David Krejci has twice led the NHL in Stanley Cup playoffs points – once during the Bruins’ run to the 2011 Cup championship, and then during Boston’s losing trip six games deep into the 2013 final.
He knows what it takes to have one’s name go down in history for accomplishing something significant.
Playing 82 games in a NHL regular season is not one of those accomplishments.
And so with the Bruins locked in as the second-place team in the Atlantic Division, headed to a first-round playoff series against Toronto last week, the Bruins are resting Krejci, the only Bruins player to play every gamet this season, and several other regulars Thursday in a glorified exhibition game at Minnesota. The Wild were eliminated from playoff contention earlier this week.
A few weeks from turning 33, Krejci has average 0.89 points per game, his most productive season since he averaged 0.88 points in 2015-16. The Bruins are wise to protect Krejci from harm until the playoffs, and hopefully they’ll be able to get Patrice Bergeron some rest over the weekend as well.
Marchand, Chara and McAvoy are equally vital to the Bruins’ postseason success. Although coach Bruce Cassidy said Thursday morning that he expects players who rest Thursday will play Saturday, Marchand and Chara should definitely take the rest of the season off. If the Bruins and the 21-year-old McAvoy decide he should get in one more tune up, it’s fine if he plays 15-16 minutes against the Lightning. That might make it possible to rest Brandon Carlo, the third-year defenseman looking forward to playing in the playoffs for the first time.
Regardless of any individual milestones the Bruins’ best players might be seeking, being fresh and healthy for the playoffs is not just priority No. 1, it’s the only priority.
Frederic, Senyshyn called up
In order to fill the holes in their lineup the Bruins recalled center Trent Frederic from Providence and called up wing Zach Senyshyn for the first time on an emergency basis Wednesday.
Frederic’s play in the NHL dropped off a bunch after his explosive debut against Winnipeg, when he beat the snot out of Brandon Tanev in a fight. Frederic has no points in 13 NHL games this season and has 22 points (11 goals, 11 assists) in 51 games for Providence.
Senyshyn is an interesting story because he carries the weight of being one of Boston’s three 2015 first-round picks, along with Jake DeBrusk and Jakub Zboril. The Bruins tabbed Senyshyn in that draft because of his offensive prowess, and he had 65 points in each of his final two seasons in the OHL. His game, however, hasn’t translated to the pros and Boston asked him to round out his game with Providence.
He’s played in all situations but hasn’t produced, picking up just 24 points in 62 games this season. He’s gone seven AHL games without a point. Out of a handful of pro scouts that regularly see the P-Bruins, none have had much positive to say to WEEI.com about Senyshyn’s game.
To describe this call-up as a reward would be a misnomer. It’s more like the Bruins throwing him a bone, hoping he’ll gain some confidence looking forward to Providence’s playoffs this spring and next season. It could also be a message to the likes of Peter Cehlarik and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, who once upon a time were supposed to be prospects Boston wouldn’t be able to keep out of the lineup. Both failed in their attempts to make the jump to the NHL. We also don’t know just how many P-Bruins players are nursing injuries but battling through while trying to help Providence reach the AHL postseason.
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