Bruins – Red Wings preview: David Krejci ready to erupt once again in playoffs
In past years, Bruins center David Krejci has saved his finest work for when the lights shine the brightest: in the NHL postseason. Remember, this is the same guy who led Boston with an NHL-best 23 points (12 goals, 11 assists) during their 2011 postseason run to the Stanley Cup.
The top seeded B’s open up their 2014 postseason on Friday (7:30 p.m., NESN) at TD Garden vs. the Red Wings. Bodog.com has the Bruins listed as 7/2 favorites to win the Cup (the best odds of any team), and if that happens, you just know Krejci will be front and center when it comes to any success this spring.
After Boston’s regular season home finale on Saturday, a 4-1 win over Buffalo, Krejci briefly reflected on what the team has already accomplished this season while also acknowledging the challenges ahead.
“It’s a nice achievement (to win the Presidents’ Trophy) but it’s not our goal,” Krejci said. “We’re starting at home, which is nice, and I think we feel good about our game.”
Krejci will turn 28 on April 28, so this has to be considered the prime of his career. In 81 career playoff games, he’s notched 29 goals and 44 assists with a stunning plus/minus of plus-31.
Coming off perhaps the best regular season (19 goals, 50 assists, plus-39) of his seven full years in Boston, one has to wonder what he’ll do for an encore in the playoffs. Granted, individual success in the regular season doesn’t automatically mean that a player will thrive at the same level in the postseason, but with Krejci, his track record in April, May and June speaks for itself.
It understandably gets overlooked since the Blackhawks beat the Bruins in six games last June to win the 2013 Stanley Cup, but Krejci was brilliant throughout that postseason. He had nine goals and 17 assists in 22 games with plus-13 mark.
You can’t rewrite history, but if the B’s had beaten the Blackhawks, you’d have to think that Krejci would have been the one winning the Conn Smyth trophy (playoff MVP).
Follow Metro Boston Bruins beat writer Richard Slate on Twitter: @RichSlate