VIEW FROM BOSTON: After Blackhawks’ shots, Lucic defends Chara
BY STEVE CONROY Boston Herald June 21, 2013 10:58PM
Updated: July 23, 2013 6:18AM
Compared with the Bruins’ Stanley Cup Final series against the Canucks two years ago, this matchup against the Blackhawks has been reasonably respectful.
But immediately after the Hawks’ 6-5 overtime victory over the Bruins in Game 4 at TD Garden, Hawks captain Jonathan Toews was feeling his oats a bit.
He had just scored his first goal of the series, and his newly reunited line with Patrick Kane and Bryan Bickell was highly effective against the Bruins’ top defense pair. So Toews decided to take a shot at Bruins captain Zdeno Chara, who was a very uncharacteristic minus-3 and on the ice for five goals.
While prefacing his remarks by saying Chara’s a great player, he made a point of saying that he’s not unbeatable, either.
“There’s certain ways you can expose him,” Toews said. ‘‘I think the dump-ins that we made [Wednesday] were going to his side. We made sure we were out-numbering him everywhere we went, taking away his stick-first thing.
“We just try not to be intimidated by his size. You have to get to the net, find a way inside, not be, like I said, intimidated by that. We can outwork him, and we did that, and we want to continue that.”
Lest anyone think Toews let some bulletin-board material out accidentally, he pretty much reiterated what he said the next day in Chicago.
And Bickell continued the we’re-not-afraid-of-the-big-bad-wolf tone in giving his assessment of Chara on Thursday.
“He doesn’t like getting hit,” Bickell said.
When forward Milan Lucic was apprised of the comment after the Bruins arrived in Chicago on the eve of Saturday’s huge Game 5, he broke into a wide grin.
“Honestly, I don’t know where they’d get that scouting report from because he definitely doesn’t mind the physical play at all,” Lucic said.
Lucic doesn’t buy the notion that the Hawks are wearing Chara down.
“Playing with him for six years now, he’s not a guy that I’ve seen gets worn down, so the two days between games I know he’s gotten his rest, and he’s going to bring it,” Lucic said.
Lucic said he can’t recall a time that Chara has been on the ice for five goals against, and though Chara certainly wasn’t responsible for all five goals, he doesn’t expect it to happen again.
“He’s got that type of attitude where he wants to be better,’’ Lucic said, ‘‘and he’s going to be better. He’s our captain, and I’m sure he’s going to lead the way for us.
“He always has come out and responded the next game. He takes a lot of pride in doing what he does.”