Big collision with Oshie leaves Krejci’s status in doubt
David Krejci, three floors above the North Station rail tracks, left the action early in overtime last night when he suffered a head-on collision with the No. 74 commuter train known as the TJ Oshie Express.
Oshie, the hard-charging St. Louis center in the No. 74 sweater, hammered head on with Krejci along the boards in front of the visitor’s penalty box at the Garden. The stunned Krejci, who suffered a season-ending wrist injury in last season’s playoffs, was first rocked by Oshie’s shoulder to his head. Krejci then slammed his head against the top of the boards, and it looked as if the point of contact was near his left temple.
“I don’t think it was the hit so much,’’ said team captain Zdeno Chara, who joined fellow defenseman Andrew Ference in assisting the dazed Krejci off the ice. “I think it was more that he hit his head on the ice.’’
“I’m not sure if it was [Oshie] that did the damage to Krech,’’ added Ference, “or if it was the boards, because I think he smacked his head off the boards. When you are on the ice, you can’t tell those things.’’
Coach Claude Julien only offered that Krejci “got his bell rung there.’’ Julien added that he did not know the severity of the injury and later said that Krejci had not gone to the hospital and was being evaluated on site by medical staff.
The force of the blow was such that it would be surprising if the oft-injured 24-year-old Czech did not suffer at least a Grade 1 concussion.
It would be equally surprising if he did not make his way up the hill to Mass. General Hospital for evaluation.
It was a clean, but nonetheless severe check delivered by Oshie, one that had Krejci somewhat rubber-legged as Chara and Ference propped him up and eased him over to the Boston bench.
If Krejci is sidelined, look for the Bruins to bring Danny Paille back into the lineup. The other spare forward has been Brian McGrattan, but McGrattan is strictly an enforcer.
If Krejci is out, Julien will need a playmaker, someone capable of dishing the puck.
It’s possible that Greg Campbell, last night’s only goal scorer for the Bruins, would move up to play with two of the club’s more accomplished wingers.
With the Bruins down, 3-0, after 40 minutes, the Boston captain felt compelled to dance a little over the offensive blue line, trying to make plays as opposed to his general job description of trying to negate them.
By the sounds of it, he won’t make it a habit.
“When you are down three goals, you have to take some chances, a little bit of a risk to get something going,’’ he said.
Chara has but two goals and three assists in 11 games. That’s almost in lockstep with the 44 points he recorded last season. By his account, he is not refashioning himself into more of a puck-moving defenseman.
“I think the No. 1 thing is to keep it really simple and get the puck to the forwards as quickly as you can,’’ he said. “Obviously, carrying the puck all the way to the offensive zone, that’s not my game.’’
Savard began to “ramp up’’ (general manager Peter Chiarelli’s description) his workouts about 10 days ago, an indication that he has been able to increase his heart rate without suffering headaches or dizziness, two of the more common PCS symptoms.
Sturm recently had an injection in his knee — a planned shot, aiding the knee’s “lubrication’’ (Chiarelli’s term).
Once one of the veteran forwards is ready to return, Chiarelli will have to shed cap dollars in order to accommodate the salary (Savard at $4 million and Sturm at $3.5 million).
Both veterans have no-trade clauses, which points to a more likely scenario that would have Chiarelli looking to move one or two forwards from a group that includes Paille, Blake Wheeler, and Michael Ryder.
Paille, who has not suited up since his defensive gaffes in the season opener at Prague, signed a two-year deal during the summer that will bring him an average $1.075 million.
Wheeler went to salary arbitration over the summer and was awarded a one-year deal at $2.2 million.
Ryder, back scoring more in line with his first year in the Hub, has only this season remaining on his contract, at $4 million.
“I think I always like to protect the puck along the wall,’’ he said. “It has always been one of my favorite places to play, down low in the offensive end. For now, it’s working well and I’ll try to keep doing it.’’