Wilmington -- Bruins center David Krejci was at Ristuccia Arena for a third straight day Thursday and met with the media for the first time since the team's break-up day just days after they became only the fourth team in the four major North American sports leagues to blow a 3-0 series lead to the Flyers. For most of the session with the media Thursday, Krejci, who didn't play after suffering a dislocated wrist in Game 3, tried to paint a positive picture. But after the initial break-up of the scrum, the Czech center finally showed that the memory of Game 3 still haunts him.
"It hurt," Krejci said when asked if he could recount the moment Mike Richards nailed him with a clean open-ice hit that ended his season and served as a turning point in the series, leading to his team's monumental collapse. "I tried to ice it but then when I had to go on the ice, I couldn't lift it, so I knew there was something wrong. I knew it was bad but I'm no doctor and I had to wait until they did X-Rays. But they said it was bad. I didn't know how bad until after when they did the surgery, they told me I'd be out for three months."
As Krejci pointed out, it was a long, painful experience that he may not forget until he hits the ice in his native Czech Republic where the Bruins will open the 2010-11 season in Prague.
"I was sitting in a little room [at the Wachovia Center] with a couch and no television, and I couldn't even watch the game even though I was still there," he recalled. "Then we got stuck in traffic. It was a pretty interesting night."
Obviously it was a night he is still trying to forget, just as he and his teammates are trying to erase the memory of what happened in the four games after that. But with the team's future skating on the ice outside the dressing room where he spoke at the Bruins development camp, Krejci looked forward to the near future, when he will finally be able to lace up the skates and play the game he loves.
"I've been doing rehab for the past month and it's going good so far, so hopefully it will go that way," Krejci said. "I'm going to have surgery in [four weeks] to take the screws out and after that I should be able to go on the ice and start lifting much heavier weights than I'm used to right now."
Krejci likes what he has seen from Bruins management in what has been a very active offseason, but while he is excited about the likes of Nathan Horton, Gregory Campbell and Tyler Seguin joining the fold, he is wary of getting ahead of himself and dreaming about redemption for him and his teammates next spring. Instead, he is simply anxious to get his game back and start playing.
"It's a new year," Krejci said. "Everybody starts from basically nothing and I'm really excited. I'm not even thinking about winning the Cup right now. I just want to get back in the game and start playing with the guys. I believe we're going to have a good team but it's too soon to be thinking about if we're going to be playing for the Stanley Cup. I believe we will but why start talking about it now? We just should talk about the beginning of the season and go from there."
Krejci will continue to rehab and he guaranteed he would be ready for training camp. Until then, he will try and squeeze in some fun around the rehab sessions.
"There's not a doubt in my head. I'll definitely be ready [for training camp]," he said. "I'm just trying to enjoy my summer. I don't want to tease myself. Once I can get out there [on the ice] in another month then I'll do it."
James Murphy has covered the Bruins and the NHL for the last eight seasons. He has written for NHL.com, NESN.com, Insidehockey.com and Le Hockey Magazine. Murphy also authors a blog, Drop Puck Murphy.