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David Krejci: Why he is my favorite Bruin

August 7, 2011

David Krejci and Tyler Seguin goofing during the playoffs.

So, I’ll play favorites. Number 46, he’s my favorite.

7th player award three years back. Plus/minus beast. First-line center. He cranks it up in the playoffs. He led all players in points this past playoffs. The accolades are numerous.

But he’s been concussed multiple times. He’s had hip and wrist surgeries. He’s six feet tall, and yet thin, still. But he comes back. And none of that seems to matter. That’s what makes him great. Because that doesn’t matter, either.

What matters is that Krejci stops time and space. He single-handedly controls the course of play unlike any Bruin on the current roster. When he has the puck on his stick, he can dangle and deke and twist and turn out of traffic in a manner that makes defenders look foolish. But his defensive game is every bit as sound. He tangles passing lanes and strips players of pucks at just the right moment. He’s a quick passer, always spot-on.

And this is mostly a function of intelligence, pure intelligence. His awareness of of where the puck is at all times, where his teammates are, is astounding. He is acutely aware of the spatial arrangement on the ice. It’s hard to describe, really. His drop passes, his outlet passes, his spiffy goals. What is it?

And yet he seems so underrated, by so many, still. He’s not the rough-and-tumble Lucic, with big body hits. He’s not all fisticuffs like Thornton. He isn’t sniping like Horton or Seguin. But he’s probably the most important player of the Bruins forwards outside Bergeron. Period. He and Bergeron, despite being so similar in terms of their qualities–sharp passers, good defenders, solid on the PK and PP (though Krejci has not been used on the PK since Wheeler’s departure)–they are remarkably different in how they execute on the ice. Both use their intelligence, but Bergeron more often uses his body, whilst Krejci uses open space.

They assert their will. But Krejci has a magical way of suspending the other players in motion. He is shifty. He wins face-offs and then dominates with the puck on his stick. He’s not the most consistent–he has hot and cold streaks. But when he’s hot, he’s extremely hot.

As he enters his prime, we can only hope he’ll be more consistent. And without injury, I think he will. He’s determined, as these playoffs have shown. When he is focused, he allows nothing to obstruct him. He has traits that cannot be practiced, cannot be trained. He has vision and timing that are better than 99% of all NHLers. Vision and timing are not characteristics to take lightly or toss aside.

I hope he’s in a Bruins jersey for a long time.

 

 

 

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