|David Krejci: ‘You just can’t turn it on when the playoffs come’||03.02.12 at 8:46 am ET|
David Krejci knew full well what his February was like. Like his whole season to this point, it had been very up and down and inconsistent.
That all changed Thursday when the calendar flipped to March. The center-turned-winger was back at center and he netted his second career hat trick, finishing it off with an overtime goal that propelled the Bruins past the Devils, 4-3, in overtime.
Krejci had been in a huge slump coming in, just 13 goals, including two in 13 games in the month of February. His assist totals are also way off. He hasn’t had a helper since Jan. 31 and has 28 for the season, one reason why Julien moved him from center to wing.
But Thursday night with Tyler Seguin on his wing, Krejci was back at center. He looked reenergized and fresh, and most importantly, ready to contribute in a big way down the stretch as the Bruins try to regain their momentum for another spring title run.
“Yeah, I wasn’t thinking about it, I had two goals in the month of February,” Krejci said of his struggles in February. “But, you know, I just take it game by game. I want to do my best every game and I was feeling really good before the game and I got Segs on my line so I was excited about it. We click well together with Looch [Milan Lucic] and him and it was a good game for us. I know we had a little sloppy second period but we came back hard in the third and won the game. That was the most important thing.”
His coach has noticed an improvement of late.
“I think he’s really, he looks more comfortable right now,” Claude Julien said of Krejci. “As I’ve often said, he puts a lot of pressure on himself. He’s probably his worst enemy when things aren’t going well, and because of that, it doesn’t help him in the long run. You try and take some of that pressure off and say, ‘Listen, you’ve just got to go out there and play.’ So, when he feels good about his game, you see a big difference, and that’s what we’ve seen here.”
Like his previous two goals, his overtime goal came as the result of finding space in front of Martin Brodeur. And like his first two goals of the night his timing and positioning in front paid off.
“A little lucky that one, I guess. I was at the end of my shift, I was tired and, you know, Bergy [Patrice Bergeron] made a good play,” he said. “I kind of sensed it that he was going to throw it in front of the net and Z [Zdeno Chara] tried to jam it and I was just at the right time at the right place. I saw Brodeur was down so first thought was go upstairs and it worked that time.” Read the rest of this entry »
|David Krejci’s hat trick leads Bruins past Devils in overtime||03.01.12 at 9:37 pm ET|
David Krejci chose the best time of all to seal his hat trick Thursday, scoring his third goal of the night 2:59 into overtime to give the Bruins a 4-3 win over the Devils at TD Garden.
The Bruins blew a two-goal lead in the second period, but came back to tie the game in the third before eventually winning it on Krejci’s 16th of the season.
Claude Julien shuffled the team’s lines, and it paid off early for the Bruins. Centering Milan Lucic and Tyler Seguin, Krejci scored his 14th goal of the season 1:13 into the game when Seguin flew down the right wing and fed Krejci in front of the net. The same line produced another goal just under seven minutes later when Milan Lucic came down along the boards and shook off Mark Fayne before sending a pass to Seguin, who beat Martin Brodeur with a wrist shot. The goal was Seguin’s 21st of the season.
Then, as has been the case often this season, things went south for the B’s in the second period. The Devils scored three unanswered goals, getting tallies from Zach Parise, Patrik Elias and David Clarkson to wipe out the Bruins’ lead.
The Bruins woke back up in the third, as Krejci batted a rebound out of mid air at 5:30 to tie the game and give him his second goal of the night.
Tim Thomas made 26 saves on 29 shots in regulation, while Brodeur stopped 21 of the 24 shots he faced in the first three periods.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- Greg Zanon looked good in his Bruins debut. Paired with Adam McQuaid to begin the game, Zanon had a shot on goal, a pair of blocked shots and a big hit on Clarkson. Zanon finished the night with a team-high three hits for the B’s. Hits and blocked shots are both specialties of Zanon, who is a safer defenseman with less offensive prowess. Zanon also contributed on the penalty kill when Zdeno Chara went off for high-sticking Adam Henrique in the third period.
- That new line of Krejci between Seguin and Lucic sure looked good. All three players had multi-point nights, as Krejci had a pair of goals, while Seguin had a goal and an assist and Lucic had a pair of helpers.
