By Ty Anderson
While last summer brought the Bruins little rest due to four rounds of hockey on the way to their first Stanley Cup since 1972, a bitter first round exit has given the B's some much needed downtime. Well, for most.
|Zdeno Chara captained Team Slovakia at the 2010 Olympics. (Getty Images)|
For Boston’s top-line center, David Krejci, and their towering, 6-foot-9 defenseman, Zdeno Chara, the Bruins' first opening round bow-out since 2008 has paved the way for some extra hockey in the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship.
On the heels of a career-best 52-point season and a second straight Norris Trophy nomination, the 35-year-old Chara will take his act to the Slovakian blue-line this summer. This will be Chara's seventh time skating for Slovakia in the tournament, and second time since joining the Bruins back in 2006 (but his first time doing so in a season that saw the Bruins make the playoffs). In 45 games at the World Championships, Chara has six goals and four assists, and last played on the international level back in Feb. 2010, when he tallied three assists in seven games for Team Slovakia at the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Krejci will suit up for the Czech Republic for the first time since the summer of 2008, when he was held pointless in five games of the annual tourney. Krejci, who had a disappointing three points in seven playoff games, last appeared on the international level back in five games played at Vancouver in 2010 for Team Czech Republic, tallying two goals and an assist on 12 shots.
But while Boston's presence at the WC's will be headlined by the presence of Chara and Krejci, the Bruins' sixth round pick from a year ago, Lars Volden, will see some ice this summer as the goaltender for Team Norway. The 19-year-old Volden, born in Oslo, Norway, was drafted with the 181st pick last summer.
As for a few of Boston's other noteworthy national-level stars, both Patrice Bergeron (oblique) and Tyler Seguin (finger) won't be suiting up for Team Canada, while Dennis Seidenberg opted out of representing Team Germany for a fourth time.
"I said no," Seidenberg admitted on break-up day last week when asked about the German team calling him. "Playing a long season last year and playing a long season this year, you just have to take some time off, make sure you’re recovered and ready to go again."
On a New England front, both Cam Atkinson (Riverside, Conn.) and Max Pacioretty (New Canaan, Conn.) will suit up for Team USA for the first time in their careers, while Greg Cronin (Boston, Mass.) gets the nod as one of the club's assistant coaches.