After the Bruins trailed 2-0 in Game 4 Wednesday night in Toronto, David Krejci decided to take over.
The Czech forward put his team on his back tallying a hat-trick – that included the game-winning goal in overtime – to lift the Black and Gold to a 4-3 victory and a 3-1 series lead.
Krejci’s 10 points (five goals, five assists) ranks him atop the playoff scoring list, and is tied in plus/minus with fellow linemate Nathan Horton, both of whom sport a plus-7.
With 22 points in four games, Krejci, Horton and Milan Lucic have been the Bruins’ best line in the series.
Krejci knows the ups and downs of playoff hockey and he is only worrying about working his hardest while on the ice.
In 63 career playoff games with the Black and Gold, Krejci now has 25 goals and 32 assists while posting a plus-25. One can say the hunt for the Stanley Cup brings the best out of the 27 year-old playmaker.
Head coach Claude Julien praised Krejci in the victory, but also described Krejci’s habit of getting down on himself.
“If he’s got one weakness, he’s really hard on himself at times when things aren’t going well,” Julien said. “But when you see him playing like that, I’m sure you want to call it a weakness. When he does find his game, he’s a pretty dominant player.”
Krejci’s ability, patience and hockey IQ are never mentioned in the same sentence with Sidney Crosby or Patrick Kane, but his linemate knows how good Krejci is.
“He might be underrated to you guys, but he’s not underrated in this dressing room,” Lucic said about his fellow linemate. “Especially for me, I’ve had the opportunity to play with him for the last four years as linemates with him and I’ve had a lot of fun along the way.”
Krejci recorded his second career playoff hat trick last night in Toronto. He also notched his third multiple-point effort this post-season and the 15th of his playoff career.
Not only did he lift the Bruins to a commanding 3-1 series lead heading back to Boston, but he may have broken the hearts of Maple Leafs fans everywhere.
In case you missed it, here’s Krejci’s game winner from last night via NHL Video Center.
Looking for Boston Bruins Tickets Friday night for Game 5 against the Maple Leafs? TiqIq has you covered.