As if the Boston Bruins weren't already having enough problems with injuries. After losing Marc Savard for a few and the obvious loss of Patrice Bergeron earlier in the season, rookie David Krejci stepped up and took over. Of course, now the goons and defensemen are full speed ahead with shoulders square on number 46.
The newly appointed first-line center took some huge hits against Ottawa on Saturday, led by the crushing check into the boards by defenseman Anton Volchenkov. Not to say that the 6'1" 230 pounder is a goon, but he, along with most of the first and second line defensemen from Ottawa, was aiming for Krejci whenever there was the slightest chance for contact.
Unfortunately, Krejci is at least 50 pounds lighter than most of the goons and hard checking defensemen out there. He doesn't stand much of a chance defending himself, and the first line for the Bruins (aside from Chara on D) is meager against a checking line from the other teams in the east.
The strategy of Ottawa seemed to be to take shots at Boston's best player until he breaks. It didn't really work on the scoreboard, but it could be a factor if the two meet in the playoffs.
So what should Julien do? Enter Milan Lucic. Savard looks to be back in the lineup for the playoffs (Boston crosses it's fingers), which means Krejci needs to go down at least one line. Put Krejci between Phil Kessel or a healthy Chuck Kobasew and Milan Lucic and you have yourself a policeman with two guys who can put up points and that's just line 2.
I knew I should have become a hockey coach.