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Bruins DieHard: Krejci Is King Of Postseason For Bruins

By Ric Duarte, CBSBoston
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Boston Bruins forward David Krejci. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

Boston Bruins forward David Krejci. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

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BOSTON (CBS) – It has been said that in life that one should never take for granted anything that you have. One should be proud for all you have and never forget just how fortunate they are.

Actually, it was my mom that used to say that to me. All the time.

But that brings me back to the NHL trade deadline this past season, when a lot of so-called experts (fans and media alike) were throwing out the name of one David Krejci to be traded. Krejci was not the player that everyone thought he would be after the Bruins had signed him to a new contract during the 2011-2012 season, and some wanted him packaged and sent on his way for another team’s mystery player(s).

Well, in the words of The Heavy, “How you like me know?”

David Krejci is and always has been the premiere playoff performer for the Boston Bruins. In the 2009 playoffs, after his first full season with the Bruins, Krejci had two goals and six assists in 11 games before the team was eliminated in the second round by the Canadiens in seven games.

In 2010, the Bruins were rolling along in the playoffs as Krejci potted four goals and four helpers in nine games until Game three of the second round, when he took a viscous — but legal — hit from Philadelphia Flyers Mike Richards,  dislocating his wrist. He had surgery that night following a Bruins victory that put them up 3-0 in the series, but we all know what happened next without their top-line center.

In 2011, the Stanley Cup Championship year, Krejci was Boston’s leading playoff scorer with 12 goals and 23 points in 25 games, and had it not been for Vezina winning goaltender Tim Thomas, he may well have won the Conn Smythe trophy for outstanding playoff performer.

Which brings us to Wednesday night’s magical performance in Game 4 in Toronto against the Maple Leafs.

The game itself was one of the best playoff games since the Cup run of 2011. Toronto scored early and late in the first period and went into the first intermission with a 2-0 lead as the Torontonians were happy, loud, boisterous and confident. But they also had to kill a penalty called late in the period that carried over to the second, which they didn’t, and Patrice Bergeron quickly scored just 32 seconds into put the Bs back into the game.

That’s when Krejci took over. First, he went hard into the crease to deflect a Brad Marchand shot by Leaf’s netminder James Reimer to tie the game, followed shortly by Nathan Horton slidding a pass across the slot for a one-timer to give Boston a 3-2 lead. Unfortunately, they were a bit sloppy in their own zone and 44 seconds later Toronto’s Clarke MacArthur  would tie it at three.

But Krejci made sure the Bruins, who had not won back-to-back games in a month, would not walk out of the Air Canada Cetnre without a 3-1 series lead. His hat trick goal and game winner in overtime once again propels him to that “Premiere Playoff Performer” status.

Now, the Bruins are in position to clinch the series back home at the TD Garden on Friday night.

So be careful what you wish for. Although sports teams should never fall in love with their players, never take for granted the talents of what is right in front of your eyes.

Things may not have been going well on April 2nd, but right now, I’m sure Bruins fans like David Krejci quite a bit.

Ric Duarte has covered hockey and the Bruins for various media outlets since 1986. You can follow Ric at BruinsDieHard.com and at twitter @bruins_diehard.

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