THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING
Bruins notebook

Krejci pulling his weight

He’s picking up slack for up-and-down teammates

By Brendan Hall
Globe Correspondent / March 27, 2010

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

Your article has been sent.

  • E-mail|
  • Print|
  • Reprints|
  • |
Text size +

WILMINGTON — Many queries still surround the Bruins’ defensive lapses, power-play woes, and lack of scoring punch, but few question David Krejci’s creativity with the puck. When the Bruins’ pivot is feeling it, as he undoubtedly was in Thursday night’s 5-3 loss to Tampa Bay, he leaves others guessing — sometimes blatantly.

Krejci assisted on the Bruins’ first two goals in a manner that made it look easy. In the first period, he did a quick circle around the right point and timed a saucer pass to Zdeno Chara in the low slot perfectly, just missing the left shin of the Lightning’s Victor Hedman and hitting Chara’s tape at the post for an easy redirect.

In the second period, Krejci deked as he hit the brakes in the left circle, faking Tampa Bay’s Paul Szczechura and feeding a trailing Johnny Boychuk in the right circle for a compact wrist shot that beat Antero Niittymaki under his right armpit.

“I just like watching him when I’m on the bench,’’ Boychuk said of Krejci following yesterday’s practice at Ristuccia Arena. “He’s just filthy with the puck. He’s so amazing with his moves, such a smart hockey player. [His creativity] is unbelievable. I dream about having skills like that. It won’t happen, but I can dream about it, I guess.’’

There’s no doubt the third-year pivot is pulling his weight on the second line. For linemates Blake Wheeler and Michael Ryder, though, the question continues to loom: Are they holding up their end?

Ryder got the second assist on Boychuk’s goal for just his sixth point of March — 1 more than Wheeler.

“There’s no doubt Michael Ryder is definitely under the numbers right now that he’s been used to putting up in his career,’’ coach Claude Julien said. “That line has chemistry. [Thursday] probably wasn’t as good as we’ve seen lately.’’

Mild concussion
Julien confirmed what Vladimir Sobotka told reporters following Thursday morning’s skate at TD Garden: the hit along the boards in Tuesday night’s 4-0 win at Atlanta resulted in a concussion.

“It was deemed, I would say, a mild concussion, a very mild concussion,’’ Julien said.

Sobotka, who skated with the team yesterday, might play this afternoon against Calgary. Julien said Sobotka is “headache-free’’ and would undergo a neuropsychological examination, one of the last steps mandated by the NHL before a concussed player is cleared to return.

“If he passes that, he’s good to go,’’ Julien said.

Tubby time
Andrew Ference, last seen gift-wrapping a goal for Szczechura in Thursday’s loss, was given the day off for maintenance. The defenseman has been snakebitten by a nagging groin injury and will have surgery at the end of the season.

“The injury doesn’t go away,’’ said Ference, who signed a three-year extension this week. “It’s there, and you just have to try to make sure blood doesn’t build up, and the swelling from the injury doesn’t mess things up. A lot of hot tub, cold tub, hot tub, cold tub kind of stuff.

“It feels great, but I’m staying on top of it. You let it slide, it turns bad pretty quick.’’

Calm under pressure
In a rare move, the Flames took the ice shortly after the Bruins finished practice. Fighting for a playoff spot in the Western Conference, some Flames marveled at the Bruins’ looseness in spite of the pressure of remaining in playoff contention. “They’re out there having fun,’’ said alternate captain Craig Conroy. “We talk about the same thing, you want to go out and have some fun, play the game and not be so tense. I think that’s the only way to do it. They’re doing it, and we’re trying to do the same thing.’’ . . . Flames captain Jarome Iginla has been staying in touch with former teammate Marc Savard via text messages. “I’m sure he wants to get back out there,’’ Iginla said. “But it’s more important, because he has a lot of years ahead of him, to get back — and in life too, not just hockey — to being healthy, to do the right thing here.’’ . . . Savard will address the media today at noon, his first appearance since suffering a Grade 2 concussion March 7.

Bruins player search

Find the latest stats and news on:
 

Bruins Twitter

    Waiting for Twitter...

Tweets on the Bruins

Check out what everyone on Twitter is saying about the Bruins.   (Note: Content is unmoderated and may contain expletives)