BOSTON – Jubilation nearly turned to disaster Thursday night at the Garden, but by Friday David Krejci's scary encounter with a pane of Garden glass was already becoming part of Bruins postseason lore.
"You don't want to see something like that where the glass comes down," Bruins center Chris Kelly said after Friday's practice. "But they were excited. I guess that's playoff hockey in Boston."
Kelly inadvertently set the chain of events in motion that nearly seriously injured his teammate. Kelly finally broke a scoreless tie 1:18 into overtime, lifting the Bruins to a 1-0 victory over Washington in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series and eliciting an eruption of emotion from the Garden faithful that had waited all night to see that red goal light finally lit.
But that outpouring of emotion was a little excessive down along the boards, where a few overzealous fans accidently dislodged a pane of glass. That large section of glass landed directly on the back of Krejci's head as he was celebrating the victory with his teammates. Krejci was left with a sore neck and did not practice on Friday, but is expected to play in Game 2 on Saturday.
"I didn't really see what happened, but you see glass on the ice and that’s not a light thing," Kelly said. "So quickly it turns to concern for one of your teammates. I just heard it fall. You don't know what it is. That’s the last thing you’d think it is."
The rest of the Bruins were equally shocked.
"It was a little odd, that's for sure," defenseman Andrew Ference said. "It was really weird. I don't know how that happens. I guess normally the glass is getting hit the other way. It was scary, the thing was heavy. It made a big noise."
Fortunately for the Bruins, it appears the only lasting effects of the mishap will be an interesting story for the ages about the night when the only goal in an overtime game wasn't even the most memorable moment of the evening.
And if the Bruins win another dramatic game in the postseason, rest assured they will celebrate a safe distance from the glass and keep a sharp eye out for any more tumbling panes of glass.
"We've got to look out for one another," Kelly said.