Trade rumors have been surrounding David Krejci for quite some time now. His name is regularly tossed around when the talks of Bruins “trade bait” begin to emerge. His effort has been questioned by writers and fans on numerous occasions.
But allow me to rewind for a moment.
In Game 3 against Philadelphia of the 2010 playoffs, Krejci took a nasty, (albeit clean) open-ice hit from forward Mike Richards. The center was done for the playoffs as he suffered a dislocated wrist.
During that postseason, Krejci had posted four goals and four assists in nine games. After Game 3, the Bruins were riding a 3-0 series lead. Game 4 was just the beginning of one of the most epic collapses in playoff history. Boston blew their dominant lead and lost in Game 7 by a score of 4-3, a hellish ending to what looked like a promising postseason.
The very next year, the team embarked on a long and laborious journey in one of the most memorable playoff runs in Bruins history.
Of the four series the Bruins played, the only series not to reach seven games was against none other than the Philadelphia Flyers. Krejci contributed heavily to the demolition of Philadelphia, notching four goals and five assists in four games while grabbing at least one point in every game. The Bruins streamrolled an utterly pathetic Flyers team four games to none. Sweet, sweep victory.
Krejci out—epic collapse.
Krejci in—Stanley Cup champions.
Yes, of course it’s not that easy. It couldn’t be that simple. There are plenty of other factors that come into play when determining the fate of a team in the playoffs. But it’s something worth noting because Krejci is quite obviously a glaringly significant contributing factor to the Bruins' success.
Although, this does raise the question of why Krejci was seemingly invisible during the 2012 playoffs when he’s routinely known to excel in the postseason. The importance of Nathan Horton cannot be stressed enough.
Milan Lucic and Horton are catalysts to Krejci’s most effective performances. Big-bodied players like Horton are the ones that protect a playmaker like Krejci. While Horton’s absence is not an excuse for Krejci’s less-than-stellar play, having the 27-year-old winger back will bolster that first line.
Playing for Pardubice in the Czech Republic will also prove to be beneficial in the long run. In 24 games he tallied 16 goals and 27 points, making him the third-highest scorer on the team. Getting a chance to skate on larger ice again can help enhance speed and fine-tune playmaking abilities.
In conclusion, I firmly believe that this shortened season will work to Krejci’s advantage.
The Czech center has a history of being very streaky throughout the course of a season. A 48-game schedule calls for a solid and consistent stream of offensive production. There is no room for scoring droughts in a season of this length.
Krejci is well aware of the rumors that surround his name and is ready to put the past in the past.
“I’ve seen it and I have time to go on the Internet, so I know what’s going on. I went through lots of things and saw my name there, but there’s nothing I can control." Krejci said in a recent interview with James Murphy of ESPN.com. "I am happy here, and I hope I haven’t given them any reasons to trade me. So I can’t control it, and I just want to go out there and play my best.”
A season like this will put Krejci in prime position to get back in an offensive groove.
Expect him to step up to the plate and silence the doubters this season.