Krejci expresses desire to stay in Boston after win

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Krejci expresses desire to stay in Boston after win

TORONTO Its only natural that the news of the Anaheim Ducks shopping talented winger Bobby Ryanwas met with excitement in just about every other NHL city. Its not every day that a 25-year-old power forward with 40-goal potential and a reasonable contract (5.1 million over the next three years) becomes available to the highest bidder.Alas, the firing of Anaheim's head coach Randy Carlyle in favor of Bruce Boudreau has likely ended the Ryan sweepstakes before they even got started.

When the Duckswere mullingRyan not being apart of the solution, it was expected a deal forthe forward could net the Ducksa dynamic top line center, a top-four defenseman and a first round pick as part of the return package.

So its only natural David Krejci be mentioned as part of a potential package deal for Ryan given that hes approaching restricted free agency, and given that the Bruins are stacked depth-wise at the center position. The B's playmaker has also been struggling a bit out of the gate this season, and Ryan's salary cap tag matched up favorably with the kind of money Krejci will be seeking in a contract moving forward.

So the Ducks would also likely havesoughtDougie Hamilton and a first round pick to round out the ransom for a winger thats potted 100 goals over the last three full seasons in Anaheim. That made it a non-starter for many around the Bruins -- this hockey writer included -- but there were other possibilities.

If they were to get involved perhaps the Bruins could talk Ryans price tag down to Johnny Boychuk or Adam McQuaid along with Krejci and the draft pick getting shipped to the Ducks for their young superstar.

But there is no concrete proof that Boston had everdipped their toes in on the Bobby Ryan sweepstakes. The New York Rangers weresaid to be the leaders in the clubhouse for the Ducks sniper, and Krejci finally snapped out of a weeks-long funk with a three-point effort in Bostons 6-3 win over the Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre.

Krejci cleaned up Nathan Hortons net drive by popping in the rebound for Bostons second goal of the evening, and snapped a nine game goalless streak in the process that dated back to aNov. 7 winagainst the New York Islanders.

He then set up a pair of goals following his second period score, and equaled the number of points hed been able to muster in nine games leading up to Wednesday nights divisional battle with Toronto. The third period pass to Lucicin front of the night was classic No. 46 and showed that the playmaking pivot is still operating at a very high level when the mood strikes him.

Its one of the biggest keys to our line. When hes moving the puck with confidence and hes protecting it hes good. It seems like hes been a little frustrated this year, said Milan Lucic. But he didnt have that tonight, so hopefully hes getting some confidence as well.

We went into this game wanting to end the month right head into December."

Then Krejci spoke at length about building confidence and going on a run with linemates Lucic and Horton now that theyre feeling it offensively.

The playmaking center has admitted in recent days that hes heard some of the tradetalk surrounding him, and its only become louder in the moments following Anaheims management flirting with flippingRyan. So Krejci was aware of some of the rumors, and theres no telling whetherthe urgency that comes with tradewhispersreally spurred him onto a higher level of performance. Krejci is a player that seems to rely on motivation to push him into his highest level of play, and he looked like his motor was running Wednesday night.

One thing is certain: Krejci doesnt want to go to Anaheim or anywher else.He sounded more like somebody ready to cross his arms and refuse to budge from the Bruins should things haveprogressed with Anaheim on Ryan. The Czech Republic center was drafted by Boston, hes developed in his time with the Bruins and he wants to potentially win another Stanley Cup with his current set of teammates.It's good to hear, and it's something Krejci should want to protect with heightened play until he signs another deal with the B's.

I love the city. I love the team. Everybody really gets along well. We are winning, said Krejci when asked about the trade rumors. "I like to be on a winning team and I like to have a chance to win the Cup. This is the team, you know? I would like to have a chance to stay here.

There were some talk about me getting traded, but I didnt even know about it. I try to focus on my game and stay away from these things.

Did it seem curious that whispers and rumors start kicking up when the Bruins are in the middle of their best month of hockey in more than 40 years?

Its probably somebody starting a rumor and then other people getting involved. I dont really care, said Krejci. I really like this team right now and Im going to do everything I can to help them win.

Theres no denying that perhaps some of the trade chatter has served as a good motivational tool for Krejci going into big games against Toronto.But theres also nousedenying the homegrown centers intentions. Krejci knows he can continue building toward being a better player this season, and can almost taste another long Cup run despite the checkered start to his season.Krejci is staying for the time being, and that's exactly the way he wants it.

