Just as they did last Sunday when the team confirmed that Marco Sturm was gone for the playoffs with a torn ACL and MCL, the Bruins arrived at an optional practice on Thursday minus another key player.
The team confirmed that David Krejci suffered a dislocated wrist in the first period of the team's 4-1 Game 3 win and will be gone for the remainder of the playoffs. The players were obviously upset for their teammate, and while they know that nobody can replace Krejci and the dynamic skills he brings on the ice, they will just have to persevere as they have done all season, injury after injury.
"It's a huge loss for us," said center Marc Savard, who himself returned from a Grade 2 concussion in Game 1 and scored the overtime winner. "He's had such a good playoffs for us up to this point, and again, we'll have to get someone to step up for us as good as we can."
Savard said he believes his team can pull through this latest setback.
"It's just believing, everyone keeping that good mentality and we go from there," he said. "It's tough, but [Wednesday] night when we won that game, it still felt great, and we just have to do what we've been doing and worry about what we can control."
Defenseman Dennis Wideman said he is going to miss Krejci's creativity on the ice.
"It's a huge loss for us, because he's a big part of our team up front," Wideman said. "He's a guy that we like to get the puck to whenever we can, because if you can get him the puck — and even not on a good pass — it doesn't matter whatever part of the ice, he'll pick it up and make something happen with it."
Two guys that could replace Krejci in the lineup are ready to go if called upon from head coach Claude Julien. Trent Whitfield and Brad Marchand have been skating with the "Black Aces" for the last month and are itching at the chance to play in the Stanley Cup playoffs. They both know, however, that they can't replace what Krejci brings and must simply play their roles.
"This is what I've been waiting for the last month and I just need to go out and do my job and contribute with the things I do best," said Whitfield, who has 14 career playoff games under his belt and may get the edge over Marchand because of that experience. Whitfield's 57.9 percent success rate on the faceoff dot helps, too. "I'm not ever going to be David Krecji and I can't try to be anything that I'm not. I just need to play my game and work hard."
Marchand, who registered 15 points and 26 penalty minutes in 15 AHL playoff games last year for Providence, would love to get his first NHL playoff game under his belt.
"This would be pretty cool if it happens to be me," Marchand said. "No one is going to replace David Krejci but I will just go there and do my job, play my role. This is the best time of the year and I'm excited if I get the chance to play."