WILMINGTON, Mass. --
This morning after practice at the Bruins training center at Ristuccia Memorial Arena, David Krejci
sat in his locker room stall and quietly packed his hockey bag for the Black & Gold's short road trip to Washington, DC.
|Krejci. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson) |
As Krejci peeled off his equipment and cleaned and dried off his skates, the forward talked about the B's first three games of the year. A slight smile crawled across the 24-year-old Czech Republic native's face as he reviewed the B's first three games of the season and his own work toward a rebound from offseason arm surgery.
"I feel pretty comfortable and in good shape," whispered the suddenly serious Krejci as if he were trying to tiptoe around whatever bad luck put him out of the Bruins lineup during last May's playoff series against the Philadelphia Flyers.
"You know, I can skate," he continued. "I can shoot and do what I want to do now."
Beyond the hard work that Krejci put into his rehabilitation after the surgery, part of the freedom David described comes from his proximity to Milan Lucic
and Nathan Horton
. The two power forwards give the Czech Olympian a little bit more room to work with in the early stages of the 2010-11 season.
"My line mates have been helping me a lot to get open," said Krejci, who's whisper got louder as he talked about the possibilities that come with having Lucic and Horton on his wings.
"I think that’s a good thing," said David. "But I think we had so many more chances and can [score] more goals, you know?
"Sometimes the season is long and you hit some walls sometimes...[but] hopefully it won’t happen to us, but you never know.
"I believe one thing: if we’re given these chances you don’t want to be thinking 20 games from now,'Man, I should have [taken advantage of those] chances 20 games ago.' And stuff like that.
"We’ve really got to put our heads to it and make sure that for every good scoring chance we’ve got to get something good out of it."
Krejci hasn't yet scored a goal, but with four assists, he's clearly helped Horton (3 goals) and Lucic (2). Moreover, the Krejci line has accounted for 12 points in just three games.
But it might be that last stat -- three games played -- that is most amazing to Krejci, who said that it seemed impossible that the club has only participated in a trio of contests.
After 40-plus days together (including captain's practice and training camp) David feels that a good connection has developed between the players in the B's dressing room.
"You know...we spent lots of time together as a team and that’s when you do that it kind of seems that, you know, it’s been long already," said Krejci, who qualified his remarks.
"I’m not complaining -- I’m happy," explained the centerman. "I think we had a great time in Vermont and in Europe.
"So, yes, I think it’s a positive when it’s the beginning of the season...[and] it doesn’t seem like a game number four tomorrow. It seems like game, I don’t know, 20 or 30."
That said, Krejci's attention is already on Game 4 and the multi-faceted attack of the Washington Capitals.
"Well, you’ve got to play good defense and go from there," explained Krejci. "I think it’s going to be our toughest game so far this year and it’s going to be a challenge.
"But like I said, it’s got to start with our team defense and if we do that we can have some good breaks and some good rushes and hopefully we’ll get some goals like that."
Goals are definitely on Krejci's mind, and as he revisited the play of his new line, he sounded psyched to hit the ice on Tuesday.
"I’m having fun," said Krejci. "It’s been good. I think we've played well [as a line].
"We've had so many scoring chances, but I would like to see our line...get a few more goals than that,
"But, you know, I can’t complain so far," he said.