By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
It’s been a while since the Bruins had this version of David Krejci.
Boston’s top forward group came up with the game-winner in double-overtime to take a 1-0 series lead over the Carolina Hurricanes, and it’s imperative to have a productive first line. But the biggest reason the Bruins looked like a different team on Wednesday was because they had a dangerous second line.
In fact, the second line dominated. The line of Jake DeBrusk-Krejci-Ondrej Kase was the best on the ice for either team. The proof is in the numbers: 1-0 on the scoreboard, 13-1 shots on goal, 23-7 shot attempts with that line on the ice at 5-on-5.
DeBrusk and Kase were credited with five and seven individual scoring chances each, thanks in large part to Krejci’s resurgent playmaking. Krejci appeared to see the ice as well as he has in a long time. DeBrusk and Kase couldn’t finish some occasionally golden opportunities, but it made a big difference for the Bruins that the chances were even there.
Krejci and Kase, in particular, looked like they’ve been playing together for decades.
Despite the positive steps forward for the line, it took Krejci taking matters into his own hands for them to score. He was Woody slapping Hamm out of the way to get the batteries back in the walkie-talkie.
“It’s one of those things, I got the puck in the slot, sometimes it goes in, sometimes it doesn’t. Lucky it went in, it was a good goal for our team, gave us some confidence,” Krejci said after the game. “But at the same time, we have another game tomorrow. Playoff momentum changes pretty quickly.
“Like they always say, never too high, never too low, correct some mistakes, look at some positives, improve on those and move on.”
Thankfully, not much to fix with Krejci’s line. It’s refreshing that Boston can spend a couple days without wondering when the Bruins would get “Playoff Krejci” back. That is, some version of the guy who led the playoffs in scoring twice.
We’ll see if Krejci can keep it up beyond one morning in Toronto. It would be nice if his linemates could finish a little more. But if the Bruins get production like that out of both of their top-2 lines consistently, they’re already in a better position than a year ago.
Ty Anderson and I gave our initial thoughts on Krejci and plenty more from the Bruins’ Game 1 win over the Hurricanes – as well as areas where they could improve going into Game 2. Have a listen below.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.