Bruins

Krejci upset people blame him for Crosby concussion

566830.jpg

Krejci upset people blame him for Crosby concussion

David Krejci loves watching Sidney Crosby play just as much as any other red-blooded hockey fan. The Bs center has an appreciation for Crosbys all-aroundexcellence so its been disappointing to Krejci that hes heard his name tied to the Pens centers latest concussion problems.

It kind of sucks that people want to blame me for Crosbys concussion," Krejci said. "It wasnt intentional. Anyone that watches the replay knows that it was just bad luck. If you watch the video you know I didnt do anything wrong.

Crosby hasnt played since last weeks loss to the Bruins with concussion symptoms, and the Pens' franchisetook a few big hits in a physical, emotional playoff-style battle with Boston. One of the biggest was a collision with Chris Kunitzwhen Crosby ran into his own player, and took some nasty looking knee-on-knee contact.But the Penguins center and theNHL's greatest activeambassador met with the media to give everybody an update on his condition two days ago, andCrosby made sure to finger Krejci as the player most likely responsible for his current concussion.

I dont know. I mean . . . I know I got hit in the head there. I felt like I was pretty good after that. It didnt feel like it was anything too major, but if you had to look at one hit that would be it, Crosby said when asked if the Krejci hit was the blow that knocked him back out of the lineup after only a handful of games.

If anything it was probably that Krejci hit. It was a good one.

Crosby said Krejci elbowed him in the head in the first period, and the video replay definitely shows the Bs center making some contact with Sid the Kid as he attempts to turn and reverse direction. But it was more contact of the incidental variety with Krejci quickly reversing direction, and having no working knowledge of exactly where Crosby was while tightly trailing him.Krejci said that the Pens center made him acutely aware of his actions immediately after the contacthappened, and it appeared Crosby didn't appreciate getting hit during a full-contact hockey game.

I remember after the play he went up to me and said, You elbowed me in the face. And I was like, What? I didnt even know. I asked him where I hit him. I saw it on a replay and you can tell I didnt even know he was behind me, said Krejci. I didnt even elbow him. It wasnt intentional at all.

After the hit, Crosby and Krejci yelled at the each other from their benches just as the period was expiring. Both Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic defended their center as the war of words escalated from the benches, and then the players retreated to their dressing rooms. Its actually much more understandable now why Crosby was so incensed after the period concluded, but it didn't stop the franchise center from finishing out the game.Krejci chalked plenty of that up to the heat of battle, and said hes actually one of Crosbys biggest fans outside of the Pittsburgh.

I hope hell be fine because I like watching him play, said Krejci. I want to see him on the ice playing and scoring goals because hes a fun guy to watch.

There wasnt anything approaching anger from Krejci about the accusations that he threw an elbow at the NHL's poster boy. Instead, he was sad that Crosbys career is again sidetracked. The B's center wanted to make sure it was clear that there was mal intent in the play, and it was simply an accident.

There was also concern from Krejci and many other hockey corners for that matter that such an innocent-looking play could have significantly affected Crosbys brain health and function.

There are way too many accidental plays causing concussions to some of the NHLs best players, and it appears that the CrosbyKrejci collision is just another one of those unfortunate events. But if those bright brushes with contact bring on concussions for Crosby, his future isn't looking all that bright in the brutal game of hockey.

Kenny Agostino looking forward to 'the right opportunity' with the Bruins

cp-bruins-agostino-092217.jpg

Kenny Agostino looking forward to 'the right opportunity' with the Bruins

BRIGHTON, Mass – It’s been a few different stints with a few different NHL teams for 25-year-old Kenny Agostino, so he knows the drill at this point in his pro hockey career. The Bruins signed Agostino as a free agent on July 1 after he led the AHL in scoring last season, and they gave him a one-way contract as a show of proof that he’d get his chances at the NHL level.

It didn’t happen immediately out of camp as Agostino was felled by a concussion for part of the preseason, but he’ll get his chance now with injuries and ineffectiveness creating an opening for him on the Black and Gold. Agostino should get a look as the left winger on the third line after lighting it up in Providence with two goals and seven points in his first three games with the P-Bruins, and he’s looking forward to seizing another chance at the NHL level after stints with the Flames and Blues. 