Morning Skate: Sidney Crosby has been a good ambassador as the face of his NHL generation

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Morning Skate: Sidney Crosby has been a good ambassador as the face of his NHL generation

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while wishing everybody a safe and relaxing Memorial Day weekend. 

*Apparently Nashville Predators head coach Peter Laviolette has yet to try Nashville’s hot chicken despite his time behind the Preds bench. It’s okay, I have yet to try it either in my handful of visits to Music City. 

*Good stuff from PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Jason Brough. Apparently it wasn’t so easy to make Wayne Gretzky’s head bleed when it came time for director Doug Liman to cut Swingers together

*Sidney Crosby cares about the history and the issues of the game, and has been a good ambassador as the face of his NHL generation despite the hate that always comes with such responsibility. 

*Puck Daddy examines Crosby’s performance in the playoffs, and the odds of him winning another Conn Smythe Trophy. 

*The Penguins have made it to the Stanley Cup Final without Kris Letang for their playoff run, and that’s an amazing accomplishment. 

*Erik Karlsson said that he will be tending to his injured foot next week, and expects a full recovery for next season after a brilliant run with his Ottawa Senators

*Larry Brooks again rails against the Stanley Cup playoff structure and it’s relation to an “absurd regular season.” Say what you will, but the fact the Penguins are there for a second straight season shoots down some of the absurdity stuff in my mind. The best team from the East is where they should be and they did it without Kris Letang to boot. 

*Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alex Debrincat is confident his abilities will translate to the NHL despite his size after taking home honors as the best player in junior hockey this season. 

*For something completely different: Apparently there’s a hard core comic book geek gripe that “The Flash” is burning through bad guys too quickly. This would make sense if they couldn’t revisit these bad guys at any point, but they absolutely can go back to a big bad like Grodd anytime they want. 

Playoff run ends for Providence Bruins, but some promising signs

Playoff run ends for Providence Bruins, but some promising signs

It was the longest run that the P-Bruins have had in a few years and another unmistakable sign that the future is brightening for the Black and Gold, but the Bruins AHL affiliate has ended their playoff push in the Calder Cup semi-finals. 

The Providence Bruins fell by a 3-1 score to the Syracuse Crunch on Saturday night to lose to the Crunch in five games when the best-of-seven series was set to return to Providence this coming week. The P-Bruins had vanquished the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins and Hershey Bears in the first two rounds of the Calder Cup playoffs before finally exiting against Syracuse. 

Though it’s over, it’s clear some of the Bruins prospects made a nice step forward over the second half of the AHL season and then into the Calder Cup playoffs. With the Calder Cup Finals yet to start, B’s forward prospect Danton Heinen stands as the second-leading playoff scorer in the entire AHL with nine goals and 18 points in 17 playoff games after really struggling in the first half of his first pro season while bouncing back and forth between the NHL and the AHL. 

This could bode well for the skilled Heinen and his hopes to make the leap to the NHL in the near future after a stellar collegiate career at the University of Denver. AHL journeymen-types Wayne Simpson and Jordan Szwarz were the next two top scorers for the P-Bruins in the playoff run, but Jake DeBrusk had a strong playoff season as well while popping in six goals in 17 games. DeBrusk led all Providence players with his 54 shots on net in the 17-game playoff run for Providence, and he headlined a group that included B’s prospects Ryan Fitzgerald, Zach Senyshyn, Matt Grzelcyk, Peter Cehlarik (who succumbed to shoulder surgery during the playoffs), Emil Johansson and Robbie O’Gara all getting some vital playoff experience. 

Both Heinen and DeBrusk will be strong candidates for jobs on the wing with the Boston big club when training camp opens in the fall after strong showings in the postseason. 

On the goaltending side, Zane McIntyre was solid for the P-Bruins at times while in 16 of their 17 playoff games with a .906 save percentage. But it was Malcolm Subban that was playing at the very end of the playoff run for Providence and featured a sterling .937 save percentage in the four AHL playoff games that he appeared in this spring after an up-and-down regular season. McIntyre had an .857 save percentage and 4.37 goals against average in the final series against Syracuse, and looked a little spent like many of the other P-Bruins players once they’d unexpectedly made it to the third round of the AHL postseason.  

The only unfortunate part of Providence’s run is that newly signed youngsters Charlie McAvoy and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson couldn’t be a part of it after signing and then appearing in NHL games following a cut-off date for AHL playoff rosters. Both missed on an experience that could have been very conducive for their professional development, and uncovered a wrinkle in the NHL/AHL transaction process that really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for a developmental league.