Despite Bruins’ streak-ending loss, David Krejci’s run still worthy of adulation

Matt Kalman
March 10, 2019 - 10:44 pm

While we lament the end of the Bruins’ point streak at 19 games Sunday, let’s take a second to appreciate what David Krejci, who provided half of Boston’s offense in a 4-2 loss at Pittsburgh, has accomplished this season.

By scoring for the fourth straight game, Krejci ran his recent hot streak to 17 points (six goals, 10 assists) in his past 13 games, and 27 points in his past 25 games.

At 32, when the analytic folks tell you he should be on the decline, Krejci has 19 goals, 41 assists and 60 points in 69 games and has an outside chance of beating his career-high in all three categories (23 goals, 51 assists, 73 points).

And despite his reputation as a fragile player, he’s (jinx alert) he’s currently the only Bruins player who has played in every game.

All the while he’s had a resurgence despite playing much of this season with an endless casting call of wings. Sometimes it seems like the prize in the 50/50 at TD Garden is a chance to play on Krejci’s wing.

In the past his words and his body language (not to mention his production) have given off an air of disappointment that he hasn’t been given better weapons to work with, while Patrice Bergeron gets Boston’s best two wings every night. But it seems Krejci has decided to make do with what’s given him.

“I just believe every conversation this year [with Krejci] has been ‘listen, when I’m on put whoever you want there, it’s my responsibility to drive the line.’ I think he’s accepted that, acknowledged that, we appreciate that,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said Saturday.

So like the Bruins, let’s appreciate Krejci -- quietly raising his level of play to help the Bruins go on a historic run that sadly ended as the second-longest point streak in club history, and pushing the Bruins toward the top of the NHL standings despite a rash of injuries to their skilled forwards.

The Bruins are lucky to have two centers that are proving the exception to the analytic rules on aging, when most teams would die for just one.

A regulation loss. What’s that?

Not to completely ignore the Bruins’ defeat, but if you listen to Sunday Skate (and I know you do), you know this one was basically a scheduled loss before the Bruins even hit the ice. Playing the second half of a back-to-back, traveling through the night on a night when we turned the clocks forward, with the Penguins desperate for two points after a crucial loss Saturday, the Bruins had a lot stacked against them.

And yet after a lousy first period when they fell behind 2-0 (for the third time in four games), they got within one and were behind by just two heading into the third period. They outshot Pittsburgh 33-22 over the final 40 minutes.

The first regulation loss since Jan. 19 might’ve been a bummer but it did nothing to spoil what Boston accomplished the past several weeks or cause concern about the final few weeks of the regular season.

Another injury

Matt Grzelcyk’s right arm got smashed into the glass by a Patric Hornqvist hit early in the second period. Grzelcyk didn’t return to the game. Cassidy said X-rays were negative, but we’ll know more about the extent of the injury in the days ahead.

The Bruins really can’t afford to lose another regular with David Pastrnak, Marcus Johansson, Jake DeBrusk and Kevan Miller on the sidelines and the Toronto Maple Leafs still hanging around in the race for second place in the Atlantic Division despite Boston’s point-accumulating run.

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Related: Sunday Skate- Backes the enforcer; Pastrnak on the mend; the Bruins point streak continues - 3-10-19

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