Commentary

A return to form

Five struggling players will see their "puck luck" turn

Updated: November 16, 2011, 2:08 PM ET
By Neil Greenberg | ESPN Insider
David KrejciBrian Babineau/Getty ImagesThe illuminating hockey stat PDO showed Krejci wouldn't struggle for long.

When it's the end of October and Boston Bruins center David Krejci has only one point and is a minus-five through the season's first seven games, people start to think last year's playoff performance (23 points in 23 games, including a league-leading 12 goals) had to be a fluke.

Then Krejci goes out and collects two goals and five assists in the first six games of November, and that playoff performance all of sudden seems to confirm his arrival as a bona fide No. 1 center in the NHL.

"I got some momentum on my side, and it was a good night," said Krejci after a 7-0 rout of the Toronto Maple Leafs. "Obviously, I'm going to try and make that a turning point. My game is just going to go up."

There was nothing wrong with Krejci's game to begin with. He was getting the same ice time (16:36 per game) as usual. He had taken his customary two shots per game, as usual. Krejci was simply the victim of some bad luck. And while it took a little longer than expected, a quick look at the advanced stat PDO (named after its inventor, not an acronym) showed he would not be held off the score sheet for long.


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Neil Greenberg is ESPN Insider's NHL analytics expert. His columns have appeared on the Washington Post website, and he is a regular guest on Sirius XM NHL Radio.