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.

Haggerty: Reports of Seidenberg's demise were greatly exaggerated

Haggerty: Reports of Seidenberg's demise were greatly exaggerated

Hindsight is always 20/20, of course, but it appears the Bruins made a mistake buying out veteran defenseman Dennis Seidenberg from the final couple of years of his contract. 

Seidenberg just finished up a wildly successful stint with host Team Germany at the IIHF World Championships, where he was named Directorate Best Defenseman (the tournament’s best defenseman) after leading all D-men with a goal and eight points. This came after Seidenberg, at age 35, posted 5 goals and 22 points in 73 games for the Islanders, with whom he signed after being cut loose by the B's, while averaging a shade under 20 minutes per game.  Seidenberg also had an excellent World Cup of Hockey tournament for Team Europe last summer (where he was teamed once again with Zdeno Chara), thus managing to play at a high level from September all the way through May.

A faction of Bruins fans thought he was on the serious decline after the 2015-16 season and, clearly, the Bruins agreed, opting to buy him out with two more years still left on a sizable contract extension. (They owe him $2.16 million next season and then will be charged $1.16 million on their salary cap over the next two seasons.) But the B's could have used a durable, defensive warrior like Seidenberg in the playoffs, when they lost three of their top four defensemen against the Ottawa Senators. A rejuvenated Seidenberg, able to play both the left and right side, would have been a better option than Colin Miller.

The Bruins made a conscious decision to hand things over to younger defensemen like Miller, Torey Krug, Brandon Carlo and Joe Morrow in cutting ties with Seidenberg. But they also perhaps miscalculated how much Seidenberg still had left in the tank after his best season in at least three years. 

“Well, at the time we felt like [Seidenberg's] game had really dropped off to where we thought he couldn’t contribute, and we wanted to see if some younger players could come in and help us out,” Bruins president Cam Neely said at the end-of-the-season press conference earlier this month. “I’ve got to say he played well this year for Long Island. But at the time we thought it was the right move. You can’t envision us having three of our top four D’s get hurt [in the playoffs]. We went through a lot of D’s in the postseason. You can’t predict that.”

Neely is referring to the decision made after Seidenberg’s second straight minus season in Boston, when back injuries and a major knee injury had seemed to slow him down a bit. It seemed the only way to properly evaluate some of their other, younger defenseman was to cut Seidenberg loose, but one has to wonder if the Bruins would have possibly done it had they known he was still capable of playing like he did this season for the Islanders. 

Either way, the buyout of Seidenberg is an extremely legitimate second guess of Bruins management in a year where they did a lot of things right. 

Monday, May 22: Senators all out of playoff magic?

Monday, May 22: Senators all out of playoff magic?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while feeling like we’ll be getting a Pittsburgh/Nashville Stanley Cup Final, which I suppose would be the best possible outcome at this point.

*You hear the name and it just gets you angry all over again if you grew up watching the Bruins. Ulf Samuelsson is in the running for an assistant coaching job with the Chicago Blackhawks, according to a report.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Chris Johnston says it appears that the time is running out on a Cinderella season for the Ottawa Senators.

*A taste of winning at the world championships with Team Sweden could fuel Alex Edler’s desire for a change from the rebuilding Vancouver Canucks.

*Interesting piece on a former can’t miss goaltending prospect with the Nashville Predators that ended up totally missing, and what he’s been up to in life since then.

*Guy Boucher explains to Pro Hockey Talk why he kept changing goaltenders in the Game 5 blowout loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

*Don Cherry explains that he hates afternoon hockey during his Coach’s Corner from Hockey Night in Canada in the Game 5 blowout between the Penguins and Predators.

*A good piece from FOH (Friend of Haggs) Alex Prewitt on the Nashville Predators, and the evolution of the franchise into a team on the verge of a Stanley Cup Final appearance.

*For something completely different: What a win by the Boston Celtics in Game 3 in Cleveland, and quite an interesting, fired up interview with Al Horford afterward.