Regardless, Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli revealed during Sunday’s conference call that B’s defenseman Zdeno Chara
will be matched up against the Caps most talented scorer, and the captain was certainly up for the test.
“It’s something that motivates me,” Chara said. “It’s something that I enjoy the competing against the best players, obviously they have a few great players on their team and sometimes the matchups are hard to get, especially on the road but when you do get them, you want to make the best out of them.
“Overall, I like to compete, love to work hard against however I’ll end up playing against.”
That said, Chara is ready to face a balanced attack from the Capitals – which is led by Ovechkin’s 38 goals – and features eight other double-digit goal scorers, including former Bruin Dennis Wideman (11).
“They have such a skill dangerous team that there won’t be only one guy you have to worry about,” Chara said. “There’ll be a number of guys.”
When the Bruins geared up for the playoffs this time last year, they entered as the third seed, but now they enter with the target on their back as the defending Stanley Cup champions.
Chara is aware of the challenge that lies ahead, and having the team’s name on the Stanley Cup won’t make it any easier.
“I don’t think that we certainly think it’s going to make it easy on us just because we won last year,” Chara said. “It’s a new year, new playoffs and l said there won’t be an easy game – it’s going to be hard no matter what. We just have to play hard and I’ve been saying that.
“I mean there’s not really an easy opponent in the playoffs. It’s, you have to win four games and it’s never easy whoever you play. Just got to take it one game at a time and focus on that and do our best."