David Krejci #46 of the Boston Bruins scores a goal in the third period on Tomas Vokoun #92 of the Pittsburgh Penguins during Game One of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Consol Energy Center on June 1, 2013 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
(May 31, 2013 - Source: Jamie Sabau/Getty Images North America)

Krejci’s building reputation as playoff hero


When the Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup in 2011, David Krejci led the league with 12 goals and 23 points in 25 playoff games.

He’s done even better this time around and in a year where Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Patrick Kane, and Patrick Sharp are among the players still active, Krejci is leading the pack with 20 points in 14 contests.

“You know what? It’s nice,” Krejci told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I want to say it’s nice, but I don’t really look at it that much. In the playoffs, it can change the next day. So I just try to stay at the same level at all times.”

Fair enough, but Krejci does seem like he can find an extra level when his team needs him the most. Over the past four campaigns, he’s never recorded more than 62 points in a single regular season, but he ranks second behind only Mike Richards in playoff points since 2010. Krejci has 25 goals and 54 points in 55 postseason games over that span.

Bruins coach Claude Julien suggested that Krejci is the type of player that thrives under the intensity of the playoffs, although Krejci wanted to emphasize that he doesn’t think he gets “bored” during the regular season. He also thinks sometimes too much is made of points.

“It’s not always about points,” Krejci argued. “I feel sometimes I have a good game in the regular season but I don’t have a point, and that’s all the media talks about: You’re a good player if you have points; if you don’t have points, you’re not a good player.

“That’s not this team. We never had the past few years a guy in the top 20 in scoring, so that’s just the way our team is built.”

Well, they got someone playing like an elite scorer right now and it certainly hasn’t hurt.


Playoffs Tonight: Bruins look to battle Penguins to edge

Latest report leaves Carey Price’s injury timeline fuzzy

Carey Price
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There’s one thing we seem to know about Carey Price‘s injury situation: he first got hurt stepping on a puck on Oct. 29, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

Contrary to earlier reports about him missing about a month, it sounds like his window of recovery is still up in the air (which, to be fair, could mean that he’ll still miss about a month when it’s all said and done).

ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that Price underwent testing with Montreal’s team doctor on Saturday and is expected to go through more; we may not know more about his expected injury timeline until early this coming week.

So, basically, Price’s situation is fuzzier than his mustache right now.

Leg injuries can be tricky anyway, so we shouldn’t be too surprised that there are mixed signals regarding Price, and this may remain a fluid situation for some time.

(But we’ll hopefully know more soon enough.)

Lightning lament life as a .500 team

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The Tampa Bay Lightning have plenty of time to rise above mediocrity, yet it still must be deserving to finish at .500 for two straight months.

After last night’s 3-2 loss to the New York Islanders, that’s exactly where they find themselves:

Record at the end of October: 5-5-2

Record at the end of November: 11-11-3

As of this writing, the Lightning found themselves on the outside looking in at the playoff picture. It all stands as a pretty tough thing for the reigning Eastern Conference champs to swallow.

The uncomfortable-yet-vital question is: can the Lightning break out of this funk?

Looking at their schedule, it won’t be easy, at least not right away.

They crawl through California during a three-game road trip to start December, and they also face six of eight on the road from Dec. 2 – 18.

The Lightning soak up home dates to finish 2015 after that, but what damage will be done by then?

Frankly, the Bolts will need to dig deep to break this pattern. If nothing else, they’ve fought with their backs against the wall before.

Dubinsky won’t change, and he won’t go easy on Crosby


Sometimes a suspension will shame a player, or at least inspire him to change the way he plays.

That apparently won’t happen regarding Brandon Dubinsky‘s one-game timeout session for cross-checking Sidney Crosby.

Dubinsky told Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch that he won’t alter his style, whether it’s against Crosby or someone else.

“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”

In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.

One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.

Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?

Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).

Bad news for Boedker: Coyotes won’t face Sens again in 2015-16


Sorry Mikkel Boedker, you won’t get to face the Ottawa Senators again this season.

OK, it could happen if the speedster is traded from the Arizona Coyotes. He could also face the Senators in the unlikely instance that the two teams fight it out in the 2016 Stanley Cup Final.

Beyond those two possibilities, Saturday night was it, and Boedker must have been licking his chops much like an actual coyote.

For the second straight game, Boedker managed a hat trick against the Senators, helping Arizona beat Ottawa 4-3 last night. His third tally stood as the game-winner in a 4-3 victory.

You can watch all three goals in the video above.

It’s oddly fitting that Boedker has three goals this season … against teams not named the Ottawa Senators.