BOSTON -- David Krejci is healthy at the start of training camp, and that's good news for the Boston Bruins.
"I felt good," the center said after the first day of on-ice practice at training camp Friday. "This game's getting faster, so I'm just going to keep it light and keep [my] feet moving on the ice and the rest will pick up itself."
At this time last year, Krejci, 31, was attempting to return from offseason hip surgery. Although he played in all 82 games, he said he didn't feel 100 percent until January. It showed in his production: He had 54 points (23 goals, 31 assists), nine fewer than he had in 72 games in 2015-16.
In the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Krejci wasn't able to make it through the warmup before Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Ottawa Senators and missed the first two games of the series.
"I just couldn't move my body," Krejci said, revealing the nature of his injury for the first time to NHL.com. "It just kind of ... I don't know what it was, what happened. My back and all the way down ... it was the first time. I just woke up a little weird but still went to practice and I just couldn't move."
Krejci said the pain was originating from his back and affecting his legs. Doctors conducted tests and gave him medication, and he was able to play Games 3 and 4. Krejci left Game 5 after a collision with Senators defenseman Chris Wideman. The injury to his MCL, which Krejci revealed Friday, sidelined him for the rest of the series. He said he wouldn't have been able to play had the Bruins advanced.
"It was frustrating because you play all 82 games and you have to miss [the playoffs]," he said. "And then you come back and two games later it happens again, it was tough."
Video: FLA@BOS: Krejci takes advantage of a turnover
After recovering from the injury, Krejci said he had a normal summer and is looking for a strong start this season. He's healthy, and likely linemate, right wing David Pastrnak, signed a six-year contract Thursday and will report to camp Saturday. Pastrnak was second on the Bruins in goals (34) and points (70) last season (Brad Marchand 39 goals, 85 points).
"I was obviously happy, happy for him," Krejci said of Pastrnak. "He's a great player, he's going to make our team better, he's going to make our lineup deeper. And he's a great friend as well. I haven't seen him much this summer, so I miss him and I'm happy he'll be back soon."
Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said he intends to pair Krejci and Pastrnak, who are each from the Czech Republic.
"Well they speak the same language on the ice, both in the style of play and being able to communicate," Cassidy said. "I think [Krecji] likes having guys with speed to open up ice for them so he can draw opposition players to him and dish the puck. And [Pastrnak has] become a really high-end shooter. His shot has really grown over the years, and David Krejci's always exceled with getting pucks to those type of players. And they like to score, they think offense, and guys like that like to play together."
Among Bruins forwards, Pastrnak might be the one Krejci feels most comfortable with.
"We just kind of feed off each other," Krejci said. "We think the game alike and we can kind of read off each other, sometimes with even blind passes, we kind of know where each other goes. It's from watching each other as well. It's really easy to play with him."