Zdeno Chara suffered fractured jaw as Bruins’ injuries revealed
The Bruins are likely to start the 2019-20 season without a pair of unlucky defensemen because of injuries they sustained this spring.
Zdeno Chara is not one of them. He expects to be ready for training camp in September.
The 42-year-old captain confirmed Friday that the Brayden Schenn shot that deflected into his jaw during Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final left multiple fractures. He will need 5-6 weeks to recover, he said during the Bruins’ annual break-up day at the team’s Brighton training facility.
Doctors inserted two plates and “some wires and screws,” Chara said, after a puck left him bloodied. He returned and sat on the bench for the third period, unable to play, and played in Game 5 wearing a jaw protector.
“It was just an amazing job [by the doctors],” he said. “They were able to put together and a quick turnaround in 36 hours.”
Chara said he would have lobbied harder to play in the third period of Game 4 if the Bruins lost another defensemen. He said the injury limited his shooting and put him on a liquid diet for two days afterward.
Chara, who had left MCL surgery in November and battled a groin injury this spring, said he “went for a few scans and MRIs” and said he is waiting to learn if he’ll need more surgeries.
“It was [one] of those playoff runs that a few things [started to bother] me.”
The two blue liners likely to be on the shelf are Kevan Miller and John Moore.
The hard-luck Miller, who met the media on crutches and had a brace on his right knee, said he broke the same kneecap twice this spring: first, April 4 in Minnesota, and again five weeks later during the Carolina series, which ended his hopes of a playoff comeback.
“I don’t think frustrating does it justice, to be honest with you,” he said. “It’s disappointing. If I look back at the timeline and start putting things on paper, this season, for me . . . “
The 31-year-old Miller, who played in 39 games this season, had three long stints on the injured list. He blocked a shot Oct. 18 and missed 13 games. He missed 13 more after taking a puck off the Adam’s apple and fracturing his larynx Nov. 26. He revealed he also tore his oblique in Las Vegas Feb. 20. He first broke his kneecap vertically, which was less severe than the second, a horizontal fracture.
“I’ll be back for sure,” Miller said. “I’m hoping I hit my quota [for injuries] and I’m done for a while.”
The 28-year-old Moore, who suited up for 10 playoff games, did so with a broken humerus and a “blown out” shoulder, he said. Moore was cross-checked from behind by Tampa’s Adam Erne on March 25.
“I was really limited,” said Moore, averaged 14:05 in the playoffs and was the only Bruin skater not to score. “I could barely hold a stick with two hands.”
He faces a recovery of 4-6 months after surgery, which he put off to play in the postseason.
The Bruins’ top line collectively would not blame injuries for their performance in the seven-game Final, during which it produced five goals and seven assists.
Patrice Bergeron, who had groin trouble last offseason, saw his issue re-emerge in the Carolina series. He will not need surgery.
Brad Marchand said he had groin and oblique trouble, and aggravated a sprained hand in the Bruins’ pre-Cup Final scrimmage.
David Pastrnak said a hit in the Columbus series aggravated the left thumb he broke Feb. 24, but said that aside from “a little bit of one-timers,” his problems were mainly “mental stuff . . . I’m going to get stronger mentally.”
Elsewhere, Jake DeBrusk revealed that he had a hard time returning from the concussion Toronto’s Nazem Kadri gave him in Game 2 of that series with a cross-check to the head.
Noel Acciari, who was wearing a boot on his right foot that was set to be assessed, played through a broken sternum suffered during the Columbus series.
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Torey Krug elevated his reputation around the league with his playoff performance (2-16—18 in 24 games), playing what he called “the best hockey of my career.” Both he and the Bruins know the elite puck-moving defenseman, who is 28 and has one year left with a team-friendly $5.25 million cap hit, has never been more valuable.
Krug would like to be part of the future in Boston.
“I would personally love to get something done quickly,” Krug said. “This is an important place in my heart, a place I’ve wanted to play my whole career. Ideally it would be something that gets done.
“I want to be here. I’m sure they feel the same way. Hopefully they feel the same way.”
As Krug conceded, general manager Don Sweeney could also reshape his roster by dealing Krug for a premium package, in advance of re-upping him to a long-term deal. A top power-play quarterback who proved himself to be a stout defender would bring a hefty return.
“It’s the business, and anything is possible,” Krug said. “Whatever they decide, they’re doing it in the best interest of the team.
“The flip side of that: How many guys in the league can do what I do? I’m going to bring that wherever I go, whatever happens. I think all my teammates want me here. I think they [management] want me here. Hopefully that’s the case. I’m definitely aware of the situations and scenarios that could play out.”