Report: Krejci close to signing with Czech team

630436.jpg

Report: Krejci close to signing with Czech team

CAMBRIDGE David Krejci was a full member of Bostons first lockout practice at Harvards Bright Arena on Monday morning, but he might not be in Boston much longer. After revealing to CSNNE.com last week that he was speaking with a pair of Czech League teams, a Czech news outlet called iDnes reported today that the Bruins center is close to a deal with HC Pardubice to play in his native country.

"I always thought Id go back to Czech to end my career. I never thought it would be when I was 26 years old," said Krejci to CSNNE.com last week while discussing his plans in the face of a long lockout. "A few teams have already contacted me from the Czech Republic. I would definitely go there. I wouldnt go to any other countries. There are so many things that go into picking a team."

Krejci said he was hoping to play relatively close to his hometown of Sternbrek, so his choice came down to Pardubice and Trinec in the Czech Extra League. According to Pardubice general manager Peter Hemsky, the Czech is simply working out the insurance policy for Bostons playmaking center.

Hemsky is expecting to recruit his son, Ales, while he is out of work with the Edmonton Oilers. The team is also expected to sign defenseman Michal Roszival along with Krejci and Hemsky as more NHL players begin flocking to Europe for paying gigs while the NHL and NHLPA hammer out a new deal.

Krejci, who finished with 23 goals and 62 points last season in an up-and-down year for the Bruins, indicated last week that his No. 1 wish was to be playing in Boston for the Bruins as soon as possible. But to play in the Czech Republic would be to realize something he always hoped would happen when he left home for the Quebec Major Junior League as a teenager nearly 10 years ago.

Krejci got a taste of playing in his home country when the Bruins visited Prague to open the NHL season in 2010-11, and he may be getting much more than that this time around.

Dupont: If Tuukka Rask is healthy, he should start for Bruins

Dupont: If Tuukka Rask is healthy, he should start for Bruins

Mike Felger and Kevin Paul Dupont debate if it is time for the Bruins to send a message to Tuukka Rask and have Anton Khudobin get the starts in net.

Nash stepping up when Bruins need him most

bruins_riley_nash_032517.jpg

Nash stepping up when Bruins need him most

BROOKLYN -- It took most of his first season in Boston, but Riley Nash is hitting his groove with the Bruins at exactly the right time.

Nash came up huge in a must-win game Saturday night against the Islanders, scoring both goals in a 2-1 win over the Isle. The unheralded Nash and equally unheralded backup goalie Anton Khudobin were the two most important performers in the tight, playoff-style win that snapped a four game losing streak while pushing the B's back into playoff position.

"That's part of [a big win], right? Big performances,” said interim coach Bruce Cassidy. "Generally you look to your best players, but [Nash] did a really good job. He's got a sneaky shot, so hopefully he uses it a little bit more. You can't say enough about those goals. We needed them tonight.

"Generally our top guns have been good offensively and have come through. But tonight it was the lesser lights for us in terms of offense, so good for us.”

Both Nash goals were titanic. The first came on the first shift following the Islanders goal in the first period. The fourth-line winger stripped Isles defenseman Scott Mayfield in the neutral zone and then flipped a shot past Thomas Greiss to the short side that tied the game at 1-1. Then in the third period, Dominic Moore hit Nash in stride as he sped into the offensive zone, and Nash weaved through defenders before sneaking one past Greiss for the game-winner.

The two goals give Nash four goals and six points in 21 games since the All-Star break, in line with his normal offensive output during his NHL career, and a step up from the three goals and nine points in his first 52 games this season.

The affable Nash was more than happy to contribute in a big win, and enthused at seeing the offense finally starting to flow on a semi-regular basis when the Bruins can really use it.

"It's quite the output as opposed to the season I've had so far, so I'll take it and be happy that we won the game,” said Nash. "I think everyone in here knew that was the biggest game of the year. It was going to be a really big uphill battle if we lost that one.

"Both teams came out desperate in a pretty tight, playoff-style game, but that's what it's going to be like for the rest of the season. So we've got to hunker down and take it one game at a time as the saying goes.”

With the Bruins third line fading a bit in these tight, physical games where players have to battle for their ice, it's been vital that Boston's fourth line step up and provide big minutes at both ends of the ice. Nash and Co. did more than that on Saturday night by potentially saving the season with his biggest, best game in a Bruins uniform.