Reader rating: 7.5
SCOC rating: 6.8
After years of complaining about David Krejci’s wingers, Bruins fans finally got their wish this past season when the Boston Bruins traded for talented winger Taylor Hall from the Buffalo Sabres.
Prior to the trade on April 13, Krejci once again had a revolving door of wingers on his left and right side, resulting in inconsistency from the Bruins’ 2nd line and Krejci himself.
In the 35 games prior to acquiring Hall, Krejci put up 2 goals and 21 assists for 23 points or .65 PPG.
During this first stretch of the season, it took Krejci 20 games before he would score his first goal of the season as well.
It’s safe to say that if the season had ended after the first 35 games, the ratings for Krejci on this site would have been much lower.
But then, Hall came to Boston.
And while much of the credit for Krejci’s better performance in the last 15 games of the season can be attributed to Hall, one must not forget the important role Craig Smith played on the second line down the stretch either.
Smith seemed to finally find his groove in Boston, recording 18 of his 32 points in the final month of the season last year.
But let’s get back to Krejci, the playmaker that made the second line run.
After Hall was acquired and the trio of Smith, Hall, and Krejci was formed, Krejci got scorching hot, scoring 6 goals and 15 assists in the Bruins last 15 games. Krejci’s PPG went from .65 to an insane 1.4 over that stretch.
In the playoffs, Krejci’s numbers slipped a little, but he still put up 2 goals and 7 assists in 11 games, good enough for 5th on the team in scoring.
If Krejci accomplished anything this past season, it’s that he left Bruins fans wanting more; wanting more hockey from Krejci and Hall together, to be exact (i.e. the goal below).
The two quickly found chemistry together and gave Boston something that it had been missing for a long time: a bona fide second line.
In Boston’s last 15 regular season games, the Bruins were the second-best 5-on-5 scoring team in the league, with the Krejci line being one of the main reasons for that offensive production.
With Hall officially re-signed and a deal for Krejci reportedly not too far off, it looks like we’ll get to see another season of Hall, Krejci, and Smith together.
Given what we saw at the end of the season, it’s hard not to get excited about that prospect — Krejci finally has two consistent wings, guys he found chemistry with last season.
If that unit comes close to being as effective as it was at times down the stretch, Krejci could be in for a big season.