Krejci rebounds, plays his game in Bruins win

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Krejci rebounds, plays his game in Bruins win

NEWARK David Krejci is a difficult judge when it comes to evaluating his own play, and the playmaking center knew he like the rest of the Bruins team didnt fare very well against the Dallas Stars last weekend.

Sure he was on the scoresheet and he kept a point streak going in defeat, but he was getting bounced around physically and was dominated in the faceoff circle for long stretches of the game. When Krejci isnt winning faceoffs and controlling puck possession, it puts his big-bodied wingers in chase the puck mode and thats not a good thing unless theyre able to throw a few bone-rattling checks in the process.

So Krejcis line didnt have the puck much against the Stars, and that was something he vowed to help change against the Devils before putting up two points in a 6-1 victory over New Jersey at the Prudential Center.

Krejci fed a beautifully feathered cross-ice pass to Nathan Horton for a power-play goal in the first period, and then scored his eighth goal of the season while tipping a Dennis Seidenberg blast in the third period. It pushed Krejcis scoring streak to six straight games with at least one point, and continues a nice offensive push by his forward line over the last few weeks.

We didnt play our hockey game over the last two games in Phoenix and Dallas. We have something good going on here, so we talked about going back toward the way we know how to play, said Krejci. We had a really strong game putting the puck in the net. We were going short and hard with the shifts and that helped us get the big win.

One of the most important areas that Krejci zeroed in on was taking draws and he dominated on the dot. He won all eight of his draws in the first period against an overmatched Adam Henrique or an embattled Patrik Elias, and finished with 12 faceoff wins in 15 draws.

Coach Claude Julien said Krejcis occasional faceoff woes are all about diagnosing what the opponent is doing to gain an edge over him, and then adjusting his faceoff technique on the fly. Opponents will sometimes change things up on Krejci and force him out of his comfort zone until he makes an adjustment. For instance, Steve Ott ate Krejci up in the faceoff circle Saturday night in Dallas, beating him on eight of nine draws.

Probably where David is going to get better in those areas is when he learns to figure out the issue when hes not winning them," said Julien. "Its not so much him as much as reading the other centermen, seeing what theyre doing and trying to neutralize them to get the advantage.

Sometimes he gets discouraged a little bit and starts thinking negatively. When you dont win draws and when you think youre going to lose, then you will lose. Tonight he felt pretty good and I think our whole team was good in the faceoff circle.

Good is 30 wins in 42 faceoffs throughout the game, and that would be considered great for most teams. But not all teams are leading the NHL in faceoff winning percentage like the Bruins are with their unbendable strength down the middle of the ice.

Krejci certainly struggled against Ott and his legendary faceoff skills in his own mind, but the dominating body of work against New Jersey bodes well for future faceoff assignments.

That kind of performance is all the more impressive on the road, and showed the presence of confidence, execution and gritty determination that sometimes goes missing for Krejci during the season.

Sometimes it happens, but last game I couldnt figure it out. Then I tried to cheat and they kicked me out of the faceoff circle, said Krejci. Today I really bore down and I started 9-0 on faceoffs. I felt pretty good about that and finished strong.

Youve got to win the faceoffs and start with the puck. Its way better to start with it and do something rather than go around chasing the puck. Thats not what we want to do.

Bruins don't extend qualifying offer to Joe Morrow

Bruins don't extend qualifying offer to Joe Morrow

With free agency just around the corner, the Bruins have officially cut ties with former first-round pick and last bastion of the Tyler Seguin trade, Joe Morrow.

The 24-year-old Edmonton native arrived in Boston along with Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith and Matt Fraser in exchange for Seguin when he was shipped to Dallas, and now all of those players have moved on from Boston as well. Boston does still carry Jimmy Hayes on their roster, a player traded from Florida in exchange for Smith, as a last remnant of the Seguin deal, but it isn't expected to be too long before Hayes moves on from Boston as well.  

The B’s announced on Monday afternoon that they hadn’t extended a qualifying offer to Morrow, as well as P-Bruins power forward Colton Hargrove, as a restricted free agent, and that both B’s youngsters were now free to sign with any of the 30 NHL teams as free agents.

The Bruins extended qualifying offers to restricted free agents in Noel Acciari, Linus Arnesson, Austin Czarnik, Zane McIntyre, David Pastrnak, Tim Schaller, Ryan Spooner and Malcolm Subban, and will retain the associated team rights with all of those players. Negotiations are ongoing between the Bruins and Pastrnak continue over a long term deal that would put him in the same $6 million plus per season level as teammate Brad Marchand, but one source with knowledge of the negotiations indicated it’s “not close” to being a done deal.

Some RFA’s like Spooner and Subban might not necessarily fit into the long term plan for the Black and Gold, but they need to maintain their rights if they hope to trade them as valued assets down the line.

Morrow never put together the talent that made him a former first-round pick while he was in Boston, and totaled just one assist in 17 games for the B’s before playing well in five playoff games after getting pushed into duty due to injuries. In all Morrow finished with two goals and nine points along with a minus-8 rating in 65 games over three seasons in Boston, but could never string together an extended run of consistent play at the NHL level.

With the Bruins in the market to bring on another left-shot defenseman into the Boston fold this summer, it was pretty clear that the time had come to move on from Morrow while allowing him to potentially develop as an NHL D-man elsewhere.