The NHL season is a grind, especially in this year’s shortened 56-game slate. Although it is not as long as usual, the NHL is packing in more games per week for each team. With as many as four games a week, with many on back-to-back nights, players have little opportunity to rest. This makes it more difficult to sustain high levels of play for an extended period of time. Some can do it better than others. Each week, we will take a look at players on the Boston Bruins who are on a hot or cold streak. This week we look at Jeremy Swayman and David Krejci.
Hot and Cold Streaks
Hot Streak: Jeremy Swayman
How hot does one need to be in order to qualify for this week’s hot streak? In this case, a blazing inferno might do the trick. Jeremy Swayman has done everything Boston has asked him to do and more. The unproven rookie got his first career start this week. With back-to-back games on the schedule and Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak both out of the lineup, Cassidy opted to give Daniel Vladar a rest and see what the kid can do. He did not disappoint.
In his first career start, Jeremy Swayman not only got a win, but he made 40 saves to make it happen. While the defence should have done more to stop shots from making it to the net, Swayman bailed out his team. Nobody can complain when a rookie puts up a .952 save percentage in his first game. He followed it up with another impressive outing, only allowing two goals in his second appearance with a .939. While his third game may have been his roughest this week, Swayman proved that his ceiling is through the roof. Boston may have their future number one goaltender waiting in the wings.
Cold Streak: David Krejci
What should be expected of a second-line centre on a good team? Probably somewhere in the range of 50 to 60 points in a season. Granted this year is shorter than usual, it’s not a guarantee that David Krejci will have a similar point per game ratio. His performance this week certainly did not help him reach that mark. As an established NHL veteran, Boston expects big things from Krejci and if they want to win it all this year, they need more consistency from him.
Boston had four games this week. They matched up against the Philadelphia Flyers three times and once against the Washington Capitals. Boston has had Philly’s number this season, with their only loss to the team coming this week. Washington has been a different story but they managed to pull out the win regardless. In those four games, Boston totalled 12 goals. Krejci didn’t manage to get a single point on any one of those goals. While he has never been a game-breaking player, he is considered to be one of the better second-line centres in the NHL. Boston needs him to provide consistent scoring from his role. While his assist totals for the year have been strong, he only has two goals. Boston needs him to step up his game.