|Boy oh boy, does Zdeno Chara not want to talk about Andrej Meszaros||03.06.14 at 12:01 pm ET|
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.
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?
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 »
|Zdeno Chara is in a pretty weird commercial||03.04.14 at 3:49 pm ET|
This one’s been out since late last month, but we didn’t come across it until it started making the rounds Tuesday.
|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|
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.”
|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|
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.”
|Zdeno Chara, David Krejci return to Bruins practice; Niklas Svedberg, Matt Linblad recalled||at 1:10 pm ET|
The Bruins recalled forward Matt Lindblad and goaltender Niklas Svedberg for Monday’s practice as the team awaits getting its full roster back from the Olympics.
Though the team has called up players in recent days to fill out its practice roster (Lindblad practiced Friday and was sent back down), Svedberg could have stayed up with the team and gone to Buffalo if the team wanted to let Rask rest after the Olympics. Bruins assistant coach Geoff Ward said that is not the case, and that Svedberg is simply up with the team to practice.
“No, he’s here just to make sure that we’ve got a complement,” Ward said. “As far as the other guys go, I’m sure you probably won’t see them at practice tomorrow, but they’ll be getting back quickly.”
The Bruins will practice Tuesday and then travel to Buffalo for their first game back from the Olympic break.
|Matt Bartkowski on M&M: ‘Trying not to change too much’ with increased ice time||02.07.14 at 1:39 pm ET|
Bruins defenseman Matt Bartkowski joined Mut & Merloni on Friday to discuss being a young defenseman, the Olympics and other hockey-related news. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
With Zdeno Chara out of the B’s lineup due to the Olympics, Bartkowski and the rest of the team’s younger defenseman are getting more ice time.
“We’re just trying to focus on playing our games,” Bartkowski said. “We’re not trying to change too much of what we do. We try and do too much then it ends up hurting the team or being detrimental, so as long as we play our games, we’re just getting some more minutes.”
Bartkowski, who played in 20 regular-season games and skated to a minus-3 in the previous three seasons, has registered 10 points in 41 games this season.
“I think it’s more just your comfort level and your confidence level,” Bartkowski said. “The more and more you play, and the more you understand that you, yourself, you should be there and you’re good enough, and you should be there for a reason — once you understand that, I think your instincts just kind of take over and you just play the game like you know you can.”
|Photo: Sochi accommodations a bit small for Zdeno Chara||at 11:59 am ET|
The shortcomings of Sochi’s accommodations for the Olympics have been well documented over the past few days. From yellow water to broken door handles, the media has lit up Twitter with the pictures to prove it.
So if media and averaged-sized athletes are having problems with their rooms, how will the NHL‘s tallest player and the flag-bearer for Slovakia handle the conditions?
“I’ve been in Russia many times, and yeah, there are many different levels of hotels from one-star, two-star to really luxury ones,” Bruins captain Zdeno Chara told WEEI’s DJ Bean earlier this week. “I’m sure it’s not going to be a five-star accommodation, but I don’t think it’s going to be anything bad. Really as an athlete, we’re more looking for getting enough rest and a good night’s sleep and obviously good food. That’s all you should really care about ‘ not what kind of pillows.”
‘ Tomas Kmec (@Tomas_Kmec) February 6, 2014
The 6-foot-9, 255-pound Chara won’t need to worry about the pillows, but after a picture surfaced of his bed in Sochi, he will need to deal with sheets that may not cover his entire body. While Olympic organizers had an extension to add onto Chara’s bed, they don’t appear to have the necessary extension to add to his sheets.