So hot right now: Krejci feeling good after hat trick

So hot right now: Krejci feeling good after hat trick
March 5, 2014, 1:30 am
Share This Post

BOSTON – David Krejci has always been somebody that’s picked his spots nicely to really explode offensively, and the playmaking center picked a fine time Tuesday night against the Panthers.

Krejci tied a season-high with seven shots on net and collected his third career regular season hat trick in a 4-1 win over the Panthers at TD Garden. He also helped hand the Bruins their most sound victory in the four games since coming out of the Olympic break. The three goals give Krejci 16 scores on the season, one that’s quickly ascending toward the third 20-goal season of his career. These three were perhaps even a little bit sweeter given that they came against former teammate Tim Thomas.

Well, two Krejci sniper shots from the slot came against Thomas anyway with the third arriving as an empty netter with 13 seconds remaining in the game.

“It wasn’t really on my mind, but it’s always nice to get a hat trick,” said Krejci. “I’m glad I got it. I really thought the puck was pretty hot coming down on my stick. I felt good. Every time I had a good spot with the puck I felt like I could beat him with my shot. I’ll take them all.”

Krejci has five goals and 10 points in the last eight games sandwiched around the Olympics, and appeared to have a little more of an aggressive mindset in pursuing his shot. After getting shut out with zero shots in the first game back against the Buffalo Sabres, Krejci has 12 shots on net in his last three games while putting up five points and a plus-4 rating.

Each of Krejci’s first two goals were no doubt chances to shoot the puck: Tom Gilbert coughed up the puck to Krejci in the slot on the first goal, and the B’s center scored the second goal on a deflection of a Kevan Miller shot that bounced right onto his stick in the slot. Both chances beat Thomas before he could even begin to react to the shot, and Krejci capped it all off with a long range empty net goal in the final minute of the third period.

Passing was at a minimum, and scoring was at a maximum for a player in Krejci where that is normally reversed.

“Dave [David Krejci] has always been a pass-first kind of guy, but he’s got a good shot. I think his approach this year has been a little bit more about shooting,” said Claude Julien. “Even being on the point on the power play, I’ve seen times where he would never shoot, but this year he’s taking the shots when that shooting lane is there.

“So, you know, it’s probably more confidence in his shot, and he does have a good shot, and it’s nice to see him use it.”

It was nice for the Bruins to see him use it, and perhaps not so nice for Thomas and a Florida Panthers that got dispatched easily because of it.