Krejci is Leading Man
Center is fueling B's top line
BostonBruins.com – As David Krejci goes, so goes the Bruins' top line. Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic did not play during the league’s work stoppage, and much was written and talked about leading into the season that the line would, perhaps, get off to a slow start.
That has been the furthest thing from the truth. Through the Black & Gold’s first two games, the Krejci line has been the best on the ice, despite having potted just one goal as a unit. The trio has created energy and numerous scoring opportunities.
Head Coach Claude Julien says that is thanks to Krejci, who played for Pardubice HC of the Czech League to stay fresh in case the NHL season started and posted 16-11–27 totals in 24 games.
“Yeah, it has,” said Julien after Tuesday’s practice in Wilmington, on whether the Krejci has impressed him, so far. “And the main reason is David Krejci is playing extremely well. He makes that line go.
“I like their play. I think you know, we said it before the season started they were maybe a question mark because of the situation – one [in Horton] being out for a whole year and another [in Lucic] not having played – and it can take a little bit longer to get yourself going.
“But that line has been really good. David’s done a great job in the middle, and those other two guys are using their speed their strength and they’re making things happen. I like their play. I think they’re very focused right now, and bringing something positive to the hockey club, and they’re making it happen.”
Krejci, who has one assist over the first two games, was named the First Star of Monday’s 2-1 victory over the Jets, trailing only Patrice Bergeron in time on ice among the forwards.
The Czech Republic native is pleased with the play of his line, so far, but is not satisfied. While the line has been creating chances, they have only managed to score one goal - Lucic’s goal on Opening Night against the Rangers, in which Krejci fired a slap shot that bounced right out to Lucic, who banged it home.
“We know as a line that we’ve got a little more than we showed and we’ll try to work on that and get better [going forward],” said the center earlier this week. “I think we had some good shifts, some good chances, but we still got a long way to get back to where we want to be.”
Krejci has been switching between the point and a spot down low on the power play and had his best scoring chance of the season against the Rangers. He was robbed by a sprawling Henrik Lundqvist, who snagged Krejci’s shot with his glove, but it appeared that the puck may have crossed the goal line, but there was not enough evidence to overturn the call.
“These things happen,” said the native of the Czech Republic. “It happened so quickly, I didn’t have time to place the puck in the net, I just had to put it on net. He made a great save.
“I think we had some great looks, some good chances [on the power play]. We didn’t score but it’s not a big deal, we carried some momentum for our team for the next shift.”
Just as Krejci carries the momentum for his line.