Boston Bruins: Torey Krug Playing Like A Top-4 Defenseman


Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Torey Krug has once again been a pleasant surprise for the Boston Bruins. After performing as a bottom-six defenseman and a power-play specialist for the Bruins after his breakout in the 2013 playoffs, Torey Krug has finally shown he can play in a bigger role. With injuries to Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg plaguing the Bruins early on in the season, Krug was thrust into top defensive assignments early on. Even with the return of Zdeno Chara, the Bruins next best defenseman on the roster is Adam McQuaid, meaning Krug has still been required to perform at a much higher level than he has previously.

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  • With both Johnny Boychuk and Dougie Hamilton being shipped out of Boston over the last two offseasons, it’s clear that Boston needed someone to step up and fill some very meaningful minutes on defense. Luckily for the team, Torey Krug stepped in immediately and has been one of the brightest notes of the Bruins young season. “I think a big thing for me has been puck management,” Krug said. “In certain situations (it’s about) knowing that I can’t jump into the play knowing who I’m out on the ice against and who I’m with. There are certain plays you might try against a third or fourth line, and those are plays that you’re not going to try against a John Tavares.” It’s good to see that Krug is aware of when, and how to jump into an offensive break, and when to simply drop back into coverage. “It’s just about managing the game, the time and the score, and when you need to just chip the puck out and flip it into the neutral zone…and then knowing other times when you can make a play.”

    Torey Krug has been able to find his defensive step while not losing his offensive touch, which is huge for Boston. The Bruins are thriving on offense this season, leading the league in goals-per-game with 4.0 and power play percentage with 35.5%, the next highest being Dallas at 27.3%. Krug currently has eight points in the Bruins first nine games, five of which have come with the man-advantage. Krug was able to post 40 and 39 points over his first two seasons respectively, and he’s currently on pace to blow those totals out of the water – although the pace will probably not hold up, it’s still an impressive start to his season.

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    Krug is second on the Bruins in average ice time with 23:12 per-game, and this is not an accident. Krug has been a very efficient player for the Bruins in all situations, and he’s also been complimented, and has helped compliment his defensive partner Adam McQuaid. “I’ve had a good partner in Adam to help me along with that, but the added responsibilities have been great. You’re not out there wondering what you’re going to do your next shift.” Krug continued by saying “You don’t have time to think…you’re just thrown in the fire there. It’s been a lot of fun going up against top players. It’s a better style of hockey for than going out against third and fourth lines, and then getting roughed up on every shift. I think it’s been a lot of fun and a success so far. But by no means am I satisfied. I’m just looking to learn and keep getting better every day.”

    The Bruins signed Krug to his second consecutive one-year contract last offseason and is currently accounting for $3,400,000 of the Bruins salary cap. If Krug continues playing at this pace, he will be in line for a significant raise this offseason, and hopefully the Bruins won’t shy away from his price the way they have from defenders in the past.

    Follow Brandon Share-Cohen on Twitter @BShareCohen to discuss all things Bruins and sports

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