Krejci set to sqaure off with childhood idol Jagr

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Krejci set to sqaure off with childhood idol Jagr

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com 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 jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Julien wonders whether Bruins shutout loss was fatigue-related

Julien wonders whether Bruins shutout loss was fatigue-related

BOSTON – The Bruins didn’t show anything on the ice in Monday afternoon’s 4-0 matinee loss, and that’s not really any kind of an overstatement.

The scoring chances were almost nonexistent despite 32 shots on net, the second period was dreadful as the Bruins gave up three goals over the course of a six minute span and there was zero added urgency in the third period once the B’s fell behind. The emotion was missing from the drop of the puck to open the game and it never showed up once the Islanders began taking control of the game.

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It was a bitterly disappointing result after the Black and Gold had played so well in their previous five games, and put in strong, winning efforts against the Panthers, Blues and Flyers.

On Monday afternoon, the passes were sloppy and errant all over the ice, there was zero physicality and the Bruins buckled once the Isles turned the intensity up just a little bit in the second period. The game was basically over once Nikolay Kulemin snapped one home wide open from the slot area with Torey Krug, Adam McQuaid and David Krejci all blowing their defensive assignments, and then Tuukka Rask followed it up by allowing a softie to Josh Bailey from a bad angle close to net.  

So Bruins head coach Claude Julien termed it a “flat” performance once it was all over with, and openly wondered whether it was fatigue-related result linked to the compacted schedule Boston has played through this season. Monday marked the seventh straight day that the Bruins held some kind of formal skate, though most of the veteran B's players stayed off the ice during last week's Wednesday off-day practice in Nashville.   

“We were flat tonight, obviously, flat from the get-go. I think that first half of the game, we didn’t give much until they scored that first goal. We were able to stay in, but we certainly weren’t generating much ourselves, from that point of view,” said Claude Julien. “His is really the first year, for me as well, going through a condensed schedule, and I’m certainly not using that as an excuse, is it fatigue?. . . But we were flat tonight. How do you explain it? I don’t know. I know that it’s frustrating. I know that it’s disappointing. That’s all I can say.

“Whether it’s mental fatigue, whatever it is. We made some mistakes tonight like, from the goals you look at, we weren’t even in the position that we’re normally in. So we were totally out of whack, as far as even defending. When you give that first goal that much room in the middle of the ice, your D’s go on the wrong side, your weak-side forward is way on the other side, and you open up the slot area, that’s something I haven’t seen much of this year. I think it said a lot from our game tonight.”

The compacted schedule certainly could be a factor for a Bruins team that’s played more games than anybody else in the Eastern Conference to this point, but the B’s also had 48 hours to recharge after winning a Saturday matinee over the Flyers. So the fatigue excuse seems a little far-fetched for a hockey club that’s no-showed a few too many times this season, and did it again on Monday afternoon against one of the worst teams in the NHL.