Krug finding goal-scoring range after first-half struggles

Krug finding goal-scoring range after first-half struggles

NASHVILLE – While the Bruins four-game road trip ended on a bit of a down note with the 2-1 loss to the Predators in Nashville, it appears that Torey Krug is starting to find his goal-scoring range.

Krug has scored goals in each the past two games and managed the only goal on Thursday night when he launched a puck on edge from the high slot that Nashville backup Juuse Saros never got a look at on its way to the net. In fact, Krug has two goals and 12 points in his past 11 games with six power-play points as the offense is beginning to crank up for a puck-moving defenseman who struggled a bit in the first half.

Krug scored one goal in his first 43 games of the season and now has lamp-lighters in each of the previous two games on the road.

Krug also had the turnover in front of the Boston net that led to Nashville’s first goal on Thursday, however, so he wasn’t exactly in a half-glass full state of mind following the game.

“I’d feel a lot better about it if we won, obviously,” said Krug, who has three goals and 26 points for the B’s this season. “I’ve been playing the same way whether it’s me putting the puck in directly myself, or one of my teammates tipping the puck in like they have so far this season. I’m going to approach the game the same way, but it’s nice to help the team.

“It’s one of those things where messed up clearing attempts can lead to good chances for the power play, so you’ve got to take it to the net. The goalie had no idea where the puck was [after Krug’s release].”

Clearly, Krug’s uptick in offense lately has been part of the story in the B’s power-play resurgence over the last month, in which Boston has gone 9-for-36 (25 percent success rate) in the past 11 games and is very slowly moving up the NHL ladder. The now rank 23rd in the NHL in PP success rate this season. The Bruins will need Krug’s current hot streak to continue if they truly aspire to be a dangerous special teams group in the second half of the season. 


Banged-up Bruins lose two more -- Rick Nash, McQuaid

Banged-up Bruins lose two more -- Rick Nash, McQuaid

BOSTON – It’s another day and another injured player, or two, for the Boston Bruins.

Veteran right winger Rick Nash was a late scratch for the Bruins on Monday night against the Blue Jackets after getting banged up in last weekend’s win over the Tampa Bay Lightning, and Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid had to exit due to injury in the third period of Monday night’s 5-4 overtime loss at TD Garden.  

“[Nash] got hit in Tampa, so we thought he was fine. He had an upper-body injury,” said Bruce Cassidy. “This morning, pregame skate, we thought he’d be fine, and it turned out after pregame skate, early afternoon, he wasn’t. So, you know, we had to make a call for Anton Blidh.”

The Nash absence forced the Bruins to recall Blidh from Providence on emergency recall and plug him into the lineup not using him in the last couple of road games in Florida, and it also pushed 21-year-old rookie Ryan Donato into a top-6 role alongside David Krejci in his NHL debut. Clearly things worked out for Donato with a 1-goal, 3-point performance in his first NHL game, and that along with some quality organizational depth is helping them withstand some of the injuries.

McQuaid was held to just 10:42 of ice time that was the fewest among all Bruins D-men on Monday night, but it was unclear exactly what befell him on the ice injury-wise.  

It is getting a little ridiculous for a Bruins team that’s missing Patrice Bergeron (fractured right foot), Zdeno Chara (upper body), Jake DeBrusk (upper body), Charlie McAvoy (sprained left MCL), David Backes (right leg laceration) and now may have to go without Nash (upper body) and McQuaid (undisclosed) as well. Clearly it’s something the Bruins will have to play through for the time being while simply hoping that it all conveniently clears up ahead of the Stanley Cup playoffs. 

“You know, you call a player up [from the AHL], right? We signed one out of college; that helped. So, that’s it. [The injuries] are uncontrollable to a certain extent. It’s kind of enough, now. I would agree. We’ve had our share, so let’s get these guys healthy and get ready to play,” said Cassidy. “I don’t know. You’ve got to play the game in front of you and you just hope the string of, kind of, tough luck, is over.

“That’s it. It’s a physical game. We’ve said all along, to have successful seasons, both regular and playoffs, you need a certain level of health. That’s what we’re hoping, that these guys come back, and that’s it. Until then, we plug the holes and play the game in front of you.”

Plugging those holes will continue to get more and more challenging if the Bruins keep losing players from their lineup on a nightly basis as they may have on Monday with both Nash and McQuaid now banged up as well.


NBC Sports Boston Breakfast Pod: Donato impresses in NHL debut

NBC Sports Boston Photo

NBC Sports Boston Breakfast Pod: Donato impresses in NHL debut

1:13 - Joe Haggerty joins from the TD Garden to discuss the non-call on Brad Marchand’s breakaway, Ryan Donato shining in his NHL debut, and when Patrice Bergeron could be returning.

6:16 - Gary Tanguay, Mike Giardi, and Trenni Kusnierek debate if the Patriots are starting to replace the talent they’ve lost this offseason as they have acquired Adrian Clayborn, Jeremy Hill, and Jason McCourty. 

11:01 - A. Sherrod Blakely joins Boston Sports Tonight to talk about the Celtics continuing to struggle as the injuries have piled up.