David Krejci’s success comes alongside a rotating cast of linemates

The 32-year-old veteran has amassed 60 points in 69 games.

David Krejci Bruins NHL
David Krejci has scored 60 points in 69 games in 2018-2019. –Angela Spagna, Bruins Daily

David Krejci has scored in a variety of ways alongside a variety of linemates this season.

On March 5, he received a pass from Jake DeBrusk in front of the Carolina Hurricanes net, patiently stickhandled to his backhand to avoid the goaltender’s poke check, and softly put the puck in an open net for the overtime game-winner.

On March 7, he scored on a give-and-go play with Danton Heinen, beating a Panthers defenseman to the goal in time to receive a cross-crease pass.

On March 9, he deflected a Heinen shot in front of the Senators’ net for a game-winning goal. On March 10, he buried his fourth goal in as many games off a rebound from Penguins goaltender Matt Murray.

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Krejci, who is the only Bruins player to skate in all 69 games this season, has totaled 60 points. His career high in total points scored is 73, achieved all the way back in 2008-2009, when he was 22.

With 13 games left to play, Krejci would need to average at least one point scored in every remaining game to reach a new career total. His recent play puts luck on his side; he has scored seven goals and added 10 assists over the Bruins’ last 13 games.

Krejci has created an impressive resumé over the course of his NHL career. He has been one of the Bruins’ top scorers in every season but 2017-2018.  He was the top scorer in the Stanley Cup Playoffs during the Bruins’ championship win in 2011 and their trip back to the Cup Finals in 2013. His 640 career points are ninth-most in Bruins history and his 437 career assists are eighth-most in franchise history.

In 2018-2019, Krejci may break his career high in scoring with a rotating cast of wingers swapped in and out around him.

Throughout this season, the Bruins’ top line has consisted of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and David Pastrnak when healthy. Only one other player – Danton Heinen – has recorded more than 100 minutes of ice time alongside Bergeron at even strength this season, according to statistics website Evolving Hockey. Almost 91 percent of the time Patrice Bergeron is on the ice, Brad Marchand is out there too. Their success together is easily defined – Marchand has scored 82 points. Bergeron has scored 63.

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Krejci is not afforded the same stability on either side of him. Jake DeBrusk has been his most consistent linemate, skating over 600 minutes with Krejci this season. After that, no player has been alongside No. 46 for more than 30 percent of his shifts. David Pastrnak played with Krejci when Bergeron was injured in the fall and may return to his right side when Pastrnak returns from a thumb injury. Heinen, Joakim Nordstrom, Marchand, and Peter Cehlarik have all played over 100 minutes with Krejci at even strength.

“He’s been playing great all year,” DeBrusk said after the Bruins’ overtime win over the Hurricanes on March 5. “He’s the biggest reason I’ve had success personally, as well. To have a guy like that in my corner is something I don’t take for granted.”

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When the Bruins acquired Marcus Johansson at the trade deadline, he was featured at Krejci’s right wing, with DeBrusk on the left, for four games. Then Johansson went down with a lung contusion March 5, and DeBrusk was sidelined with a foot injury March 7. Lee Stempniak, who had previously not played in an NHL game this season, started the last two games on Krejci’s right wing.

On Tuesday morning, Cehlarik and Charlie Coyle skated on Krejci’s sides in practice ahead of the Bruins’ matchup against the Blue Jackets on the road.

Coyle would be the 18th forward to record at least five minutes of ice time alongside Krejci this season. Bergeron, comparatively, has recorded at least five minutes of ice time alongside 11 different forwards.

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