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The Boston Bruins are a historic organization. As the club enters its 100th season, plenty of prolific players have worn the black and gold. Some names stand out far more than others and have their numbers retired in the rafters of TD Garden. For now, we reminisce about a player that has been here for the majority of the 2000s. 

In this era of Bruins hockey, where the team has been a contender, one player has been a critical part of it. The players that led the way were Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron. However, David Krejci has been a core player for the Bruins as well. As his future remains uncertain, let’s reminisce on the great moments of his time in Boston. 

Drafted And Making His Impact

Patrice Bergeron had already been drafted and eventually skating in his first games with the Boston Bruins. Little did the organization know, but the draft pick made in 2004 would be his partner down the middle. 

With the 63rd pick in the 2004 NHL Draft, the Boston Bruins would select David Krejci. At that time, Krejci played with the HC Kladno junior program in his native Czech Republic. After being drafted, he would move to the Quebec League, where his game would take off. In 117 games, Krejci eclipsed 144 points in two seasons. His climb would continue as he made his way over to the Providence Bruins. 

With the Bruins’ AHL affiliate, he officially made his mark on the organization. In 2006-07, Krejci was more than a point-per-game player with 31 goals, 43 assists, and 74 points. In addition, the following season saw him amass 28 points in 21 games. But he would get recalled to Boston that season and that was the beginning of the David Krejci era for the Bruins.  

Hitting the 100 Goal Mark

Scoring goals was not a common thing for Krejci. Although, he showed flashes that he could light the lamp and put the puck in the net. 2013 was a magical run for many reasons. For David Krejci, he would hit a new milestone for himself. In a 5-3 loss to the New York Islanders, Krejci went on to score his milestone goal.

During the first period of their matchup, Krejci went on to score and early. Just five minutes into the game he found the back of the net for his ninth of the season. In David Krejci fashion, he would brush it off and not think much about it. He said, “It’s just a number,” remarked Krejci, who – like many players – would prefer not to keep track of stats like that. “It’s nice to get 100 goals, hopefully there will be 100 more in my career but it’s just a number.” However, his linemate Milan Lucic had other words to say. Lucic had high praises for Krejci saying, “It’s a big accomplishment,” said Lucic. “It would have been nice to have gotten the win with a 100th goal. He’s been playing really well as of late, he’s been real consistent throughout this year and hopefully he can keep it up.”

Krejci would go on to score 100 more goals and notch his 200th against the Carolina Hurricanes. As it stands, Krejci has 231 career goals, and all with the Bruins.

Boston’s Dynamic Trio

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

There were key moments that helped spark the Bruins’ return to glory. The free agency frenzy in 2006 that landed former captain Zdeno Chara and center Marc Savard was the start. However, it was the emergence of in-house talent that sparked the offense. 

David Krejci had been a mainstay for the Bruins once he got recalled from Providence. Furthermore, winger Milan Lucic and trade acquisition Nathan Horton helped form a lethal trio of a line. It was the best of times for that trio. From 2010-2013 this trio helped deliver offense and memories for fans everywhere. 

They were dangerous. Lucic was a significant bodied power forward, and so was Horton. With Krejci and his elite playmaking to pair with their scoring, it posed a nightmare to deal with. During their Stanley Cup-winning season, the trio generated 28.9 expected goals for and averaged 2.63 per game. In addition, the big three managed 41 goals as a line which led the team. 

Things slowed down slightly for the trio, but they were still effective. Together they scored 25 goals, which surpassed their expected rate of 17.7. They were so good that they averaged almost four goals per game. In the 2012-13 season, the line was excellent at both ends of the ice. Together they did a good job suppressing the opposition (1.97 expected goals against per 60 minutes).

Furthermore, they pushed the pace offensively, generating 20.5 expected goals and scoring 23 as a line. In the 2013 playoffs, they were a wrecking ball. They scored 21 goals as a line, and the closest line had just six goals. In the famous comeback in Game Seven against Toronto, Lucic and Horton scored to help aid the comeback. It is safe to say that, at the time, the three were a force to be reckoned with. 

This was also the best of years for David Krejci. Playing alongside them most of the time, Krejci had point totals of 62, 62, and 33 (shortened season of 47 games). Unfortunately, Horton would go on to sign the mega-deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets, and Lucic would get traded in 2015. 

Playoff David Krejci

There is a reason why he is called “Playoff Krejci.” When the games got tougher and meant more, Krejci showed up for the team. During their 2011 Cup-winning run, Krejci was one of the best producers for the club. Krejci led the entire league in points with 23 and led the team in goals (12). While helping lead the way to having one of the most important goals in Bruins history, Krejci made a name for himself the game prior. Krejci became the first player since Cam Neely to score three goals in a single playoff game. That is good company to be in if you are David Krejci. 

Krejci started the 2011 playoff slow but elevated his game once round two began. He had nine points against the Flyers, seven against Tampa Bay, and six against Vancouver. If not for Tim Thomas and his absurd run, Krejci likely wins the Conn Smythe that season. 

