|David Krejci noncommittal about availability for Thursday||03.24.15 at 12:47 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — The Bruins need David Krejci back as soon as possible, but neither he nor the team is committing to his availability for Thursday’s game against the Ducks.
Krejci has been out since Feb. 20 with a partially torn MCL. Claude Julien had said last week that he was a possibility to return as early as last weekend’s games against the Panthers in Lightning, but Krejci remained out of the lineup. On Tuesday, Krejci skated as the right wing of Patrice Bergeron‘s line with Brad Marchand.
After the practice, Krejci was noncommittal regarding whether he could return for Thursday.
“It was a possibility last game, but I wasn’t able to,” Krejci said. “It’s a possibility for next game again.”
Krejci then went into Marshawn Lynch mode, repeating some variation of “it felt pretty good today” when asked whether the delay in returning to the lineup is due to him not being cleared or because he doesn’t feel ready.
Asked if the Bruins were still in “wait-and-see” mode with Krejci for Thursday, Claude Julien responded, “yes we are.”
Krejci has been limited to 38 games this season due to multiple lower-body injuries. He is third on the Bruins with 1.87 points per 60 minutes.
|David Krejci skates at right wing as David Pastrnak misses Bruins practice||03.18.15 at 12:05 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — The Bruins swapped out one David for another in Wednesday’s practice, as David Krejci took part in the skate while David Pastrnak was the only absence.
Krejci also participated in Tuesday’s non-contact morning skate, but Wednesday marked his first full practice with the team since suffering a partially torn MCL on Feb. 20. He is not expected to return to game action until this weekend at the earliest, with Claude Julien saying Krejci will travel with the team for their upcoming three-game road trip.
Julien said that Pastrnak was given a maintenance day. The 18-year-old played through overtime of Tuesday’s 2-1 shootout loss to the Sabres and did not appear to suffer any injuries.
With Pastrnak’s absent, Krejci skated in his place in line rushes. The lines in practice were as follows:
All six defensemen practiced, while Jeremy Smith joined goaltenders Tuukka Rask and Niklas Svedberg after being recalled and dressing as the team’s backup Tuesday. Rask missed the game with what the team called “general soreness.” Julien said all three goalies will travel.
|David Krejci could return to Bruins this weekend, Brett Connolly skating||03.17.15 at 11:50 am ET|
The Bruins got a couple of encouraging signs Tuesday morning, as Brett Connolly skated for the second straight day and David Krejci took another step forward in his return from a partially torn MCL.
Connolly (broken finger) skated by himself prior to Tuesday’s morning skate, with the Boston Herald noting he is doing doing minimal work with the puck and not shooting. Krejci, meanwhile, took part in morning skate and could return to the Bruins’ lineup this weekend, according to Claude Julien.
Connolly has been out with a displaced fracture in his right index finger since getting hit in the hand with a Dennis Seidenberg wrist shot in his second practice with the team on March 4.
The Bruins had traded for his services just two days prior, sending second-round picks in the next two seasons to the Lightning for the 2010 sixth overall pick.
Though his injury didn’t impact his skating, the Bruins wanted to wait until after the player’s surgery before he started skating. He is not expected to return until late in the regular season at the earliest.
Krejci has been skating since last Monday. He called Tuesday ‘another step forward’ but said that he isn’t ready to pinpoint a return date.
“I don’t really have a timeline,” Krejci said. “I’ll just take it day-by-day. Whenever it feels 100 percent, I’ll be back.”
Krejci has not played since suffering the knee injury on Feb. 20. He has missed a total of 31 games this season due to various injuries.
|David Krejci skating as recovery from torn MCL continues||03.11.15 at 1:54 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — David Krejci skated prior to Wednesday’s practice at Ristuccia Arena, with Claude Julien saying after the practice that it was Krejci’s second time on the ice since partially tearing his MCL on Feb. 20.
“It’s part of the healing process,” Julien said. “He’s been on the ice. It’s a good sign, but he’s not ready.”
Krejci has missed eight games as part of what’s expected to be four-to-six weeks out of the lineup. He is currently on long-term injured reserve and is not eligible to return until March 17 against the Sabres at the earliest.
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|Bruins place David Krejci on long-term injured reserve||02.26.15 at 7:48 pm ET|
David Krejci is on long-term injured reserve, a team source confirmed Thursday. The news was first reported by ESPN’s Joe McDonald.
