Boston sunk to the lowest of lows against Philadelphia when the Bruins squandered a 3-0 lead in the second round in 2010. And the Bruins soared to new heights with a dominating sweep of the Flyers en route to the Stanley Cup last spring.
Through it all, the one constant has been David Krejci. The skilled playmaking center has always been at his best against the Flyers in recent years. Since the Winter Classic at Fenway Park on New Year's Day 2010, Krejci has 6-13-19 totals and is a plus-10 in 13 games against Philadelphia. That includes the 4-5-9 line he put up in last year's playoff sweep.
The Flyers have radically changed their lineup this offseason, but Krejci doesn't plan on having any less success against the new-look Broad Street Bullies when Boston opens its title defense against Philadelphia Thursday night at the Garden. In fact, Krejci wants to play even better against the team he's tormented for the past two seasons.
"They have a different team now, so I don't really know what to expect," Krejci said. "I know I've had some success against them, but I'm going to have to be even better than that. I'm sure they're going to play really tight on me and make it hard on me, so I've got to be ready for it. I've got to play even better than I used to play against them."
It was the loss of Krejci in Game 3 in 2010 that contributed mightily to the Bruins' collapse that year, as they lost four straight without him. It was Mike Richards who broke Krejci's wrist with a huge hit in the neutral zone, but the former captain was traded to Los Angeles this off season in the Flyers' overhaul. Krejci was stoic about Richards' departure from the rivalry, expressing neither relief nor disappointment that he won't be going up against him again on Thursday.
"Obviously we all know what happened, but I don't really care if he's on that team or not," Krejci said. "They're still a good team. I don't think my approach to the game is going to change."