What David Pastrnak Thought About David Krejci Comments On Playing Together

Krejci wishes he could've played more with Pastrnak


January 10

David Krejci expressed a desire over the weekend that certainly many other NHL centers share: He wanted to play more with David Pastrnak.

Krejci, now playing overseas in his native Czech Republic, turned heads over the weekend when he remarked that he was a little surprised Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy so quickly put Pastrnak on a line with Erik Haula and Taylor Hall.

“Coach Cassidy rarely let the two of us play together,” Krejci said iSport’s Miroslav Horák, via 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Ty Anderson, who had the interview translated from Czech to English. “It must have been something to split the first line and give Pasta to me. It was a maximum of two matches.

“After years, I leave Boston and suddenly it is possible. That surprised me. (Cassidy) always told me that he had no reason to take Pasta off the first line and that it would be as short as possible to dismantle the forces. I had to take it. But now Pasta has five or so many matches on the line with Taylor Hall and Erik Haula. Strange.”

For years, the idea of separating Pastrnak from Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron so he could play with Krejci was kicked around, but not often made a reality. Often, Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak was a dominant line, while Krejci could play well with just about anybody. Frankly, there wasn’t much of a need to move things around.

But Pastrnak admitted he wishes he could’ve been with his countryman more often.

“I didn’t really see the article, so I don’t know if the translation is correct,” Pastrnak said Monday over Zoom after morning skate. “Obviously, it was well known we were very close friends, and we always had chemistry together, we liked to play together. Everybody knew that. It’s just, I guess we were doing so good with Bergy and March, it was hard to split us up. I just think it was well known I wanted to play with Krech, he wanted to play with me, but at the same time we are the players and we’re playing with the player we are with.”

From 2018 through last season, Pastrnak and Krejci played together for 620 regular season minutes at even strength, according to Natural Stat Trick. So, it’s not like they never got a look together. They had a 52.03 Corsi For percentage when together, a number that was better for both players when they were separated. They were on the ice together for 32 goals in that stretch, and just 17 against.

“I dare say that whenever we played together, it worked for us and it was useful for the team,” Krejci said. “Sometimes the coach put us on overtime or on four against four, the mutual chemistry was there right away, we scored goals. Now I’m just thinking that he could have taken Pasta out first for me and everything could have looked different.

“But that’s the way it is, I don’t blame the coach.”

It is an interesting spot for Cassidy. One would have to think that given the consistent shuffling of second-line wingers Krejci had, the idea of taking away stability from one center (Bergeron) just to give it to another (Krejci) is a lateral move. Krejci’s standpoint is understandable, too, although perhaps it’s a compliment to him that Cassidy had so much trust in him that he didn’t feel compelled to move Pastrnak down.

Ultimately, it’s a decision that’s in the past unless Krejci returns to the Bruins one day.

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