WILMINGTON -- While Milan Lucic and Jarome Iginla have received the lion’s share of the credit for their line’s offensive surge the past two weeks, it’s center David Krejci who's been in the middle of everything.
Krejci leads the Bruins with 47 points in 55 games, and also paces the Black and Gold with 35 assists and 17 power-play points in what’s been an amazingly consistent season. The numbers put Krejci on pace for 20 goals and 70 points. He has been remarkably consistent aside from two five-game stretches where he went without a point.
Some of that is the hard effort that’s been put into the games by Lucic and Iginla, and some of it is Krejci’s passing and vision contributing two goals and nine points, and a plus-9 in Boston’s last seven games.
The KIL line has 8 goals and 27 points in the past seven games and has definitely been in feast, rather than famine, mode.
“I think we’re all starting to feel a lot better, and I think for a while we’ve been playing better as a team,” said Iginla. “We’re all benefitting from that. It‘s not . . . I don’t feel, ‘Oh, now I see us growing.’ I think it’s definitely, as a line we’re feeling better.
“But I think also as a team we’re creating a lot more for each other, and playing a lot more with the puck. We’ve been in a pretty solid stretch up until this Olympic break here.”
Some of it is also the new leadership responsibilities for Krejci this season and the even-keeled, mature approach that tends go along with being named an alternate captain.
“I think David has been as consistent as we’ve seen him during the regular season this year,” said coach Claude Julien. “He’s been having a great year. There were times in past years where his line would have dips that could last for a bit. We always knew that his game would be there when we were ready to go, but it makes us a much better team when he has that consistency that can be relied on.
“It comes with the experience of being around for a while. We gave him that letter" -- the 'A' for alternate captain -- "this season because we thought he’d be ready for that role. He’s embraced it and done a good job with it.”
Perhaps the best part of the entire situation is what remains ahead for Krejci and the Bruins. Four years ago, the center’s game took a major bump following his participation in the Winter Olympics for the Czech Republic, and he remained at that level through the B’s playoff run. It should be the same again this season.
As good and consistent as Krejci has been, this is also the player who's been the team's postseason leader in points in two of the past three years, while playing a dominant two-way game.