Healthy Krejci was excited to get started
Prior to last night, the last time David Krejci suited up for a postseason game was last spring, in the third game of the Bruins’ second-round series against the Flyers. Turns out, it was the last postseason game Boston won. Krejci was knocked out by a wrist injury that required surgery and his teammates lost four straight in arguably the most painful playoff elimination in franchise history.
The Bruins have put that disappointment in the rearview mirror, and last night was a new opportunity for playoff success as their first-round series against the Canadiens began at TD Garden.
Krejci, who finished this season tied with linemate Milan Lucic for the team lead with 62 points, said he was healthy and excited about the possibilities.
“You wake up and you know what’s ahead of you and you get excited and that’s a good thing,’’ said Krejci. “As long as the guys are excited for the playoffs, then you’re going to have fun in the room, and we will be ready to go.’’
Although he has had a fine season, Krejci knows he needs to pick up his offensive pace. In the last seven games of the regular season, he had one goal and one assist. He had been held without a point in three straight games heading into last night.
“I would like to keep playing the way I was playing, especially the second half of the year this year and last year in the playoffs,’’ he said. “Obviously, it’s not easy, but we have a good team this year and we have good depth, so that should help each guy on the ice. Hopefully I can bring my ‘A’ game and help us win some games.’’
Krejci, Lucic, and Nathan Horton form a potent combination, and in Krejci’s opinion they make each other better.
“[Those] two, they make so much room for myself so I have so much room to play with the puck. They’re just monsters,’’ Krejci said. “I feel like I can do anything on the ice and no one can touch me. So obviously, that helps my game, but it helps their game, too. They give me the puck, they make me some room, they get open, and I try to give them the puck. It’s been working this year, so hopefully we can keep it going in the playoffs.’’
Their chemistry is as strong in the dressing room as it is on the ice.
“We’re really good friends,’’ Krejci said. “They have lots of fun even off the ice and on the ice and on the bench and in practices. It’s exciting, especially this time of the year. You have to have some fun. You can’t stress or be nervous about the games. You’ve got to loosen up a little bit, and throwing jokes in there helps us.’’
Like everyone in the organization, Krejci has high hopes for the playoffs.
“If you want to win the Cup, it starts with Game 1, and everybody has to bring their ‘A’ game,’’ he said. “It’s expected from me to make something happen on the ice and I expect the exact same thing from myself. I’m going to try to do that. I expect the other guys to do the same thing. But talk is cheap, so I have to go out there and prove I really can play. I can handle the pressure. I believe a lot in this team, that we can accomplish really good things this year.’’
Nancy Marrapese-Burrell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.