In Friday night’s back breaking loss to the St. Louis Blues, the Bruins added injury to insult. David Krejci’s injury was the icing on the cake that was Boston’s six game losing streak.
The final score of the game raised the question, “Can things get any worse”? It didn’t take long to get the answer, as news broke that David Krejci would be out for four to six weeks with a torn MCL in his left knee.
The Bruins went out and beat the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday afternoon, despite Krejci’s absence. The statement 6-1 victory had many wondering whether Krejci’s injury would provide a spark to a team that looked dead in the water, or if instead this was a last gasp before the ship goes down. So how will this all play out?
Reasons for Optimism
The good news for Boston is that they have their top prospect Ryan Spooner waiting in the wings as a temporary replacement for Krejci. Although he has shown great promise in Providence, he hasn’t put it all together in the NHL yet, leaving Spooner as the odd man out this season. The Bruins will hope that the pressure of filling Krejci’s skates will push Spooner towards reaching his potential.
Meanwhile, the loss of David Krejci might also serve as the catalyst for other young players to get opportunities at the NHL level. The Bruins have looked unenthused at times this season, leaving much to be desired, a problem that could be cured by an infusion of youth and energy. Players like Alexander Khokhlachev and Brian Ferlin will need to make the most of their chances to keep Boston’s playoff hopes alive.
Causes for Concern
It is a little easier to be negative when looking at the injury to David Krejci. First off, although Krejci has had a down year (due to other injuries), he is one of the players that Boston relies on the most when it comes to generating offense.
In the offense department, the Bruins were already severely undermanned, failing to replace the departure of last season’s top line winger, Jarome Iginla. Couple that with the lackluster performance of entire forward group, specifically Milan Lucic and Reilly Smith, and Boston’s need for an offensive addition was clear as day.
If the Bruins were in a more secure position in their quest for a playoff spot, Peter Chiarelli would have an easier time investing assets into a trade deadline addition. The team wasn’t inspiring any sort of confidence before Krejci went down, so will Chiarelli really pay the high trade deadline prices for a team that will struggle to maintain their grip on the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference? Without an addition at the deadline, the best case scenario for the Bruins would be a first round exit.
Is there a player that Boston could acquire that would get them over the hump? In my view, a trade will help them tread water, but they still don’t have the consistency to thrive in the playoffs. It is a painful reality, but Krejci’s injury could serve as the perfect excuse to sell off some of the players that have financially handcuffed the Bruins.
If anything, this injury seems more like the end of the road for the Bruins than the spark that ignites a Stanley Cup push. Can the Bruins overcome the loss of David Krejci? Is adding the right approach at the deadline? Let me know what you think in the comments below or on twitter.