BOSTON — Leave it up to David Krejci out of all people to make a bold statement.
Yesterday at practice, the Bruins center talked about the team’s desperation for tonight’s pivotal Game 2 against the Montreal Canadiens. The B’s trail the series 1-0 and will need a better effort after their 2-0 loss to the Habs in Game 1 Thursday night.
Although Krejci, by no means, is the most outspoken player in the Bruins locker room, he might have made the biggest statement of the year basically guaranteeing a victory in Game 2 yesterday in Wilmington.
“Obviously we want to win, we have to win, and we will win,” he said.
That desperation has already set in with Krejci, but did it reach out to the rest of the locker room? Head coach Claude Julien thinks the team got the message that his team needs to bring their A-game tonight.
“We’ll it’s pretty obvious,” he said, “when you play the first two games at home and you lose the first one, then that second one is an important game for you. And I think our guys understand that…we need to be better than we were the other night.
“We talked about finding ways to score goals, but also as a team, we need to be better. And I think our mindset is where it should be right now and we need to take care of tonight’s game.”
Krejci’s remarks might or might not spark the Bruins in Game 2 tonight. But what about in the long run?
Obviously this is not the first time we have heard someone guarantee a victory. The most talked about of those came from former Jets quarterback Joe Namath guaranteed a victory in Super Bowl III against the Baltimore Colts; and the legendary Mark Messier, who guaranteed that the Rangers would come away with a victory over the Devils in Game 6 of the 1994 Eastern Conference finals — after falling to the Devils in Game 5 — to force a Game 7 at Madison Square Garden.
In a different manner who can forget former Red Sox first baseman Kevin Millar warning everyone to “not let the Sox win Game 4″ in the ALCS, and even last year, Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette stated that the pressure was on the Bruins to win Game 4 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series.
The difference here though is that those remarks from Namath, Messier, Millar and Laviolette, benefited in the short and long-term as each team went to the Championship game with Namath’s, Messier’s and Millar’s teams capturing championships in ’69, ’94 and ’04.
Whether the Bruins respond with a victory tonight or not remains to be seen. But Krejci has put himself in the spotlight with his remarks for the rest of the series.
Considering that the Bruins haven’t won a championship in nearly 40 years; those remarks might not be a bad thing either giving the sense of urgency for the franchise — and their fan base — to hoist Lord’s Stanley Cup.
This post also appeared on The Hub of Hockey