James O'Brien

Boston Bruins center David Krejci (46), of the Czech Republic, reacts as Minnesota Wild defenseman Marco Scandella (6) celebrates his go-ahead goal in the third period of an NHL hockey game in Boston, Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014. The Wild won 4-3. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
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Bruins bits: Surgery for David Krejci, B’s sign Danton Heinen

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The Boston Bruins held their season-ending media availability on Monday, so there’s no shortage of information trickling in. The team website has the full bounty here.

If you’d rather forego some clicking for a little bit of scrolling, let’s touch on some of the high points.

  • David Krejci said that he’ll undergo surgery on his left hip, which would be a procedure that is similar to what he experienced six years ago for his right hip.

The talented playmaker admitted that his hip bothered him for about the last 20 games, although the Bruins’ medical staff was able to keep him game-ready.

Last time around, Krejci needed four months to recover, yet he hopes that this time will be speedier (despite him being six years older). We’ll see.

  • The Bruins signed University of Denver forward Danton Heinen to a three-year, entry-level contract. For a quick overview on Heinen, click here and here.
  • It sounds like Tuukka Rask was merely dealing with a “stomach bug.” The Bruins provided other injury updates in their wrap-up.
  • The B’s assigned the following players to the AHL:

Finally, some assorted postmortems:

The Bruins cleared up a lot of things on Monday. Of course, the biggest question – the future for head coach Claude Julien – still lingers in the air like the feelings of disappointment from missing the playoffs.

Sabres say blood clot will force Cody McCormick to retire

FILE - In this Oct. 13, 2010, file photo, Buffalo Sabres' Cody McCormick, right, fights with New Jersey Devils' Mark Fraser during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Buffalo, N.Y. Fighting has been a part of the NHL for about as long as the sport has existed. The NHL has toughened penalties and imposed longer suspensions for cheap shots, undercutting the players' unwritten code of justice.  (AP Photo/David Duprey, File)
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BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray says forward Cody McCormick has decided against resuming his NHL career a year after of a blood clot was found in his left leg.

McCormick does not want to jeopardize his health, Murray said in providing the update during the Sabres season-ending news conference on Monday. McCormick has not played since scoring a goal on Jan. 10, 2015, a day before he was hospitalized after the clot was discovered.

McCormick spent this past season on injured reserve after failing his pre-training camp physical. He is an 11-year veteran who spent parts of six seasons in Buffalo, and has one more year remaining on his contract.

Used mostly in a checking role, McCormick has 21 goals and 65 points in 405 career games.

Blackhawks recall Rundblad, send Bickell and Rasmussen to AHL

Chicago Blackhawks defenseman David Rundblad (5) advances past Carolina Hurricanes left wing Nathan Gerbe (14) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Monday, March 2, 2015, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Andrew A. Nelles)
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The playoffs are approaching, and the Chicago Blackhawks recalled a familiar postseason face in defenseman David Rundblad.

He’s up from the AHL while the team sent forwards Bryan Bickell and Dennis Rasmussen to the AHL.

(Taking a peek at fan reactions, many weren’t um, too pleased about Rasmussen being sent down. The feedback on Rundblad was mixed.)

Again, some Blackhawks fans are grumbling about Rasmussen, yet seeing two forwards sent down might be a good sign regarding the overall health of the team.

Key forwards such as Marian Hossa managed to practice:

While Andrew Ladd is expected to get up to speed:

So, even if there are some quibbles about these depth decisions, the overall outlook could be quite rosy for the Blackhawks as they prepare for a potentially bruising series against the Blues.

Flyers’ Neuvirth is the latest to play the ‘pressure’ card on Capitals

Philadelphia Flyers goalie Michal Neuvirth (30), of the Czech Republic, stops the puck against Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom (19), of Sweden, during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016, in Washington. The Flyers won 4-3 in overtime. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
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The Philadelphia Flyers defied expectations by making an honestly pretty astounding push to the playoffs. If they want to advance beyond the first round, they’ll need to beat really big odds once more.

Even if some bring up ghosts of previous playoff disappointments, the Washington Capitals still stand as one of the league’s favorites going into the postseason after cruising to a Presidents’ Trophy win.

Of course, big regular season achievements bring big pressure, and opponents continue to key on that narrative.

First, the subject was broached by Cal Clutterbuck of the New York Islanders to the New York Post back in late March:

“I don’t think it’s a positive thing when you turn on the TV every single time and you have everybody in the world telling you you’re supposed to win the Stanley Cup,” Clutterbuck said. “I’d hate to be the Washington Capitals right now. A lot of pressure.”

Again, that’s some bulletin board material that maybe can be filed away later (along with Washington’s response), as the Capitals drew the Flyers instead of the Islanders in round one.

Former Capitals goalie Michal Neuvirth didn’t do as much of a hard sell as Clutterbuck did, yet he did seem to gently nudge things in his former teammates’ direction, as NHL.com reports.

“It’s playoffs,” Neuvirth said. “You’re motivated as much as you want, but obviously we’ve got a great team. It’s going to be a lot of pressure on them and it’s going to be a good series.”

Celebrity sightings: Bashful Leonardo DiCaprio, Khaleesi from Game of Thrones

leodnhl
via NHL

Every now and then, celebrities show up at NHL games.

It’s usually not that big of a deal, aside from bemusing moments when Larry David turns up, or when a celebrity acknowledges a weird phenomenon like Kevin Spacey did with the Florida Panthers.

Saturday’s New York Islanders – Buffalo Sabres game presented an unusual situation, however, as Leonardo DiCaprio was there … but he really didn’t want people to be fully aware of that fact.

Puck Daddy has a little more on that, along with some hypotheses:

We can only assume why DiCaprio felt the need for anonymity. Perhaps the bear from “The Revenant” was seated a few rows over. Perhaps he was concerned about potential future ‘Kiss-Cam’ awkwardness. Perhaps he was convinced some townie from Flatbush was going to corner him for 20 minutes to talk about how he was “the bomb, yo” in “Gangs Of New York.”

Either way, Hockey Twitter sure had fun with it.

As with many of these cases, the situation is kind of sad (Leo seeking a modicum of privacy, or at least a break) and kind of funny (how far he went to not be seen … although he didn’t wear a full-on disguise).

On the other hand, plenty of celebrities seem undeterred, like Emilia Clarke at Thursday’s Kings games. Surely many people made jokes about Khaleesi’s dragons and /insert “Game of Thrones” reference for the sake of rustiness:

Actress Emilia Clarke attends an NHL hockey game between the Los Angeles Kings and the Anaheim Ducks, Thursday, April 7, 2016, in Los Angeles. The Kings won 2-1. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
via AP