Zdeno Chara – 46 Games – Three Goals, Eight Assists, 11 Points – ATOI: 23:15
Zdeno Chara is going to turn 40 years old this season. Still, the Bruins’ captain is leading the team in average ice time with 23:15 per game. Manning the Bruins top pairing alongside Brandon Carlo, Chara has been the team’s best defenseman this year. While it’s unfortunate that the Bruins best defenseman is 39 years old, it’s also a testament to Chara’s ability to still play at such a high level at this stage in his career.
Chara has scored three goals and 11 points this season, and while he’ll probably never hit anywhere close to 15-plus goals and 40-plus points ever again, he’s been a reliable defender for the Bruins despite the game trending in a direction that focuses more on mobility and speed than physicality and size. Defensemen are now expected to be a hybrid of both physicality and mobility, but it’s clear that Chara – who has also dealt with knee injuries over the last few years, will provide the former, and not the latter.
Chara has posted a 53.86 Corsi-for percentage this season and has shown that he can still provide a positive impact on the Bruins roster in terms of both analytical analysis, and he still passes the eye-test. While he’s probably better suited to play in a second-pairing role as the Bruins third or fourth defenseman, he’s done his part to man the ship throughout the duration of his contract.
Off the ice, Chara has been a beacon for the team. One of the true leaders in the league, Chara has done his part in motivating the team, helping the community, and most importantly, help in the development of Carlo as the 20-year-old learns the ropes in his first NHL season.