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.