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Krejci Happy to be (Near) Home

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
Prague, Czech Republic -- David Krejci is home.

Or maybe make it that David's as close to home as the Boston-based Stermberk, Czech Republic native will get for quite a while.

Krejci played for the Czech Republic during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games held in Vancouver.
No worries though. Krejci's getting plenty of attention and  it seems as if the entire country has been on hand to welcome Krejci and the Boston Bruins to Prague.

"[Hockey is] really big here, but it was more than I expected," said David of his warm reception after Monday's practice Prague's Tesla Arena. "In the NHL, there’s not many Czech guys playing anymore and people treat them very well here, so it was pretty good to see.

"Last night we came from Belfast and this morning, all the media and the people around [are] really excited."

Krejci, a proud Czech,  played for his country's Olympic team in this year's Winter Games in Vancouver and explained to the press why it was so special to him to be able to represent his country on the game's highest international stage.

"You know hockey is the number one sport," said Krejci, who added that just putting on the red, white and blue jersey was special..

"We had so much support from the country and from the people here, even though the games were at night or early in the morning," added the center. "It was pretty cool

"And you can see it here [now]. The NHL is, for us, is the best league in the world, and that’s how they've treated us here so far."

Bruins head coach Claude Julien talked about Krejci's rise from Providence to the cusp of elite status in the NHL and said that David's confidence has driven the gains in his game.

"In his first few years...he wasn’t consistent with his game. He was very inconsistent," said Julien. "Some nights, he could show us that he’s very good [and able] to play at this level...[and] other nights, you didn’t see him much.

"You had to work on that part of his game, and I think he went back there [to the AHL] and...readjusted himself and has done a good job since.

"He’s a great player when he’s on his game, and we’ve just got to make sure that we keep him to be as good a player as he can be," added Julien of Krejci, who was injured during last season's playoffs and needed surgery.

"Right now, he’s trying to find his game a little bit," said the B's bench boss. I don’t think he’s at the top of it, but he’s got a week here to make it happen."

As such, Krejci admitted that it was nice to be on home turf for even a little while. And perhaps with an eye to a power boost, Krejci took some teammates out to dinner.

"Yeah, I took a couple of guys last night to get the Czech special dish, which is goulash," he said with a smile. "It’s not very healthy food, but, you know, we had to try it.

"Last night was Sunday, and it was a good day to try some heavy Czech food."
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