Krejci back and 'hoping to stay healthy the rest of the way' for Bruins


Krejci back and 'hoping to stay healthy the rest of the way' for Bruins

BRIGHTON -- David Krejci couldn’t help but give a rap to the top of his head in “knock on wood” fashion when asked about the Bruins' sudden good health. The forward group is so healthy, in fact, that Peter Cehlarik was sent down to Providence now that he’s regained full health, and Krejci made his return last weekend after a six-game absence with an upper body injury.


The 31-year-old Krejci was careful to say that the injury wasn’t related to his back problems earlier this season, but the bottom line with the playmaking Czech center is that he’s missed 18 of the 37 games played by the B’s this season. So Krejci hopes he’s back to stay now after getting a goal and two points in his return last weekend in a blowout win over the Senators, and doing so also breathing some life back into what had been a struggling power play. 

“I feel good, you know? I got some good workouts in when I was injured so I feel really good,” said Krejci, who helped spark the Bruins to three PP goals vs. Ottawa after Boston struggled to a 1-for-14 mark on the man advantage in the previous five games without him. “I feel 100 percent. I feel good. We’ve had some good practices, and it was a good, tough game against Ottawa. They always are against them.

“It looks like guys are pretty healthy. It’s funny when you look at it that almost half of the season is gone and we’re just finally getting our healthy lineup. But at the same time, maybe it’s a good thing we got it all out of the way early in the season. Hopefully we can stay healthy for the rest of the way.”

The other side benefit of so many early injuries, of course, was the ice time and reps it afforded young players like Jake DeBrusk, Danton Heinen, Charlie McAvoy, Matt Grzelcyk and Anders Bjork to hit their comfort zones as NHL players. 

Now comes the challenge of a healthy No. 46 building up the chemistry with Ryan Spooner as his new right wing given his recent strong play, and rekindling things with young Jake DeBrusk on the left side as well. The Bruins top line has carried the offense for most of the season and the third line has been very good as of late as a source of secondary scoring, but the time is nearing when Krejci and Co. will be expected to really make the Bruins dangerous and diverse with their top three scoring lines.

It all starts with Krejci being able to stay healthy and in the lineup despite missing an average of 15 games per season over the last four years, and perhaps no longer being quite the same durable, frontline center that he was earlier in his career.  


Morning Skate: Get ready for a next generation of 'Mighty Ducks'


Morning Skate: Get ready for a next generation of 'Mighty Ducks'

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while Tanguay is busy taking America...again!

*I kind of missed the "Mighty Ducks" phenomenon as I was a little too old to be the target audience when the movies first came out, but hopefully my kids will get to experience it fully with a new Mighty Ducks TV show in development. Gordon Bombay might be one of the greatest names for a movie character in cinema history, let alone hockey movie history.

*Speaking of hockey and television, it looks like PK Subban is going to get the big-shot experience on the Daily Show in the near future.

*A couple of major hockey figures say that the NHL has been completely silent on their pitches for funding to further study concussions.

*There’s a lot of concern over whether or not the Vancouver Canucks will play it smart at the trade deadline, but I’m more concerned about the health and well-being of this “sentagraph” that’s badly in need a breath: “It was only a little more than a week ago that the team’s effort to put everything together after kinda-sorta blowing it up a year or two back (at least as far as ownership would allow) was dubbed a “model rebuild” but that was not the world’s greatest take and I think everyone disagreed with it immediately.”

*The Chicago Blackhawks lost again and continue to spiral further out of a playoff spot with a team that sure seems like they should be better than they are.

*For something completely different: The Oscar nomination for the adapted “Logan” screenplay should be a game-changer for comic book movies.



Bruins on Patriots success: 'We would love to be that'


Bruins on Patriots success: 'We would love to be that'

BRIGHTON, Mass. - The Bruins are clearly in a much different place now with a young, up-and-coming group, but they certainly have hopes and aspirations to build something similar to what the Patriots have in place in Foxboro.


The Pats are headed to Minnesota looking for their third Super Bowl title in four years to go along with the three Super Bowls in four years at the start of the Tom Brady/Bill Belichick Era. Plenty of Bruins players were on hand in Foxboro on Sunday with the day off from practice. Torey Krug even posted a picture on Instagram with Charlie McAvoy, Riley Nash, Paul Postma, Matt Grzelcyk, David Pastrnak and Tuukka Rask all ready to cheer on the Patriots in a truly entertaining AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.


A post shared by Torey Krug (@krugtorey) on

Clearly, the Bruins semi-recently had a nice run of their own with seven consecutive seasons of playoff appearances and two Cup Final appearances between 2011-2013, but the Patriots’ current dynastic run is something that’s never been seen before in modern professional sports.

Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy makes no bones about being a fan of the Patriots and the way they play and said it’s something that inspires him and should inspire his team full of players as they roll through a very good season of their own.

“You can’t help but get caught up in it,” said Cassidy. “I’ve been in New England ten years, and you can see how teams continually can’t put the Patriots away. It’s not just one time. So they’re in people’s heads...I don’t care what anybody says.

“There are conversations, probably less about their own game and more about what the Patriots can do. On a game day, they’re probably focusing less on themselves. It’s an amazing quality that team has, the character, the culture they’ve created and the identity. We would love to be that. We’re coming at you, we’re coming at you, and it doesn’t matter what happens right to the bitter end. We’ll see where that goes, but you’ve got to be champions to do that. There are guys in this locker room that were [champions] and would love to be again, and with the younger guys hopefully, it’s something that they embrace.”

For those Bruins that have won before, the ongoing excellence of the Patriots, who've been dominant for close to two decades, becomes the truly amazing accomplishment. Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, David Krejci and Adam McQuaid have been through one cycle of dominance earlier in their B’s careers, but before getting on that upward trajectory again, they needed to hit a rough patch for a couple of seasons that included a housecleaning of their GM and coach.

That’s something the Patriots have never really had to do since the arrival of Belichick and Brady, and it’s something that blows away those veteran Bruins who have watched it all unfold. 

“It’s not easy. You see it in every sport that the one season you win, and then the next season you don’t even make the playoffs,” said David Krejci. “The Patriots year after year they’re always a top-four team and last season they won the Super Bowl. I’m looking forward to the next couple of weeks and watching the game, especially given the way they played with the injuries they had with [Julian] Edelman and Gronk getting hurt. It was fun to watch [on Sunday].”  

If nothing else it’s inspiring for the younger Bruins to simply see how focused the entire community gets supporting one of the local teams when they reach the championship level and just how bonkers the Boston area will become if the Patriots take it to the Super Bowl house for a record-tying sixth time in NFL history.