Did you watch the NHL then? Did you have a favorite club?
The games were late at night and there wasn’t much on TV so we couldn’t watch much at that time. But of course Jarda Jágr played in Pittsburgh, when I was older, I liked Milan Hejduk. I also got a Colorado jersey without a tag, but that was great. So those were two teams that I liked, for example, the characters.
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What do you remember from your debut in the most famous league in the world?
I don’t remember any of that (laughs).
Of course, I’m asking deliberately, you got a real kick from Adam Maira after three minutes and the game is over for you. But do you really remember anything?
I remember they called me and I came to Buffalo on game day. I was traveling then, I guess, six hours by car, and immediately went to the game. Of course, the nervousness and the names… From now on, nobody knows them as much as Marc Savard or Marco Sturm. Then boom and end (smile).
At that time, nobody really defended you on the ice. Jeremy Reich did it in about a month in retaliation, remember?
It was Jeremy Reich and I played on the farm and he was a great boy. Fourth line, fighter. We got along well, so I wasn’t at all surprised that he stood up for me. That’s how it goes over there.
I don’t wear the Stanley Cup ring anywhere
Match of the 21st round of the supplementary hockey league: HC Olomouc – HC Vítkovice Rider on November 2, 2021 in Olomouc. David Krejci from Olomouc.
The following season was a breakthrough for you. Where did the breakthrough come from and did you join the NHL?
I would say it happened last season. It’s one thing that the first game didn’t work out. But I had seventy points on the farm the first year (74 in the regular season, 16 in the playoffs, editor’s note), so I knew that if someone from the youth farm was doing the NHL here, it was when I won the team I’ll probably be the first in line. It broke there. Then it was a question of whether we would take the risk. I knew I would have it.
Why do you think you caught up to the competition so quickly?
It helped me get there somehow in the second season (2008/2009) I scored some seventy points (73 in the base game, 8 in the playoffs playoffs). This self-confidence also helped me in the following seasons. When I saw that I hadn’t scored a few games, I knew I had, and I already did. And that I can do it again. The second season was very important in this regard. She kicked me.
Twice you became the best player in the entire NHL in a plus/minus rating.
There are five people on the ice. He has to defend well, score goals. It just worked. I have always played both ways. These two seasons, everything went as it should.
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But the most important thing is, of course, the Stanley Cup. Where is your ring?
I hid it. I never wore it once to go to an event with him. Not that. Of course, this is the most.
You’ve been there twice since the triumph. For the first time in 2013…
We lost the final to Chicago, but I have to admit the Blackhawks were better. And then in 2019, it was a great season and playoffs. We lost to St. Louis Game 7 of the Finals at home. That’s why I’m a little sorry.
Why are they more sorry this year?
I was older. I was twenty-five when I won the Stanley Cup. It was great, but now I’d probably appreciate it more. In 2019, I already had two children, I would know what to do with the cup for the second time, how to bring it to the Czech Republic. I too have been there for a long time, I knew the boys better… When we won it, it was Marchand’s first season. And of course Pasta was with us. So I’m sorry.
I didn’t want to be the captain, I’m more of a cheerleader
When you won the Stanley Cup, you were the most productive player in the playoffs for the first time. But the Most Valuable Player award went to goaltender Tim Thomas. Didn’t that bother you a bit then?
For example, I think I played better in the 2019 final or in some other playoffs. That I won the score is one thing. But I don’t think I dominated. If they gave me this award in 2011, it would only be based on numbers. I don’t think I deserve it.
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Your nickname “Play-off Krech” is known. Did you really intentionally activate even more elimination fights?
He must always move on to other rounds. But I like the playoffs. The season in the NHL is very long, the goals are scored by each other, everyone is happy, you will enjoy it after the game. But in the playoffs, the euphoria is elsewhere. After every goal, every shot blocked. The longer it lasts when it comes to the final, the more I savor the emotions. So maybe that’s it. And maybe I want more too. During the season, you sometimes play against the last or second-to-last team in the league. Don’t get mad at me, I don’t have the same emotions in a match as in the playoffs.
Extra-league match between Olomouc (in red) and Hradec Králové. David Krejčí scores the goal for 2 – 1.
Have you thought about wearing a captain’s cap in Boston? In fact, you never wore “C”, why?
No not at all. I don’t care about that sort of thing at all. I would always behave the same way. I was an assistant for a long time, I kind of got used to it. When something needs to be said, I will say something. The captain has a harder time, especially in the NHL. He has to talk to the coaches and everything. Somehow, I don’t really want that. I’m such a cool guy. Keep going to the coaches cabin… once in a while, but the captain is much worse. If, for example, he loses, he must stay for the conversations. Sometimes I’m not in the mood, so I walk away.
How do you rate the past season and Vítkovice’s elimination from the preliminary round over time?
I am really sorry. It’s a thing. On the other hand, I look at the fact that the feedback from people, not just family or friends, is positive. It turned out that turned out, but everyone will remember this season. We really enjoyed this place with the family and the boys. This team really did it. Of course, we got through the Christmas season when we couldn’t. But we finished well and we played well in the playoffs. Unfortunately, we missed it.
I agreed to come to the World Cup
Finn Kari Jalonen has become the new national team coach. How about this step?
I have always dated the coaches of the national team. Even with Filip Pešán you can see that he understands this. Unfortunately, in recent seasons, it’s not been a decisive game. Not that we are worse, we can beat Russia in the baseline. But something is missing. And I don’t know what it is. It is possible that this Finn will take us through these key matches at an important stage. That quality is there. We prove it as a group, so we’ll see.
Didn’t Boston call you after they were knocked out of the preliminary round?
Sure, there was a conversation, but now I couldn’t imagine packing my bags and going. Boston is playing well now, they are winning. Sure, I miss the boys, I miss the vibe, but I couldn’t imagine leaving my family here.
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You said before the season that it will be crucial for you to know if you will be happy with your family in Olomouc, and you will decide where to continue accordingly.
We were satisfied. It all started so fabulously, then it was so long. But the kids are doing pretty well. The little one goes to an English school here, she likes it very much. The little one has three, he doesn’t understand much. However, the woman is American. It was good, but also long. He missed America, his friends and his family. I don’t blame her. We will remember this year. Great experience.
So you won’t stay in Olomouc?
We’ll see, I don’t care about it now. I agreed to come to the World Cup, so I would prepare for it. Then take a break and see what happens.