BOSTON -- The best news to come out of Monday's practice and team media day at TD Garden was that ailing center David Krejci, and wingers Marco Sturm and Steve Begin, were able to go through a complete practice with their Boston Bruins teammates.
All three were classified as probable to play in Thursday night's regular-season opener against Washington in the Hub.
"I had a tough week last week, but I felt pretty good today in practice and I'm just excited to be back for Thursday," said Sturm, who in his return from last winter's knee surgery aggravated a groin injury that kept him off the ice for close to five days.
Sturm's setback wasn't completely unexpected, as it turns out.
"They kind of told me it could happen," said Sturm. "It was funny, I saw an article today about [Dallas'] Brenden Morrow, he had an ACL too, and he had kind of the same problem. So it's something, that if you're gone for a long time and then come back, maybe you do some different strides and stuff like that, that can happen."
When Krejci underwent offseason hip surgery, the prognosis was for a return in four to six months. Assuming he can match up with the Capitals, he'll have made it back much closer to the four-month mark.
"I told them I feel good. [Physical therapist Scott Waugh] was following me over a month and a half when I was on the ice and he said I look good," said Krejci. "He was on top of me every day and we decided today I'm ready. It's a mental thing. I feel strong today and obviously mentally it's going to be hard. The first game comes, I might think a little more. But once the fans are pumped up and I'll be in the game, I'll be ready."
Begin also said he felt better after nursing a groin problem last week.
News and notes
The Bruins will honor legendary television play-by-play voice Fred Cusick during the second period of their game with Carolina on Oct. 3 at TD Garden. During the first TV timeout, the television booth will be named the Fred Cusick Broadcast Booth and a silver microphone encased in a black-and-gold frame will be unveiled on the ninth-floor fašade under the booth. Cusick called Bruins games for nearly half a century. ... It's ironic then that the Bruins are going to honor a TV voice two nights after more than 200,000 homes in New England are more than likely not going to be able to watch opening night because of a dispute between DirecTV and Versus. "I know that the commissioner and everybody in the league office is doing what they can do," said Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs. "But we're remote to the situation. It's not within our control. And I wish it was. But they know how unhappy the whole hockey world is with that not being there. I think the best thing is, everybody should be put on notice of what the circumstances are. And if they want to watch our game get to a place they can see it from." ... General manager Peter Chiarelli said he commended both Zach Hamill and Brad Marchand for their outstanding training camps before assigning them to the farm club in Providence (AHL) to start the season. Expect both to be a factor in Boston at some point this winter. ... Chiarelli on the Bruins' eight-game preseason, during which they compiled a 5-2-1 record: "Last we were 3-4-1, I think. So you really don't look at the record. You'd like to have a winning record but I think it really benefited the younger guys because they were able to play so many games."
Matt Kalman covers the Bruins for ESPNBoston.com. He has been on the Bruins beat since the lockout for numerous publications and has been covering the Boston sports scene for a decade. Send any questions for Matt to his mailbag and he might answer them in his Bruins mailbag.