MORE BRUINS:

“I’ve been doing this a few years and I like to think I’ve developed my game outside of my offensive ability,” said the 6-foot-1, 200-pound Agostino, who had 24 goals and 83 points for the Chicago Wolves last season. “That’s kind of been my goal to become more of a complete player. I’m excited and looking forward to another opportunity and just want to make the most of it. I’m not looking past tonight.

“I was fortunate as a college guy to get my first pro experience at the NHL level in Calgary, but then you understand how difficult it is to establish yourself. You need a lot of different things. You need the right opportunity and you need to do well with it, so it makes you appreciate how great of an opportunity it is anytime you get to play in this league.”

Certainly, the Bruins are anxious to get a look at Agostino, and probably Peter Cehlarik at some point soon, and the lack of production from some of the NHL incumbents have fast-forwarded that process a little bit. Agostino will replace Ryan Spooner along the half-wall on the first power play unit, and perhaps he can add the kind of scoring touch in the bottom-6 that Matt Beleskey and Frank Vatrano haven’t been able to thus far.

“We know Kenny is going to start in Spooner’s power play spot, he’s done it before and he’s had some success at the lower levels when given that opportunity. Obviously he’ll play left behind [Brad] Marchand and [Jake] DeBrusk, probably on the third line spot,” said Cassidy. “He’s played with [Riley] Nash yesterday [at practice] so there’s a good chance he’ll play with him today.”

The Bruins certainly need a spark after limping out to a 2-3-0 start to the season in the first five games, so perhaps a hungry Agostino can do that while being given a legit chance to show what he can do by the Black and Gold. 

Tuukka Rask out indefinitely for Bruins with a concussion

Tuukka Rask out indefinitely for Bruins with a concussion

BRIGHTON, Mass – Tuukka Rask has been diagnosed with a concussion, and will be out indefinitely for the Bruins after getting trucked in Wednesday’s Bruins practice at Warrior Ice Arena.

The good news is that the 30-year-old Rask hasn’t previously dealt with concussion issues in his NHL career, but the bad news that it looked like a fairly serious concussion after Anders Bjork crashed into him during line rush drills at Bruins practice. It’s still unclear if Bjork caught an edge and crashed into Rask during drills, or if there was contact with another player that thrust the B’s rookie, who needed stitches on his chin as well, into the unsuspecting Bruins goalie for the rare violent collision during an off-day hockey practice. 

MORE BRUINS:

“It’s not really easy. Last year I had a couple of collisions and it doesn’t feel good,” said Anton Khudobin. “Sometimes you get run over in a game and you kind of expect that it’s coming, but in the practices maybe you’re not expecting it. I don’t know. It’s not fun.” 

Rask had to be helped off the ice by his teammates and was spaghetti-legged and unsteady on his feet as he made his way off the way, so it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect him to miss 7-10 days at a minimum based on NHL concussion protocol. 

Clearly it’s a blow to the Bruins to lose their No. 1 goaltender while struggling to stabilize their game weeks into the regular season, and for Rask it continues a tough season where he’s off to a 1-3-0 start with a 3.30 goals against average and .882 save percentage behind a leaky defense. 

So Anton Khudobin will step in on Thursday night for Rask coming off a 29-save win over the Arizona Coyotes last weekend, and P-Bruins netminder Zane McIntyre will serve as Khudobin’s backup goalie on an emergency basis.

“You don’t want to see that, but at the same time we’ve got to keep moving forward and hopefully he’s going to get better soon,” said Khudobin. “I feel good. Camp was good and everything is fine, and I’ve started better than last year. My role is just day-to-day. Today is a game day and hopefully, you get a good result, and then tomorrow is another new day.”

It remains to be seen how quickly or slowly that Rask recovers from this concussion, but there is concern as more than a few NHL goalies have suffered from recurring issues once they start going down the path with concussion issues. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE