PHILADELPHIA – Bruins center David Krejci is as skilled at forgetting the past as he is at finding the open man.
Tonight, however, Philadelphia wouldn’t let him forget what happened in Game 3 of last season’s Eastern Conference semifinal series with the Flyers.
“Yeah, obviously there is the yapping back and forth, so they kind of let me know,” said Krejci when asked if the Flyers brought up his broken wrist from last season during the Bruins’ Game 1 win in this year’s second-round rematch at the Wells Fargo Center. “Like I said you just have to stay focused and I think that’s what we did tonight.”
Krejci didn’t let the reminders of last spring or the fact that he scored just one point in the first round hold him back during Boston’s 7-3 rout. He spoke yesterday about the new series being a fresh start. He couldn’t have been any fresher, as he scored two goals and assisted on two others.
In total, Krejci and linemates Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic were a plus-8. Horton recorded a goal and an assist.
Krejci made sure the Bruins had the start they wanted by utilizing his patience and roofing a shot from in front of Flyers goaltender Brian Boucher 1:52 into the game. He later scored on a tip-in and made a strong defensive play to prevent a Kris Versteeg shorthanded goal that would’ve been Krejci’s fault because of a giveaway around the goal.
Krejci forgot about his errant stickhandling on that play the same way he blocked out everything else negative. He’s shown that knack in the past and his favorite line is “I’m not thinking about that” when he’s asked about a game or a stretch of games that didn’t go his way.
Although he won’t always talk about the past, Krejci can sometimes be affected by it, as head coach Claude Julien explained.
“I think he’s more of a quiet person. He doesn’t say much. But you know, once you’ve had him for a long time, you kind of know his demeanor, you get to know how he operates and he’s a very quiet kid, but he’s a very determined individual,” said Julien. “There are certain times where he puts so much pressure on himself that it doesn’t always help him. Once he finds his stride, he’s a very determined player. So hopefully this game this afternoon has really helped him and is hopefully going to keep him going that way.”
The Flyers can’t be much worse defensively than they were today. So the challenge will only get greater for Krejci, especially if Philadelphia’s top pair of Chris Pronger and Matt Carle start playing up to their capabilities and get into lockdown mode on Krejci’s line.
That means Krejci would do well to forget his positive performance the way he files away the ugly ones deep in the back of his mind.
“Yeah you know as a team if you go through the [first] round that’s a good thing. For me I know I didn’t prove that much but I still thought my line played pretty well,” he said. “We had so many chances, we just couldn’t bury them and that sometimes happens. The season has a lot of ups and downs and it was a tough series for us but I think we bounced back and we had a good game today.
“One game doesn’t make a playoff so we have to keep it going.”
If he keeps it going, Krejci will have plenty to remind the Flyers’ talkers about. And the Bruins will probably have a series to remember.