Boston Bruins fans were surely delighted to see the offense come to life early and often in game 5 against the Montreal Canadiens. The Bruins success allowed them to secure a victory and put them one win away from a return trip to the Eastern Conference Finals.
As happy and hopeful Bruins fans are sure to be feeling after games 4 and 5; there are still plenty of areas to be concerned about regarding their game. The flaky goaltending coupled with several lapses on defense have led to the Canadiens seeming to capitalize on each mistake or opportunity provided by the Bruins. Before last night, the Bruins inability to be able to finish plays and put the puck in the net was leading to a substantial amount of hair pulling and head scratching from players and fans alike.
However, the most glaring concern is the lack of production from the Bruins top line center David Krejci. Krejci was the leading points scorer during the regular season and has led the Bruins in scoring 2 out of the last 3 postseasons. Probably worth noting even more is the fact that the two years Krejci led the B’s during the playoffs in scoring were years they ended up in the Stanley Cup Finals.
Through 10 games, Krejci is not only posting the worst numbers on the team but is having his worst postseason to date with 0 goals and 3 assists to go along with a minus 3.
Krejci has experienced obstacles in the playoffs before and when asked about the slump he currently is in, Krejci responded with an optimistic tone by saying, “everybody has a slump, there’s no surprise that I’m in it right now, but I’m trying to help the team in different ways right now. I believe I’m a good enough player that eventually it’s going to come.”
Krejci has had periods of inconsistent play throughout his career, and when it’s happened in the playoffs, it has contributed to their demise. The Bruins predicate their system on balance and scoring across all lines. If the Bruins hope to make it past Montreal and onto another chance at making the Stanley Cup Finals, Krejci is going to have to find his game, although history says it might be time to make a switch and if so, the Bruins may have a potential answer in Carl Soderberg.
Since making the jump to center, Soderberg has seen an increase in points production as well as being the man who currently anchors the hottest line in this series for the Bruins. With the series reaching it’s final stages, it might be food for thought to consider a switch for the upcoming round.