Bruins notebook

Krejci has optimistic outlook

Rehabbing from hip surgery, David Krejci skated on his own and with teammates for a total of 55 minutes at TD Garden. Rehabbing from hip surgery, David Krejci skated on his own and with teammates for a total of 55 minutes at TD Garden. (Bill Greene/Globe Staff)
By Fluto Shinzawa
Globe Staff / September 15, 2009

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David Krejci skated on his own for 30 minutes yesterday at TD Garden. He iced down, then went back on the sheet with his teammates in the day’s first session for 55 total minutes of skating - just about right for a player rehabbing from June surgery to repair an impingement in his right hip.

But Krejci is not feeling well enough to say he’ll be in uniform come the Oct. 1 season opener against Washington.

“Seventeen days? Two and a half weeks? I don’t know,’’ said Krejci. “I’ll say there might be a little chance. Not a big one, but a little one. Maybe 10 percent. I can’t say there’s zero percent, because I feel pretty good on the ice.

“I don’t know how it’s going to feel one week from now. I think I probably won’t be ready, but there’s a chance.’’

Krejci is pain-free when he skates in straight lines or crosses over to the left. But when he tries a crossover to his right, he feels pain in his hip.

“That’s normal,’’ Krejci said.

While Krejci holds out hope that he’ll be fit for Game No. 1, the Bruins have not been expecting the center to contribute right away. Recovery from such surgery usually takes 4-6 months.

“He’s not even close to playing in exhibition games yet as we speak,’’ said coach Claude Julien. “So we’ll see how he progresses along the way. This is a situation that our trainers have got in hand. Until I’m being told by them that he’s ready to go 100 percent, he’s not even part of the equation.’’

If Krejci is unavailable at the start of the season, Marc Savard and Patrice Bergeron would likely be considered the top two centers. Vladimir Sobotka could be a No. 3, and Steve Begin is targeted for fourth-line action.

Goaltender battle
A possible game plan would have Vezina Trophy winner Tim Thomas making 55-60 starts this season, with Tuukka Rask seeing the rest of the action as the Bruins ease the rookie into the NHL. Dany Sabourin, however, is raising a gloved hand in objection.

“We had a few calls, but I took Boston,’’ said the 29-year-old Sabourin. “I’m still thinking I have a good shot to make the team here. That’s why I took Boston.

“Right now, I’m just concentrating on going on the ice and making a good first impression for myself, working hard, and doing the best I can. We’ll see what happens. I don’t have any control on what decision they’re going to make. But I like the challenge.’’

Sabourin, Calgary’s fourth-round pick in 1998, spent part of last season in Pittsburgh as the No. 2 goalie behind Marc-Andre Fleury. He made 19 appearances, going 6-8-2 with a 2.85 goals-against average and a .904 save percentage. But with the Penguins struggling to stay among the top eight in the Eastern Conference, Sabourin became part of a series of shakeups - the biggest being the ouster of coach Michel Therrien - and was wheeled to Edmonton Jan. 17 in a package for Mathieu Garon.

Four days later, Sabourin received an even bigger surprise when Edmonton management informed him he’d be going to Springfield.

“That was a shock for me,’’ Sabourin said. “I played the last three years in the AHL. Going down, it’s never fun for anybody, I don’t think. It was hard. It was really hard to go to Springfield. But I met some really nice guys there. I worked hard and it made me stronger now. Every situation, you have to do it the right way so you get better.’’

Sabourin, a native of Val-d’Or, Quebec, signed a one-year, $500,000 contract with the Bruins July 7. The 6-foot-4-inch, 200-pound Sabourin gives the Bruins insurance in case Thomas or Rask goes down, considering Kevin Regan is still recovering from hip surgery and youngsters Matt Dalton, Michael Hutchinson, and Adam Courchaine are not ready for NHL duty. Sabourin must clear waivers if he is assigned to Providence.

“I think Tuukka has to understand that he’s got a great opportunity here,’’ Julien said. “He’s got to seize it. He’s got some competition.

“There’s a guy by the name of Sabourin who’s got some experience, too, in this league. We’ve got some young guys, too, pushing. We all know, realistically, that right now, it’s more Sabourin-Rask competition on who will be working with Timmy this year.’’

Cautious approach
The Bruins kick off preseason play tonight against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Although Marco Sturm, who hasn’t played since December because of an injured left knee, would like to play in a good number of preseason games to regain his timing, the Bruins will monitor his condition closely. “You have to be careful,’’ Julien said. “You may want to give him lots to get him back into it. Giving him too much at the beginning could have a negative effect, too. You want to give him a chance to gradually get into it. It doesn’t mean playing as many games as possible. He’s one of those guys that we’ll gauge as we go on in training camp and see how he feels, whether he’s tiring, whether there are some issues. I think we’ll deal with it as we go on here. I’ve kept an open mind as far as how I’m going to utilize him from here to the start of the season.’’ Andrew Ference (groin surgery) and Matt Hunwick (splenectomy) also fall into that category.

Fluto Shinzawa can be reached at

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