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David Backes discusses Bruins contract length, fit with David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron, Ryan Spooner 07.01.16 at 5:23 pm ET
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David Backes feels he'll hold up over the length of his five-year deal. (Jasen Vinlove/USA Today Sports)

David Backes feels he’ll hold up over the length of his five-year deal. (Jasen Vinlove/USA Today Sports)

The best question on David Backes’ introductory conference call was asked by himself.

Or, at least, it was a question he recalled asking the Bruins as they went about trying to sign the former Blues captain.

“Through the process I was asking questions and didn’t want to pull myself out of being part of the Bruins, but I said, ‘You’ve got Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci, who are top-tier center-icemen and are both right-handed,’” Backes said. “’You’re going to bring me in as another right-handed center men. Your top three center men are all going to be right-handed. How’s that going to work?’”

The elephant in the room that follows Backes’ signing is that someone’s either got to go or be used differently. Ryan Spooner is the Bruins’ sole left-shot center, so could Krejci be traded? Could Backes be moved to wing? Backes said that his talks with the B’s prior to signing focused “mostly” on him playing center, but he allowed for the possibility of playing right wing, as he did during the postseason for the Blues.

“If a guy like Spooner can play the third-line center and I move up to the right side with [Brad] Marchand and Bergeron, that gives us a heavy, responsible line that can put a lot of pucks in the net,” Backes said.

“If you want to call me third-line, I completely respect that,” Backes said. “Those two other guys are awesome, but I’ve got to imagine that we’re going to share a lot of responsibility and not burden one guy with all the hard ice or the heavy lifting. When you have responsible guys that can share those roles, then we can all flourish on the other side of the ice and have tons of energy to go out for the ends of games to close it out or score a late big goal.”

The number of right-shot centers presents something of a redundancy. The length of his contract, however, is what is most worrisome. Backes has stayed healthy throughout his career, but one has to wonder who he will hold up in the final two years of his deal.

“I’m 32; I’m not 52,” Backes said. “I think there’s plenty of legs and plenty of physicality and energy left in me. The terms that I’ve come to, people may have questions, but for me, I expect to still be at the top of my game for the last year and still be a contributing member for the Boston Bruins.”

Added Backes: “I don’t think the game’s getting slower. It’s a fast game, but if you start to manage the puck in the right way, you can occupy the offensive zone and do a lot of the things that teams that are heavy and control the puck and occupy the zone do, it’s not a track meet up and down the ice. With Pittsburgh winning the Cup, a team that was kind of designed on that track meet, ‘let’s go, let’s see who can skate the fastest up the ice,’ there may be a trend or a tendency to try to start to build teams like that, but you’ve also seen teams in the LA Kings and the Boston Bruins win playing that heavy game and maybe not having the fastest team, but winning every battle that you get into, being able to control the puck once you get it.”

Read More: David Backes, David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron, Ryan Spooner
David Krejci to have hip surgery, other Bruins reveal injuries 04.11.16 at 12:04 pm ET
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David Krejci

David Krejci

David Krejci said at Monday’s year-end media availability that he will have hip surgery to repair an issue that has plagued him for the last two seasons.

Krejci first suffered the injury in the final preseason game before the 2014-15 season and was in and out of the lineup over the course of the season. Though Krejci has dealt with other injuries over the past two seasons — a knee injury last season, a shoulder injury this season — correcting the hip is his priority as he begins the offseason.

“It’s been bothering me for 20 or so games,” Krejci said of the hip. “But we have a good medical staff here, and they got me through games, so I felt like I was still in decent shape to play games and help the team, and there’s been game where I’ve felt pretty good. So, I was able to finish the season [and was] ready to play playoff games.”

Added Krejci: “I’m looking at it kind of two ways. One is, yeah, it’s been a nagging injury from last year and missing that half a season. And then this year, I felt maybe the best I ever felt my first 50 games, and then I missed some games because of my shoulder injury, and after I came back, it was never the same. And the hip, the nagging injury kind of kept coming back, and it got to the point that we’ve been talking surgery for a while now.”

