NAME: Lukas Krajicek
Regular Season Statistics (w/PHI): 27 Games Played – 1 Goal, 1 Assist, 2 Points. -10.
Analysis: On January 30, 2010, the Flyers claimed Lukas Krajicek off waivers from the Tampa Bay Lightning to help bring more speed and skill to a very injury-depleted defense. Although he wasn’t exactly a stalwart defensively, there’s no denying that, for the regular season at least, Krajicek provided a boost for the Flyers. He played in nearly every post-Olympics Break game, and established himself as a decent fifth or sixth defenseman for Peter Laviolette to have in his lineup. Of course, he had his flaws – his turnover rate in his own zone was incredibly alarming, and he was reluctant at times to jump into the play offensively, even when he had a distinct opportunity. Still, his time in Orange and Black during the regular season was solid.
Postseason Statistics: 21 Games Played – 0 Goals, 3 Assists, 3 Points. Even.
Analysis: In my opinion, Krajicek really asserted himself this postseason. He was able to play in every Flyers playoff game, save Game Two against the New Jersey Devils in the first round. This was primarily because both Ryan Parent and Oskars Bartulis were so bad at times in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, that Laviolette had literally no where else to turn. Krajicek proved to be OK. Not great, not horrible, but just OK. The Flyers got by with him and his token partner (Parent or Bartulis) being average, and running rampant with their top four defenseman up until the Stanley Cup Final. Then, fatigue began to sit in, and Krajicek showed that he struggled to handle the stage of the game. Although his play in the Final wasn’t spectacular, he had a solid series against Montreal to help the Flyers advance to the Promised Land in the first place.
FINAL GRADE: B-
Reasoning: I really want to give Krajicek a “C” – I really do. However, instead he gets my first “B” grade so far since I’ve began to do these Player Report Cards. Looking deeper into it, it’s hard not to give Krajicek at least a “B-“. Sure, he wasn’t the Flyers’ best defenseman at, well, any point of the season, but he was rarely the worst one. Any time you can make a waiver wire claim past the halfway point of the season, and have that defenseman play in the bulk of your games down the stretch, it’s never a bad thing. To then have that same waiver wire claim be a part of your team’s historic run to the Stanley Cup Final is an even better thing. Personally, I had my ups and downs with Krajicek this season, but, given the circumstance, when I look at his overall play, I must say: I’ll take it.