Growing up, Czech center David Krejci
hung posters of Jaromir Jagr
on his walls.
"Tons of them," the Bruins center said. "But they're all gone now. He's my enemy now, you know."
For the first time in three seasons, Jagr will be an enemy of Krejci and all the Bruins. The future Hall of Fame forward will be in the Philadelphia Flyers
' lineup tonight as he plays his first NHL game since leaving to play in Russia after the 2007-08 season.
Jagr said he's not any more or less excited for this game than any other. But he knows his team will have its hands full with Krejci.
"Of course, he's supposed to be our top from the Czech Republic," said Jagr, who was Krejci's Olympic teammate in 2010. "There's no question about it. And he proved it in the playoffs last year. They won the Stanley Cup and now it's going to be a huge challenge not only for me, but for the whole team."
Krejci joked that when he was a kid and Jagr already was in the NHL, he never thought he someday would be on the same ice with his idol, who's now 39. When he was an NHL rookie, Krejci got his first on-ice dose of Jagr and he's prepared for more of the same things from the star forward.
"He's a big body, right? Once he gets going, it's tough to stop him," said Krejci. "He proved it in Russia that he could still play hockey, and he also proved it in the preseason games. So we know he's here to play hockey, he's ready to go. He wants to prove so many people wrong. I'm sure he's ready to go. He's a great player, but he's going to have a tough night tonight."