January 6, 2012

After slow start, Krejci now a consistent contributor

By Jesse Connolly

BOSTON – When David Krejci arrived at training camp in September, the 25-year-old center professed that contract negotiations were just about the last thing on his mind entering the 2011-12 season. That was something his agent would attend to. All he had to focus on was playing hockey. 

Maybe being in the final year of his current three-year deal truly didn’t weigh on him, but the numbers showed otherwise. Through his first 19 games, Krejci had just ten points to show for his efforts. During that stretch, in which he enjoyed back-to-back, three-point nights in early November, he was held off the score sheet on 13 occasions.

On the afternoon of Nov. 30, in what came as somewhat of a surprise, Krejci and the Bruins agreed to a three-year, $15.75 million dollar deal that will keep him Boston through the 2014-15 campaign. And ever since that day, the Czech pivot has shown why the Black and Gold want him to be their first-line center for the foreseeable future.

“Yeah I had kind of a tough start,” said Krejci, who now has 18 points in the last 15 games. “And since the 10-game marker, I picked my game up. And even though I don’t get a point sometimes, I feel pretty good about my game.”

Krejci extended his point streak to seven games with a goal and two assists in Boston’s 9-0 rout of the Flames on Thursday night. It was his third-straight, multipoint game, giving him four goals and seven assists in the last seven contests.

Along with linemate Nathan Horton’s resurgence, Krejci’s rediscovered scoring touch has made the Bruins that much tougher for the opposition to shut down on a nightly basis.

“It proves we have depth and scoring from everywhere, not from just one line or a couple players – it comes from everywhere,” said coach Claude Julien, whose club now has nine players with 20 points or more this season.

“That creates a threat for other teams and some indecision on who you try to shut out. With our team, you shut one line out and the other does the damage. That’s what I like about our hockey club – that possibility of anybody being able to score on any different night.”

After tying for the team lead in points in each of the last two seasons, Krejci fully understands what must be done in order for him to continue to be successful as the season chugs along.

“That’s what I need to keep doing, getting points on the board,” he said, “and I need to do the little things well, that’s what I have to do.”