The surgery will be the same procedure Krejci had in 2009, when Dr. Brian Kelly repaired a hip impingement. Kelly will also be doing Krejci’s upcoming procedure, which Krejci said will happen “in the next week or two.”

Playing in 72 games this season, Krejci had 17 goals and 46 assists for 63 points this season.

In other injury news, Brett Connolly revealed that it was a sprained MCL that kept him out of the Bruins’ last five games, while Dennis Seidenberg missed the final five games of the season due to a strained adductor. Neither Connolly nor Seidenberg will require surgery.

Read More: David Krejci,
Zdeno Chara: Bruins ‘got absolutely embarrassed’ by Kings 02.09.16 at 10:23 pm ET
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The Bruins allowed 57 shots on goal — the most they’ve given up in a game since 1965 — in an ugly 9-2 loss to the Kings Tuesday. After the game, the team hardly sounded like a group pushing for the second spot in the Atlantic Division and more like a fledgling team chasing the prowess it had in years past.

“We got absolutely embarrassed,” Zdeno Chara said. “They played a really good game, but we had nowhere near the game that we needed to play. It was embarrassing.”

The B’€™s allowed seven straight goals after taking a 1-0 lead in the first period. The loss dropped them to 1-7-0 against Western Conference playoff teams this season.

“There are things that obviously are going to stay inside this locker room, but we just need to be better,” Chara said. “We need to perform better. We’€™ve had a few stretches where we’€™ve played well, we won some tight games and some big games and we were facing some challenges or teams on top of the league and we didn’€™t follow up with the performances that we had previous games. That’€™s again tonight’€™s case. It was embarrassing.”

Said David Krejci: “The way we lost, especially the second and third period, it’€™s just unacceptable. You should go out there even if you’€™re losing 6-1 after the second period and show some pride, you know? Try to show fans that we respect them coming here. We don’€™t want to get booed in our own building. We didn’€™t respond. It was embarrassing.”

Read More: David Krejci, Zdeno Chara,
David Krejci looks set to return 01.20.16 at 1:47 pm ET
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Based on Wednesday’€™s practice, the Bruins can probably expect the return of David Krejci in either Thursday’€™s game against the Canucks or Saturday’€™s meeting with the Blue Jackets.

Krejci was one of four forwards skating on Boston’€™s second line, joining Ryan Spooner, Loui Eriksson and Matt Beleskey. Perhaps most telling was the fact that he returned to his spot on Boston’€™s top power play unit on the point with Torey Krug.

The Bruins will need to make a roster move in order to activate Krejci from injured reserve, as the team is currently at the 23-man roster limit. One possible move would be to put Landon Ferraro, whom the team says is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, on injured reserve. Because Ferraro last played on Saturday, the team could put him on IR retroactive to Sunday and he would only have to miss the next two games before being eligible to return on Monday against the Flyers.

With Krejci back in practice, the forward lines looked as follows:

Marchand-Bergeron-Connolly
Beleskey-Krejci/Spooner-Eriksson
Vatrano-Kemppainen-Hayes
Rinaldo-Talbot-Pastrnak-Randell

Colin Miller skated on the point of Boston’€™s second power play unit, suggesting he could possibly return Thursday after being a healthy scratch in Boston’€™s last two games.

Read More: David Krejci,
David Krejci rejoins Bruins in practice, Adam McQuaid still not skating 01.18.16 at 10:43 am ET
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WILMINGTON — Monday’s practice at Ristuccia Arena saw a familiar face return, as injured center David Krejci practiced with Bruins teammates for the first time since suffering an upper-body injury on Dec. 27.

Krejci was wearing a green jersey, which is often worn in practice by players who are either injured or not on a line. Also in green was David Pastrnak, who has missed the last three games with an upper-body injury.

Both Krejci and Pastrnak will travel to Montreal for Tuesday’s game against the Canadiens.

