Krejci injury cripples Bruins’ Cup hopes
The run is over, Bruins fans. For all the momentum gained from beating an evenly matched Buffalo team and jumping out to an almost insurmountable 3-0 series lead over the injury-weakened Philadelphia Flyers with a healthy Marc Savard contributing, last night cost the B’s their shot. It was, quite simply, a Pyrrhic victory.
Boston was unlikely to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins, currently up 2-1 over eight-seed Montreal, anyway. But with a full complement of healthy players, it had a chance at an upset. Now, that appears unlikely.
David Krejci may be the team’s best all-around player. He dishes the puck like a lower-middle class man’s Savard, and plays solid two-way hockey a la Patrice Bergeron. In short, he’s a little bit of both, and the team’s answer to any question the competition poses. And he’s done his part this postseason, notching four goals and four assists in his nine games - which includes an assist in just 2:25 of ice time before his season ended on a clean hit from Philly’s Mike Richards on Wednesday night.
Coupled with the loss of Marco Sturm, Krejci’s absence will provide the B’s with some serious issues. They’ll now need to shorten their roster further, and a recovering Savard, who’s still not up to full speed, will have to use the remaining games against Philly and any days off before the next series to frantically ready himself for about 20 minutes a night of playing America’s most intense sporting tournament - these guys will literally do
But, there is still one playoff series left to win before the Penguins come marching in. The Bruins will likely end the series at home in Game 5, and that’s something worth celebrating. This year’s team has continued the steady rise toward the top of the hockey world and relevance in the competitive, sports-crazed Boston market. The squad looked apathetic at times during the regular season, but got over the hump when it mattered most, and has given fans of the town’s fourth sport a reason to believe in the future.
Losing Krejci may spell the end of this year’s hopes for a Cup celebration, but it won’t steal any of the bright days ahead this team has clawed its way toward.
PS - Here’s hoping I’m a fool and they prove me wrong ... or that Montreal does us another favor and knocks off Pittsburgh.