Center David Krejci famously led the entire NHL in playoff scoring during the 2011 run to the Stanley Cup championship.
But the way things started that postseason, Krejci was nearly a goat instead of a hero in those playoffs.
In seven games against Montreal in the first round, Krejci totaled just one point (a Game 3 goal). The Bruins were able to win in spite of Krejci’s lack of production.
Krejci’s first-round follies continued in 2012, with him only posting 1-2-3 totals in seven games against Washington. He didn’t record a point until a Game 5 assist against Washington and this time around, the Bruins came up short.
So with Krejci again an important part of an underachieving Bruins offense, and once again seemingly ready to center wings Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton, who are both coming off disappointing regular seasons, Krejci has to find a way to avoid falling into another Round 1 pit. The first round opens Wednesday night, when the Bruins will host the Toronto Maple Leafs at TD Garden.
“That’s why it’s a team sport. Sometimes one line doesn’t produce, so the other lines got to step up,” Krejci said Wednesday morning in an attempt to deflect some pressure. “That’s a team and that’s got us success in the past. So we’ve got to keep doing it this year.”
Krejci was second on the Bruins with 33 points (10 goals) in the regular season. Lucic finished with just seven goals and 27 points. Horton scored 13 goals and recorded 22 points in 43 games before he was injured.
“We didn’t have our best year together, but all that doesn’t matter now,” Horton said. “It’s out the window, and like everyone says, this is a new start. It’s Game 1 tomorrow.”
Coach Claude Julien usually has a solid gauge on where Krejci’s game is. He’s confident we’ll see a point-producer against the Leafs.
“I think he’s played well enough [of late]. I thought his last two games, he skated really well,” Julien said. “He had speed in his game, and even the goal that he scored when he just walked through the whole team there when the puck was turned over, and roofed it, that was in Philly. In Washington, he had a really good game there as well, so I think David’s ready to play.”