- Tim Thomas picked up his first assist of the season and sixth helper of his career when he got the secondary apple on Seguin’s goal. Of course, it took Thomas a little longer to get his first assist this season than it did last season, as he assisted Seguin’s first career goal in his first start of the season in Prague against the Coyotes.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- Joe Corvo‘s horrid night cost him. He had his latest bad turnover in a Bruins sweater, making a blind backhanded pass into the neutral zone from the Bruins’ blue line in the second period, and Ilya Kovalchuk picked it off easily before feeding Zach Parise to make it 2-1. Corvo is fighting to stay in the lineup once Johnny Boychuk is healthy, and if he winds up as a healthy scratch, it will be because of the turnovers. He was also on the ice for Elias’ goal and was benched afterwards. He didn’t return to the ice until the start of the Bruins’ third-period power play at 5:45.
- After buzzing around the Devils’ zone for the first 20 minutes, the Bruins got off to a quiet start in the second period. The B’s didn’t get their first shot of the period until 9:11, when Seguin was stopped by Brodeur. The second period has been a killer for the Bruins for quite some time, and they were outscored, 2-0, and lost their lead in the second Thursday night.
- The Bruins’ lead could have been much greater than it was, and Brodeur had a lot to do with that. The four-time Vezina-winner came up with some some saves, including one on David Krejci in the first period. With the Devils on the power play, a save from Thomas on David Clarkson quickly turned into a breakaway for Krejci, but Brodeur stopped him with his blocker on an acrobatic save.
- Andrew Ference did not take another shift after his third of the period, which ended 5:30 into the period. He may have been injured on a hit he took from Alexei Ponikarovsky earlier in the period, though he had initially returned to the ice following the hit.
- Shawn Thornton was also missing for a few minutes after fighting frequent dance partner Eric Boulton 2:11 into the first period. After disappearing from the bench, he returned to take his second shift of the night at 15:35.
- Claude Julien sure does trust Brian Rolston already, as the B’s coach put Rolston on Patrice Bergeron’s line with Marchand. Rolston took his second tripping penalty in as many games, and through two games looks like he’d be better suited for bottom-six minutes than playing on that second line over someone like Chris Kelly or Benoit Pouliot. Julien eventually played Kelly on the line in Rolston’s place in the third period.
|Andy Brickley on D&C: David Krejci ‘hasn’t been good enough’||02.08.12 at 11:18 am ET|
NESN Bruins analyst Andy Brickley made his weekly appearance on Dennis & Callahan Wednesday morning and talked about David Krecji being dropped to the third line, the evolution of Patrice Bergeron, and the tough road ahead for the Bruins.
Krecji, who usually plays on the first line with Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton, saw his role changed when he was put on the third line. Brickley looked at the move as Bruins coach Claude Julien trying to ignite a spark under the veteran.
“You always have to be as measured as you can be as a coach in order to get the desired results,” Brickley said. “But I will guess that David Krecji going to the third line, things have happened prior to this move to try to get more from David Krejci. … From time to time these are the things you have to do to get his attention in order to get more out of him.”
Brickley said the move isn’t that much of a shock, based on how Krecji had been playing with Rich Peverly, who was a replacement on the line for the injured Nathan Horton.
“He’s affected by not having Nathan Horton on his right side, he’s real comfortable when he plays in between Lucic and Horton,” Brickley said. “Peverly gives you a totally different element on that right side. I don’t think he and David Krecji are a good mix, I think they’ve proven that, there’s a little bit of stretch where it hasn’t gone their way.
“But David Krecji is good enough to dictate how that line plays. He hasn’t been good enough, and Claude needs to figure out a way to get more out of him. And I’m sure he’s had conversations with him, I’m sure that they’ve made adjustments on how they want to move the puck and how they want to break it out and how they want to forecheck given the personnel that he’s playing with. And now it’s gotten to the point where I’m going to win hockey games by putting other lines together that I know what I’m going to get from, and David, you make your adjustments playing with these two other players.”
|Bruins-Canadiens Live Blog: Brad Marchand increases lead||12.19.11 at 6:46 pm ET|
|Bruins can’t wait for their next test: Sidney Crosby and the East-leading Penguins||12.05.11 at 10:42 am ET|
It’s the perfect test at the perfect time.
The Bruins have rebounded from a 3-7-0 start and are the hottest team in the NHL. They have 13 of 14 and are unbeaten in regulation since Oct. 29 in Montreal.
The Penguins are the top team in the East and have been the best team in the conference since the start of the season.
Now the top two teams in the conference meet in tonight in Pittsburgh.
“It’s going to be a great challenge for us,” said Chris Kelly, who scored the game-winner on Saturday night. “They are playing extremely well. They have their best player back and he seems like he hasn’t missed a beat. It will be an exciting game for us.”
