Torey Krug has been a breath of fresh air to the Boston Bruins’ backend this season. For years, the Bruins have been looking for a reliable puck-moving defenseman who isn’t a liability in his own zone. They tried going after guys like Tomas Kaberle and Dennis Wideman in the past, only to end up with an overpaid defenseman who wasn’t getting the job done. But all of that seems to be over with the emergence of Torey Krug.
Torey Krug was tied with captain Zdeno Chara during the regular season for first in point among the Bean Town blueliners with 40 points. Krug also scored 14 goals, which is tremendous for a rookie defenseman. He also showed that he could be trusted in his own end of the ice as he finished the year with a +18 rating. But Krug’s play in the postseason is what has set him apart from many other defenseman in the league.
Torey Krug has 2 goals and 8 points so far through the Bruins’ first 8 games this postseason, which is good for second on the team behind 1st place Patrice Bergeron. He has scored a point in each of the first three games of the second round, including the tying goal in the third period of game 1 against the Montreal Canadiens. While his stats are impressive, they don’t tell the entire story. Krug is amazing at the intangibles of hockey, the kind of plays that don’t make it to the stat sheet. Krug is a powerplay quarterback for the Bruins, which enables the 6’9 Zdeno Chara to act as a screen during the man advantage. He has a strong shot, and he’s been able to create many deflection opportunities for Boston. He’s not afraid to begin the rush and he can jump up in the play often times to help create an odd-man rush, but he doesn’t do it at the expense of defense.
I was shocked when Torey Krug wasn’t nominated for the Calder Trophy this season as rookie of the year. Krug doesn’t play or act like a rookie, but rather like a veteran defenseman. To put it in perspective, Drew Doughty of the L.A. Kings scored 4 less goals and 3 less points than Krug did this year, and Doughty is making $7 million per season. Krug is an American-born defenseman, and I expect him to be at the next Olympics for team USA in 2016. Game 4 between Boston and Montreal is tonight at 7:30, and it can be seen on NBCSN.