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SCOC Midseason Grades: David Krejci

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He’s been scoring and getting assists...but under his contract, is it enough?

Boston Bruins v Montreal Canadiens Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

Evaluation:

[deepest inhale, exhale]

Alright. Let’s evaluate David Krejci’s play. Objectively, without too much emotion on it.

David Krejci has played more or less like an offensive minded center that tends to shy away from contact and be just fast enough to keep players on their toes and slick enough with the puck on his stick that they have to pay attention to just him and nobody else who might be coming his way. And by the results, he is currently 3rd on the team in goals and assists, and the goals he scores are still quite a joy to watch as he bends time and space to his will to make them happen.

However, in the past to mitigate any defensive concerns, the Bruins would load up his line with large, two-wayish dudes who could score, but principally off-set Krejci’s general defensive deficiency and allow his favorite method of opening up time and space, starting a passing cycle to open up holes in defense and in coverage.

As far as I can tell, David Krejci has just not had that this year. His quick stickwork gets poked away to the boards, his linemates can’t capitalize or enforce their will, and he himself isn’t exactly the Czech Republic’s largest or most physically dominant hockey player, so he can’t salvage it either. Then in the defensive zone, where he struggles mightily, he gets stuck. As such, his shooting and his individual possession stats have suffered greatly to where they’re currently some of the worst among forwards on Boston’s roster...which is relative, since once again, the Bruins still lead the league in possession. If anything, it screams of an inconsistency in both his and his linemate’s performances.

On top of that, one thing I’m not sure David Krejci is really able to overcome anymore is that his contract, currently clocking in at 7,250,000 per year, and taking up 11% of the Bruins total cap space, has seemingly passed albatross levels and has moved on to more sinister, primal creatures of that man has unwittingly brought upon themselves. His contract has become more like the dog Pariah from Fallout, for example.

With that kind of money, where your play is coming up with bronze medal in terms of points gotten and your possession has suffered in such a drastic way, it is becoming abundantly clear that fans’ opinion on Krejci is going to sour greatly given the insane investment cannot be quite returned in the way we hope it can, and fan reaction has.

But he’s not going anywhere for awhile. His No-Move Clause only gets modified in 2018-19, and the terms of which get him almost half the NHL involved in getting him on the team. Goodness knows who he’d pick in two years time if they wanted to move him, or even if they’ll move him. We can only hope that, if he’s gonna stick around, he’s gonna be able to continue producing at least on a top-5-on-the-team level. If not, he’s going to find himself with less favorable grades from us...and probably less favorable odds of continuing to be a household name in Boston.

Grade: B-, teetering towards C+.

Results matter a lot more than optics, and right now? He’s still third on the team in every category that gets you wins: goals, assists, points. Intangibles and my personal psychosis with how his line plays as a unit be damned. But he’s gonna have to put in a lot of work to continue to make up for that money he’s making.

Stats:

Games Played: 55

Goals: 13

Assists: 21

Points: 34

Shooting-%: 6.00%

Season CF% as of 2/6/17: 54.48%

OwnThePuck Visual: