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Claude Julien on Marathon bombings a year later: Way city came together is what I’m trying to remember most 04.15.14 at 3:46 pm ET
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Zdeno Chara spoke for an entire organization when he responded to the question Tuesday of what the one year anniversary of the most painful day in Boston history meant to him.

“I’m not born and raised but I feel a part of the city,” the Bruins captain from Slovakia said with pride. “I’m always going to call myself a Bostonian. It’s just one of those things that it feels like a home. You try to respect the city and what it represents.”

The Bruins held practice Tuesday morning at TD Garden, getting ready for their playoff opener on Friday against the Detroit Red Wings. But after practice, coach Claude Julien, Chara and Jarome Iginla all recalled what they were feeling one year ago to the day when Boston was terrorized and attacked by the bombings at the Boston Marathon and the weeklong manhunt that nearly shut down the city.

“Anybody who doesn’€™t know this is the anniversary isn’€™t paying attention,” Julien said. “But it’€™s got some good and it’€™s got some bad obviously. It’€™s sad what happened but for us, I look at how the city just came together and how everybody helped each other and did everything they could to help one another so that’€™s what kind of sticks in my mind.

“But at the same time it was a tough few days from the lockdowns and everything else, those are the things that are coming to mind and some games that were postponed, rightfully so. So some of it isn’€™t great memories but some of it ‘€“ certainly the way the city came together is what I’€™m trying to remember it the most for.

Julien and Chara were getting ready to play Iginla and the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday, April 19 at TD Garden when a manhunt for the two bombers centered in Watertown shut down the entire city. The game between the Bruins and Penguins was eventually called off on that Friday night and rescheduled for the next day.

The Bruins had two games rescheduled due to the bombings and the manhunt. On April 15, the Bruins postponed their game against the Ottawa Senators to the last day of the season.

On Tuesday, the Bruins reflected on that day in 2013, and how sports and the Bruins helped the city heal.

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Shawn Thornton on D&C: ‘I always want to be out there’ 04.02.14 at 12:27 pm ET
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Bruins forward Shawn Thornton talked with Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday about the end of the regular season, the physical nature of the playoffs and more. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

The Bruins have been on a hot streak lately, going 15-0-2 in the month of March. The run has secured a division title for the Bruins with seven games to go. It has come at a cost, however, as the players are a little sleep-deprived after all the traveling and back-to-backs.

“You get sore, you get tired,” Thornton said. “I think the change in time zones — last week or the week before we were in four different time zones in five days. It just screws up your sleep pattern.”

With Zdeno Chara now 37 years old, there has been speculation that the defenseman will be rested over the next few games.

“He’€™s one of the hardest-working guys I’ve ever met,” Thornton said. “He wants to win at the end of the day, though, and I think that’€™s the most important thing. I’€™m not sure what’€™s going to happen, whether he’€™s going to get some games off or some road trips off or what they’€™re going to do, but I’€™m sure it’ll be a civil conversation.’€

Thornton enjoyed the extra playing time in March due to all the back-to-backs. It was not only helpful for him, but for his line as well.

“I always want to play,” Thornton said. “The month of March, actually, with so many games is pretty good, too. Our line got a fair amount of ice time through the whole thing as well with all the back-to-back stuff. The more I can play, the happier I am. I always want to be out there.”

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Read More: Boston Bruins, Jarome Iginla, Shawn Thornton, Tuukka Rask Print  |  Email   | Bark It Up!  |  Digg It
Mike Petraglia, DJ Bean break down red-hot Bruins, Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron 03.28.14 at 12:21 am ET
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WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and DJ Bean assess the chances of the Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks getting back to the Stanley Cup final, one year after Chicago won the Cup on Boston ice in Game 6. They also discuss the best strategy for resting Zdeno Chara and how to keep Patrice Bergeron hot.

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Boy oh boy, does Zdeno Chara not want to talk about Andrej Meszaros 03.06.14 at 12:01 pm ET
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Bruins captain Zdeno Chara is among the friendliest professional athletes in Boston, so it was a bit odd to see just how much he didn’t want to indulge the media Thursday morning upon the team’s acquisition of his former Ottawa teammate and countryman Andrej Meszaros.

Chara was very short when asked about the team picking up Meszaros, a Slovak defenseman with whom he has played in both Ottawa and the Olympics.

After his session with the media was over, Chara was back to his normal self, politely explaining he would rather the media find out what they want to know about Meszaros from Meszaros directly.