The team got bounced out of the first round by the Washington Capitals in 2012. However, playoff Krejci returned in the 2013 playoff run. 

2013 was special for many reasons. Even though the team did not have the same results, the deep run meant a lot to the city of Boston. Krejci picked up where he left off in 2011. He torched the Maple Leafs for 13 points in that seven-game series. In addition, Krejci had himself a hat trick in Game Four. Most importantly, his two assists in the Game Seven comeback helped cap off his series. 

Krejci continued his hot play into the next series. Despite going without a goal in eight games, he made plays and stayed on the stat sheet. When all was said and done, David Krejci finished that playoff run with 26 points and a whopping 17 assists. 

Lifting the Stanley Cup

For the first time since 1990, the Boston Bruins returned to the Stanley Cup Final. In seven games against the Vancouver Canucks, Boston emerged victorious and won the Stanley Cup. 

Off the backs of a two-goal game performance by Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron, the Bruins won the game 4-0. Tim Thomas was sensational, posting a shutout victory on the road. David Krejci was a Stanley Cup Champion after a strong playoff performance. 

Signing the Big Contract

David Krejci was here to stay. After climbing the ranks and establishing himself as a core player, Boston ensured he was shipping off to nowhere else. 

After a strong year during the 2013-14 season, Krejci signed a six-year contract extension with Boston. The deal was worth $43.5 million and carried a cap hit of $7.25 million. Scoring 19 goals and 69 points in 80 games helped Krejci land his lucrative deal. The duo down the middle of Krejci and Bergeron would reign supreme until now. 

After being on three-year deals the prior two contracts, landing the significant extension was huge at that given point. From the time he signed the contract, the Bruins reached the Stanley Cup Final once, and qualified for the playoffs seven years in a row.

Hitting the 700 Point Milestone

David Krejci has always been a special hockey player for the Bruins. Much like Evgeni Malkin to Sidney Crosby, Krejci has always complimented Bergeron. Playing the second-line center role, he has always been there to help provide offense. With his high hockey IQ paired with his elite play-making skills, he always found a way to produce. 

It is always a milestone when a player hits 100 points, and every 100 after that. In the year 2021, David Krejci eclipsed the 700-point mark. In a game against the Buffalo Sabres, a three-assist night saw him get the milestone point. While that is impressive from an individual standpoint, him getting there is even more impressive. 

As mentioned above, there was the dynamic trio. Once that trio separated, it was musical chairs to find linemates for Krejci. The amount of players and combinations he played with up to that point was even more mind-blowing. Since the 2014-15 season, he went on to center 35 different line combinations. That is a lot of combinations and little time to build chemistry. To hit that milestone is enormous, given that. 

As it currently stands, Krejci sits at 786 points and ranks ninth on the all-time list for the Bruins. 

Skating In His 1000th Game 

1K Krejci. Hitting 1000 games is a massive milestone for any hockey player. One thing that makes it memorable is doing it with the team you got drafted by. Call me sentimental, but that hits home and makes it much more special. David Krejci is a Boston Bruins legend. 

On a Monday afternoon tilt with the Philadelphia Flyers, David Krejci owned the moment in his 1000th game. In addition, he shined brighter the moment the puck dropped. Like many other times throughout 1000 games, Krejci had three assists. He was flanked by the two Czechs, David Pastrnak and Pavel Zacha. The line combined for four goals and nine points. Indeed a David Krejci way of doing things; being a playmaker. 

Jim Montgomery had huge words for his Star player. He said, “I think a lot of players have so much respect for him. And rightfully so,” Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery said of Krejci. “He’s a Bruins legend and he showed why tonight. Makes everyone around him better.”

That was sure the case in that game. Krejci also became the seventh player in Bruins history to reach the mark. Just a tremendous honor and a great way to help cap off a tremendous career. 

Receiving Praise

Throughout his career, Krejci has been a special player. He is worthy of any praise he receives. His teammates and coaches have spoken highly of him this season. Just a token of appreciation for his impacts on the club and what he means to the team from a competitive standpoint.

“I think I have him in spots where I think I can get the puck,” Marchand said of going against Krejci in practice. “I’ve got him cornered. Then he’s just by me or he makes a play through me. He’s so gifted. He always comes up big at big times. On our playoff runs, he’s always our top scorer. He just comes up with huge goals at the opportune moment. That’s part of his demeanor and character. He’s just so levelheaded that regardless of the situation — I don’t know if he feels the pressure or not — but he’s able to thrive and come through in the big moments.”

Montgomery spoke highly of the long time center and what he means to the organization. Montgomery said, “He’s one of those guys that established a great culture, along with Bergy and [Chara],” Montgomery said of Krejci. “And he’s carried that on the ice. He wasn’t going to come back and play unless it was for the Bruins. And I think [a] reason we’re an elite team in the league is because he came back. Not the only reason, but a huge factor in that. It gives us the opportunity to have great depth.”

If this is the end for David Krejci, he gave his all for the Boston Bruins. He was a professional on and off the ice and performed at the highest of levels. What a great career it was and great to look back on.