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Bruins Den: Krejci ‘Gametime Decision’ For Season Opener

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Boston Bruins center David Krejci (lower-body) will be a gametime decision for the season opener at Dallas Thursday night. For the first time since getting injured early in the Bruins’ fourth and his first preseason game on September 23, Krejci went through a full practice with his teammates with contact. While Krejci seemed to be fine on the ice, it still was his first live action in nine days and neither he nor the team was willing to say he would definitely be in the lineup Thursday night against the Stars.

“He’s a gametime decision because he’s only gotten through one team practice, so we’ll probably have a better idea after the skate tomorrow,” head coach Bruce Cassidy said before he and the Bruins headed southwest to Dallas.

Krejci concurred with his coach.

“Need another day…I felt better today than yesterday, but tomorrow we’ll decide if I play or not. But for sure, even better today than yesterday,” the team’s second line center said.

With Krejci’s status still not certain, the playing status of forwards Brett Ritchie and Par Lindholm also remained uncertain. Cassidy was asked if Ritchie would be in or out and couldn’t give that answer just yet.

“No, because some of that depends on ‘Krech’ right, so if he’s not in, there’s no sense in telling anyone he’s out until we know if [Krejci] is good to go,” Cassidy said. “We got a decision to make because ‘Nordy’ [Nordstrom] is a penalty killer, so that’s where Lindholm has an advantage. Then, of course, we’re going into Dallas with Ritchie, so tough call. If it ends up going, either way, we’re good with those players.”

Cassidy Excited To Coach And Watch Some Hockey

Cassidy has made it clear to the media since being hired as Bruins head coach back in February 2017 that he is not just a coach and former player, but a huge fan of the game of hockey as well. With the NHL kicking off the 2019-20 season Wednesday night, Cassidy was already planning on watching as much of the four-game season-opening slate when he and the Bruins touch down in Dallas Wednesday night.

“I love this time of year,” Cassidy said. “I’m sure I’ll be watching more of the Vegas-San Jose game tonight. Depending on what time we get in, we’ll see Washington-St. Louis, I don’t know if we’ll see Toronto-Ottawa, may have to go somewhere, so I’m not doing that, I’ll tell you right now. I’ll settle for whatever is on the channel. You’re always excited!

There’s always a couple of surprises and a couple of disappointments. We just don’t know. We do know we don’t want to be one of the disappointments, we don’t expect to be but it’s always interesting to see which players have grown their game. Or any of these new rule changes and how they’ll affect the game, if at all. The coach’s challenge, I’ll be keeping an eye on that because it’s a little different this year and more punitive if you miss. So those are all the things you’re kind of watching early on and then just sit back and enjoy it.”

Cassidy was then asked if he would watch the Blues-Capitals game given the Blues defeated his team in the 2019 Stanley Cup Final last June?

“Not because of us losing at the end last year, just curious,” Cassidy said. “Two big teams, see how Washington handles things. So [St. Louis] is not fresh in your minds but they’re the last team you played seven teams, so you kind of think, ‘what could we have done differently? What did we do differently? Is Washington sort of able to do it?’

So yes, that’s the part that I would watch, in the O-zone and how they’re able to penetrate that big D and get inside. Is it just physical strength or do they have a strategy? That’s one thing I’d definitely keep an eye on.”

Will it be hard for Cassidy to stomach the Blues raising their Cup banner prior to the game Wednesday?

“No, no,” Cassidy said about the pre-game banner raising. “They’re gonna raise theirs. …ya know, good for them. They get to do all that. To the victor goes the spoils right? But that part of it, it wouldn’t bother me. Like I’ve said, we’re moving on. We had our heartbreak with the Cup in the building and not being able to raise it, that’s the ultimate.”

Projected Bruins Lineup (With and without Krejci)

With Krejci:

Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak

DeBrusk – Krejci – Kuhlman

Heinen – Coyle – Backes

Wagner – Kuraly – Ritchie

Chara – McAvoy

Krug – Carlo

Grzelcyk – Clifton

Rask

Halak

Without Krejci:

Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak

DeBrusk – Coyle – Kuhlman

Heinen – Lindholm – Backes

Wagner – Kuraly – Ritchie

Chara – McAvoy

Krug – Carlo

Grzelcyk – Clifton

Rask

alak

 

 

 

With over 18 years of experience (SiriusXM NHL Network Radio, ESPNBoston, NESN, NHL.com, etc.) covering the Bruins, the NHL, NCAA and junior hockey and more, Jimmy Murphy’s hockey black book is full of Hall of Famers, current players, coaches, management, scouts and a wide array of hockey media personalities that have lived in and around this great game. For 15 of his 18 years as a hockey and sports reporter, Murph covered the Bruins on essentially a daily basis covering their victorious 2011 Stanley Cup run and their 2013 run to the Final as well. Murphy has hosted national and local radio shows and podcasts and also has experience in TV as well.

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