WASHINGTON DC – For David Krejci, it took no time at all to get right back up to NHL pace and level of play in his first game back with the Boston Bruins in almost 500 days.
The 36-year-old playmaking center finished with a goal and three points in 17:53 of ice time in Boston’s 5-2 win over the Washington Capitals and exhibited exactly the kind of chemistry with Czech countryman David Pastrnak that’s had the two wanting to play together consistently on the same line for years.
Welcome back to the NHL, David Krejci 🤝 pic.twitter.com/VOI96Dtgks
— NHLonTNT (@NHL_On_TNT) October 13, 2022
The score sheet numbers weren’t gaudy with one shot on net, three shot attempts and 4-of-10 in the faceoff circle, but it was clear by watching the eye test that Krejci’s solid two-way play, his creativity and on-ice vision and the instant chemistry with No. 88 were working in a big way.
It was exactly what Krejci thought and hoped it was going to be after returning to the NHL, and Boston, from the Czech Republic for this current hockey season.
“It was great. Just being around the guys and playing in an NHL rink against the best players in the world. I was excited and a little nervous at the same time,” said Krejci. “But I’m glad we got it done and go back home with the two points, which is huge.
“My job is not really to score goals, but it’s nice to put the puck in the net as well. I just wanted to do whatever I could to help the team win today. The win was really important to me more than anything, but I’m glad we got it done.”
Clearly Krejci and Pastrnak were getting it done offensively for “The Czeching Line’, even if they were on ice for both of the goals against as the ultimate “risk/reward” combination on the ice.
“You talk about risk/reward, that’s a line that’s risk/reward,” said Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery.
“Obviously, it’s great we got a win. As a line we chipped in. At the same time, the second period wasn’t the strongest for our line. We talked about it and we came out strong in the third. You’re going to make mistakes,” said Krejci. “This is a good league, and you make a mistake you’re going to pay for it. But in this league it’s always how you respond, and us as a line and as a team we did that really well in the third period and finished the game against a really good team.”
It’s obviously no secret that Krejci wants to play with Pastrnak after getting a handful of games, at most, during their time under Bruce Cassidy, and the joy they exude on the ice while teaming up offensively is admittedly fun to watch.
The Czeching Line strikes again.
4-point night for David Pastrnak.
3-point night for David Krejci.
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) October 13, 2022
“You guys see the practices. Obviously, everybody sees it in the games. I see it every day in practice,” said Krejci. “He’s just a world class player. It’s crazy. That kid has no ceilings…he just keeps getting better.”
Krejci is too modest to say it about himself, but it doesn’t look like he’s slowed down at all after skipping the NHL for a year to go home with his family and coming back same as he ever was in an important No. 2 center role with the Boston Bruins. His return was arguably the biggest thing that’s propelled the Black and Gold back into a potential contender role this season after being forced to fill Erik Haula into that key spot last season.