Bergeron. "It's his life and what he said – spending more time with his family – you can't judge that.
"It's his decision and you really can't control it and do anything about it."
But the Bruins have lost important players in the past and attrition is part of hockey.
"I think that it's never easy to lose players," said Chara when asked about Thomas' decision. "But you try to do your best to replace them and I think the management-ownership always tries to do their best possible job to fill those spots and improve the team."
And in this case there's a very capable heir-apparent to the number one netminding job.
"We obviously believe, and have the confidence in [Tuukka Rask]," said Bergeron. Timmy's a great player, and he was great for us, but now we need to move [on] and think about next season."
Thankfully, the B's defensive game should help ease Rask's workload in the short run.
"I think we just need to keep doing the same thing we've been doing the past years," said Bergeron. "I think [defense] has been something that we worked as a whole and as a unit and not just by one player and one position.
"I think it's about the five guys on the ice and the goaltender…and it's going to [stay] that way next year I'm sure."