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.
Here are all the hockey links from around the world, and what I’m reading, while wondering when my video tribute is coming.
*Great interview with PK Subban, who appropriately lauds Willie O’Ree for his trailblazing, pioneer accomplishment of breaking through the NHL’s color barrier 60 years ago today. It was very cool that O’Ree did it with the Bruins and even cooler that he was in Boston last night from the Bruins-Habs game at TD Garden.
*Speaking of the Canadiens, old friend Joe Morrow decided to show the Canadiens digital people around Southie this week. That was his big accomplishment in these last two Bruins-Habs games.
*The Winnipeg Jets are having some big success this season, but they’ve also got some serious financial considerations coming up.
*The Colorado Avalanche continue to see attendance issues in their building, but at least there’s a reasonably better product on the ice.
*What is the value for power forward Patrick Maroon on the trade market as a rental? It certainly matters who is asking.
*Jack Johnson and John Tortorella are talking out their issues after it surfaced that the Columbus D-man wants a trade out of town.
*With Victor Hedman injured, it looks like young Tampa Bay D-man Slater Koekkoek is finally going to get a featured look with the Lightning. Per Elliotte Friedman, this is a player that the Bruins have eyed in trade possibilities in the recent past.
*For something completely different: Liam Neeson is open to returning as Qui Gon-Jinn, which adds another interesting piece to a standalone movie for Obi-Wan Kenobi.
FOXBORO -- The Patriots are well aware of Jalen Ramsey's Super Bowl prediction, and they're not about to take the same approach to the AFC title game buildup.
"If you're going to make a statement like that," Patriots rookie defensive tackle Adam Butler said on Wednesday, "you better be able to back it up . . . It's a bold statement to make. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out. But like I said, be humble or be humbled. That's all I can really say about that."
As that quote made the rounds, Ramsey tweeted an emphatic "WHO!???" Didn't seem to be a coincidence.
What Ramsey said, though, is part of who the Jaguars are. They're young. They're confident. They're not afraid to talk.
"I ain't got too much to say, but y'all make sure you bring that same energy out here next week and the week after," Ramsey said in Jacksonville following his team's plane ride back from Pittsburgh on Saturday. "We're going to the Super Bowl and we're going to win that [expletive]."
Outside of Butler, the comments have garnered little in the way of public commentary from Patriots players.
"I mean, obviously, that's his game," Patriots cornerback Eric Rowe said of Ramsey. "He's a confident dude . . . Obviously, they're happy to go to the championship game, but, you know, that mindset of thinking ahead of yourself, I don't think it's a good idea . . ."
"We saw what happened to the Steelers. But on our end, obviously, we're not thinking ahead to the [Super Bowl] because we have to get past [the Jaguars]. So, we heard it, but we're not too focused on it because we have to focus on doing our job for the game."