They led him through a tunnel and into various makeshift television studios yesterday deep down inside Rogers Arena, and then they sat him down in yet more rooms to do radio interviews.

And then the people who are in charge of hyping and publicizing the Stanley Cup finals escorted Zdeno Chara up one level to a concourse filled with still more media types, and they sat him at a little podium and pretty much told the reporters to fire away.

The Bruins defenseman was asked about how this will be the first Stanley Cup finals in which both captains are European — Chara is from Slovakia, while the Vancouver Canucks' Henrik Sedin is from Sweden.

"It doesn't matter what nationality you are," Chara said. "It's important that you are respected by players and show the leadership skills that make everyone want to follow you."

He was asked about that brief period during the 1999-2000 season when he and Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo were teammates on the New York Islanders. He was 22, Luongo was 20. Did they ever hang out?

"I don't remember," Chara said. "I'm sure we did."

Somebody even asked Chara if when he joined the Bruins he ever thought he'd one day be captain, with the big guy patiently explaining that management gave him a "C" the day they gave him all those "C" notes.

But here's one question that didn't make it through security: Why haven't you ever won a Game 7?

For too long, it had been a stone inside Chara's skate, a verbal anvil that somebody would drop on him each time his team lost a Game 7. Coming into this postseason, Chara was 0-for-5 in Game 7 showdowns, three of which were logged in the employ of the Bruins and which can be recited rat-tat-a-tat by all B's fans — the Montreal Canadiens in 2008, the Carolina Hurricanes in '09 and, historically, disastrously, the Philadelphia Flyers in '10.