Krejci working hard through 'tough playoff'

Krejci working hard through 'tough playoff'
May 12, 2014, 2:15 pm
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MONTREAL – David Krejci is feeling the pressure to score at this point without a goal in the first playoff games, and knows it’s about time for his big game reputation to kick when Boston needs it most. The B’s playmaking center has led the entire NHL in playoff scoring in two of the last three seasons, and both times the Bruins made it to the Stanley Cup Final.

Now the playmaking center has just three points and zero goals in 10 games for a Bruins team that’s still up 3-2 in the second round of the playoffs against the Montreal Canadiens, but he knows that his teammates need him to get on the scoresheet. It comes down in many ways to breaking the spell that countryman and Olympic teammate Tomas Plekanec holds on him: in 12 playoff games in 2011 and 2014 going head-to-head with the Habs center, Krejci has a grand total of two points (1 goal, 1 assist).

“It feels like it's right there," Krejci said. "We just have to execute on our chances, and put the puck in the net more often. My linemates have been doing a pretty good job at it, and they’ve been great for me all year. Now I want to return the favor for them, and try to do better for them.

“I’m ready to go. I’m excited. It’s been kind of a tough playoff for me so far, and I want to get going. I want to get better every practice and every game, and I want to give it my all.”

Claude Julien loved to hear the kind of responsibility that Krejci, an alternate captain for the first time this season, feels to contribute to the team’s greater good.

“He just cares. He’s demanding of himself," Julien said. "He’s been a good player for us all year. Just because he hasn’t scored yet doesn’t mean that he doesn’t care, and that he doesn’t try. You’ve got to work with those guys, and try to help them find solutions. But a lot of it has to come from them. If he’s that focused then it’s a good sign for us.”

Jarome Iginla and Milan Lucic share the team lead in goals with Reilly Smith, as all three forwards have four goals during the postseason. But Iginla and Lucic had also seemed like a piece was missing in the early games of the Montreal series before busting out in Game 5: Iginla snapped a power play strike through the pads of Carey Price, and Lucic was a demotion derby nightmare with seven hits on a demoralized Montreal defensemen crew.

Once Lucic starts getting P.K. Subban and Co. to bail on 50/50 pucks because he’s bearing down on them and pucks get turned over in the offensive zone for Boston, the offensive production isn’t far behind.

All the evidence is there that the KIL (Krejci, Iginla, Lucic) Line is about to bust out, and all that’s missing is their playmaking base of operations to start producing offense in the playoffs like he normally does.

“They’re all over it,” said Brad Marchand. “They haven’t scored as much as they normally do, but they’re all around it. It’s only a matter of time. They’re doing things really well. At the beginning of the series they just had some chances that they didn’t capitalize on.

“They play a game that no other line can play with how physical they are, and how they can dominate teams down low. We just want them to keep doing what they’re doing, and they’re going to score goals.”

The Bruins are going to need everything working for them if they’re going to take home Game 6 at the Bell Centre, and that means it’s time for David Krejci to stand up and start being one of the NHL’s best playoff performers once again.