WILMINGTON, Mass. – There isn’t a ton that David Krejci has to greatly improve on at this point in his hockey career.
The 27-year-old center has become a player capable of 20 plus goals and 60 plus points in a healthy season, and he’s straightened out some of the streakiness that colored his game as a younger player. Any small blemishes in the regular season are trumped by the superstar numbers Krejci has put up in the playoffs, a tradition he continued last year with nine goals and 26 points in 22 postseason games last spring.
Krejci is off to a solid start this season with two assists in his first two games, and he’s been working the point on a B’s power play unit that been excellent while featuring Zdeno Chara, Torey Krug and Jarome Iginla.
But Krejci is always his own harshest critic, and he’s still looking to make improvements to his game.
“There are always things you can do better, or improve on,” said Krejci. “I’m always working on my weaknesses, and working on my game.”
One area Krejci could continue to improve his upping his offensive numbers into the 70-plus point level, but much of that will depend on his linemates and the ability to create PP offense all season. One area the Bruins would like to see him improve: his consistency and concentration in the face-off dot.
Krejci has the skills and the ability to be a Patrice Bergeron-level face-off man, particular under the tutelage of associate head coach/face-off guru Doug Jarvis, and the Bruins would love to see it.
“I think one of the biggest things is face-offs. He struggles [with consistency]. He’s either hot or cold. We want to keep working on those kinds of things,” said Claude Julien. “When I say they’re minor things, it’s because they’re easy things to work on. But they can have major consequences. You lose a face-off clean in your own end and it can end up in the back of your own net.”
Krejci jumped from 52.1 percent success rate on face-offs to 55.2 percent last season helping the Bruins as the best face-off team in the NHL. But the center has slacked this season with a 42.9 percent success rate in the face-off dot that’s far below the standards set out by the Black and Gold.
Clearly Krejci is a better face-off man than he’s shown in the small sample size of two games this season, but the Bruins are nonetheless looking for him to pick it up starting Thursday night vs. Colorado.
At the very least, the Sox will have to finish the homestand without Hanley Ramirez. That's if they're lucky. If he's lost to them for any extended period, the season could be lost, too.