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 David Krejci and Jaroslav Halak.
Boston Bruins Hot and Cold Streaks
Hot Streak: David Krejci
The Boston Bruins second line has been good all season long. But the addition of star winger Taylor Hall has changed everything for the unit. David Krejci has been the direct beneficiary of his play. Instead of defences keying in on Krejci, they have had to account for Hall as well. As such, Krejci has racked up a boatload of assists. He had three of them in just two games played this week.
The Bruins had an unusual week. Krejci only suited up for two of the three games played. Most of the Bruins main roster did not play in their regular season finale as they could not move anywhere in the standings. In his final regular season contest, Krejci posted three assists in his last game of the regular season. While he did not produce any offence in their first playoff game against the Washington Capitals, he had two shots in that game. He may not have had any points but he was still a player the Capitals had to pay attention to.
Cold Streak: Jaroslav Halak
To be fair, Halak’s cold streak is not entirely his fault. He has just been the victim of an unfortunate set of circumstances. His play this season has not helped much. But either way, he has had the coldest cold streak possible. He has played in just three games since the end of March. In that span, he has a .815 save percentage and a 4.29 goals against average. His record is 2-1-0 in those three games but that says more about team effort than it does about Halak.
Part of Jaroslav Halak’s sudden fall to the third goalie on Boston’s roster has to do with the sudden and unexpected rise of Jeremy Swayman. Swayman rose from the fourth goalie on the depth chart who only got a start to give Dan Vladar a rest, to the young up and coming goaltender who will eventually replace Tuukka Rask. Ultimately, it was a two week assignment to the COVID-19 protocol list that may have killed Halak’s career in Boston. Had he never been taken out of the lineup, Swayman would have never gotten a chance to see NHL time. Now solidified in Boston’s second goaltender role, he appears to be there to stay. Halak’s time in Boston is coming to an end because of one of the worst cold streaks of his career, and one that isn’t entirely his fault.