TAMPA Its been a quiet offensive assault while players are dropping all around him, but David Krejci is once again heating up at the right time of year.
Hot off the heels of his two-goal performance in a losing effort against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday afternoon, Krejci has eclipsed the 20-goal plateau and sits on pace for more than 60 points overall this season.
Its a campaign that the 25-year-old would admit was a down season for him given his negative plusminus rating for the first time in his career and the slow stretch when his contract status was uncertain. But Krejci is averaging 20:42 of ice time in seven games during the month of March and has nine points and seven goals during that time span as Bostons hottest offensive player.
Its a good thing since Krejci might be absorbing even more minutes with Patrice Bergeron potentially on the shelf after taking a Matt Niskanen shot off the left knee in the second period.
Youve got to think about doing your job on the ice. Thats all that you can control, said Krejci. Obviously its tough when you see key players for going down with injuries and then leaves the bench. But youve got to battle through it and have the belief on the bench that you can still do it.
The numbers have coincided with Krejci centering Milan Lucic and Tyler Seguin on the same forward line, but its also the normal part of the regular season when Krejci magically kicks it up a notch. But as good as Krejci is playing statistically his mind is on the playoff pole position and doing everything he can to keep the Bruins at the No. 2 spot in the East with Ottawa just two points behind them.
That includes playing a solid two-way game centering a forward line with an offensive bent, and controlling the temper that earned him an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against the Capital when he winged a puck a the linesman after a correct off-sides call.
Weve got to stick with it. Weve just got to believe that things are going to turn around. If we play to win then Im sure were going to get a win tomorrow, so well see what happens, said Krejci. Right now everybody is looking at the standings. We all know Ottawa is right behind us.
Now is the time of year when you need to pick up the points. Hopefully we can pick up our game and get some points. We want to stay where we are right now and get the home ice advantage. We know there are teams right behind us, so we need to win games.
The Bruins need to win games and theyll need continued offensive production from Krejci for that to happen, so its a good thing he seems to already be close to playoff mode.