Before Tuesday night’s game in Toronto against the Maple Leafs, with Boston's top point producer Marc Savard injured and out of the lineup, David Krejci was called on to try and temporarily fill the star center’s skates.
He was placed in the starting lineup with Chuck Kobasew and Marco Sturm, and then played with Glen Murray and Sturm after Kobasew was hurt early in the game.
He also managed to score the team’s second goal, his fourth of the season, and earned an assist on a goal from Sturm in the 6-2 win.
“With any of the guys hurt, you have to [make] those changes, you have to keep those lines going, and I think we did a pretty good job,” Krejci said.
The 21-year old from the Czech Republic has had a chance to flourish and show off his abilities – everything that made him the Bruins second round draft pick in 2004 – in the latter half of this season, and he’s certainly stepped up his game, but Krejci says he’s trying not to put pressure on himself.
“I would like to do the same thing as I did the last game, but I don’t put any pressure [on myself],” he said. “I will go out there every shift and try to do my best [and] be at the right spot at the right time.”
He’s got the timing down.
The goal against the Leafs was a result of perfect positioning in the crease, where Krejci was able to use a rebounded shot by Matt Lashoff to his advantage.
His first score of the season, too, couldn’t have come at a better time.
Krejci scored in a shootout on February 19 against the Carolina Hurricanes, the second goal of the shootout, which solidified the Bruins win. His first official NHL goal came just days afterward in a 4-0 victory over the Ottawa Senators on February 26.
Still, the reserved Krejci isn’t likely to be seen taking any credit. It’s the team, the guys that have backed him up and helped him get those goals and assists, that he gives the credit to when the press comes calling.
“Everybody has at to step up, and I think all four lines did,” he said about his teammates in Tuesday’s game. “Nobody was tired on the bench, everybody had life, everybody had energy, and we just did our job, just played our game.”
If there’s any pressure, it’s being put on the team as a whole, with the guys scrambling to win these final six games of the regular season in order to stay in the playoff race and have a chance to play in April.
“I feel confident enough,” said Krejci, citing the team’s last two efforts as proof of their ability, “but there’s a lot of pressure on us.
"So, we’ve just got to go out there and do the job.”
With Savard out at least through the weekend, it’s almost certain that Krejci will be called upon once again in these final games. Meanwhile, he says he’ll continue to take everything in stride.
“We don’t look at the other games,” he explained. “We’ve got to stick to the game plan and do our job…That’s it.”