Krejci upset people blame him for Crosby concussion


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.

Haggerty: So what exactly has happened to the Bruins-Habs rivalry?


Haggerty: So what exactly has happened to the Bruins-Habs rivalry?

BRIGHTON, MASS -- It didn’t take last season’s embarrassing Winter Classic result to figure out something has been missing from the storied, legendary Bruins-Canadiens rivalry over the last few years.

The last traces of the latest, great incarnation of the B’s-Habs rivalry were clearly still there a couple of seasons ago when the two hockey clubs met in the second round of the playoffs. After falling short the last few times the teams met in the postseason, Boston was summarily dismissed by Montreal in Game 7 on their own home ice during that series. The following season the B’s simply had so many of their own players struggling to put out a consistent effort, so the games against the Habs didn’t really register highly on the importance scale, and last season both Boston and Montreal suffered through subpar seasons that saw them each fall short of the playoffs.

Since the second round loss to the Habs in the 2013-14 playoffs, the Bruins are 2-7 while being outscored by a 31-18 margin in nine regular season meetings over the last two seasons in an incredibly one-sided chapter in the two teams’ shared history. The real lack of competitiveness has been a noticeable lack of deep emotion or ill will on the ice between the two hockey clubs, and that is very different from the recent past when signature players like Milan Lucic, P.K. Subban and Shawn Thornton were card-carrying members of healthy hate that regularly spilled out on the ice between the two rival NHL organizations.

Instead it will probably be new blood that breathes glorious, hard-edged life into the history between the two Original Six teams, and new personalities like David Backes, Shea Weber and Andrew Shaw are likely to do just that. Certainly the Canadiens wanted to be much more difficult to play against in recruiting players like Shaw and Weber, and, their presence along with the offensively explosive Alex Radulov, could make it a tough matchup for the Black and Gold.

Either way, the Bruins are curious to see what the matchup looks like this season with the electric P.K. Subban removed from the mix as one of the classic Habs villain-type characters from a Boston perspective.

“It’s always fun to play Montreal at home, or in Montreal. This will be our second time counting the preseason, and our first time at the Garden. It’s going to be pretty cool,” said David Krejci. “When you say any NHL team there are a few names that pop out for that team, and [P.K. Subban] was definitely one of them [for Montreal]. But P.K. is gone, and now it’s Shea Weber. So it’s going to be a little different, but he’s a hell of a player as well so it isn’t going to be any easier.

“It’s a big game. It’s a division game. We don’t want to take any game lightly within the 82 games because you don’t know what can happen at the end. When those games against [Montreal] are done you always feel like you’ve played two games, and not just one. It’s high intensity, and it’s obviously a rivalry that you get up for.”

As Bruins head coach Claude Julien would say it, things are a bit too civilized between the two enemy teams when thinking back to the days of Georges Laraque chasing Milan Lucic around the ice challenging him a fight on the Bell Centre ice, or the awful epoch in B’s-Habs history when Zdeno Chara clobbered Max Pacioretty with a dangerous, injury-inducing hit into the stanchion area.

Nobody is looking for players to get hurt on borderline plays when the two teams suit up on Saturday night, but something to introduce a new chapter into the Boston-Montreal rivalry would be a good thing for both teams, a good thing for the fans and a potentially great thing for an NHL that prides itself on good, old-fashioned rivalries.

“We need to make sure that we’re ready to play [on Saturday]. I like the way that we’ve played so far, and except for Toronto we’ve managed to compete with all of the teams that we’ve played against,” said Julien. “I don’t know if it’s going to stay that way, but I’m going to use the word that [the rivalry] has been more civilized for the last few years. There hasn’t been as much of the sideshow as there has been [in the past].

“I think there’s still a lot of hatred between the two organizations when they meet, but I think the way the game is trending, and how costly that penalties can be in a game, both teams are a little cautious in that way. I still think there is great intensity and both teams get up for the games, so hopefully that happens tomorrow, and the fans get to see a good game.”

One thing that should ensure a good, familiar showdown with plenty of hard-hitting and honest-to-goodness rivalry-like behavior: both the Canadiens and Bruins are off to strong starts at the top of the Atlantic Division in the first couple of weeks this season, and there are some new faces that are undoubtedly going to want to announce their presence for these Bruins-Habs tilts with authority.

Let’s hope this happens because last season’s Bruins-Habs games needed a pair of jumper cables and 1.21 jigowatts of electricity to shock them back into their elevated level of intensity, and that’s when hockey is served best after all. 

Friday, Oct. 21: Pee-wee push-ups draw coach’s punishment


Friday, Oct. 21: Pee-wee push-ups draw coach’s punishment

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while anxiously awaiting a Cleveland/Chicago Cubs World Series showdown with all of the Red Sox subplots that could be involved.

*A peewee hockey coach in Quebec has been given a season-long suspension for punishing his players with hundreds of push-ups.

*The NHL game has changed radically over the last 11 years as Henrik Lundqvist has been a fixture for the New York Rangers.

*A lot has changed since Jaromir Jagr scored his first goal in 1990 and this article is worth it for the Jagr mullet picture alone.

*PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Jason Brough says that a healthy Brandon Sutter has been a difference-maker for the Canucks.

*Carey Price is back in net for the Montreal Canadiens, and that makes the Habs a new team as they prepare for the Bruins on Saturday.

*This is what it looks like when you’ve completely given up on just about everything else except for being a hockey fan. So very gross.

*For something completely different: The Doctor Strange cast is being forced into answering some tough questions at the premiere of what is essentially a comic book movie.