BRIGHTON, MA – Any questions about David Krejci’s availability to start the postseason have apparently been answered by the Boston Bruins.
B’s head coach Jim Montgomery pronounced the 36-year-old playmaking center ready to play in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs despite missing the last five games of the regular season with a lower body injury suffered in Pittsburgh at the beginning of April. Krejci has resumed skating on his own in the last couple of days and had a good day on Tuesday when he turned a corner and should be ready to play after allowing some time for things to heal over the last week.
“He’s a playoff only guy, that’s what he told me,” said a smiling Montgomery, while revealing that No. 46 won’t be going on the one-game trip to Montreal. “He’ll be ready [for Game 1].”
That’s great news on a player that has been vital as the No. 2 center for the Bruins this season with 16 goals and 56 points in 70 games and is a proven big-time performer in the Stanley Cup playoffs, who has led the B’s in playoff scoring in two of their three trips to the Stanley Cup Final during his time playing in Boston. It’s also a leap from being simply “optimistic” about his availability to start the postseason just 24 hours ago.
The good news is that the Bruins have been able to play around with the line combinations in Krejci’s absence over the last few games, and would be comfortable slotting Charlie Coyle or Pavel Zacha up in the lineup were they to be without Krejci during the postseason. Zacha has three goals and seven points in the six games played during the month of April when he’s largely been filling in for his Czech countryman during Krejci’s absence.
Montgomery gave a number of other health updates including Linus Ullmark being held back in Boston for precautionary reasons while the B’s have brought Brandon Bussi back up on emergency recall. Nick Foligno moved to a regular practice jersey on Wednesday as he continues to move closer to being an option for game action as well.
It was undecided as of Wednesday afternoon as to whether or not Bussi or Swayman would get the start against the Canadiens at the Bell Centre, with Montgomery leaning toward playing Swayman prior to a discussion with the Boston Bruins staff.
Tomas Nosek was missing from the ice at Wednesday’s practice and Montgomery indicated he is ill and it’s questionable whether he would be making the trip to Montreal.