Portions of this column are meant to be read with a grain of salt.
OK, David Krejci. We get it. You’re the Bruins’ No. 1 center.
We know how fed up you are hearing about Patrice Bergeron’s two-way play and his consistency and his Selke Trophy. You’ve won the Stanley Cup more recently than Pavel Datsyuk and you showed Ryan Kesler what he could do with his Selke in the historic 2011 Stanley Cup Final.
And what has Sidney Crosby won lately?
Now after a subpar 2013 regular season, where 33 points in 47 games is considered subpar, you’ve decided to dominate the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs as if you’re some sort of cross between Superman and Gordie Howe in an effort to write your name in permanent ink at the top of the list of best centers in the NHL. Maybe you’ll even get atop the list of best players, regardless of position.
It’s certainly appropriate that in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals Wednesday you became the first visiting player to burn Toronto for a playoff hat trick since Wayne Gretzky. After all, your performance in the Bruins’ 4-3 overtime win was a Great One. You capped that hat trick with an overtime goal after your revitalized linemate Nathan Horton took a hit to make a pass out of the zone. Once mostly a playmaker, you’ve decided to unleash your shot and now you have five goals as part of your 10 points in the first four games of this series.
This has the makings of a lengthy playoff run for the Bruins, and I’m just wondering how much further you’re willing to take this massive effort to convince the world that you’re the greatest. I mean, I gave you that recognition already in a column on April 1. Will you let anyone else’s line on your team get into the spotlight. It looks like you’ve zapped Patrice Bergeron’s line (despite Bergeron’s power-play goal) of its offense. The other lines have been pretty quiet too.
Assuming you keep this up and the Maple Leafs finally fold and add a post-series handshake to their list of new experiences from this playoff season Friday, this Bruins run could last a while. You already lead the NHL playoffs in points, just like you did in 2011. And your 18 goals since those 2011 playoffs are the most of anyone in the league. What’s the ceiling here?
Here in Boston, we all know about you multi-faceted offensive stylings. You’re not too shabby in the defensive zone either. Even after leading the Bruins to the ’11 Cup, you still fly under the radar a tad nationally. I find that hard to believe but I get asked about it all the time on radio shows, so it must be true.
Now there’s no radar, limbo poll or weed in the grass low enough for you to hide beneath. You’re the top dog, the bee’s knees, the top banana, the center of attention, if you will. To think that there could be room for improvement and there might be plenty of games left on the docket for you to soar even higher has to make every active player in the NHL shiver a little.
Now we’ll see how you perform without everyone doubting or forgetting about you. There could be match-ups against elite centers like Sidney Crosby, John Tavares, Ryan Getzlaf, Datsyuk or Jonathan Toews in your playoff future. At this rate, everyone will be asking those guys and their teammates how to stop David Krejci. There might not be an answer. If you keep producing at this rate, the Bruins and the world might get to find out just how unstoppable you are.