Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Krejci playing at top of his game
By James Murphy
David Krejci had 23 points in 25 games during the Bruins’ 2011 Stanley Cup run and was a pivotal force in many of the Bruins’ 16 wins that earned them their first championship in 39 seasons. But last season, even though he equaled the 62 regular-season points he had in 2010-11, he had many stretches of futility and admittedly let frustration set in, specifically in the first-round playoff loss to the Capitals when he had just three points in seven games.
But the Krejci that has showed up through the first 11 games of this 48-game season is looking more and more like the Krejci that was a force in the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs. Krejci scored his fourth goal of the season in the 4-3 shootout loss to the Rangers on Tuesday night and now leads the team in points with 11. So far, it’s been consistent productivity and not futility for Krejci.
“I’m real happy with David’s play,” said coach Claude Julien, following a recent practice. “David Krejci has been so consistent for us since the beginning of the year. I think, if anything, he’s been as consistent as we’ve seen him. He’s been, not a good, but a great player for us. I think he’s a great player; he’s got good speed, good hands.”
One thing that Krejci has been doing more of is paying the price in front of the net and in the corners. It’s something that helped lead to that productive stretch during the Cup run, and now it has Krejci’s game running on all cylinders. That was on display with his goal Tuesday, as well as his game-winner in the team’s 2-1 win at Montreal on Feb. 6.
“The part that I like about David is that he’s playing and skating well,” Julien said. “When I say playing, he’s skating well. He’s making plays, and even the goal he scored the other night [against Montrea], he drove the net. There’s not a part of David Krejci’s game right now that he’s not doing well, and as long as you’ve got David in that frame of mind, you’ve got a really good player.”
Linemate Milan Lucic concurred with his coach, and said Krejci deserves more credit for his grit and physical play.
“I definitely have a lot of fun being his linemate,” Lucic said. “I’ve played with him for a long time now. It’s our sixth season together, and he has a lot of skill, but I think he’s definitely underrated a little bit when it comes to his feistiness. You don’t lead the playoffs in goals and points by accident like he did in 2011, so he’s a big-time player for our hockey club, and I definitely appreciate the fact that I get to play with him.”