PRAGUE — As predicted, Czech favorite David Krejci and teammate Zdeno Chara, from nearby Trencin, Slovakia, were the primary media targets after the Bruins practiced today at Tesla Arena.
Chara, aka Big Z, hit leadoff, chatting away in Czech, then sometimes in Slovak, as some 15 mostly European media members teased out his thoughts on all things Prague and hockey. Then into the media scrum came Krejci, who grew up some three hours to the east and figures he probably played only once before here in the old rink that long has been the home of the storied Sparta Praha hockey franchise.
The interview business has never been on top of Krejci’s menu. He’s amenable, for the most part gracious, but it’s easy to tell he tolerates the process as opposed to luxuriating as would, say, teammate Shawn Thornton.
Later, when kidded by a member of the western press if he would prefer to be interviewed in English or Czech, he kiddingly responded, ”I’d prefer to take a shower and go eat.”
Julien shakes up lines
For all of his squad’s 90-minute workout today, Coach Claude Julien flipped Recchi over to right wing, kept Bergeron at pivot and brought third-year forward Blake Wheeler to their left wing.
The Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton line remained intact.
Danny Paille, who sat out Saturday’s exhibition in Belfasts, took Wheeler’s spot on left wing with Tyler Seguin at center, a line that had Michael Ryder and Caron splitting right wing duties.
Dressed in red practice sweaters–or what Shawn Thorton refers to as the ”Merlot” line–were Brad Marchand (LW), Greg Campbell (C) and Thornton sharing the right side with tryout candidate Brian McGrattan.
Caron’s experiencing camp fatigue
According to Julien, he felt some fatigue slipped into Caron’s game and the move to Seguin’s line was made, in part, to allow the 19-year-old to regenerate a little bit.
”He hasn’t had much of a break,” said Julien, noting that Caron graduated straight to the varsity from rookie camp, as did fellow frosh Seguin. ”We think the fatigue’s showing a little bit for Jordan, that’s all. We feel he’s slowed down some.”
These are the ‘D’ men
In preparation of tomorrow night’s game in Liberec vs. Liberec HC, Julien rolled out the following four defensive pairings: Mark Stuart-Andrew Ference; Zdeno Chara-Johnny Boychuk; Matt Hunwick-Dennis Seidenberg; Matt Bartkowski-Adam McQuaid.
Lucic to get a visit
Lucic will have a party of 10 in the stands here Saturday night, including his parents and two relatives from Belgrade.
Lucic has been to Belgrade only once in his life, about 12 years ago, and said he was especially eager to see his cousin, Vladan, this weekend.
When home in Vancouver, Lucic speaks his parent’s native tongue, Serbo-Croat, all the time with his father and grandmother. His mom left Croatia at age two and speaks exclusively in English.
”Well, actually I call what I speak ‘Serblish’, because I have to fill in some of the fractures with English,” said the hulking Lucic.
xx — Sbarro’s, the familiar North American pizza and pasta chain, has one of its carryout restaurants in a shopping mall food court slightly east of downtown. To a Boston reporter’s delight, Sbarro’s serves beer from a tap. To the same reporter’s lament, the only tap beer is Budweiser.
xx — Bruins players are on their own to play tourists here in the Czech Republic. There will be one team dinner with local dignitaries, but the city is otherwise to be explored on their own.
xx — Donald Fehr, who likely will be voted in within days by the players as their the new executive director of their union, is reportedly here in Europe and will try to meet with all six teams that are touring as part of the NHL’s Premier Series. Thus far, a meeting date with the Bruins has not been scheduled.
xx — The Bruins have to vote in their 2010-’11 player reps. Come season’s end, Mark Stuart and Dennis Wideman were the reps. It likely will be Stuart filling one of the spots again this season. Wideman was sent to Florida in the off-season.