David Krejci has spent most of his adult life in Boston, so he feels right at home after returning from a season with Olomouc in the Czech Superliga. But the Bruins center is going to have to get used to a new coach (Jim Montgomery), some new teammates, and a new system during the preseason.
“It’s great to be back, but at the same time, so many new faces,” Krejci said after practice at Warrior Arena Wednesday. “The game plan is new a little bit as well; it’s something you have to get used to it — the other guys, too. [Montgomery] has got, obviously, his things and trying to do that in practices; it doesn’t happen overnight.
“We’re going to keep working on it and keep asking some questions because, like coach says, if one guy doesn’t understand, it’s five, six, seven guys don’t get it, either. So we’ve got to talk. Still have a couple more weeks before the first game, so hopefully we can dial in and be ready.”
A possible new wrinkle could be a five-forward power play — Krejci at the point, along with Patrice Bergeron, Jake DeBrusk, Taylor Hall, and David Pastrnak. The tactic might seem risky, but not to Krejci, whose composure is difficult to upset.
“That’s something I think we worked on [Tuesday],” Krejci said. “Who knows what’s going to happen? I mean, I played on point before so many times, so I feel comfortable there.
“Obviously, I haven’t played a game in months. I just have to get up to speed. Other than that, I’m confident I can handle it. You’ve just got to make sure you get on those loose pucks, you’ve got to talk. Usually, PK is good, smart, fast forwards, so we’re going to play with the puck and not give them a chance to go the other way.”
Krejci, 36, played 1,118 games for the Bruins before returning to Olomouc last year.
“Feels good, to be honest,” Krejci said of returning. “Still kind of working on it in my head. Once you come here, it’s faster, and that’s something I’ve been working on. That’s what training camp is about and hopefully I get a couple games before the first real game.”
Montgomery said Krejci will play when the Bruins meet the Philadelphia Flyers in a preseason game Saturday.
“He’s been good, his ability to make plays, how smart he is,” Montgomery said. “Maybe he’s not making plays to his level; that’s good news for me to hear. But positionally, defensively, he’s been sound as well. So that’s very comforting.”
The Bruins visit the Washington Capitals in the season opener Oct. 12.
“In a way, I know the city, I have friends here outside hockey, so it’s good to be back,” Krejci said. “Right now I’m ready for some games.”
Anton Stralman was paired with Hampus Lindholm on defense during the Bruins’ 3-2 win over the Rangers Tuesday.
“The pairing is good for me,” Stralman said. “He’s obviously a terrific player. It’s kind of fun to hang out, playing hockey the same way, kind of knowing his patterns already a little bit.”
Stralman, 36, who is with the Bruins on a tryout basis in hopes of playing for his seventh NHL club, has adjusted to Montgomery’s plans for defensemen to join the attack.
“I like that game plan,” said Stralman. “I think that’s the way hockey is right now, a lot of teams are doing it. Creating offense is not easy and you need everybody. So I’ve been in similar systems before where you want the D to join in every rush and be part of it whether it’s joining the rush or leading the rush, making plays, coming in second wave. It’s fun to play in that system.
“I mean, I’ve played 15 years; if this is the last couple weeks of it, so be it. If not, great. I’m fortunate, this would be a great bonus. End of the day, it’s hockey. I’ve got other stuff in my life that I enjoy with the family. Whatever comes out of it.
“I’m here enjoying myself, trying to work hard, showcase what I’ve got, and we’ll find out what’s going to happen. That’s just one game, and a long way to go.”
Montgomery on fourth-line contributions: “You want energy. If you start in the D zone, you want to end up leaving good ice for the next wave of guys coming over in the offensive zone. If you start in the offensive zone, you want to continue the momentum, hem them in. You want them to be hard, you want them to be heavy, you want them to get to the net front, you want to make life hard on the opposing team.
“Especially, you look at a game like [Tuesday], a team like the Rangers have [Adam] Fox; you want him to be in his own end, you don’t want him to get going north. So the more you can be on top of people like that, hem them in their own end, that’s what you’re looking for from your fourth line. It’s momentum more than it’s, so to speak, defensive identity.”
Rust is showing
Montgomery said the forwards are not in regular-season mode yet. “I mean, guys have got to get cobwebs off their brains,” he said. “And also how quickly they adjust to getting back to game habits. You see in our offensive zone there’s three forwards outside the dots a lot; there’s no one in hard areas. And that’s just getting out of summer mode and getting into regular hockey mode, in-season, where you score goals in hard areas.” … The Bruins announced Joey Abate, Samuel Asselin, Francois Brassard, Justin Brazeau, Brandon Bussi, Josiah Didier, J.D. Greenway, Curtis Hall, Georgii Merkulov, Luke Toporowski, Eduards Tralmaks, Alex-Olivier Voyer, and Jacob Wilson will report to training camp for the Providence Bruins, and Matthew Poitras will return to the Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey League.