With news surfacing at the beginning of the week regarding David Krejci’s retirement from the league, plenty of tributes have been coming in for the Czech centerman. In the spirit of continuing that, here are 10 of David Krejci’s best moments in the playoffs. No particular order from worst to best, just 10 of the best “playoff Krejci” moments.
10. 2011 Stanley Cup Final, game 3 vs Canucks
On home ice for the first time in the Stanley Cup Final and in a 2-0 series hole against the Vancouver Canucks, the Bruins needed a win to try and swing momentum back in their favor. Already ahead 3-0 in the later minutes of the second period, Krejci left no doubt on a rebound that got loose and made it 4-0, effectively putting the game away in an 8-1 win for the Bruins.
9. 2011 Eastern Conference Final, Game 7 vs Lightning
With the Bruins on the precipice of reaching the Stanley Cup Finals, they had to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final. Krejci has always been a pass-first player, setting up teammates rather than banging his own goals home.
One great example of this came in game seven, when Krejci dished a perfect pass to Nathan Horton in front of the net to put the Bruins ahead 1-0 in the third period, a score that went final to give the Bruins the Eastern Conference championship.
8. 2013 First Round, Game 4 vs Maple Leafs
Facing the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round of the 2013 playoffs, everyone remembers the incredible game seven comeback to stun the Maple Leafs. What they don’t remember as much is what Krejci did in game four.
In a 4-3 win over the Maple Leafs in Canada, Krejci notched a hat trick in game four, including the OT winner that gave the Bruins a 3-1 series lead in the series they went on to win in thrilling fashion.
7. 2013 Eastern Conference Finals, Game one vs Penguins
With the Bruins looking to reach the Stanley Cup Finals for the second time in 3 years, they first had to get through the Pittsburgh Penguins. In game one, the Bruins won by a 3-0 score, with Krejci serving as a big reason why. He potted two of the three goals to get the Bruins off on the right foot. For the entire series, he had four goals and four assists in just four games. Otherworldly.
6. 2019 first round, Game 6 vs Maple Leafs
Locked in a back and forth tilt with the Maple Leafs in the first round of the 2018-2019 playoffs, the Bruins entered game six in Canada trailing 3-2 in the series. They won game six 4-2 and game seven 5-1 to knock out Toronto yet again.
In Game 6, with the Bruins facing elimination, Krejci, in traffic with barely an opening, made a perfect pass to Jake DeBrusk, who put in the net front goal to make it 3-1 Bruins just about eight minutes into the second period. It was yet another example of Krejci’s terrific passing skills.
5. 2019 second round, Game 6 vs Blue Jackets
After knocking out the Maple Leafs, the Bruins were up 3-2 in the series against the Columbus Blue Jackets, trying to secure the series win on the road. With just under eight minutes left in the second period, Jake DeBrusk hammered a shot that hit the post and clanged out.
With the puck going past everyone in the Columbus zone off the post, the follower was Krejci, who timed up a wicked one-timer that beat Sergei Bobrovsky, breaking the scoreless tie to get the Bruins a 1-0 lead in a game they won 4-2. When Krejci gets into a one-timer, it’s quite hard to stop, and this one was a good example of that.
4. 2010 first round, Game 6 vs Sabres
With the Bruins looking to close out the Sabres in Game 6 of the first round series at TD Garden, playoff Krejci showed out in a big way. In a 4-3 win, Krejci scored two goals, making it 1-0 and 3-1 respectively, also adding an assist on Mark Recchi’s goal that made it 2-0. Although they had a forgettable choke in the next round against the Flyers, Krejci was a big reason the Bruins were able to knock out the Sabres on home ice.
3. 2019 second round, Game one vs Flyers
Part of the reason why Krejci is such a good passer is because of his incredible stick work. In game one of the Flyers series, Krejci used his stickwork to confuse Flyers goalie Brian Boucher, causing him to misfire in net and allowing Krejci to put the puck into the suddenly open net to extend the Bruins lead to 4-2.
2. 2011 Eastern Conference Final, Game 6 vs Lightning
Despite the Bruins ultimately losing this game 5-4, Krejci isn’t someone who can be blamed for the loss. Playoff Krejci took full effect to will the Bruins towards a win, notching a hat trick for his eighth, ninth, and 10th goals of the playoffs that year.
1. The entire 2011 playoffs
There are plenty of heroes in the Bruins run to the Stanley Cup championship in 2011, and Krejci most certainly is one of them. He was on another level in the playoffs, racking up 12 goals and 11 assists in 25 games, leading all players in the postseason. That was truly the start of the playoff Krejci legacy, and boy was it a special one.