|Photo of David Krejci via Boston Herald|
David Krejci is joining the Boston Bruins for their three game road trip that starts tomorrow night in Ottawa. Claude Julian said in an interview with NHL.com that Krejci's best bet to return would possibly be this weekend against either Florida or Tampa Bay. David Krejci had this to say when talking to NHL.com today, "I feel pretty comfortable that I will be back pretty soon and I can play a bunch of games." David Krejci has missed 12 games since spraining his MCL back on February 20th. Krejci has a stat line this year of 7-19-26 over the 38 games he has played this year. It has been a frustrating year for Krejci as he has battled all sorts of injuries.
However, David Krejci is close to a return, which now will raise a lot of questions for Boston as to who the odd man out of the equation will be. It can't possibly be Ryan Spooner who has been centering Milan Lucic, and David Pasternak. Since Ryan Spooner has filled in for Krejci, Milan Lucic has found the spark in his game again as he has tallied five points in the month of March. While that may not seem like a lot of production he has been energized by the youth of Pasternak and Spooner.
Is a guy like Gregory Campbell on his way to being a healthy scratch? It would seem odd to break up that fourth line unit who has been playing well since Campbell's return on March 8th. The fourth line unit has a combined six points since Campbell's return, and brings extra defensive qualities to the Bruins zone, and penalty kill. Will Daniel Paille be the next one out? It certainly could happen, and would not surprise me by any means. Paille is a good player, but has not brought much to the table this year. David Krejci is an explosive players that has a knack for both the offensive and defensive zones. Since the beginning of the new year Daniel Paille has registered 26 games without a point out of the 30 games since the new year. As a fourth liner tallying your name on the scoresheet can be tough due to limited ice time, and that sort of nature, but going 26 out of 30 games without a point is unacceptable.
My prediction out of the debate of who will be the odd man out once Krejci is officially back is Daniel Paille. He is a good player no doubt about it, but just has not been able to find his game for Boston since the new year. Boston needs more production and players that can help close out games, which Krejci can provide. We will most likely see a Krejci start out on that fourth line with Campbell and Talbot. Krejci is certainly capable of playing winger. I would expect Campbell to be moved to wing however, as Krejci would be finding his game back in the face-off circle. Once Krejci is comfortable, I foresee Krejci moving to the third line, and centering Carl Soderberg, and Loui Eriksson. Chris Kelly would be moved back winger on the fourth line with Campbell moving back to center. Only time will what Claude Julian decides to do, but the way the second line has been gelling, moving Krejci with Soderberg, and Erikkson could lineup to be a very dangerous combination down this final playoff push.
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