Boston Bruins centre David Krejci just goes about his business. While the likes of Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, Tuuka Rask Jaromir Jagr and Tyler Seguin seem to garner all the headlines, good and bad, it is Krejci that game in and game out is the pulse of the Bruins.
Especially in the playoffs. Krejci has the chance to join some select company in the next few weeks- players that have led the playoffs in scoring twice. Sidney Crosby hasn’t done it. Evgeni Malkin hasn’t done it. Jaromir Jagr hasn’t done it. The list of players that have is a very distinguished group featuring some of the greatest players to play the game:
Wayne Gretzky (6 times), Phil Esposito (3), Guy Lafleur (3), Rick MacLeish, Bryan Trottier, Mario Lemieux, Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg are the only players since the 1967 expansion to accomplish the feat.
Krejci led all playoff scorers during the 2011 Stanley Cup run, scoring 12 goals and 11 assists for 23 points to finish a point ahead of Henrik Sedin. So far, with almost 3 rounds complete, Krejci is 4 points ahead of linemate Nathan Horton for the lead in playoff scoring and 7 points up on the nearest active competitors, Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa of the Blackhawks.
Krejci’s isn’t exactly a regular season bust, but his increase in scoring during the post-season bucks the trend of most players having a lower PPG in the playoffs than the regular season. Krejci has a playoff PPG average of .907 (60th best all-time, 11th among active players) while his regular season PPG is only .730 (which would place him around 230th all time).
For instance, Gretzky’s production per game in the playoffs was -.084, Lemieux’s was -.276, Forsberg’s -.117 and Sakic’s was -.098. Krejci is a +.177. Krejci might not be the highest scorer in the game, or a Hall of Fame caliber talent, but his ability to step up in the playoffs to increase his production over the long term is something to write home about.