MONTREAL -- Bruins forward David Krejci was on the Bell Centre ice 20 minutes before the team’s morning skate Monday. He appeared focused while working on his shot. The Bruins' top-line center, who finished the regular season with 19 goals and 50 assists for 69 points in 80 games, has has been limited to only three assists in the playoffs, and he's clearly frustrated.
“When you’re not doing well you need different guys to step up and that’s what you need in the playoffs. I believe my time is about to come and I’m going to be big for my team. I owe it to these guys, so I’m going to do everything I can to start tonight,” Krejci said.
A win for Boston in Game 6 Monday night would eliminate the Montreal Canadiens, and the Bruins would advance to their third Eastern Conference final in four years. Krejci wants to make sure that happens.
After the morning skate, he sat at his locker and said he plans on changing his misfortunes in Game 6.
“I want to help the team as much as I can,” he said. “I’m going to do everything I can to put the puck in the net. But it’s a team sport and if we win this game we’re in the next round. All my focus is to just do the job. Whatever it takes -- faceoffs, block shots, whatever. I’ll do it but my focus is to put the puck in the net.”
During Boston’s Cup run in 2011, Krejci had 12 goals and 11 assists for 23 points in 25 games. In 2013, the Bruins reached the finals and Krejci had nine goals and 17 assists for 26 points in 22 games.
Bruins coach Claude Julien understands the centerman’s frustrations, but was glad to hear Krejci is focused on stepping up his game.
“He’s just a character guy,” Julien said. “He’s demanding of himself and you know he’s been a good player for us all year. Just because he hasn’t scored yet doesn’t mean he doesn’t care and he doesn’t try. So you’ve got to work with those guys and try to help them find solutions. But a lot of it has to come from them. And if he’s that focused, that’s a good sign for us.”
Krejci hasn’t played poorly. Despite the numbers, he’s been physical, he’s been solid defensively and he’s been winning faceoffs. There’s only one thing missing: “Just put the puck in the net,” he said.
He’s never faced this type of slump for this long in the playoffs, and the frustration has gotten to him at times.
“As a player, you have to realize that every single guy goes through stuff like that at one point," he said. "I believe I’ve been pretty good in the past. I know we don’t live in the past, but I’ve been in a position before and I know I can be the player, so I’m trying to stay positive, go out there, work hard. My teammates have been doing a pretty good job of winning the hockey games, so I believe my time is just around the corner.”
When Krejci is this confident to produce, he usually does.