Krejci aiming for more shots, goals this season

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Krejci aiming for more shots, goals this season

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs

BOSTON -- Some of the Bruins playoff stats can be pretty eye-opening when placed under the microscope.

Some players regressed away from their regular-season performance, some maintained their body of work, and some ascended to a truly different level amid the Stanley Cup playoff battleground.

David Krejci is in the latter category, and he knows it. The 25-year-old playmaking center managed only 13 goals and 62 points in 73 regular-season games for the Bruins last year.

It wasnt a bad season at all.

But it could have been better for Krejci had an early season concussion and a brief Marc Savard return a move that temporarily displaced him as the No. 1 center -- not negatively affected his offensive numbers. That much was obvious when Krejci led all skaters with 12 goals during the Bs Stanley Cup playoff run a total that was only one less than he managed in more than 70 games during the regular season.

Krejci was well aware of the numbers, and admitted that getting more aggressive with his own offense is something hes focused on heading into the final season of his contract.

Im going to try to carry the momentum of what I had in the playoffs. Ill try to score some goals, said Krejci. Im going to shoot a lot. Im not going to pass up on any shots this year. Its easy to say, but Ive got to show it on the ice so weve just got to wait and see.

Theres also a matter of gaining more consistency in his game, and showing the same kind of want to during a December game against the Florida Panthers as he has once the playoffs begin.

If youre satisfied with your play, then that it isnt good enough. Youve always got to be better. I know I can be better in every single situation, said Krejci, who is often his worst critic in most instances. Get my speed, get stronger, and especially score more goals this year than I did last year in the regular season. Thats where Im going to focus, and it all starts with a strong camp and a good start to the season.

The numbers would seem to indicate that Krejci will score more this season given that he managed a career-high 157 shots on net last season, and trouble finishing around the net led to scoring on only 8.3 percent of those shots. Combined with shooting percentage totals of 10.9 percent (2009-10) and 15.1 percent (2008-09) over the previous two seasons, Krejci should have no problem pumping in close to 20 goals skating with Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic for a full season.

Coach Claude Julien drew a parallel to Savards battle with shooting versus passing, and the aggressiveness that can take opponents armed with their pass first scouting reports -- by surprise when Krejci attacks the net. That happened over and over during the playoffs when defenses paid plenty of attention to Horton and Lucic on his wings, and left Krejci with room to operate.

I think the Stanley Cup playoffs is where he gained a lot of that confidence," Julien said. "He realized he can do it in the playoffs he scored almost as many in the playoffs as he did during the regular season and it was because he decided to shoot more and went more to the net. There was a little bit more determination in that area. I think he realized that hes capable of doing that. I see a guy probably improving with those numbers this year especially if he understands it and focuses on it.

Youre going to see him shoot a little more and we need that from David. There were times last year where he had some great scoring areas and chose to pass instead of shoot. We had that issue with Savvy Marc Savard at one point, he always looked to pass before shooting. Those guys know that they do that, but breaking them out of the habit is tougher than realizing it.

Krejci need only review some of the game tape from last years playoff run to witness how much tougher he is to handle when looking for his own offense, and make it just as hard on the rest of the NHL as he did during the postseason.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs.

Bruins select center Trent Frederic with 29th pick in 2016 NHL Draft

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Bruins select center Trent Frederic with 29th pick in 2016 NHL Draft

BUFFALO – The Bruins went off the board to make their second choice in the first round, and selected big, gritty center Trent Frederic from the U.S. National Team Development Program.  Frederic was ranked 47th among North American skaters by the NHL Central Scouting Bureau, and is ultimately viewed as a solid bottom-six two-way center with limited offensive ability.

A nice Bruins-style player to be sure, but also the kind of player that can easily be picked in the second, or third, round rather than with the 29thpick in the first round. It’s pretty clear the B’s were hoping to package up the 29th pick along with a prospect to acquire a top-4 defenseman, and that they didn’t have many designs on actually choosing a player.

That led to a surprised Frederic, who was happy to be a first round pick if not a little blown away by his good NHL fortune.

“I guess I was a little surprised. If you could hear my whole family's reaction then you get the gist of it,” said Frederic, who listed David Backes and Justin Abdelkader as the NHL players he most models his game after in his career. “They were pumped, and I am pumped. As a player I’m a two-way physical player that’s good with the puck.

“I’ve had some tournaments in Boston, and some family vacations there. I visited Boston University when I thought about going there, and I’ve been to Fenway Park and TD Garden. It’s one of my favorite cities.”

The Frederic pick might have been off the beaten path a bit, but it was a pretty special selection for a number of other reasons: Frederic was the record-setting 12th US-born player taken in the first round, and the fifth player taken in the 2016 first round from the St. Louis area. The Bruins have to hope that he develops into a more dangerous, effective player during his college hockey days at Wisconsin, and that he feels a little less like the Bruins reaching for players in the first round for the second draft in a row. 

Photo via Joe Haggerty

Charlie McAvoy tweeted he hates the Bruins 'so much' in 2013

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Charlie McAvoy tweeted he hates the Bruins 'so much' in 2013

Tweet hunters dug up an old message from a Charlie McAvoy proclaiming his hatred for the Boston Bruins. McAvoy, of course, was drafted 14th by the Bruins in the 2016 NHL Draft.

The tweet read, "I hate the bruins so much" before it was quickly deleted.

I'm sure this will go over well for Bruins fans, even though you really can't blame McAvoy. He was just 15 at the time and a fan of the Rangers, who went down 3-0 in the playoffs against the Bruins.

As fans, we can all relate to that feeling.

Bruins take BU defenseman Charlie McAvoy with the 14th pick in 2016 NHL Draft

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Bruins take BU defenseman Charlie McAvoy with the 14th pick in 2016 NHL Draft

BUFFALO – The Bruins took their highest-rated defenseman when the pick came to them at the No. 14 spot, and they selected Boston University defenseman Charlie McAvoy, who tore up Hockey East as the young player in college hockey last season.

The 18-year-old Charlie McAvoy had three goals and 25 points in37 games for the Terriers while skating in a pairing with Bruins prospect Matt Grzelcyk, and showed off the kind of elite skating and offensive skills that will play well at the NHL level. It was thought the Bruins would take McAvoy or fellow BU-recruit Dante Fabbro at the 14th spot when they held onto the pick, but that was perhaps shaken a little bit when Jakub Chychrun fell all the way down to their spot.

The Bruins stuck with their scouting instincts and took the offensively gifted McAvoy, who profiles as a next generation NHL player with his sturdy six foot, 208-pound frame and ability to skate like the wind. He was understandably excited, and even said that he’s come around from hating some of the Boston teams as a native New Yorker after spending the year at Boston University.

“I’m at a loss for words. It’s an unbelievable feeling, and I’m just so happy to be a part of the Bruins. I’ve gotten close to [the Bruins] in the past year. I’m sure some of my friends back home aren’t happy I’m cutting the ties with New York sports, but Boston is an unbelievable city with great sports and great people. I’m glad to be staying there,” said McAvoy. “You grow up and taught not to like [Boston teams] because of the rivalry. But I've got a Red Sox hat and that’s the first step. Now I'm got that Bruins jersey and it’s pretty cool. I’ll just keep going, but I don’t know if I could ever be a Pats fan, but we’ll see."

Give McAvoy a little time and perhaps he’ll come around to the right side of the New England Patriots argument after some years spent with the Black and Gold.  

Joe Haggerty can be followed on Twitter: @HacksWithHaggs