With Krejci and Pastrnak on the ice, Boston’s practice lines on Monday looked like this:

Bergeron-Marchand-Connolly
Beleskey-Spooner-Eriksson
Vatrano-Kemppainen-Hayes
Rinaldo-Talbot-Ferraro
Randell-Krejci-Pastrnak

Krejci said he has been skating since last week. He took limited contact in Monday’s practice and said that he has felt better with each passing day but is not yet comfortable enough to play.

“I need to feel 100 percent skating and 100 percent shooting,” Krejci said. “I’m getting there, but it was a good today.”

The Bruins have gone 4-4-1 without Krejci. Given that he was having the best regular season of his career (33 points in 35 games), they could certainly use him as they try to claim one of the top three spots in the crowded Atlantic Division.

“I’d like to play as soon as possible, but this kind of injury, at this point in time it’s kind of day-to-day,” Krejci said. “We’ll see how it feels tomorrow — hopefully better — but we’ll see how it feels tomorrow in warmups.”

In other injury news, Adam McQuaid has yet to take the ice as he remains out with an injury suffered on a Jan. 5 hit from Capitals forward Zach Sill.

Read More: Adam McQuaid, David Krejci, David Pastrnak,
David Krejci goes from week-to-week to day-to-day 01.16.16 at 6:08 pm ET
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The Bruins have not been the same without David Krejci. Fortunately for the B’s, they don’t think they’ll be without him much longer.

Speaking prior to Saturday’€™s game, Bruins coach Claude Julien said that Krejci, who has missed the last eight games with an upper-body injury, is getting close to returning to Boston’€™s lineup. Krejci last played on Dec. 27 but has been skating recently.

“[He] skated today, so he’€™s coming along,” Julien said. “That’€™s a good sign. That’€™s basically where he’€™s at. We’€™ll see; he’€™s now gone from week-to-week to probably more day-to-day. I wouldn’€™t say [the next game], but getting closer.”

The Bruins have gone 3-4-1 without Krejci, who has 33 points (11 goals, 22 assists) in 35 games played this season. After Tuesday’€™s game against the Canadiens, for which Julien has already ruled Krejci out, the B’€™s have home games on Thursday and Saturday of the coming week.

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David Krejci week-to-week with upper-body injury 12.28.15 at 12:24 pm ET
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The best regular season of David Krejci‘s NHL career has been derailed by an upper-body injury that will keep him out for the foreseeable future.

Krejci, whose 11 goals and 33 points in 35 games had him on pace for a career-high in both categories, suffered his injury in the second period of Sunday’s loss to the Senators. Claude Julien would not specify the nature of Krejci’s injury — he wouldn’t elaborate past calling it an upper-body injury and terming the player “week-to-week” — but Krejci was seen wearing a sling on his right arm after Monday’s practice.

In other injury news, Torey Krug is day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Krug left Saturday night’s game after the first period and did not play on Sunday. Krug skated prior to Monday’s practice, as did recovering forward Joonas Kemppainen. Julien said that Monday was either the first or second day back on the ice for Kemppainen, who has not played since Dec. 7 due to an upper-body injury.

With Krejci out, Ryan Spooner was elevated to Boston’s second line to skate with Matt Beleskey and Loui Eriksson in Monday’s practice. Landon Ferraro moved up to take Spooner’s third-line spot. Boston’s lines in practice were as follows:

Marchand-Bergeron-Connolly
Beleskey-Spooner-Eriksson
Vatrano-Ferraro-Hayes
Rinaldo-Talbot-Randell

The absence of both Krejci and Krug also led to changes on Boston’s power play units, as Krejci and Krug man the points on the team’s first unit. The Bruins power play units in Monday’s practice were as follows:

Chara-Colin Miller
Bergeron Spooner
Eriksson

Morrow-Trotman
Marchand Connolly
Beleskey

Without Krejci, the Bruins have just 12 healthy forwards. David Pastrnak is currently in Finland for the World Junior Championships, but Julien said he feels the Bruins might be better off letting the player regain his timing and confidence in the tournament rather than hurrying him back to the NHL.

 

Read More: David Krejci, Torey Krug,

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