Krejci says return for Leafs game a possibility


Krejci says return for Leafs game a possibility

BOSTON -- David Krejci said he recently stumbled upon some stats proving his durability over the last three seasons, but doesnt want his willingness to play through pain clouding his judgment when it comes to Thursday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

I just saw some interesting stats yesterday: In my last 290 games with the Bruins Ive missed only 10, said Krejci. Thats about 3 percent that Ive missed, so its pretty good. But I shouldnt really be looking at that. I have to be 100 percent and if I come back early theres a really good chance I could do something again.

The 25-year-old center has missed three games with a core injury, and should be able to return within the next couple of home games for the Bs against the Leafs or Saturday night against the San Jose Sharks. Krejci first suffered the injury in a practice last Tuesday, but intimated that hes a 5050 proposition for the Leafs game while being cautious about the upper body issue.

Certainly Krejci must want to suit up against good buddy Phil Kessel amid his torrid Toronto scoring spree, but he wasnt about to take any unnecessary risks just six games into a new hockey season.

Yesterday I skated with some of the guys. Today was a little more like a real practice and I pushed it a little harder, said Krejci. I cant say that I pushed it 100 percent, but I was pretty close. I felt good about the way things went this morning.

Ill wake up tomorrow and if I feel good then Ill push it to 100 percent tomorrow. Ill see how it feels and then who knows? Maybe Ill play tomorrow. Its just like every other injury. Youve got to wait until youre 100 percent especially with this kind of injury. I cant come back when Im 95 percent.

The playmaking center shared shifts with Rich Peverley as the third line center during line drills skating between Benoit Pouliot and Jordan Caron, and coach Claude Julien said itll be up to the player to determine when hes fully ready to jump back into the flow. The situation becomes all the more interesting since the lines have been shifted around, and Krejci could potentially find himself in the middle of Milan Lucic and Tyler Seguin if hes bumped back to a No. 1 line white practice jersey.

Hes at a stage where hes practicing and were trying to find out every day how much better hes getting, said Julien. Well see how he feels tomorrow, but hes coming around pretty well.

Krejci will be hoping to hit the ground running when he returns after putting up a single point and a minus-2 in his first three games of the season before getting hurt.

Rask: Last season 'something to rebound from' personally


Rask: Last season 'something to rebound from' personally

BRIGHTON, Mass. – While David Pastrnak, Tuukka Rask and David Backes are back from competing in the World Cup of Hockey in Toronto, that doesn’t mean you’ll see those players on the ice over the next couple of days. Perhaps the trio will practice on Monday in the fourth on-ice session at main training camp, but Bruins GM Don Sweeney confirmed that none of those returning players will suit up against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the B’s preseason debut at TD Garden on Monday night.

“Yeah…absolutely,” said Sweeney when asked if those three players have been ruled out for Monday night. “They’re going to get through the weekend here. Next week, we’ll evaluate [them] when they get on the ice. But, all those guys will not be on the ice until next week.

“It might be case-by-case for each guy. Those guys have been playing for a while at a high level. It’s unique for David Backes coming into the organization, so he’d like to integrate himself. I talked yesterday with all three of them just to get a read of where they’re at. But, sometime first of next week, they’ll be on [the ice].”

Both Pastrnak and Rask have checked in with the Bruins media over the last couple of days after returning from Toronto, and the Bruins goaltender, in particular, has plenty of motivation coming off a down statistical season. The 2.56 goals against average and .915 save percentage were well below his career numbers, and people like B’s President Cam Neely have pointed to Rask as somebody that needs to have a better season for Boston to rebound back into the playoffs this year.

“There were a couple of years where the standards pretty high, so obviously when they go down there’s something to rebound from. You kind of know where you can be. That’s where I try to be every year and I’m working on being there this year, and taking us to the playoffs and moving forward,” said Rask. “But every year is a new year where you’ve got to work hard, and set your goals to be at your best. More often than not you hope [being at your best] is going to happen, and I hope this year is going to be a great year for us.”

Clearly Rask wasn’t alone in his struggles last season behind a mistake-prone defense that allowed plenty of Grade chances, and that could be a repeating phenomenon again this season for the Bruins unless the defense is substantially upgraded along the way.

As far as the other three B’s players still taking part in the World Cup, it could be a while for Patrice and Brad Marchand as Team Canada has advanced to the final best-of-three series that could also feature Zdeno Chara if Team Europe is victorious. 

Sweeney: 'Helpless feeling' hoping World Cup players return healthy


Sweeney: 'Helpless feeling' hoping World Cup players return healthy

BRIGHTON, Mass. – It’s a bit of a helpless feeling for an NHL general manager watching their star players participate in an intense hockey tournament like the World Cup of Hockey that doesn’t directly benefit their respective teams.

Not helpless because of the tournament’s outcome, obviously, but helpless because players could return from Toronto dinged up, or even worse significantly injured.

Aaron Ekblad had to shut it down for Team North American with what many speculated was a concussion, and Pittsburgh goalie Matt Murray is out a month, or more, with a broken hand sustained playing for the same young guns team.

So, it certainly must have been an uneasy few moments for Don Sweeney when Brad Marchand was pulled from Team Canada’s last game for the concussion protocol after a nasty-looking collision with Team Europe forward Marian Hossa.

Marchand went through the testing, and ended up returning to the game no worse for the wear. But it could have been a lot worse for a Bruins team that can’t afford to be missing Marchand, Patrice Bergeron or Zdeno Chara, who are still playing for teams alive in the semifinal round of the tourney.

“I would expect all of us to have been in a similar situation. For everybody - any general manager, coaches, staff, you're concerned about [injuries],” said Sweeney, talking about the World Cup and Marchand’s close call. “I mean, especially when you realize the stakes are going to go up as the tournament goes along. The pride involved - it's a risk. There's no question, it's a risk.

“But you also want to see them play their best hockey and they're not going to hold back. Yeah, it's a definite concern. You've got your fingers and toes crossed.”

David Pastrnak and Tuukka Rask have already returned to Boston fully healthy. David Backes should be joining the team anytime now after Team USA’s rude dismissal from the tournament. But Sweeney and the Bruins still have their sensors out for the three B’s players taking part that aren’t quite out of the woods yet before returning to B’s camp in one piece.