David Krejci's 1000th game for Bruins is a chance to appreciate a great career

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Krejci's 1000th game for Bruins is a chance to appreciate a great career originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

In a way, it's fitting that David Krejci's 1,000th career game for the Boston Bruins has arrived without a ton of fanfare in the weeks leading up to the occasion.

Krejci is a quiet guy. He doesn't seek a lot of attention.

But make no mistake, he is one of the best players in team history and deserves all of the praise he will receive before, during and after Monday afternoon's game against the Philadelphia Flyers.

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Krejci will soon become the seventh player who has played 1,000 or more games for the Bruins. Only a couple of them have done it while only playing for the Bruins, which makes it a little more special. Krejci is about to join that group, which includes only Wayne Cashman (1,057) and teammate Patrice Bergeron (1,258).

It wasn't always a lock that Krejci would reach 1,000 games played for the Bruins.

He left the franchise after the 2020-21 season to return home to the Czech Republic and fulfill a dream of playing there. He departed the Bruins with 962 games played. After returning for the 2022-23 campaign, it was only a matter of time for Krejci to reach game No. 1,000. And he's done it in impressive fashion, too.

Krejci hasn't limped to this milestone. He's playing a leading role in Boston's historically strong start to the campaign that includes a league-best 33-5-4 record. The veteran center has tallied 31 points (11 goals, 20 assists) in 37 games. His 11 goals are three more than he scored in 51 games during his most recent NHL season in 2020-21. Krejci currently ranks sixth in assists (535) and ninth in points (761) on the Bruins' career leaderboard.

"He's very similar to Bergeron in the sense that it's just not pure numbers that reflect his value to our team," Bruins coach Jim Montgomery told reporters this past Wednesday. "He's cool, calm, he's extremely poised. He makes passes that I don't see from the bench coming, and that's a credit to his creativity but also how competitive he is. He's really competitive.

"You don't see it demonstrably a lot on the ice, sometimes it occurs, but he cares about winning faceoffs, he cares about being put in defensive situations because he has a lot of pride and he knows he's good in all of those areas."

One of the most impressive aspects of Krejci's resume has been his success in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Here's where he ranks in several important categories in Bruins postseason history:

  • Games played: 156 (2nd)

  • Goals: 42 (6th)

  • Assists: 82 (1st)

  • Points: 124 (2nd)

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Krejci led the entire playoffs in scoring in 2011 and 2013. It would have been hard not to award the Conn Smythe Trophy to Tim Thomas in 2011, but Krejci was definitely a top candidate that season. He also ranks eighth among active players in playoff scoring. The seven guys ahead of him are all locks for the Hall of Fame (except Joe Pavelski, who might eventually get there).

The Bruins have enjoyed a stellar 15-year run of success. They've reached the playoffs 13 times in that span. They've played in three Stanley Cup Final series and won a championship in 2011. Many of the players from this era are worthy of having their numbers retired to the rafters at TD Garden, including Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, Brad Marchand and Tuukka Rask. Others, such as David Pastrnak, are on pace to reach that status.

Krejci absolutely deserves to be part of that group as well. No player should wear No. 46 for the Bruins after he retires. He's a special player who has gone under-appreciated his whole career in Boston.

Krejci's offensive production, reliability, consistency, leadership and postseason success are just a couple reasons why he is one of the most impressive athletes this city has seen over the last 25 years.