BRIGHTON -- David Krejci couldn’t help but give a rap to the top of his head in “knock on wood” fashion when asked about the Bruins' sudden good health. The forward group is so healthy, in fact, that Peter Cehlarik was sent down to Providence now that he’s regained full health, and Krejci made his return last weekend after a six-game absence with an upper body injury.
The 31-year-old Krejci was careful to say that the injury wasn’t related to his back problems earlier this season, but the bottom line with the playmaking Czech center is that he’s missed 18 of the 37 games played by the B’s this season. So Krejci hopes he’s back to stay now after getting a goal and two points in his return last weekend in a blowout win over the Senators, and doing so also breathing some life back into what had been a struggling power play.
“I feel good, you know? I got some good workouts in when I was injured so I feel really good,” said Krejci, who helped spark the Bruins to three PP goals vs. Ottawa after Boston struggled to a 1-for-14 mark on the man advantage in the previous five games without him. “I feel 100 percent. I feel good. We’ve had some good practices, and it was a good, tough game against Ottawa. They always are against them.
“It looks like guys are pretty healthy. It’s funny when you look at it that almost half of the season is gone and we’re just finally getting our healthy lineup. But at the same time, maybe it’s a good thing we got it all out of the way early in the season. Hopefully we can stay healthy for the rest of the way.”
The other side benefit of so many early injuries, of course, was the ice time and reps it afforded young players like Jake DeBrusk, Danton Heinen, Charlie McAvoy, Matt Grzelcyk and Anders Bjork to hit their comfort zones as NHL players.
Now comes the challenge of a healthy No. 46 building up the chemistry with Ryan Spooner as his new right wing given his recent strong play, and rekindling things with young Jake DeBrusk on the left side as well. The Bruins top line has carried the offense for most of the season and the third line has been very good as of late as a source of secondary scoring, but the time is nearing when Krejci and Co. will be expected to really make the Bruins dangerous and diverse with their top three scoring lines.
It all starts with Krejci being able to stay healthy and in the lineup despite missing an average of 15 games per season over the last four years, and perhaps no longer being quite the same durable, frontline center that he was earlier in his career.