Of course, the “best player” to whom Kelly refers is Sidney Crosby. He returned from his post-concussion symptoms on Nov. 21 with two goals in a 5-0 win over the Islanders. He hasn’t scored since but he does have 10 assists and the Pens are 5-1-1 in the seven games with him back in the lineup.
“It’s going to be a big game,” Bruins captain Zdeno Chara said. “We haven’t faced them this season yet. Obviously they’ve got a healthy team now. I’m sure it’s going to be a good game.”
Tonight marks the first of four games between the last two Eastern Conference teams who have won the Stanley Cup. The Penguins won on Detroit’s home ice in Game 7 in 2009 while the Bruins accomplished the same feat back on June 15 in Vancouver.
Is this is a “measuring stick” game for the defending champion B’s?
“I think we’re approaching- we’ve got the right mind set going into every game right now,” new pugilist Joe Corvo said. “I feel like we’re playing the same way every game and we’re being super consistent and if we don’t at some point in the game, it gets corrected. I think it’s obviously a good test, they’re in first place so it’ll be an exciting game.”
With a regulation win, the Bruins will be just one point out of the top spot in the East, 15 games after being in the cellar.
“We want to get up there in the standings and this is a game for first place so it’s going to be a big one,” David Krejci said.
There will be no rest after the game, either. The Bruins hop on a plane and go halfway across the continent for a Tuesday night game in Winnipeg.
|Quick notes from the David Krejci press conference||12.01.11 at 1:42 pm ET|
Newly extended Bruins center David Krejci‘s press conference just wrapped up at TD Garden. Here are a few quick notes, with more to come.
- Krejci’s deal, a three-year $15.75 million deal with a limited no-trade clause in the final two years, was actually signed prior to Wednesday’s game against the Maple Leafs. Peter Chiarelli joked that he likes to think it put Krejci in the right frame of mind to go out and rack up three points in the win over Toronto.
- Krejci said that he isn’t going to worry about whether he is judged by his contract. Considering he’s being paid like a first-line center, it seems that judgement will be pretty common over the length of the deal.
- Chiarelli spoke glowingly of Krejci as a two-way player.
“David’s biggest asset is his head,” Chiarelli said. “He sees the ice so well. He makes plays, he uses the players around him. He’s very competitive. He’s got a very well-rounded game.
“I think his game is underrated by its two-way component. He’s got a lot of really good offensive skills and instincts, but I think the two-way component of the game — I don’t want to harp on that — but it’s important if you want to win championships.”
- The general manager expressed no concern with the fact that the B’s have plenty of top-six centers (Krejci, Patrice Bergeron and eventually Tyler Seguin) with some more on the way in the system.
“Logjam is probably not the proper word,” Chiarelli said. “I think it’s an excessive supply that I’m happy to have.”
- Chiarelli also scoffed at the notion that committing this money to Krejci might make it tougher to re-sign upcoming RFA’s Tuukka Rask (at the end of this season) and Tyler Seguin (at the end of next season).
- The GM said that these negotiations weren’t based on this season too much, as they had begun over the summer. He did note, however, that he didn’t consider the first month of the season in his long-term assessment of Krejci, saying that such thinking would be “shortsighted.”
|Bruins give David Krejci three-year extension||at 10:01 am ET|
The Bruins announced Thursday morning that they have signed center David Krejci to a three-year extension. According to TSN, Krejci, who would have been a restricted free agent at season’s end, will get $5.25 million a year with his new deal. The 25-year-old is in the final year of a deal that pays him $3.75 million a year.
The new deal also includes a limited no-trade clause, according to TSN. Krejci could block a trade to six teams.
Krejci’s signing takes care of what would have been the team’s biggest financial question mark at season’s end. The B’s also re-signed Rich Peverley in October to prevent him from reaching free agency, and with Krejci now signed, Tuukka Rask (restricted) and Chris Kelly (unrestricted) may be bumped up to the top of general manager Peter Chiarelli‘s to-do list. Gregory Campbell, Shawn Thornton, Daniel Paille, Joe Corvo and Johnny Boychuk are also set to become unrestricted free agents.
The new contract will also make Krejci the highest-paid forward on the Bruins, and the second-highest paid Bruin. Captain Zdeno Chara‘s deal has an annual cap hit of $6.916 cap hit.
The signing comes the morning after Krejci led the way in Boston’s 6-3 win over Toronto Wednesday. The first-line center had three points (1 G, 2 A) in the victory. The Bruins drafted Krejci in the second round of the 2004 draft. In his NHL career, he has 62 goals and 165 assists for 227 points. He led the postseason in scoring during last spring’s Stanley Cup run.
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