BOSTON – David Krejci isn’t normally one of the players associated with the more heated moments in the Bruins/Canadiens rivalry. But that has never stopped Krejci from jumping head-first into the Original Six hate-fest, and getting a little down and dirty when lined up against countrymen Tomas Plekanec. Krejci has never been a fan of the sneaky stick-work employed by the Habs, and gets into his fair share of dueling slashes during the Boston/Montreal games.
In fact Krejci’s only two career NHL fights came against the Canadiens in the 2010-11 season when he dropped the gloves against Mike Cammalleri and Benoit Pouliot to varying degrees of success. The playmaking center doesn’t have any designs on fighting again anytime soon, but Krejci is certainly excited about the nastiness and energy brought by the NHL’s best rivalry.
He also expects the five game first round series against the Detroit Red Wings will have perfectly prepared him for some of the subtle tricks up the sleeves of his Canadiens adversaries.
“We’re going to have to stay disciplined and play smart. I don’t think there’s any way they’re going to play with the stick any more than Detroit did. Detroit kind of prepared us for this kind of team. I didn’t know that a team could play with their sticks like that, so I guess we’re ready for it now,” said Krejci. “We have to control our emotions, I guess.
“The media makes a big deal out of it, and the fans. Then as a player you get all excited when you go out there, and your emotions are a little too high. Things happen really fast out on the ice, and before you know it you’re in the penalty box.”
It's interesting that Krejci immediately saw the parallels between the Red Wings and Canadiens, who both really on speed and scoring with an experienced defensemen group, and an All-World goaltender Carey Price.
Krejci finished the first round series against the Wings with only a couple of points in five games, but the 28-year-old also notched assists in each of the last two games while watching his line really catch fire. It’s still a bit of a slow pace for a player in Krejci that led the NHL playoff field in scoring in two of the last three years, but he always enjoys himself at this time of year.
“It’s going to be tight and there’s not going to be a lot of room, but I plan on having the puck on my stick for every single shift. I’m going to make them chase us,” said Krejci. “First two games [my line], we were chasing the puck a lot. I felt like mostly in Game 4 we started playing really strong and really well, and we were creating a lot of chances.
“I really enjoyed the games against Detroit even though I only had a couple of points. When you play against a player like [Pavel] Datsyuk, it was a lot of fun to face him and shut him down. It’s a little bit different than I’m used to with guys usually trying to shut me down, but this time it was the other way around.”
If anything Krejci is ready to bust out against Plekanec and the Canadiens after scratching for just the two assists vs. the Red Wings, and could really life Boston’s offense now that his focus is more back on offense than defense.