Bruins GM praises center David Krejci as “underlying MVP to our season”


The Boston Bruins enter the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs after posting the second-best record in the NHL (tied with the Calgary Flames) during the regular season, and a good portion of that success can be attributed to the excellent performances from David Krejci.

The veteran center not only stayed healthy throughout the year — a challenge for him in the past — he was remarkably effective offensively. Krejci, despite having some inconsistency with his linemates, tied a career high with 73 points (20 goals, 53 assists) in 81 games.

"I think David is an underlying MVP to our season, to be honest with you, really a catalyst for our group this year," Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said at Warrior Ice Arena on Monday. "Might not have gotten the prime attention that several other players deserved and merited, but very consistent year for David, start-to-finish. You’re seeing the development of Jake DeBrusk, and the year that he had, and David, a lot can be attributed to that.

"His numbers are not tilted towards power play, ran the second unit. Certainly, stepped in when Patrice (Bergeron) was out and back on, and it’s a lot of what David expects of himself. He was healthy this year. It took a lot of ownership individually to — you know, I think there was a recent article about it — working on his nutrition, working on his training and evolving as a player as you get older, and that’s something that you have to do. He was healthy this year, which is a credit to our training staff and to him. He deserves a lot of credit for where we are as an organization, and he’s generally played his best hockey in the playoffs, so that’s exciting for our group as well."

Depth down the middle is essential to winning in the NHL, and Krejci, along with first-line pivot Patrice Bergeron, give Boston one of the best 1-2 punches at center. 

Scoring depth was a problem for the Bruins in last season's playoff exit. Boston didn't generate enough offense outside of the first line, particularly in their five-game second-round playoff series loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Bruins are better-equipped to avoid that issue this year, and Krejci is one reason why. His ability to generate scoring chances for himself and linemates is quite impressive, and he's also responsible and well-positioned in the defensive aspect of the game.

Let's also not forget that Krejci led the postseason in scoring in 2011 and 2013. The Bruins went to the Stanley Cup Final in both of those years, and it's not a coincidence Krejci's offensive surge came at the same time.

Boston needs a similar run from Krejci to get back to the Cup Final this spring. The first step toward accomplishing that goal begins Thursday at TD Garden, where the B's host the rival Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 1 of their first-round series.

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