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Fans held their breathe November 16, 2018, after Bergeron sustained an all too familiar rib and sternoclavicular injury against the Stars. The entire beginning of this 2018-2019 season was plagued with injuries so at the time this seemed like a death sentence. Now that the roster is healthier and the team is hot we can try to pull out some positive effects of a clearly negative situation. I obviously wish Bergeron never sustained this injury, but there was a silver lining, and his name was David Krejci.
With Bergeron’s absence the team desperately needed a center to step up as a goal scorer and leader, and David Krejci did just that. Krejci accumulated 5 goals and 9 assists for 14 points in the month that Bergeron was out. These numbers may not be outrageous, but clearly Krejci had success as a lead center with the B’s. Just watching the games you could tell Krejci was playing with more poise and confidence, just look at this goal:
It seems that Bergeron’s absence put pressure on Krejci and instead of folding like a chair at a school assembly, he rose to the challenge. However, pressure alone may not be responsible for his success. Coach Cassidy was forced to move Krejci up to the 1st line with Pasta and Marchand. Krejci’s success was evident when he was surrounded by “better” or more experienced players. However, Krejci was not just along for the ride, he integrated well with those players and was able to solidify himself as a top center. This was illustrated by his essential support role, like the 4-3 win over Arizona on December 11th, where he tallied 3 assists.
All in all, My hope is that Coach Cassidy realized that Krejci can be a top Center and then builds his line around him as such. If Coach Cassidy can find a way to make Krejci’s 2nd line more constant and pair him with some more experienced wingers, we could see a deadly 1st and 2nd line tandem on a team with arguably the best goalie tandem in the NHL right now.
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Pull into Ruby Tuesday’s, rap game Oklahoma Sooners