Posted on 5 October, 2010

Krejci Happy to be (Near) Home

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.

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."

Morning Skate is in O2 Arena.

Morning Skate is in O2 Arena.

Julien: B's Need to Focus on the Ice

Following their first practice in the Czech Republic, Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien set the tone for the Prague portion of the Black & Gold’s European Tour.

Asked about the reception for Zdeno Chara and David Krejci, Julien said, “I don’t think we want to make too much of that.

"We might want to make a lot of the reason that we’re here — and that’s hockey.

"We got here yesterday with a day off, and it was nice to walk around the city. It’s a beautiful city here in Prague and I think I’ve been here in 1997 and, you know, in just 13 years it’s changed so much, and it’s getting better all the time, so I really like that.

"But I think getting here this morning and getting back on the ice is the best thing for us," added Julien. "We feel like we need to get ourselves ready for the regular season and we’ve got this week to take it seriously."

Bruins morning skate in O2 Arena.

Bruins morning skate in O2 Arena.

Tim Thomas was the first goalie off the ice after practice. He’ll be in goal for tonight’s exhibition game.
Coach Julien said McGrattan and Bartkowski will be tonight’s scratches.

70 plays

Listen in to Coach Julien’s pregame press conference.^BISH

Morning Reading 10/5

  1. Success on Krejci’s menu (K. Dupont, Boston Globe)
  2. Bruins expect preseason finale with real flare (S. Harris, Boston Herald)
  3. Top draft picks close in on opening-day NHL roster spots (K. Allen, USA Today)

Around the League 10/5

  • NHL, NHL Officials’ Assoc. reach tentative 4-year deal
    The National Hockey League and the NHL Officials’ Association reached tentative agreement Monday on a new four-year Collective Bargaining Agreement. The tentative Agreement is subject to ratification by the membership of the NHL Officials’ Association as well as the League’s Board of Governors.
  • Decision time is near for cap-strapped New Jersey Devils
    D-day has arrived for the New Jersey Devils—or , more accurately, cut-down day. The time has come to pay the piper for the $100 million signing of Ilya Kovalchuk and give some veterans on the roster bubble a little peace of mind. “As much as everybody’s been professional about it and staying pretty focused and picking each other up, it’s been difficult,” team captain Jamie Langenbrunner, a potential cap casualty, told the New York Post. “It’s better if it’s over with, I think.”
  • Hodgemail: Do you like shootouts more or less now?
    Since the 2005-06 season, the NHL has adopted the shootout to settle ties in regular season games. And since its inception, the debate has continued - is it the way to decide a hockey game? The traditionalist will tell you it’s nothing more than a gimmick to sell the game, while for many fans it’s the most exciting moment in hockey.

Thomas: Making Strides

Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas is slated to get tonight’s exhibition start against Liberec.

Thomas, who is recovering from off season hip surgery, looks to have turned a page and instead of the familiar Black & Gold gear he has worn since beginning with the B’s, Tim is sporting all white equipment accented with various designs that look like bear scratch marks.

"Yeah, you now, I’ve been told for years that white makes you look bigger," said Thomas. "So my equipment, a lot of it is mostly white now, and hopefully I look bigger than ever."

The B’s players are getting on the bus for the one and a half hour ride to Liberec.

Chara Remains Focused

It was a focused Zdeno Chara who met the media in front of his locker stall at O2 Arena in Prague.

The always-intense Chara spoke briefly about being closer to his family’s home in Slovakia.

"It’s been good," he said, quietly. "I haven’t seen my parents yet, but I had a chance to meet with a few friends and it’s always nice to see them even though it hasn’t been that long since the summer.

"It’s (good) to be in kind of a ‘home’ kind of environment."

Chara softened a little when asked about the city of Prague and the things he likes the most about about the NHL Premier’s host city.

"Oh everything," said Chara of the pedestrian friendly metropolis. "You can walk around anywhere and It’s really easy to get to different sight seeing (spots).

"And, obviously, the food is pretty good."

But it was obvious that Chara’s thoughts lay elsewhere, the rink in Liberec…

The Bruins have arrived in Liberec. Zdeno Chara remains a star attraction for the press.^BISH

The Bruins have arrived in Liberec. Zdeno Chara remains a star attraction for the press.^BISH

Belfast Giants Selects Prepare for B’s

The best of the United Kingdom’s professional ice hockey Elite League, under the name of the Belfast Giants Selects, is finally assembled after a collaborative effort from coaches Paul Thompson, Gerad Adams, and Doug Christiansen from Coventry Blaze and GB National Team, Cardiff Devils, and Belfast Giants, respectively.
The Belfast Giants released their final lineup for the Elite League All-Stars today, according to The All-Stars will take on the Boston Bruins on October 2 in the Odyssey Arena in Belfast, Ireland.
“I always had the plan to bring together the coaches from the top teams in the Elite League last season to assemble the best team possible to take on the Bruins, said Belfast Giants GM Todd Kelman.  “Paul Thompson has proven to be the most successful coach since the Elite League began, our own Doug Christiansen was nominated for Coach of the Year last season and Gerad Adams has consistently been able to find ways to win in big games over the years”

Read more here