Krejci set to sqaure off with childhood idol Jagr


Krejci set to sqaure off with childhood idol Jagr

By Joe Haggerty Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
David Krejci idolized Jaromir Jagr and probably even had his own mini-Jagr mullet growing up on the Czech Republic. The Bs center has played with Jagr on Czech National teams in the Olympics and suited up against the legendary scorer in past NHL games against the New York Rangers.

So there is a healthy respect for the legend from his home country and a player that gets people back home talking about NHL hockey again as the KHL further encroaches into the European conversation.

But Krejci wont be posing for pictures or looking for small talk tonight when the Bruins open up against the Flyers and the playmaking pivot gets his first look at Jagr in a Philadelphia uniform. Its all about business for Krejci, and Jagr -- the Czech hockey poster boy -- is the enemy.

Obviously I want to get a win tomorrow and hopefully he isnt going to have a good game," Krejci said. "I like him as a player and I like him as a person and I wish him the best. But on the other hand itll be the first game for both of us, and Im going to try to make it really hard on him. Ill do everything I can to make it miserable for him if Im out on the ice against him.

Youve just got to play him physical and not let him get any speed going with that big body because it can get hard to slow him down. Im sure hell see plenty of Chara because 'Z' is always out there against him in the past. Hes 39 or 40, but hes still a very good player at this point.

Jagr is in fact 39 years old, and can still put on a show as he did during the Olympics and this spring during the World Championships. The Flyers are banking on his natural scoring touch coming through on the power play especially, and that will be good for Philadelphia. Krejci is banking on Jagrs return to the NHL changing the focus on the game of hockey back in his homeland.

Despite Krejcis status as a rising star and Stanley Cup champion, Jagr is still the biggest hockey deal going in the Czech Republic. So his move back to North America and the NHL should have some positive ramifications.

For Czech hockey its a good thing. We didnt have as big a name as Jagr when he was gone. People were talking about the NHL and the KHL at the same time in the Czech Republic, but now all of the focus will go back on the NHL, said Krejci. Kids will have the NHL as their No. 1 main goal from the time they start skating, and that will help the Czech hockey team. Its good for the NHL too.

What remains to be seen is whether its good for the Philadelphia Flyers, and Krejci aims to help avoid that Jagr Philly goodness for at least one game.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Morning Skate: Larry Robinson parts ways with Sharks

Morning Skate: Larry Robinson parts ways with Sharks

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while refraining from shoving any world leaders today.

*Larry Robinson and the San Jose Sharks are parting after working together for five seasons, per FOH (Friend of Haggs) Kevin Kurz.

*Speaking of Kurz, he also has a Sharks mailbag on which players are most likely to be traded out of San Jose during the offseason. Somebody has got to go, and you’d think it would be somebody without much tread left on the tires.

*Moving on to other topics, Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Kesler said that losing a Game 6 in the Western Conference Finals to the Nashville Predators was the “toughest” loss of his career. I don’t see how this is possible. You see, Kesler is no slouch at falling short. In fact, he’s a tremendous loser, having dropped a Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final at home in 2011 as a member of the Vancouver Canucks, and also having lost a Gold Medal Game for Team USA at the hands of Sidney Crosby and Canada in 2010 in overtime that was also played in Vancouver. It took a simple Google search to find an actual postgame video of Kesler crying into his hockey glove on the bench in the aftermath of Game 7 vs. the Bruins. So, pardon me if I’m not buying Kesler talking about a conference finals loss as the worst of his career when he was one home win away from being a Stanley Cup champion in Game 7, and proceeded to lose like he’s done many, many times in the most important games of his career. Dude, you’ve been through tougher losses. Trust me on that one.  

*The idea of trading Alex Ovechkin might be gaining some traction with the Capitals fan base, but it doesn’t seem to be based on reality at this point.

*The pride of Melrose, Mass, Conor Sheary, delivered in Game 7 for the Penguins as they return to the Stanley Cup Final in back-to-back seasons.

*Bobby Ryan said his strategy for success in the playoffs, at least in part, was staying off the phone. Maybe he ought to try that a bit more during the regular season.

*Congrats to the folks at NBC for another successful Red Nose Day that featured a reunion of the “Love Actually” cast among other things.