"Awesome" was the word David Krejci
mustered when describing his Olympic debut last night.
His Czech Republic squad enjoyed a 3-1 win over Slovakia, a team captained by Bruins leader Zdeno Chara
. The Slovakians were short Bruin Miroslav Satan due to a hand injury he suffered Feb. 11.
"It's just an unbelievable experience and I'm very proud and very happy to be here and play with these great players like [Jaromir] Jagr and [Patrik] Elias and these guys," Krejci said. "I'm very glad that I'm here."
Krejci was even happy to take a hard hit from the towering Chara, simply saying that it happens when you do everything you can to maintain control.
"I was just trying to protect the puck, I didn't care if I got run over," Krejci said. "It's just the things you do for the team. He got me from behind and it's okay, I get up and get back into the play."
Krejci later admitted that he accidentally tripped Chara, and the Bruins captain let it go without penalty.
Krejci saw both power play and penalty killing playing time last night, an unusual double role, but one that seemed to suit him.
"The first period I was a little nervous and tried to keep it simple and then second period I played PK and some power play time so I got a little confidence and I felt pretty good actually," the 23-year-old said. "We had the lead, so we played with the lead."
Krejci credits his smooth Olympic transition to the Czech's similar playing style that he's used to in Boston. He said Czech Republic head coach and former Bruin Vladimir Ruzicka likes to keep it simple and let his players do what they do best—just play.
"I like the way he wants me to play," Krejci said. "I'm playing kind of the way I play in Boston, with breakouts and stuff like that.
"I don't have to think about something else, just play basically the same way, which is much easier."
As his team prepares to faceoff against Latvia on Friday, Krejci is confident they'll find similar success. More than anything though, he's just trying to enjoy his experience.
"Hopefully we'll get ready and come out strong like we did today," he said. "I'm trying to enjoy every moment and hopefully I'll keep winning these hockey games."