Krejci ready for the big stage

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Krejci ready for the big stage

David Krejci has always been a big game player, and he always seems to be lurking in the shadow of Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin during the regular season. Bergerons magnificent two-way play and Seguins explosive offensive skills are easy talking points for the Black and Gold, but Krejci is perhaps the perfect mixture of breathtaking passing ability and responsible center play just a shade under Bergeron.

The Czech Republic center is certainly ready after potting a career-high 23 goals and surpassing the 60-point barrier for the third time in his five seasons with the Black and Gold.

This is a fun time. We all know that weve had a success in past, but this is kind of a new season and a new year, said Krejci. So youve got to start from the beginning. We got to start with a good game tomorrow and go from there.

But Krejci also rises to the postseason occasion in a different way than either Seguin or Bergeron, and has proven in the past just how valuable he is when the games matter. Sure he can be accused of coasting through the dead portions of the regular season, but No. 46 was also the leading goal-scorer for the Bruins during last years Cup run.

People also forget that things fell apart for the Black and Gold two years ago in the collapse to Philly once a Mike Richards open-ice hit knocked Krejci out of the playoffs with a dislocated wrist. Thats the value of Krejci once the playoffs begin in earnest, and thats his value in giving the Bruins three centers with 20-goal potential.

Hes played well lately. Some players have a tough time getting up for 82 games. But one thing I know about David hes never had a tough time getting up for playoffs. I dont think theres a real big key there, said Claude Julien. He led the scoring in the playoffs last year. The year before when he got hurt in Philly he was arguably our best player at the time.

So Krejci and regular season inconsistency certainly is not a concern for us. I think David gets excited about playoffs and hes always been a good player for us and I dont expect that to change.

The only player with a worse mark than Krejcis minus-5 on the season was Shawn Thornton at a minus-7, but that doesnt mean jack with it comes to the center and the postseason.

Krejci becomes one of the best players in the world when the grand Stanley Cup stage is introduced, and that starts tonight against the Washington Caps.

Acciari notches first NHL goal in Bruins win over Predators

Acciari notches first NHL goal in Bruins win over Predators

BOSTON – It took until his 43rd game in the NHL to finally score his first goal with the Bruins, but Rhode Island native Noel Acciari said it made him appreciate it all the more when that moment finally did arrived on Tuesday night. The 25-year-old Acciari finished off a Riley Nash feed on a 3-on-1 odd-man rush that gave the Bruins an insurance goal they badly needed in a 4-1 win over the Nashville Predators at TD Garden.

Then David Pastrnak hit Acciari with a shaving cream pie to the face during the NESN broadcast as a way to commemorate his teammate’s big scoring moment, and Torey Krug immediately fished the puck out of the net to make certain that Acciari would get it.

So it was the best of both worlds with the team-oriented Acciari, who watched his Bruins win to go right along with his hallmark scoring moment that he’ll remember forever.

“Your first NHL goal is a special feeling and to finally have it, you know, like I said before I couldn’t have done it without the other guys, the other four, five guys on the ice. But it feels good,” said Acciari, who has a goal and four points in 24 games this season in Boston. “It just shows you how special it is. It’s not going to come the first game you play; it could come 10, 20, for me probably over 40, but it still feels the same.”

Clearly it’s more about providing a physical, heavy and aggressive opponent when Acciari suits up for the Black and Gold, and it’s less about providing offensive production that’s really a bonus from the fourth line. The focus on throwing hits, aggravating opponents and playing with extra energy have been a big part of Acciari’s game since his return from Providence, and that is absolutely been by design.

“I think I kind of strayed [from my strengths] when I got back from my injury – I kind of strayed away from the hitting game,” said Acciari. “Just getting in on the fore-check and, you know, just kind of getting back to that down in Providence was huge and kind of get my confidence up down there helped out a lot. So when I got the call up I was ready for anything.”

He’s certainly played like he was ready for anything while posting a goal and two points along with a plus-4 in his first four games back for the Bruins organization. Acciari did all of that while leading everybody in Tuesday night’s game with eight registered hits in the win over Nashville. So the 5-foot-10, 208-pound Acciari gave a pretty good example against the Predators of just what he can do with steady ice time and the trust of his teammates as all of the hockey clubs in the East gear up to finish strong for the playoffs.

Now all Acciari has to do is continue to play consistently, punish opposing players and chip in a little offense from time and time as he carves out a permanent role on Boston’s fourth line, and helps his team win a few along the way. 

Florio on issues NFL may face with Raiders in Las Vegas

Florio on issues NFL may face with Raiders in Las Vegas

Mike Florio joins Quick Slants to discuss the problems of the Raiders moving to Las Vegas, and the latest NFL rule changes.