'A' on the sweater won't change B's Krejci

'A' on the sweater won't change B's Krejci
October 2, 2013, 11:15 pm
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David Krejci admitted there were a lot of things going through his mind when he was named an alternate captain of the Bruins this week.

The play-making Czech center was certainly proud he was being recognized for his leadership qualities, and excited to take on even more ownership of his hockey team. There was also a wariness of the serious responsibility that comes with wearing an “A” on a hockey sweater in the NHL, and that was one of the first things that came to his mind when coach Claude Julien gave him the good news.

“With Krejci, to me he’s a quiet leader,” said Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli. “He demands a lot from himself, and he demands a lot from his teammates. He can lead by example.

“There are three or four guys [on the B’s roster] that can do the same thing. Krejci is a proud leader too, so it was good to see that ‘A’ put on there. When talking about playing your best hockey at the biggest time of year, he certainly has done that.”

The first revelation, though, was that the soft-spoken Krejci should be himself as a leader, and not try to change the way he goes about things. Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron and Chris Kelly will all be wearing captain’s letters as well, and there are a number of leaders within the Boston dressing room even beyond that group.

“When they first told me I was feeling a little bit of everything: responsibility, pressure, pride. But with time I kind of realized I need to stay being myself, and not trying to be something that I’m not,” said Krejci. “We have great leaders on our team. It doesn’t matter who has the ‘A’ or not.

“I’m going to try to lead by example. I’m not going to be standing in front of the guys trying to do some emotional speeches, you know? I’ll just do my thing and help as much as I can. If young guys have any questions I’ll be more than willing to help.”

Clearly some of the choice for Krejci as the alternate captain stemmed from his overwhelmingly clutch performances in the postseason, where he’s racked up 29 goals and 73 points in 81 playoff games along with a plus-31. Some of his closest friends and teammates laughed when told that Krejci said he wouldn’t start authoring rah-rah pregame speeches.

“It would be weird to hear him come up with the Al Pacino from “Any Given Sunday” kind of speech,” said Milan Lucic, who was also under consideration for the ‘A’ as well. “But I’m thrilled for him. He’s been here as long as I have, and he knows how it works here.

“I think he leads with how he plays on the ice, and [it’s good] given how well he plays in big games and how well he’s done in the playoffs," Lucic said. "Everybody leads in their own way, and just because I don’t have a letter doesn’t mean I’m going to stop trying to help lead in my way. I think this is the fifth year that we’ve been linemates, and we’ve had some great experiences together. This is all part of growing up and maturing [in the NHL].”

Besides, it sounds like the fiery, emotional pregame speeches might be something more in Lucic’s wheelhouse after studying the film on Pacino’s speech about a few inches “being the difference between winning and losing.”