Boston Bruins’ David Krejci out but team ‘optimistic’ for playoffs

The Boston Bruins will have to finish the regular season without their veteran center David Krejci, who has been sidelined with a lower-body injury since April 1. Krejci will miss the final two games against the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Columbus Blue Jackets, but coach Jim Montgomery is hopeful that he will be ready for the start of the playoffs next week.

“Today was his best day, so that has us optimistic about where he’s going to be Game One,” Montgomery said on Tuesday morning, after Krejci skated before the team’s practice.

Krejci, who has 16 goals and 40 assists for 56 points in 70 games this season, is a key part of the Bruins’ offense and leadership. He has played in 1,032 career NHL games, all with Boston, and has 231 goals and 555 assists for 786 points.

He also has 42 goals and 107 assists for 149 points in 156 playoff games, and was instrumental in the Bruins’ Stanley Cup run in 2011, when he led the league with 23 points in 25 games.

With Krejci out, Pavel Zacha has been filling in as the second-line center between David Pastrnak and Tyler Bertuzzi, who was acquired from Detroit at the trade deadline. Zacha has four goals and six assists for 10 points in 15 games since joining the Bruins, and has shown good chemistry with his linemates.

Montgomery said he would also try to give some shifts to the projected third line of Taylor Hall, Charlie Coyle and Craig Smith, who have not played together yet due to injuries and COVID-19 protocols.

Hall, who was also acquired at the deadline from Buffalo, returned to the lineup last Saturday after missing more than a month with a positive test. He has three goals and four assists for seven points in nine games with Boston.

Coyle, who has been playing mostly as a winger this season, said he is not worried about whether he gets enough time with Hall and Smith before the playoffs.

“Whatever the coach decides. I don’t really care, to be honest,” Coyle said. “I’m going to play wherever I’m assigned and make the most of it. I think playoff time, it can change and you just have to be ready and make sure you’re as familiar with your linemates as possible and make the most of it.”

Coyle also said he is trying to be more aggressive with his shot, something that Montgomery has encouraged him to do. Coyle scored on a rare one-timer against Philadelphia on Monday, his sixth goal of the season.

“That’s something I’ve been told since I was 8, so it’s nothing new. It’s just my nature, how I am, how I’m programmed right now,” Coyle said. “It takes a lot for me to say, hey, be a little selfish and just shoot it, but that’s something I’m working on every day. And usually when I do that, good things happen.”

The Bruins are currently in third place in the Atlantic Division with a record of 44-21-5 for 93 points. They have clinched a playoff spot and are still fighting for home-ice advantage in the first round against either Toronto or Tampa Bay. They have two more games to break another NHL record for most consecutive seasons with at least one point in each game (currently at 29).

The Bruins are confident that they can overcome Krejci’s absence and finish strong in preparation for another postseason run.

“We have a lot of depth and a lot of guys who can step up,” Pastrnak said. “We have a lot of experience and we know what it takes to win in this league. We’re excited for the playoffs and we want to make sure we’re playing our best hockey when they start.”

Final Thoughts: Bruins Remain Optimistic Despite Krejci’s Injury

The Boston Bruins will be without their veteran center David Krejci for the last two games of the regular season due to a lower-body injury. However, the team remains optimistic about his status for the playoffs.

Krejci has been a crucial part of the Bruins’ offense and leadership, and his absence will be felt. Nevertheless, Coach Jim Montgomery has been experimenting with different line combinations and giving shifts to the projected third line of Taylor Hall, Charlie Coyle, and Craig Smith, who have not played together yet due to injuries and COVID-19 protocols.

Pavel Zacha has been filling in as the second-line center between David Pastrnak and Tyler Bertuzzi, who was acquired from Detroit at the trade deadline. Zacha has shown good chemistry with his linemates, and his performance has been encouraging.

Coyle, who has been playing mostly as a winger this season, is not worried about his playing time with Hall and Smith before the playoffs, and he has been working on being more aggressive with his shot, as encouraged by Montgomery.

The Bruins are currently in third place in the Atlantic Division and have clinched a playoff spot. They are still fighting for home-ice advantage in the first round against either Toronto or Tampa Bay.

The team has two more games to break another NHL record for most consecutive seasons with at least one point in each game. The Bruins have a lot of depth and experience, and they are confident that they can overcome Krejci’s absence and finish strong in preparation for another postseason run.

Overall, while Krejci’s injury is a setback, the Bruins remain optimistic about their playoff chances. They have depth and experience, and they are a resilient team that has overcome challenges in the past.

The team has been experimenting with different line combinations, and the players have been stepping up. With the playoffs just around the corner, the Bruins are focused on playing their best hockey and making a deep run.