BOSTON — With four shots on net in the Bruins’ Game 6 loss to Tampa Bay Wednesday night, David Krejci matched his single-game high for this postseason previously set in Game 7 of the Montreal series.
Unlike that game against the Canadiens, however, Krejci cashed in for a hat trick against the Lightning. To prevail in tonight’s Game 7 and advance to the Stanley Cup Final, the Bruins will need Krejci to continue to focus on scoring as much as assisting.
“I think that’s something that we’ve been encouraging him to do all year,” said head coach Claude Julien about Krejci, who now has 10 goals in the postseason after scoring just 13 in the regular season. “David, in his mind, is a pass-first kind of player. He always looks to pass first and foremost. We’ve encouraged him to shoot more because there’s times where he’s in real good shooting position.
“And Marc Savard was the same way. Marc had a real good shot, and a lot of times he’d look to pass instead of shooting. That’s a natural thing that those guys normally do. From Adam Oates back in the day, there are guys the guys that that’s the strength of their game. So you don’t want them to lose that strength, but you also want them to be able to make the difference between ‘am I in a good shooting or scoring area here where I should take the shot versus passing?’”
The Bruins are 6-1 when Krejci scores a goal in the playoffs.
After he fired a shade more than two shots on net per game in the regular season, Krejci scored just once while putting 13 shots on net in the seven-game victory over the Canadiens. He only fired 10 shots on against Philadelphia, but four of them went in.
Against the Lightning he’s put 10 shots on net in six games and scored five times — totals his team hopes will increase by the end of the night.
“I think that’s an underrated part of his game that he still has that scoring touch and it goes along with his playmaking abilities. He’s shown that,” said linemate Milan Lucic. “You take away the Montreal series, in the last two rounds he’s shown a lot of that. If he gets an opportunity tonight, hopefully he doesn’t pass up on it.”