Ever since Rick Nash left the Bruins this summer on the way to an eventual retirement, Don Sweeney and Co. have searched in vain to find a consistent, top-six solution to roll out on a line anchored by David Krejci at the pivot and complemented by Jake DeBrusk.
With no quick fix identified to fill the vacancy following both the offseason and a month of training camp, Boston opened the 2018-19 campaign with Danton Heinen slotted up on Krejci’s line — a suitable candidate after the winger’s 47-point rookie season.
When Heinen failed to stick in a top-six role over the first couple weeks of the season, the revolving door commenced — with most of the B’s forward corps earning at least a couple reps on Krejci’s crew.
And yet, Krejci has managed to surpass the 70-point mark for just the second time in his career — and the first since the 2008-09 season — following a two-assist night in a 6-2 win over Columbus. No easy feat, especially with the lack of consistency in the lineup.
Entering Tuesday’s matchup in Columbus, Krejci has been a part of 14 different line combinations that have logged at least 15 minutes of 5v5 time on ice (TOI). It’s a far cry from the days in which you could pencil in a top-six corps like Lucic-Krejci-Horton/Iginla night in, night out — but with the postseason a little over a week away, Boston might have finally found the answer to pair with Krejci and DeBrusk.
And it lies in a winger who's logged a whopping nine games up in the NHL this season.