WILMINGTON, Mass. -- With his team on a two-game losing streak and in need of a scoring spark against the Washington Capitals on Sunday, Bruins head coach Claude Julien decided to switch up his lines, moving center David Krejci down to play between Jordan Caron and Benoit Pouliot and Chris Kelly up to play between Rich Peverley and Milan Lucic. The move worked as the Bruins, with just one goal in their previous two games, lit the lamp four times in a 4-1 win.
When the Bruins returned to the ice for practice Tuesday, the questions regarding the lineup move by Julien weren’t just about the spark he was searching for but also whether he was sending a message to Krejci, who has been very streaky this season.
“I don’t think there’s really any message other than we expect our players to come out and be the best they can every night,” Julien said. “That’s something that I think they owe it to the organization especially based on their contracts. That’s what we expect from them no matter where they are. The message should be the same whether he plays with certain players, his normal linemates or other players.”
Krejci was asked the same question and said he would just continue to work hard.
“I don’t really want to comment on it. I’m a professional,” the Czech center said. “I’m going to go out there every day and compete my hardest. That’s all I can control.”
Krejci who had an NHL best eleven-game point streak in January and then had points in four of the five games heading into the all star break admitted his play has tailed off a bit since returning from the break and promised to improve.
“I felt really good about my game going into the All-Star break. We had a couple bad games after the All-Star Game,” said Krejci, who now has 39 points in 48 games. “It happens. Just have to get back to where I was before the All-Star Game. I’ve done it many times before. I’m not worried about how I’m going to do it again. I have to look at it positively, go out there every day in practice and games and do my best.”
Julien didn’t seem to concerned about his usual top center either and credited him for helping his new linemates in the win at Washington.
“I thought he responded well and when you look at his stats after the game, and the line with Caron and Pouliot and how they created, they weren’t even getting shots so they were good and I didn’t mind them at all,” Julien said. “They did the job and I thought David was good himself. It’s just about getting everybody going again and sometimes those changes are not bad things.”