ANAHEIM, Calif. — While far from a surprise, it became official Monday: David Krejci is a member of the Czech Republic team that will compete in the Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, next month.
“I actually knew it before, a couple weeks before the coach called me and told me he wanted me to be on the team,” Krejci said. “But nothing was official until today. Obviously my friends and my family started texting me. It’s pretty cool and it’s obviously an honor to play for my country.”
Krejci, who also played for the Czech Republic in the Vancouver Olympics four years ago, will be joined by former Bruins Jaromir Jagr, Vladimir Sobotka, and Tomas Kaberle on the Czech team.
“I like [the team’s] chances,” Krejci said. “Obviously everybody’s talking about Canada, US, Sweden, Russia, but we still have some good players. In a tournament like that, it’s only a matter of one game.
“In the quarterfinals, there’s no best-of-seven or best-of-five. It’s just one game. So anybody has a chance.”
Krejci said he is not worried about the additional workload while the NHL takes a break for the Olympics.
“Sometimes it’s better that you play than have two weeks off and maybe 10 days with no practice,” he said. “It’s kind of hard to come back. I’m kind of looking forward to some games, especially at the Olympics.”
Following the 2010 Olympics, Krejci had 21 points in his final 22 regular-season games.
“It’s going to be his second [Olympics], so he’s got some experience,” coach Claude Julien said. “As far as that’s concerned, he’s become a better player over the years, just with the experience he’s gotten and the leadership that he’s kind of grown accustomed to having with us as far as going out there on the ice.
“Europeans can, at times, have certain reputations, but nobody is going to push him off his game. Nobody’s going to intimidate him. To me, he was a shoo-in. To me, I would have been extremely shocked had he not been picked.”
All Olympic hockey rosters must be announced by Tuesday.
Justin Florek, who was sent down to Providence Sunday after one game, was again recalled by the Bruins on an emergency basis with Jordan Caron still on the shelf with a stiff back.
Florek drove up from Providence to make the team charter Monday morning, leaving at 5:45 to make sure he wasn’t late.
“They said there was a chance,” Florek said, of coming to California. “So I kind of had in the back of my mind, just be ready. But I wasn’t dwelling on it either way.”
Caron did not practice with the team Monday in Anaheim, though he did make the trip. He was the only Bruin not to practice.
Julien said that Florek should play on Tuesday against the Ducks.
It’s been a busy few days for Julien, an assistant on the Canadian Olympic team, with Canada releasing its final roster on Tuesday morning.
“Been a lot of discussions,” he said. “As you know, there’s going to be a lot of tough choices. There’s going to be some good players that are going to be left off. That’s just, as you know, second-guessing is going to be happening and everything else. Those discussions have been going on for a long time. Tomorrow will be the day where guys find out.”
The US team faced scrutiny after releasing its roster Jan. 1, and Julien expects it to be no different — and likely far greater — for Team Canada.
“Once they find out who’s in, who’s out, it’s going to be even tougher on us answering those questions. That’s what you choose to do, and that comes with the territory,” he said.
The Ducks are tied with the Blackhawks for the most points in the NHL, leading the Pacific Division with 67. Anaheim notched an overtime win over Vancouver Sunday night by scoring the tying goal with 1:27 remaining in regulation and striking with 1.3 seconds left in OT. “They’re a good team,” Julien said. “They’re a team that takes a lot of pride in their home building. They’re a team that doesn’t quit, either . . . You have to look at the game against Vancouver. They were determined to get that tying goal.” Julien added, “You come out here in California. It’s not like it used to be a long time ago, where you thought it would be fairly easy points.” . . . Julien and his charges repeatedly referred to the No. 6 the past couple of days. That’s how many regulation losses the three California teams have combined for at home (none for Anaheim, one for San Jose, five for Los Angeles). “They were reminded today — if they didn’t score they had to do six pushups [on the ice in drills],” Julien said of practice. “So the No. 6 is pretty popular these days.”