On the eve of the National Hockey League’s trade deadline the Bruins hosted Tim Thomas and the Florida Panthers. With the talk around town surrounding who may or may not be coming to Boston, David Krejci stole the show Tuesday night in front of a sold out TD Garden.
Krejci’s fifth career hat trick helped the Bruins notch their second straight win, defeating the Panthers 4-1. The hat trick was the first by a Bruin since Krejci scored three times against the Devils on March 1, 2012.
For Krejci, securing the hat trick with an empty net goal was a easy decision.
“I didn’t think I had another option and I also knew I had two goals already, so why not go for it, right” said a smiling Krejci.
Line mate Milan Lucic knew the team wanted to get Krejci his third of the evening, so obviously Lucic was excited to be able to get the puck to Krejci.
“Well yeah, you know, we obviously recognized the situation and he had two at the time with an empty net” said Lucic.
“We were just able to turn the puck over high up there and I looked for him and he was open and was able to hit the empty net there from the neutral zone.”
Krejci has been playing tremendous hockey of late. With his three goals against the Panthers, Krejci has five goals and five assists in his last five games.
Tuesday’s hat trick only adds to what has been a great year for Krejci. No. 46 leads the Bruins in points with 55. His 39 assists also leads the Bruins in that category.
According to head coach Claude Julien, Krejci has focused more on his shot and his practice certainly stood out against Florida.
“Well I mean, he did [shoot enough] tonight. You know, but Dave has always been a pass-first kind of guy, but he’s got a good shot” said Julien.
“I think his, I think his approach this year has been a little bit more about shooting, and you know, even being on the point on the power play, I’ve seen him, you know, where times he would never shoot but this year he’s taking the shots when that shooting lane is there. So, you know, it’s probably more confidence in his shot, and he does have a good shot and it’s nice to see him use it.”
In the four games since returning from the Olympic break, the line of Lucic, Krejci and Jarome Iginla have combined for 15 points. Despite the offensive outburst from his line, Krejci thinks he and his wingers can be better.
“I still feel there’s some stuff we have to improve, especially on our defensive side. But on the other hand, the puck has been going in the net for us the last few games” added Krejci.
“We got to keep that going, but at the same just go out there and take care of our own end first and go from there.”