The Boston Bruins’ second line got off to a slow start this season, but it’s starting to heat up. And it’s hardly a coincidence that David Krejci is hitting his stride at the same time.
The center scored his first goal of the season in Boston’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place on Thursday, upping his point total to 1-5-6 in seven games.
He’s had points in five of those seven games this season, and that’s all while trying to find out who fits in best on his line.
Krejci and Jake DeBrusk have formed a nice tandem, but the second winger role still remains mostly up for grabs. Danton Heinen, Joakim Nordstrom and Ryan Donato all have seen time in that spot, with Heinen getting the nod against the Oilers.
In due time there should be some stability, but in the meantime head coach Bruce Cassidy has been pleased with what he’s seen out of Krejci.
“I think he’s been very good,” Cassidy told Jack Edwards and Andy Brickley after the game, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “He had a tough one against Ottawa, since then he’s been around the puck, skating, playing both ends of the ice and doing a real good job. They got rewarded and they’re going to get rewarded more if they keep that kind of play up. I’d like to see his unit find some chemistry and generate a threat as a second power play, but I like his game a lot 5-on-5.”
The 32-year-old is a far better player when he’s not called upon to be the primary goal-scorer on his unit. Sure, he still has a fine scoring touch, but getting a couple adept wingers beside him allows him to be his best on the offensive end.
Here are some other notes from Thursday’s Bruins-Oilers game:
— Kevan Miller left Thursday’s game with an upper-body injury. After the game, Cassidy said he would be re-evaluated Friday.
— David Backes took a hit to the head from Matt Benning in the first period, causing him to go to the dressing room. He returned with a few minutes left in the stanza but did not play a shift. However, he did finish out the rest of the game and saw ice time.
Cassidy noted he thinks the NHL will take a look at Benning’s hit to see if any discipline is needed.
— David Pastrnak scored his eighth goal of the season Thursday night. The tally puts him at second-most in the league behind Auston Matthews, who has 10.
Thumbnail photo via Brad Rempel/USA TODAY Sports Images