By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — It’s really saying something that despite having one of the best postseason resumes the sport of hockey has ever seen, David Krejci is still managing to outperform expectations in the bubble.
The Bruins’ second line center has been the driver of the team’s offense in Toronto, and that continued on Sunday night in the opening game of the Bruins’ second round playoff series against Tampa Bay.
This latest piece of offensive wizardry came during a second-period power play, one that required a great deal of patience on the part of both Krejci and Torey Krug. Some stout penalty killing by Tampa kept the puck on the outside, with passing and shooting lanes clogged.
Yet Krug and Krejci didn’t panic, with the D-man leaving the puck for Krejci at the blue line. Krejci carried down the wall and saw through a wall of three blue sweaters to find David Pastrnak standing all alone in the most dangerous spot on the ice. Krejci took an extra stride, watched that defensive wall split, and then sent a feed to Pastrnak with an absolutely otherworldly sense of nonchalance.
Pastrnak being Pastrnak, the one-time bomb obviously got past Andrei Vasilevskiy.
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While most viewers were impressed by the vision displayed by Krejci, Pastrnak just kind of expected it to happen.
“Well, to be honest, I was ready, like, for about 15 seconds. I knew it was coming,” Pastrnak said. “He’s an unbelievable playmaker. He’s been doing that for a long time in this league.”
That goal gave the Bruins a 2-0 lead, and it extended Krejci’s personal playoff point streak to a career-high seven games. Going back to the final round-robin game, Krejci has three goals and seven assists for 10 points in seven games played.
With Sunday’s assist, Krejci climbed into a tie with fellow wizard Pavel Datsyuk for most postseason points of all time, at 113. Considering the fact that those two players seemingly spent their careers playing with enchanted hockey sticks, that’s a temporary tie worth contemplating.
More pressing, though, is the impact that Krejci is having on a nightly basis for the Bruins. It’s been remarkable, and if the Bruins hope to get past the highly potent Lightning, they’re going to need it to continue.