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A Unique Experience for Chara

Chara and Slovakia take on Canada

Friday, 02.26.2010 / 10:08 AM ET / Vancouver 2010
By John Bishop  - BostonBruins.com
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A Unique Experience for Chara
Chara
BostonBruins.com -- The Olympic Rings could also be thought of as a powerful magnifying device. Although they are semi sequestered in the city of Vancouver and the Olympic Village, the men and women competing at the Winter Olympic Games know that their actions reverberate around the globe.

"We all know it's a big story back home," said Slovakia's Zdeno Chara of Team Slovakia's surprising stretch run to the Olympic Houckey Tournament semifinals. "Everyone is really cheering for us and the whole nation is really excited.

"That's what really matters to us when we play like this and we're hearing the news from back home that all of a sudden people are really happy and are enjoying watching us and cheering for us.

"I am sure it's a big thing back home right now," he said.

Obviously, the Olympics are a special experience, and although Chara has been to the Games previously, and has had a long and successful run in the NHL, he sees and appreciates the opportunity that he has been given in Vancouver.

"It's only maybe once in a lifetime that you have a chance at experiences like this, where you get on this kind of a run and basically get a chance to win a medal or do really well at the Olympics it's so special because it is only once every four years," he said. "And as a player you get a chance to play at the Olympics only two or three times -- maybe four if you are really lucky -- so, I think we really have to enjoy that and just try to do our best.

"Just like we are doing right now," said Chara.

Sloviakia outlasted the defending Olympic champion Swedes on Wednesday by a score of 4-3, just a few hours after Canada dismantled Russia to the tune of a touchdown to a field goal.

"We know that Canada is a really, really strong opponent, but you know, I've said since day one, 'Anybody can beat anybody at this tournament' and we know it's going to be really, really tough. We have to bring our 'A' game," said B's defenseman. "But, you know, Switzerland played really well against them. The US beat them, so they are beatable."

But Chara sees nothing wrong with the underdog moniker, either.

"We've been the underdog for all of our games, besides, probably, the game against Norway. so we are pretty comfortable in that role," said Chara, who added that he wanted Slovakia to seize this particular opportunity; an opportunity that the B's blueliner does not see returning soon.

"What I think makes the whole thing really special is that we all know and realize that this is basically our last chance to do really well at this level," he continued.  "We have the oldest team in the tournament and a lot of guys are not going to play for the national team anymore. This is basically their last tournament. We know that after that...these guys are pretty hard to replace.

"When you talking about Ziggy Palffy, [Jozef] Stumpel and [Pavel] Demitra, you know, we have older guys and we know that this is basically the last chance we have to do something really good for ourselves and for the country."

And, of course, winning is the best way to show what your country has to contribute to sport.

"Every time you're playing at the Olympics it's very special," said Chara. "It's really special in the way that every country brings the of what they have and the whole world is watching.

"It's very unique. It's very special."

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STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
2 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
3 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
4 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
5 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
6 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
7 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
8 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
P. Bergeron 80 32 36 12 68
L. Eriksson 82 30 33 13 63
D. Krejci 72 17 46 4 63
B. Marchand 77 37 24 21 61
R. Spooner 80 13 36 -9 49
T. Krug 81 4 40 9 44
M. Beleskey 80 15 22 6 37
Z. Chara 80 9 28 12 37
J. Hayes 75 13 16 -12 29
D. Pastrnak 51 15 11 3 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
T. Rask 31 22 8 .915 2.56
J. Gustavsson 11 9 1 .908 2.72
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