Saying Zdeno Chara played the last three games of a Stanley Cup Final with a “broken” jaw doesn’t seem adequate.
Following the hockey tradition of players revealing the horrifying extent of the injuries they have played through once the season has finally come to an end, the Bruins captain said Friday he played through “multiple fractures” after getting hit in the face with a puck during Game 4 against the Blues.
The hardware required to allow him back on the ice for Games 5 through 7 included multiple plates in his jaw, plus wiring that kept him mostly on a liquid diet in the final days of a grueling season. CBS Sports reported Chara also had pins placed in his jaw after suffering fractures on both sides of his face.
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) June 14, 2019
Sat on this but this is what I heard about Chara’s jaw:
-Broken in 2 places, left and right side of his face
-Right side was separated into 2 parts
-Pins placed in his jaw https://t.co/ygp57zKaDl
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) June 14, 2019
Gruesome as that sounds, giving the jaw five or six weeks to heal might not even be the only rehab Chara faces this summer.
The 42-year-old told reporters he will now also get an MRI to fully diagnose the lower-body injury that kept him out of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Hurricanes, acknowledging he might need to have some work done on that issue as well.
That mystery injury obviously wasn’t debilitating, as Chara was able to play in all seven games against the Blues, and he added he would have stayed in against Carolina, too, if the series had been tighter.
Chara is under contract for next season, which would be his 22nd in the NHL and 14th with Boston.