is a strong man, a stubborn competitor, but even he had to concede that the Bruins missing the playoffs is not what he had imagined when he signed on with the Black & Gold last July. It’s not easy to admit that things did not go the way you had planned and it’s even harder to know that you gave your all and things just didn’t turn around.
Fairly or unfairly, wearing the ’C’ for any sports team in Boston, professional or amateur, means that you have a lot to answer for -- even things that are clearly not your fault. And the biggest player in the Bruins locker room has become an even bigger target for those looking for a reason for the frustrating season.
"Well, it’s obviously a tough position (to be in) right now," said Chara, in a somber tone, when asked about the B’s mathematical elimination. "We have to keep playing hard until the end.
"We have to play for each other."
Chara, looking tired after the B’s loss, and surrounded, literally, by media looking for an explanation for the Bruins issues, answered as intelligently and succinctly as possible.
It couldn’t have been easy for him.
Big Z is a proud man, from a proud athletic family, whose previous hockey squads had not missed the playoffs since 2001. And, as the only player in the dressing room at that moment (the others were finishing their post game workouts and would return minutes later), Chara looked a bit lonely and down, as he answered for the loss.
"We were in the hunt for awhile and, obviously, the whole season we were at the bottom of the (Northeast Division) standings. And, you know, it’s disappointing for sure. Everyone would love to be in the race, or even in a better position," said Chara. "But what’s done is done, and we have to move on."
Earlier in the day, facing an almost impossible task to stave off mathematical elimination, the defenseman defended the team and when asked about his former club, Chara said, "I don’t follow Ottawa. My team is the Boston Bruins."
His insisted that the group that is wearing the Spoked-B is the team with whom he wishes to battle alongside next season. That has been Z’s position all year; the team is better than its record, and to his credit, the big man did not back down from that statement.
"Right now we are out of the playoff (picture) and, you know, we just have to learn from that," he said. "You always want to have a good season and you want to be in the playoffs.
"You want to play for the Stanley Cup."
And to not be able to be in that hunt for the jug hurts.
"Me coming over here, that was my goal," said Chara. "I am still shooting for that.
"This first year was just a process of…rebuilding.
"It’s not an excuse. I am not making excuses. It’s just the way it is," he said.
It may be the "way it is" but it is obvious to this blogger, that Zdeno Chara
would give almost anything to make it any other way.