We’re about 24 hours away from kicking off the Boston Bruins preseason schedule (@Washington Sun 5pm) and whilst fighting against technology (some new ringlight camera thingie that Fink convinced me to buy), I decided to take a step back from the dawn of a new season and reminisce about one of the longtime Bruins who’s taken his game overseas. This ladies and gentlemen is the long awaited and never duplicated: The David Krejci Appreciation Blog.
From the man himself:
The Czech native joined the Bruins at the end of the 2006-07 season after lighting it up for the Baby B’s in Providence (31g-43a-74pts in 69GP) and the Quebec Major Junior League (49g-95a-144pts in 117GP) over 2 seasons. He didn’t make the immediate impact he had hoped, putting up goose eggs over 6 games to end the year with the Bruins as a 20 year old.
Things started to really click for him 2 seasons later as he played in all 82 with the big club and performed well in the playoffs, something that would become a trademark of his as his career moved forward. Krejci finished that season second on the club in scoring, trailing only Marc Savard (is that good?) in points. Speaking of Savvy…..
Krejci really got it going in the years leading up to the Bruins’ Cup Championship. Performing at nearly a point per game pace and averaging almost 19 minutes of ice time for 4 consecutive years, Krejci was the bonafide #1 center for the Bruins. His silky passes and ability to see the ice evoked memories of Wayne Gretzky and Adam Oates. A tenacious defender, he could take on shutdown roles and was called upon to take as many defensive zone draws as Patrice Bergeron (ever heard of him?). His true mutant power however is what Homeboy Jack Edwards likes to call his “mastery of time and space”, this cat could slow the game down with the puck on his stick and defenders seemed to bend to his will. He was Neo dodging bullets but he was sidestepping defenders instead. Whereas Neo saw the numbers that comprised The Matrix, Krejci saw the immeasurable angles that made up offensive zones across the NHL.
They say you build your legend in the Stanley Cup run and that’s exactly what Krejci did. Manning the pivot between Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton (talk about a rose between 2 thorns) and then later with Rich Peverley in place of the injured Horton; Krejci carried the team as much as Tim Thomas did. In all situations, with whomever Claude Julien put him out there with, Krejci made them that much better. It’s no coincidence that Lucic’s best years were riding shotgun for Krejci.
David Krejci has left the Bruins to go back to the Czech Republic to play in front of his family and friends and so that his kids can grow up in the culture he grew up in. Who can fault him for doing what is best for his family? He’s won The Cup, he’s financially set for life and he’s living out his childhood dream (and still getting it done on the ice).
I hope that I speak for all Bruins fans when I say thank you David Krejci. Thank you for what you’ve done for this city and this team, thank you for playing for your teammates and the crest and thank you for building the culture that will carry this team forward to continued success.
I hope I’m there the day your #46 gets hoisted to the rafters. I thank you for your time in Boston and wish you the best back in the Czech Republic. Hodně štěstí a bůh žehnej.