While the Boston Bruins were certainly riding a high from their participation in the 2019 Winter Classic that had been held at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana on New Year’s Day, where they beat the Chicago Blackhawks, for David Krejci and Kevan Miller, Thursday’s game against the Calgary Flames had some other reasons to be motivated and happy.
It was reported Thursday morning that during the morning skate, Krejci was absent. Given the extensive injuries Boston has been plaqued with throughout the first half of the season, that was the natural thought in regard to his absence. Instead, Krejci and his wife were welcoming their latest child into the world—a son. For Krejci that meant a slightly different preparation on game day than he normally does. He did manage to get a short nap before heading to the arena to dress for the game.
“Yeah, yeah, I mean, it’s pretty crazy. But my wife, she did a great job. And all the nurses and doctors there, they’re so good at the hospital. They made it as easy as it could be for us. So, that was big. But like I said, it’s a special day and to get two points, it feels really good,” Krejci said. “There are lots of thoughts going through your head, so just trying to stay in the moment, but obviously it’s hard. You just bring one of your kids into the world so it’s always going to be on your mind so it was tough to focus sometimes on the game. But just try to stay focused, tried to keep my head in the game, talk on the bench, and things like that. And my teammates did a good job too, and like I said, it was a special day. With a win at the end it was just a cherry on top of the cake.”
Krejci must not have struggled as much as he thought he did to stay focused in the game, because he garnered two assists on the night on both of Jake DeBrusk’s goals.
“Obviously a special night for him and wanted to actually get him a goal and sad that he couldn’t, but just shows what kind of person he is. He can put that aside for a little bit and I’m sure he’s racing home right now to see him,” shared DeBrusk.
Meanwhile for Kevan Miller, the night was a milestone as he played in his 300th NHL game. The gritty defenseman had one shot on net, two takeaways, one blocked shot and four hits—one of which left no questions as to his toughness.
Miller’s recent return to the lineup after taking a puck to his larynx shows he continues to give everything he has in each game and in each shift. His grit helps the Bruins to focus on their style of play and get the job done. Thursday’s hit on Calgary’s Michael Frolik, almost sent Frolik backwards over the boards and into the visiting bench. Frolik got feisty and was either taunting Miller trying to get him to drop his gloves or was originally planning to fight Miller, but then changed his mind.
While he may have reached that career milestone of 300 NHL games and he perhaps smiled and reminisced a little after the game Thursday night, no one should be surprised to see him return to the ice for practice on Friday morning at Warrior Arena, ready to go again. The Bruins will be back at it in an important division game against the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday evening.