OTTAWA -- Zdeno Chara
didn't have much to say, but the sound of the big defenseman's blades told the the fans and reporters watching his skate on Wednesday morning what they needed to know -- the Boston Bruins captain is on the road to recovery from a lower-body injury that cut his night short on Saturday in Columbus and has kept him out lineup.
"It was the first skate after a few days," said Chara a-matter-of-factually. "It felt okay."
"I didn't expect to be feeling great," he added. "But also, I didn't feel bad.
"It's a good sign, you know? You're going to have those days [where] you are slowly progressing."
Far from a slow skate around Scotiabank Place, Chara showed no visible signs of discomfort or limitation as he skated alongside forward Jordan Caron
through drills directed by B's Assistant Coach Doug Jarvis for over a half an hour.
That said, the NHL's tallest player stopped short of proclaiming himself ready for game action, but didn't shut the door to a return tonight, either.
"Most likely not," said Chara. "It's a game-time decision."
Those reporters lucky enough to have witnessed Chara's dedication to triaing on and off the ice know how seriously the defenseman takes his job and his conditioning and the B's blueliner was asked how difficult it was to remain on the sideline in order to recover properly.
"You want to play, that's the bottom line," said Chara. "There's a lot of guys who play with different smaller injuries, but at the same time you don't want to push yourself to do more damage or do something more serious that would put you on the sideline for a longer period of time.
"So, in my case, yeah, it is frustrating a little bit. I want to play, but at the same time I know if I take a few days and really make sure that the injury gets time to heal, then I've got a chance to [limit the possibility] to have further problems with it."
Asked if he took satisfaction in the fact that his own conditioning regimine probably helps him prevent injury as well as limit lost time from injury, Chara answered, "Probably some part of that is true. But a lot of times, you know, it's also a matter of luck.
"Sometimes you get hit and it doesn't matter how hard you work out or how fit you are, you're going to get hurt.
"But I think you have a better change to prevent from getting hurt if you are in good shape."