- When the Bruins hit the ice Thursday morning for pregame skate at Scotiabank Place before facing the Senators tonight, there was a welcomed addition to the group: David Krejci
The center skated for the first time since leaving late in the third period during Sunday’s game in Pittsburgh after getting hit by a puck in front of the goal, and will be a "game-time decision" tonight, per Coach Julien.
"He skated this morning and we'll see how he feels after warm-ups," Coach Julien told the press.
"If he feels good he's going to go, so we'll make that game-time decision."
Following this morning’s skate, Krejci spoked to media in the locker room and said that he “felt good” out on the ice and that “we’ll decide, me and coach, we’re going to decide tonight if I’ll play tonight or not.”
Previously out day-to-day, it's nice to see the centerman back out on the ice and smiling with his teammates as he participates in drills, even if does not end up int he lineup tonight.
Krejci had been biking and getting treatments, and was able to get in a workout yesterday (none of the B’s skated Wednesday, as they the day off in Ottawa, after playing four games in six days), but this morning marked the first time he had hit the ice.
“The first two days felt awful,” Krejci said about first sustaining the injury. “Then yesterday, I woke up and it was so much better. Today was better again. So, it’s a game-time decision, we’ll see.”
The first line rushes of the morning saw Krejci centering Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton - another great sign - after Ryan Spooner had been given the opportunity to assume that role Tuesday night in Winnipeg, with Krejci out day-to-day at the time. (Read the full lineup update from pregame skate on the Bruins Blog by clicking here.)
Though Krejci played most of Tuesday night's game before being attended to on the ice and heading to the room late in the third period, the center commented on the B's ability to collectively step up when injuries arise, as we've seen in the absence of Chris Kelly (out indefinitely with broken left tibia) and now Adam McQuaid (out possibly 3-4 weeks with shoulder strain).
"I think we've been through it. Sometimes in the past when other guys are hurt, guys stepped up and played well," said Krejci. "Obviously we've got Kells and Quaider out."
"We shouldn't wait, we have to start playing a great 60 minutes, not just 55," he added, talking generally about the team's play, since it's still unknown whether he'll be in the lineup tonight.
"The playoffs are coming, it's going to be here before we know it. We need to turn the switch on right now at the end of the season, that's how we have to play. It starts tonight."
If Krejci does not suit up tonight, it's likely that rookie Ryan Spooner - and Ottawa native - could get the call again, as he did for Tuesday night in Winnipeg.
"Looked good, fine. Again, it was his second game, probably a little less nervous," said Coach, on Spooner's performance vs the Jets. "He was flanked by a couple big wingers there, so lots of confidence to go out there and play his game. I thought he skate well and he did a good job. I was happy with his game."
Working through injuries is just another part of the game. It's something the Bruins had been fortunate to avoid early in the season, but will now be pulling together to overcome as they also look to avoid their first three-game losing streak of the season.
"Got to win. Simple as that, we've got to get back to our game, we haven't been playing our best hockey," said Coach Julien, on his expectations for tonight.
"That's why we've lost these last two games. There's ups and downs during the season. You've got to work your way through it."