Krejci: Bettman treats us like animals

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Krejci: Bettman treats us like animals

David Krejci is a soft-spoken man that can sometimes scramble looking for the precise word hes looking for in English, his second language. But that shouldnt be misunderstood for shyness or an unwillingness to be candid, and his recent comments to a Czech Republic media outlet prove that entirely.

A frustrated-sounding Krejci took issue with NHL commissioner Gary Bettmans 8 million salary and says that he treats players "like animals" according to a Google translation of the article.

"It's weird," Krejci said when asked about the current state of negotiations. "Our Association gives owners of three proposals, and they swept aside for fifteen minutes. I do not have anything to say. Bettman took during the last lockout 3.5 million in salary and now it's at eight million."

The Bruins center, who is starring for HC Pardubice as a point-per-game player in the Czech League during the lockout, said he believes that Bettman and by proxy the 30 NHL owners are the only ones that truly want the NHL lockout. Its a simplistic view of the situation, of course, but its also what many of the 700 plus NHLPA membership believes now that nearly a month of the regular season has already been cancelled.

"Bettman does what he wants," Krejci said. "We want to play, we're the ones who are doing the show in the NHL. But Bettman thinks it makes him. It is unfortunate that the NHL have such a guy. It's a shame for the entire hockey world. He treats us like animals. Its really a shame that he is not at the forefront."

It should be noted that Krejci is about to start a five-year, 15 million contract extension this season, and has done pretty well financially during his NHL days.

The comments are actually reminiscent of a conversation this humble hockey writer had with Krejci a few years ago when he said that his team would "chase Colin Campbell out of the room" if he attempted to give them a pre-game warning prior to the "Revenge Game" against the Penguins. That game, of course, followed Matt Cookes downright evil blindside heat shot on Marc Savard that has effectively ended the centers career.

Its not surprising that Krejci came up with the "animals" comment after Detroit Red Wings VP Jimmy Devellano made waves after calling the centers linemate, and good friend, Milan Lucic part of the league's cattle in a controversial interview that ultimately earned the NHL exec a 250,000 fine. Devellano meant it as a metaphor for the NHL owners as The Ranch and the players, coaches and executives as the cattle, but the specific mention of Lucics name in the interview privately set off a number of the Boston players.

But it also appears most NHL players dont need much provocation to lob verbal bombs at the league as all games have been cancelled through Nov. 1, and theres little progress toward a deal to start the season on Nov. 2.

B's determined to 'keep it going' during good offensive run

B's determined to 'keep it going' during good offensive run

BRIGHTON, Mass. -- The Bruins are going through a nice, little bountiful stretch of offense right now after a half-season of struggle.

The Bruins are averaging more than three goals per game in their last 12 contests, and have scored a whopping 22 goals in their last six games including dropping six scores on the Flyers Saturday afternoon at TD Garden. Combine that with the 7-for-25 performance on the power play during the month of January, and things are finally starting to catch up with a Bruins team that was all shoot/no score for months of frustrating hockey this season.

“If you want sustained success then you have to be good defensively, but you also have to score some goals. That’s definitely part of it and we have to keep it going,” said Patrice Bergeron, who has four goals and eight points in his last nine games after struggling out of the starting gate. “You’re not going to get rewarded every night like we did [against the Flyers], but you have to find that consistency where you’re close to having that every night.”

One thing nobody should expect out of the B’s, however, is to get outside of what they do well now that they’ve started slapping some numbers up on the board. Instead the Bruins are intent on their bedrock of disciplined defense and sensational goaltending with the added offense just making it much tougher to beat them these days.

“I don’t know if we can stand here and say we’re going to sustain that we’re scoring lots of goals. I think what we need to sustain here is winning more games than we lose,” said Claude Julien. “That’s what we’ve got to sustain. Whether it’s a 1-0 or 2-1 game, or it’s a 5-2 or 5-3 game it doesn’t really matter. It’s about winning hockey games much more than it’s about how much you scored, and how much you don’t score.

“Overall when I look at the scoring chances we’re giving up per game, that doesn’t seem to have changed. Goals allowed may have changed a little bit lately, but overall I think we’ve been very steady in that area [of defense].”

So now the Bruins will again be looking for that ideal balance of offense/defense when they take the ice against the Islanders on Monday afternoon for their second straight matinee at TD Garden. 

Morrow has 'confident feeling' as he readies to jump into B's lineup

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Morrow has 'confident feeling' as he readies to jump into B's lineup

BRIGHTON, Mass. -- It’s been a long month of bag skates and lonely practices for Bruins defenseman Joe Morrow.

That’s about to change thanks to injuries to both Kevan Miller and Colin Miller, who are both not expected to be able to play against the New York Islanders on Monday afternoon at TD Garden. That means Morrow will be in the B’s lineup for the first time since a Dec. 12 win over the Montreal Canadiens, a span of 16 consecutive B’s games that the 24-year-old has been watching from the press box.

Morrow skated in a pairing with John-Michael Liles in Sunday’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena prior to Monday’smatinee, and obviously he’s looking forward to getting back into games given this season’s sporadic practice schedule.

“[Playing well after sitting for long stretches] isn’t necessarily something you want to be good at, but if you are good at then it’s a good tool to have in your bag. It’s a confident feeling that I’ll be able to come in [and play well],” said Morrow, who has an assist and a minus-3 rating in 13 games for the Black and Gold this season. “I’ve stayed in good shape and worked hard in practice, and that’s all I can do up until this point.

“Put simply, [this year’s compacted schedule] is exhausting. Countless times I’ve skated by myself, and anybody would tell you there’s nothing harder than skating by yourself on a sheet of ice. Mentally and physically it’s just exhausting. There haven’t been many practices and there haven’t been many game-type situations in the practices we do have. Skating with the whole team is almost like a pregame skate scenario. But you’re still skating every day, so it’s putting it upon yourself to go out there and stay ready for things.”

The one issue for Morrow, a former first round pick, over the last couple of seasons has been maintaining a high level of play once he draws his way into the lineup. It feels like there’s a drop-off in his play once he’s played a few games in a row whether it’s physical mistakes or mental lapses in his play, and that’s something he wants to avoid when given an opportunity to suit up.

“I feel like when I have played this year that I’ve been quite consistent and that I’ve played well,” said Morrow, the last remaining part of the 2013 Tyler Seguin trade still in a Bruins uniform. “I’m just in a situation that the cards are playing out the way that they are, so it depends on how many games I get whether it’s one, two, 30 or however many games are left [in the season]. It’s realistically entirely up to me. If I can shake the rust out in the first couple of shifts and start from there, it’s going to be a big positive in my book. It’s the really the only option I have left now.”

Given that Colin Miller began skating on his own on Sunday morning, it might not be a very big window for Morrow to impress upon the coaches just how badly he wants to play. But one would expect he’s going to bring his best on Monday against the Isles with the hopes that it will be somebody else sitting up in the press box when it once again becomes a D-man numbers game for the 7-8 players for six lineup spots.