BOSTON — David Krejci is being careful not to assume anything, but he is staying positive.
The forward — who spent the first three games of the 2014-15 season on injured reserve with an undisclosed injury sustained during the preseason finale on Oct. 4 against Detroit — has been skating with his teammates for two days now and is hopeful that he will be in the lineup for Monday’s Columbus Day matinee versus Colorado.
“Every day [is] better,” said Krejci, speaking to the media on Sunday for the first time since sustaining his injury. “Today was a pretty good day, so hopefully [I’ll] wake up tomorrow and feel good enough to play. But we got to wait till tomorrow.”
Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien said Krejci still needs to be cleared, but he, too, is hopeful that he’ll have his top-line pivot back on Monday.
“I think it’s looking good,” Julien said.
Though the Bruins have started off the season 1-2 and are coming off a 4-0 loss to Washington that the leadership group deemed unacceptable, Julien cautioned against the line of thought that Krejci’s return will put an end to all of the team’s struggles.
As many of the Bruins reiterated after Saturday’s loss, they just have to show up, work hard and achieve results, whether they’ve played one game or 100 games with their linemates.
"I think there's players that no matter what, they have to look at their own game and they got to be better as individuals," Julien said. "Let’s not look at it like, ‘Now I’m playing with this guy, I’m going to be better.’ Everybody has to be a little bit better. If everyone worries about doing their job right, then we have a better team already.”
Still, with center Gregory Campbell also missing the first three games of the season with a core injury, the Black & Gold are eager to get at least one of their veteran leaders back in the mix. And as hard as it has been for his teammates to play without him, it has been equally hard for Krejci to watch the games from high up on press level.
“It’s tough to watch — not only if the team’s losing,” Krejci said. “Even if they’re winning, you’re a hockey player. You want to be on the ice with the guys no matter if you’re winning or losing. You want to be there going through whatever they’re going through. So it’s been tough, but hopefully I’ll be back tomorrow. But we’ll see how it feels tomorrow.”
Krejci declined to offer any specifics when asked what exactly has gone wrong for his teammates through the first three games of the 2014-15 season.
“That’s really easy to say when you watch from up there,” he quipped. “It’s a totally different game when you’re on the ice. There’s not much room. I don’t know; it’s tough to say. I don’t want to be a guy talking when I’m not playing. I don’t like when people do that about me, so I don’t want to do it about my teammates.”
On Sunday morning, the Bruins recalled Providence forward Seth Griffith and assigned forward Craig Cunningham. Griffith — who most recently impressed the Bruins with his performance in Bridgeport, Conn. against the Islanders on Oct. 3 — skated on a line with Krejci and Milan Lucic during Sunday’s practice.
Krejci was impressed with what he saw from the youngster.
“He’s a good player — got a good shot, good speed, and he got some power play time as well,” Krejci said. “I thought he looked pretty good. I thought he looked good to go, and hopefully [he'll] have a good game tomorrow.”
Though it is not certain whether Krejci or Griffith will suit up in the Spoked-B on Monday when Jarome Iginla and the Avs roll into town, both are ready to respond if given the opportunity.
Things haven’t been easy thus far for the Bruins, but just like the rest of his teammates, Krejci is focused on staying positive.
“Every day has been better, so I know it’s going to be better tomorrow again,” he said. “I’ll be good to go. I’m positive. So just everybody’s got to stay positive that I’ll be on the ice tomorrow.”