Krejci left during the second period of Friday's game against the Blues, after a hit on Alexander Steen at the blueline, and did not return.
"He’s still with us. Obviously, he’s not going to play [Sunday against Chicago]," Head Coach Claude Julien said after Saturday's skate. "We won’t have an update as far as the severity of his injury until we get back home and see our doctors."
The center's injury is something that could be treated by the trainers on the road.
"So he’s staying with us and will come back with us [Sunday]," said Julien, who confirmed that the injury is "totally different" that the one that Krejci dealt with to start the season.
"Obviously it's a big loss when you lose a player of his caliber," said linemate Milan Lucic. "He's been an important player for us for the last number of years, so I mean, he's definitely one of those guys that are hard to replace."
"But at the end of the day, you still have a job to do, and you still have to do it well. Just because one guy's out of the lineup can't change the whole focus of the team or the psyche of the team or the psyche of one player, as a linemate. So, sometimes, that just means you have to find new chemistry with guys and work a little bit harder to find that and hope that it comes."
"But I think as a team game, we're competing hard and we're making strides in the right direction, even though the score isn't showing that," Lucic continued. "I think once we find confidence in those areas, that we'll start getting the results that we want, then we'll ultimately start putting wins together and things will start feeling good again in this dressing room."
The injury obviously comes at an inopportune time for the Bruins, who have dropped the first four games on their road trip and six straight overall.
While it's difficult to sort through the struggles and the end results, they've seen enough encouraging signs in terms of scoring chances and compete level to hope that their game will turn around soon.
"Well, you talk about adversity — we keep getting more and more, and there’s nothing you can do except persevere and stay positive and push through and find ways to win hockey games," said Julen. "I didn’t mind the effort [Friday] night; when you give a team like St. Louis 15 shots and then have a lot, and you have scoring chances, the thing that’s really disappointing is the outcome, and the fact that they scored five goals."
"But we should be able to score more than one, so obviously [in practice], we worked on some stuff here that we hope the execution will give us a few more goals, here. So like I said, you’ve got to fight through these situations, and every year you go through them — some worse than others, which is this year — but you don’t change the outlook of how you’re going to get out of it."
"It's a really high stress point and it's easy to get down and frustrated and it's hard to keep things loose and keep things light and keep things confident in the room and in your game," said Lucic. "But as individuals, we have to have each other's backs and keep staying the course and moving things in the right direction. If we keep competing hard and stick to the game plan, ultimately we'll start getting the results that we want."
It's been hard for the Bruins to fight through their frustration and build any confidence in their game.
Despite the losing streak, they did still sit in the second Wild Card playoff spot heading into Saturday night's action, with the Florida Panthers just one point back. The situation is unusual for this group of Bruins to be experiencing this late in the season.
"Everyone's acting like it's the end of the world. We're still in a playoff spot and we've still got a really good team in here," said Brad Marchand. "I don't think anyone's worried in here…We know that we have a really good group in here and we're confident with what we have."
The Bruins' woes this season haven't been just confined to the road, but when a five-game, 11-day road trip presents an opportunity for the group to get closer and pick up points along the way, to come out on the losend end every night makes for a extra long week of travel.
"It’s not that we’re not good road warriors; we’re just a struggling team right now, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s been home or away," said Julien. "I think we could definitely be better. You lose a guy like Krejci — again, your team on the roster takes a step back, but now, our job is to make sure that our game doesn’t take a step back."
"If we can give it a little bit of that same commitment we did [against St. Louis] and more, and find ways to score goals and just kind of turn that tide around, it’ll make a big difference. So we don’t have a choice, here. We’ve got to keep working through it."
"And I’m going to tell you the same thing I’m going to keep telling you, no matter what happens, here," Julien continued. "There’s a lot of guys in there that are good players, good warriors, and guys you rely on to turn things around, so I’m going to stick with that, and I have a lot of confidence that this team will turn it around, and we’ve got a challenge, here, playoff-wise. But the confidence is still there that this group can do it."
Spooner on His Way
While at the time of Julien's media availability, transactions hadn't officially been announced by the team, the bench boss alluded to Ryan Spooner joining the team for Sunday's game against the Blackhawks.
"He’s been playing well," said Julien. "We know he’s a good skater. We know they started him on the wing this year to see if we could make a wing out of him because we’re so deep at center. They put him back at center after a while; he’s gotten better, obviously. I think he was injured there for a little bit, and he came back and the last couple of weeks — I think what you said, too, he’s been really good."
"So we’ll give him an opportunity [on Sunday] to come in here and play against a team that’s a good skating team. Hopefully it’s a good fit for him."
Spooner will likely slot into Krejci's spot, centering Lucic and David Pastrnak.
Ferlin Solid in Debut
Brian Ferlin is expected to be back in the lineup after making his NHL debut in St. Louis. In his first year pro, Ferlin was a bright spot in the game. His improvements battling along the boards were immediately noticeable. He won battles, he lifted sticks and caused turnovers, and the 6-foot-2, big body looked like he fit in.
Julien liked the right winger's game.
"He was a big body, he was strong along the walls. I saw him pick up the puck behind the net, skate through a couple of checks there and make a great pass there to [Torey] Krug," said Julien. "He seemed to gain confidence as the game went on, so probably a good chance we’ll see him even better [on Sunday], with one game under his belt."
Subban Returning to Providence
Malcolm Subban was not on the ice for Saturday's skate, and similar to the Spooner recall, the news hadn't officially been announced yet, but Julien mentioned what he told the netminder before he was sent back to Providence.
"When you look back, and you see his first exhibition game, he got totally blown out, and I don’t think it affected his season last year," said Julien. "Those are things that for goaltenders, it just makes you stronger. [In St. Louis], he faced six shots, and two of the goals, at least, glove-side — I’d say 99 percent of the time, he would have normally had those."
"He was nervous. He would have been nervous in any game we would have put him in, so, first NHL game, and some guys get a little luckier. They get the bounces going their way. He didn’t. So the message was not to hang his head, obviously. He’s a good goaltender, we still have lots of confidence in him, he’s doing a tremendous job in Providence, so he’s just got to get over that hump here and push that aside."
"Like he said, and like I said to him, what doesn’t kill you is only going to make you stronger. Goaltenders have to be strong mentally, and that was probably a great challenge for him to get stronger mentally and say, ‘You know what? Park that game aside. Let’s go back to what I’ve been doing well, and I’ll be fine.’"
Miller to Undergo Season-Ending Surgery
On Saturday, General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced that defenseman Kevan Miller sustained a right shoulder dislocation during Monday's game in Calgary.
It was known earlier in the week that Miller re-injured the shoulder and had returned to Boston, but the severity wasn't known at the time.
The news that came is a tough blow to the Bruins' back end: Miller is set to undergo season-ending surgery.
Miller first injured the shoulder on Oct. 18 in Buffalo. In his first full-time NHL season, the defenseman suited up in 41 games, recording two goals and fives assist for seven points and a plus-20 rating, with 53 penalty minutes.
Practice Lineup Feb. 21
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Reilly Smith
Milan Lucic - Chris Kelly - David Pastrnak
Daniel Paille - Carl Soderberg - Loui Eriksson
Jordan Caron - Gregory Campbell - Craig Cunningham - Brian Ferlin
Zdeno Chara - Dougie Hamilton
Matt Bartkowski - Dennis Seidenberg
Torey Krug - Adam McQuaid
Goalies: Tuukka Rask, Niklas Svedberg