Krejci is expected to miss four-to-six weeks with a partially torn MCL that was suffered last Friday against the Blues. The team presumably put him on LTIR Monday, as that is when he was first listed as being on injured reserve.
While Krejci is on LTIR, the Bruins can exceed the salary cap by his $5.25 million cap hit (as they also can with Kevan Miller’s $800,000 hit). The Bruins can use Krejci’s cap money else where for as long as he’s out, but the team must be cap compliant by the team he returns should he come back in the regular season.
There is no salary cap in the playoffs, so if the team uses Krejci’s cap hit elsewhere and Krejci doesn’t return until the postseason, the Bruins wouldn’t need to worry about being cap compliant.
|Pierre McGuire on MFB: Peter Chiarelli going to have to get ‘aggressive’ at trade deadline||at 1:48 pm ET|
NBC Sports NHL analyst Pierre McGuire made his weekly appearance Thursday on Middays with MFB to talk about the Bruins and what moves he expects them to make at the trade deadline next week. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.
With the Bruins still slumping and needing a boost, many expect them to make a move prior to the trade deadline on March 2. McGuire said the team is playing better, starting with their 6-2 win in Chicago on Sunday and played well despite losing to the Canucks on Tuesday.
With that being said, McGuire thinks general manager Peter Chiarelli needs to be aggressive at the deadline.
“I see some things that are starting to happen for them that are positive,” McGuire said. “I still think Peter Chiarelli is going to have to get aggressive here at the trade deadline, I think they will on the Boston side of things depending the price points for certain players. I think they are in a pretty good spot, I really do. I liked their compete on Sunday and I liked their compete in their last game against Vancouver.”
Even though overall the Bruins have lost seven of their last eight games, McGuire said it isn’t always about wins and losses.
“What I see is not just the results, but seeing what they are doing in games,” he said. “Not every game is going to be perfect. I think with this team they are competing, they’re not mailing it in. They deserved a better fate against Vancouver on Tuesday. That is a very difficult game to play against coming back after a very long road trip that didn’t go particularly well. If you watched their game against St. Louis, I know they got blown out, but Malcolm Subban didn’t play very well in that game. St. Louis took 15 shots on goals and [scored three goals in] 5-on-5 chances out of 15 shots. That’s pretty impressive hockey playing in St. Louis and playing that kind of hockey.
“I think being in the playoffs is like the lottery — you have to have a ticket to be in it to win it. If you get into the playoffs and you’re the Boston Bruins, you have a legitimate chance to do some serious damage, especially if they are aggressive at the trade deadline.”
|Gary Bettman: Hard to prove whether a team exploits playoff cap loophole||02.24.15 at 10:45 pm ET|
In an interview that will air on this week’s episode of Sunday Skate, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman shed some light on the possibility of teams sitting players for the rest of the regular season in order to go over the salary cap come playoff time.
This situation applies to the Bruins and how they could handle things with David Krejci, who they recently announced will miss four-to-six weeks with a partially torn MCL. Because there is no salary cap in the playoffs, the Bruins could, in theory, sit Krejci for the rest of the regular season, put him on long-term injured reserve and exceed the salary cap by his $5.25 million cap hit (as well as Kevan Miller’s $800,000 hit).
Such action, whether done by the Bruins or another team, could mean teams sitting healthy players for longer than they are injured and using LTI space by dishonest means. Asked whether the league would take issue with such maneuvers, Bettman said that while the NHL “frowns upon the use of loopholes,” the league would have a tough time proving teams were doing it.
“You can only ice a certain number of skaters,” Bettman said, “and the fact of the matter is, who’s to say how severely the injury will impact his play longer term, what kind of shape he’s been in? These are all speculative kinds of questions, and I’m not trying to duck them. It’s just simply, let’s wait to see what happens before we try to draw any conclusions.”
Added Bettman: “We frown upon the use of loopholes, but I don’t think an injury was sustained in order to create a loophole,” he said. “The rules are the rules. They’re competitive. The collective bargaining agreement tends to be fairly clear and we try to enforce it pretty consistently across the board.”
For the rest of the interview, tune in to this week’s episode of Sunday Skate at 8 a.m.