Regular Season Stats
It is hard to believe that we have to use a word like “underappreciated” to describe Zdeno Chara’s 2016-17 season, but that is exactly where we are. Sure the Bruins captain has lost a step or two, but at age 40, he still had a very good season.
Chara’s offensive numbers where well off from what we have seen from past seasons of at least 40 points, but that is because of the role he was asked to take on. Chara’s power play time was slashed to a career low 34 minutes for the entire season, down nearly 100 minutes from the previous year. This is pretty dramatic drop considering we are just five years removed from a three season span in which Chara averaged about 268 minutes of power play time per season.
The biggest reason for the lack of special teams play was that Chara was asked to be shutdown defenseman, alongside rookie Brandon Carlo. He led all defenseman in defensive zone starts at 58.9% while still finishing the year with a 52.4 CF%.
Even though his power play time was near non-existent, Big Z still played a ton of minutes in 2016-17. He led all Bruins skaters with nearly 1750 minutes as well as a team high 19:06 per game at even strength.
While Chara’s days of being an elite two-way defense appear to be behind him, he has proven that he is still one of the best in the game inside of the defensive zone. His new role has seemed to add to his longevity and he does appear to still have plenty in the tank going forward, despite all the hot takes on social media during the season.
How would you rate Zdeno Chara’s 2016-17 performance?