Zero Pucks Given: Zdeno Chara is underappreciated in Boston

March 01, 2019 - 10:42 am

By Mateo Aycardi

While Bruins fans may be disappointed at the lack of a big roster change with the trade deadline having come and gone, experts are instead focused on an underappreciated member of the team.

Dale Arnold and Matt Kalman sat down on the Zero Pucks Given Podcast, and offered their take on the often overlooked and underappreciated Bruins captain Zdeno Chara really is.

“In this town, we’ve had a history of players performing at unbelievable levels at older ages,” Arnold noted. “David Ortiz for the Red Sox at the age of 40. Tom Brady for the Patriots at the age of 41. Chara is a couple of weeks away from 42. He’s not getting the credit for what he’s doing. How he’s playing at the age of almost 42 absolutely baffles other players and other coaches in the National Hockey league. He’s playing 24 minutes a night against the top forwards of the other team, and shutting guys down.”

“People have always said that maybe he’s not the same type of leader [as maybe Ray Bourque] and doesn’t deserve the C,” Kalman added. “You [maybe] give it to Bergeron. But I’ve never met anyone, from guys who leave the team and guys outside of the team, who question the leadership too. I mean, this guy brings so much.

“No one can set a better example for a team, and everyone was worried that he wasn’t going to be able to play with these younger guys. But no one’s been a better teacher on and off the ice to these guys. I think people here are so spoiled that the one championship for whatever reason doesn’t win them over and they don’t appreciate it.”

Kalman further offered it would have been difficult to move him at the deadline due to the fact that his impact goes beyond what you see in the stat sheet. With the Bruins primed for a deep postseason push, they will need someone that can keep the team unified as focused on the big picture.

Chara’s impact is something that can never be limited to just numbers.

“I mean at this point you probably wouldn’t get value for him in a trade because you can’t quantify what he brings to this team," Kalman said. "It took him a couple of weeks after this injury to get going but again, he’s the number one defenseman. He’s shutting top lines down and moving great. And look at this energy that he’s starting to build with McAvoy.”

With the playoffs set to begin in early April, it’s Chara’s duty to quiet the haters.

Listen to the full podcast below.