He's big, he's imposing, he can hurt you and the Sedin twins can expect to see a lot of him in the Stanley Cup Final. Zdeno Chara, Boston's 6-foot-9, 255-pound ball of shock and awe is expected to get the shut-down duty along with partner Dennis Seidenberg against Daniel and Henrik and linemate Alex Burrows. That's what happened in the Canucks' 3-1 loss to the Bruins in the two teams' only meeting, on Feb. 26. And, after the trio erupted for 24 points (6-18-24) collectively in the five-game Western Conference Final against San Jose, you know putting the breaks on Danny and Hank will be high on the Bruins' to-do list. "I love Z," said Canucks associate coach Rick Bowness, who's known Chara since he was drafted by the Islanders in 1996 and was the head coach there when the big Slovak was an NHL rookie in the 1997-98 season. "He's one of the best people you'll ever meet and he's obviously a great player. He will shut (the Sedins) down but not all the time. I know Z is going to do a great job against them, but I'm also confident that those two and Burr will create scoring chances. No one will shut them down completely." The Sedins have played against top D-pairings all season and faced the likes of Brent Seabrook and Shea Weber in these playoffs, so working against Chara – who also boasts one of the hardest shots in the league -- won't be anything new. "He's one of the top d-men in the league, obviously," said Burrows. "He's so big, with a long reach and he's able to knock pucks down a lot. He uses his big body in front of the net really well. I think you've got to go at him. I think it's pressure-pressure-pressure is the key. He might run you into the end boards and it might hurt, but this time of the year, you just have to go at him and make him move the puck when it's bouncing and when he's got his back to the play. But he's a great player and it's going to be a tough matchup." The Canucks will have matchup plans of their own. You can expect that the David Krejci line, with wingers Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton – which was the Bruins' best in the Eastern Final – will be on the radar. Kevin Bieksa and Dan Hamhuis have been the Canucks' go-to shut-down defence pair, but Bowness said Krejci and Patrice Bergeron's line will both be getting attention.
Bruins' Chara tasked with stopping Sedins
Vancouver Province | May 29