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Chara Expects Focus

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
Belfast, Northern Ireland -- For many in the Bruins travel party, the curren trip to Europe is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and a unique experience. After all, NHL hockey players rarely make stops in the United Kingdom.

But for Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara, and many of his European-born teammates, hopping around the globe is downright commonplace.

"For an NHL team, for sure. It is different," said Chara from the marble interior of Belfast City Hall, where the B's were welcomed on Friday night. "But, personally, I've experienced a lot of things like this.

"I traveled a lot  in different countries and cities, meeting different people and (attending) receptions, so actually it's pretty normal."

But according to the B's captain, it doesn't get old.

"Obviously, it's very, very nice and kind of the Mayor to welcome us like this and giving a reception for us like this," he said. "We all appreciate it and we fell very welcome.

"And personally...I'm honored to be here."

Despite it being a somewhat regular occurrence, Chara said that he appreciated the many opportunities that he's had to travel around the world.

"For many of the guys it's the first experience to be in Europe or different countries," said Chara. "For me, as well, I've never been to [Northern] Ireland or Belfast, so it's also a first time for me as far as the travel and all the sight seeing.

"I love to travel during the season...or in the offseason to see countries and different places."

But Chara said that no matter where he goes during the hockey season, the most important sight are those he sees on the ice.

Asked if the B's would have any trouble focusing on Saturday night, Chara's wistful thought process evaporated.

"I hope that's not the case, that we won't be focusing," he said, emphatically. "We have only two games before the regular season starts, so I am going to have to make sure -- and the coaching staff as well -- that we don't take this game lightly.

"No matter who we play, we have to play up to our standards.

"It's always nice to be visiting," continued Chara. "It's always nice to be experiencing new things and seeing a lot of new stuff, but When it comes time to perform we should all really approach it as a business and play as hard as we can."
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