Following is the transcript of Chara’s session Wednesday:

Q: What can you tell us about –

A: Nothing. Ask him.

Q: Yeah?

A: What do you want to know?

Q: Your relationship with him, what he brings to the table. Anything. What’ve you got to say?

A: Ask him. He’s going to be the best guy to ask all those things. You should know. You watch hockey.

Q: I know how much he weighs, how tall he is, where he’s played and everything.

A: Do you watch [his] games, too?

Q: Yeah.

A: So you should know those things.

Q: Is it good to have another Slovak on the team?

A: I don’t look at it that way. I look at it as it’s nice to have more depth on the team. That being said, he’s a Slovak. Obviously it’s nice to have a countryman, but I don’t look at it what nationality guys are. I just like to have more depth on the team. For sure he brings that dimension.

Q: So you’re glad he’s here.

A: I think I’ve answered, no?  Read the rest of this entry »

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Zdeno Chara is in a pretty weird commercial 03.04.14 at 3:49 pm ET
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The Bruins are no strangers to being in weird commercials. This time, it’s Zdeno Chara‘s turn.

This one’s been out since late last month, but we didn’t come across it until it started making the rounds Tuesday.

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Pierre McGuire on M&M: Peter Chiarelli won’t ‘throw a player overboard’ to make move before trade deadline 02.28.14 at 1:16 pm ET
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Pierre McGuire

Pierre McGuire

NBC Sports hockey analyst Pierre McGuire joined Mut & Merloni on Friday to discuss the change in play since the Olympic break as well as the trade market. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

In the week following the break, the Bruins, as well as other teams that had multiple players participate in the Olympics, have appeared tired.

“The Bruins aren’t the only team that are experiencing this after the Olympics,” McGuire said. “If you watched Chicago play last night, the first 40 minutes they looked very un-Chicago. If you watched Montreal play against Detroit two nights ago they looked very unlike the Montreal Canadiens. … A lot of teams that had a lot of players that were at the Olympics had a little bit of a hangover, but I think that will all be gone by tonight or tomorrow.”

“I was over there for three weeks, over in Russia for three weeks, and it takes two to three days to be acclimated to the time zones when you’€™re back here in North America.”

Earlier this month, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said he wanted to add a defenseman to the team’s lineup. Chiarelli admitted, though, that it was a tough market.

“I don’t think he’s going to throw a player overboard to say he did something,” McGuire said of Chiarelli’s plan as the trade deadline approaches. “I can’t see Peter doing that — the Bruins haven’€™t acted that way since he and Cam Neely took over.

“One of the things that helps make the Bruins a better team is the play of Reilly Smith, and I think what you’€™ll see is Loui Eriksson really step it up here. They’ve become a much more deep team at the forward position, and [Patrice Bergeron] had a phenomenal Olympics so you’ve to got to be excited about where your team is at the forward position.

“That’s one of the things that I think allows Peter to have a little leeway when it comes to making a deal to get a defenseman — their strength at the forward position.”

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Zdeno Chara raves about Sochi accommodations: ‘It didn’t feel at all like you were somewhere in Russia’ 02.24.14 at 1:38 pm ET
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In the days leading up to the Olympics, horror stories emerged from media members arriving in Sochi. The hotels weren’t ready, the water was disgusting and the beds for the Olympians were tiny.

On his first day back on the ice with the Bruins, Slovakia captain Zdeno Chara emphatically shot down the narrative that Sochi was in any way unpleasant.

“Of course,” Chara said when asked if Sochi’s shortcomings were exaggerated. “Absolutely. There was nothing like it. I don’t know what they were talking about, but I think that just like any other big events, the main focus is to make sure the athletes have everything they need first, and then obviously it goes from there. Maybe there was a few media people [who] didn’t get the service or the accommodations they kind of are used to, and that’s what maybe the started the whole thing about how everything was bad and not good, but honestly, I can’t say one bad word about the rooms, the food, the transportation, the safety.

“Everything was really, really good and really made it so easy to get around and feel really comfortable right away. It didn’t feel at all like you were somewhere in Russia. It honestly felt kind of like a resort, that everything was just so close and convenient for you.”

In addition to serving as the captain of the hockey team, which did not medal, Chara served as Slovakia’s flag-bearer, which he said was an “unbelievable feeling.” As such, he called his time in Sochi “one of the greatest experiences of my life.”

“It was amazing,” Chara said. “Every Olympics are very special, but this Olympics, I would say, [was] amazing. Everything about it I enjoyed.”

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