WILMINGTON, Mass. — During the Boston Bruins’ four-game sweep of their season series with the Carolina Hurricanes during the regular season, two players stood out on offense more than any of the other skaters in black and gold.
Center David Krejci led the team with seven points (three goals) and consistent linemate Blake Wheeler chipped in with five points (three goals) against the Hurricanes. While they probably won’t be on the same line for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series tomorrow night against the Hurricanes, both are hoping to continue their regular-season scoring touch against the conference’s sixth seed.
“It’s just one of those things. In the regular season, I didn’t do well against Montreal. And in the playoffs the same thing. But I don’t know what it is,” said Wheeler today after practice at Ristuccia Arena when asked about his success against Carolina. “It’s just sometimes you find yourself producing against different teams for different reasons. I don’t know why, the puck just seemed to find the net for me and (Krejci) as well.
“Hopefully it continues this round. It’d be great to be able to contribute and we’ll just see what happens. Obviously there’s a lot of ways to contribute in the playoffs so I guess that’s one way.”
Krejci was just as modest about his feats.
“I don’t think there’s a reason why. I just had luck a couple times,” he said. “But the playoffs are something else. They’re a different team than they were in the regular season. They have a really good goalie. It’s going to be hard for us.”
Wheeler didn’t record a point in the four-game sweep of the Canadiens, but Krejci tied for third on the team with five points (two goals). Both are looking forward to playing in the second round of the NHL playoffs for the first time.
“I’m expecting it to be very exciting from our standpoint. We haven’t played in so long, I think guys are going to just be ready to get out there, compete again and kind of get those feelings going,” said Wheeler. “And I guess I haven’t even really had time to think about what they’re going to bring to the table because I know from our standpoint, I think everyone’s ready to go, everyone’s ready to hopefully not have to shake off any rust, go out there and pick up where we left off.”
Said Krejci: “I’m looking forward it. It’s going to be my biggest series of my life, basically. I’m excited. I’m excited about the fans too. I can’t wait to step on the ice tomorrow and be able to play again and for the fans to cheer for us.”
With Krejci’s re-emergence during the playoffs as one of the most dangerous two-way centermen in the NHL, the Bruins have enjoyed a renaissance as a team that can count on three lines (sometimes four) for offense. That two-goal month of March Krejci endured is now long gone in the rear view mirror.
“Everybody’s going to forget what happened in March,” he said. “The most important time is May and June, so now this is it and we’re here and what happened before … we’re starting from zero again.”