WILMINGTON, Mass. -- There was a good portion of fans at the O2 Arena in Prague cheering for the Bruins as they opened their season by splitting a two-game series with the Phoenix Coyotes. There was likely some scattered Black and Gold throughout the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. for the Bruins 4-1 win over the Devils last Saturday and even for their 3-1 win over the Capitals at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.
But for David Krejci, the 17,565 sellout crowd of Bruins fans that pack the TD Garden for the team's home opener Thursday night will be one of the biggest thrills of this young season.
"It was great to go home to Czech Republic and see family and play there in my home country for sure," said the Czech native. "But you always love playing in front of your home fans, and we have great fans in Boston. We know it's going to be a sellout [Thursday] and the place will be loud, and we're excited to finally play at home."
The Carolina Hurricanes will be the only remaining NHL team not to have played in its home barn after the Bruins host the Capitals Thursday night. And while the Bruins definitely feel they bonded on their four-game, two-continent road trip to open the season, they're welcoming the comforts of home, whether it be at TD Garden or their own abodes.
"Just to come to a place you know and are used to playing in or working out is a good feeling, and then to be able to go home and sleep in your own bed is nice, too," Krejci said. "You know faces here and see people you're used to seeing, and it's nice. We're happy to be back for a bit."
The Bruins will also host the Rangers on Saturday and then the current Northeast Division-leading Maple Leafs next Thursday on this three-game homestand before heading back out on the road for another divisional bout with the Ottawa Senators on Oct. 30.
But Krejci isn't looking that far ahead. Instead he's focused on hearing the roar of the crowd as he is introduced in the pregame introductions Thursday night. Chances are, with six points in his first four games and playing in his first home game since Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Philadelphia Flyers, Krejci will hear quite the ovation.
"It's always awesome when you're standing there and they call your name and you skate out there on the ice," Krejci said. "I get really excited for that and it's a great feeling."