In a league where defensemen don’t usually reach their prime until their thirtieth birthday, it is a little surprising to see a lot of young faces on the Bruins blue line. The Bruins have been playing two of them (Dougie Hamilton and Torey Krug) since game one, and Matt Bartkowski has been on and off as injuries take their toll. The gamble has paid off handsome dividends for Boston so far.
Dougie Hamilton has been steady and has improved greatly over last season. He’s showing much more poise and on-ice maturity this season. His paring with captain Zdeno Chara has been a smart decision by Claude Julien. It gives Hamilton a very strong standard to work against and work up to. It’s showed in his performance and his production. Hamilton has six points(three goals-one of them a game winner) with a +6 and thirty four shots on net.
Torey Krug has played like he was back in the series against the Rangers. While there have been a few mistakes and the occasional misread play, he’s been beyond solid for Boston. He’s put up eleven points (six goals- three of them on the power play) for the Bruins. He’s a +4, hitting 15.8% of his strikes, and has put thirty eights shots on goal for Boston. He’s finally getting the Calder Trophy buzz he’s deserved.
Comparing them to some other teams in the NHL , there are some teams with forwards who aren’t putting out that kind of production for their squads. Through it all though players like Krug have made a solid transition from college to the AHL and now the NHL. At the NHL level, the coaches are far less likely to melt the paint of your helmet for a bad call or a botched play.Krug expressed his relief in that to NHL.com
“You know, I’m not freaking out when I go to the bench because I know they’re not going to be hollering at me,” Krug said. “They’re going to be there. They’re trying to develop me into a well-rounded player. So I’m coming off the ice and they’re not screaming at me. So that’s good. It’s more of a conversation, ‘Hey, this is what you did wrong; this is what you should do next time.’ And I ask a lot of questions. I don’t know if I ask too many questions. That’s up to them, I guess.”
The Bruins took a bit of a risk going young in their defensemen. It’s a testimony to the Bruins system and Claude Julien that they’re playing at the level they are.