David Krejci has always been a streaky player, and now he’s in the midst of one of the hottest streaks of his career. With his assist on Milan Lucic’s goal in Thursday’s 2-1 win over Montreal, Krejci extended his current point streak to a career-best 10 games. The crafty center has five goals and 10 assists during the streak, which is the longest in the NHL this season.
Krejci, who tied with Lucic for the team lead in points last season, was due for a hot streak. He started the season with just one point in October before picking it up and tallying 12 in 13 November games. He went cold again in December, though, recording just two points in the six games that preceded his current streak.
“I’ve played with him the last couple years and I had confidence,” Lucic said Thursday night. “It was just a matter of time until he turned things around. At the start [of the season], it was almost as if he was trying too hard and forcing stuff a little too much, but now he’s been able to regain that confidence and poise he’s so good playing with.
“That’s what makes him such a great player. He can control the pace of the game and he’s so good at finding me and [Nathan] Horton when we’re open, and he’s so good at getting open for me and Horty. It’s great that he’s found his game here after Christmas break and hopefully we can keep it going.”
Lucic and Horton have helped with the turnaround, as they’ve both elevated their games since mid-December as well. Lucic has six goals and five assists during the 10-game streak, while Horton has six goals and four assists.
“That whole line’s been playing much better, so that’s been a big boost for us,” coach Claude Julien said. “They were good for us again tonight. They spent a lot of time in the other team’s end. They were big, they were protecting the puck, and I’d have to say, they were probably our best line for us tonight.”
Lucky Carom Helps Caron
The Bruins called up 2009 first-round pick Jordan Caron on Thursday to provide some depth up front while Brad Marchand serves a five-game suspension. Caron found himself in the lineup immediately, as he got the start on the third line over Zach Hamill on Thursday.
Just 1:23 into the game, that decision paid dividends. Caron came off the bench and streaked into the Montreal zone to track down a dump-in. Before he ever got in deep, though, the puck ricocheted off a stanchion behind the net and bounced straight to the slot, where the winger deposited his second goal of the season into an empty net.
Aside from the goal, it was a relatively quiet night for Caron. He had one shot (the goal), one block and one hit in 12:24 of ice time in his first game since Dec. 10.
“I’m not going to judge a guy after one game,” Julien said when asked about Caron’s game. “I’m going to give him a chance to get into it. I mean, he scored a goal, and we’re going to say that was a lucky bounce, but he was going in the right direction. So he gave us the lead. I could see the effort in him in trying to make things happen and being a little bit more aggressive offensively.”
That aggressiveness on offense is one of the things Julien said he’ll be looking for most during Caron’s current stint with the team.
“I think he’s got the part of the game without the puck, the defensive game. It’s pretty natural for him, he does a good job,” Julien said earlier Thursday. “What we’d like him to push himself a little bit more is to have the confidence to do more offensively. He’s a big strong body, and I remember seeing him in camp his first year and how he took the puck to the net and really used his size and strength to take those pucks to the net, and that was pretty impressive to me.
“I think now he just wants to make sure he doesn’t make any mistakes and I don’t want him to play that way. I don’t want him to be afraid to make mistakes. I want him to play with confidence and make things happen. We’ll live with some of the mistakes. He’s a really reliable guy defensively and the mistakes he’s worried about aren’t big mistakes, so go out and play.”
Seguin Honored, Surprised by All-Star Nod
Tyler Seguin went to the all-star game last year as one of the rookies selected for the skills competition. This year he’ll be returning for the real thing. Seguin was one of 36 players chosen for the game Thursday, joining teammates Zdeno Chara and Tim Thomas. The 19-year-old winger, who leads the Bruins with 17 goals and 38 points this season, said it’s an honor he wasn’t really expecting.
“I feel very honored. I feel privileged,” Seguin said. “Obviously I couldn’t have done it by myself. A lot of praise to the linemates and the boys. I’m very excited. I feel very blessed about it. … I would be lying here if I said I wasn’t surprised. I was very surprised. Obviously it’s a dream come true.”
Seguin said this year will be a big change from last year, when he was more starstruck than anything.
“Last year I went there and I got to see a little bit, but obviously I wasn’t one of the all-stars,” he said. “I was just fortunate enough to be one of the rookies and meet those guys last year. A year ago, they were my idols growing up. So you know, it was very cool. This year going as one of them is going to be a great experience.”
Like everyone else around Boston, the thing Seguin was most surprised about was the omission of linemate Patrice Bergeron, who is second on the team in points in addition to being one of the top defensive forwards and top faceoff men in the NHL.
“I was very surprised at that as well,” Seguin said. “I kind of kept hearing Bergy was going. I thought he was going. I give him so much credit for my success, obviously not only for how he plays and how many opportunities he gives me, but you know, just being the guy that I can really follow. I mean, I’m not copying, but watching what he’s doing not only on the ice but off the ice. I give him the utmost credit.”