Bruins' Krug wide-eyed after NHL debut


Bruins' Krug wide-eyed after NHL debut

BOSTON -- It hasn't hit him yet. And how could it?

It wasn't too long ago that Torey Krug was Michigan State captain, in his junior year. He was a Hobey Baker Award finalist. And weeks later, he's suiting up for the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins.

"This is what you dream of, the second that you're put up on ice skates," said Krug after making his NHL debut on Tuesday night at the TD Garden. "And I was put up on skates the day I could walk. So, I've been around hockey my whole life, and this is a dream come true."

Krug signed an entry-level contract with the Bruins last week, and had been practicing with the team, when he was told, following Monday's skate, that he'd be playing on Tuesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The game didn't mean much to the Bruins and their playoff hopes. They've already clinched the division, and they know they're going into the playoffs as the No. 2 seed in the East.

So it was a perfect time to get the 20-year-old, 5-foot-9 defenseman some playing time.

"It was a lot of fun, something Ill remember forever," said Krug. "Unfortunately, we didnt get the result that we wanted, but it was a lot of fun.

The Bruins lost 5-3, and Krug was on the ice for four goals -- two Bruins goals and two Penguins goals.

He finished with no points, but played over 18 minutes, which stood as the third-most minutes on the team, behind Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg.

"I thought he handled himself well," said Bruins coach Claude Julien. "I liked the way he moved the puck. I think everybody who knows the game realizes that he's a good puck-mover. His mobility was obvious.

"The only thing I would tell you is that, you could see him in the defensive zone, really thinking about trying to play within our system. And sometimes he was maybe just a fraction of a second delayed, which is totally normal. But once he knew what he had to do, he went. There was no hesitation, once his mind was made up. And that will only get better, as it becomes second nature. That's totally natural for a guy playing in his first game.

"But the rest of it, when he had the puck, he didn't hesitate," added Julien. "I thought he moved it well and made great passes."

Krug isn't eligible to play in the playoffs. But the experience on Tuesday night was something he'll never forget.

"I dont even know if its hit me yet," said Krug after Tuesday's game. "Its awesome. Ive come in, and its a tough time to come into a locker room, but all the guys have been very well receptive and Im very thankful for that.

"The biggest advice I was given was have fun and be myself. You know, when it comes down to it, its just another hockey game and its just a level higher. All the guys said, Have fun, youre going to remember this for the rest of your life.' And I think I did that."

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Celtics back in win column


BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Celtics back in win column

0:41 - The Celtics returned to their winning ways with a 118-103 victory over the Orlando Magic. Tom Giles, Phil Perry and Rob “Hardy” Poole break down the win.

6:58 - Tom Giles and Hardy discuss the Bruins’ four-game winning streak and how the success of Anton Khudobin has helped keep the team afloat.

11:39 - Is the Patriots' Week 12 matchup with the Dolphins a trap game? Tom Giles, Phil Perry and Hardy discuss where Miami ranks among NFL teams and how the Patriots should approach the game.

17:07 - With Black Friday upon us, the Boston Sports Tonight crew discusses what big-ticket item they would choose to buy for any Boston sports team. 


Morris out, Brown questionable for Pacers game Saturday

Morris out, Brown questionable for Pacers game Saturday

BOSTON – Boston made strengthening their depth at the wing position a priority during the offseason.

Well, that depth will be put to the test with the possibility of at least one and maybe two of their top wing players being out for Saturday’s game at Indiana.

Shortly after Boston’s 118-103 win over Orlando on Friday night, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens announced that Marcus Morris (left knee) would not travel with the team for Saturday’s game against the Pacers.


Also, Jaylen Brown will be attending the funeral of his best friend (Trevin Steede) in Georgia on Saturday and isn’t sure if he’ll be back with the team in time for Saturday’s game.

“My intention is to make it back. If I can, I’ll definitely be playing,” Brown said. “But we’ll see.”

The absence of Brown would be a huge blow for the Celtics.

Boston only returned four players from last season’s team, none of whom have improved their overall game as much as Brown did during the offseason.

He came into the season focused on being a lock-down defender.

But Gordon Hayward’s left ankle injury was a game-changer for all the Celtics, including Brown.

Not only would Brown be charged with being an elite defender, but Boston now needed the second-year wing player to become more of a scoring threat.

And to Brown’s credit, he has risen to the challenge.

In 20 games (all starts) this season, Brown has averaged 15.9 points per game which is second on the team to Kyrie Irving (22.9). In addition, Brown’s defense has been among the keys to Boston’s 17-3 start which is the best record in the NBA thus far this season.

His defensive rating of 95.0 is fifth among players to appear in at least 10 games this season, and tops among all second-year players. And of the four players ahead of him, two – Aron Baynes and Marcus Smart – are teammates.

But just like the Celtics gave Isaiah Thomas all the time he needed in dealing with the death of his sister right before the playoffs last season, a similar approach has been taken with Brown which he is admittedly appreciative of the organization for doing.

“Brad (Stevens) has been great in this process,” Brown said. “Just somebody to talk to, allowing me to deal with it in the best way our family and their family feels we can deal with it. He’s been great; we’ll see how it goes. Hopefully I can make it to Indiana; if not, I just have to re-group with my family and I’ll see you guys next game (against Detroit on Monday).”

While there's a chance that Brown will play against Indiana, the same can not be said for Morris who is definitely out.

Morris, who missed the first eight games of the season with left knee soreness, has been on a minutes restriction all season in addition to not being allowed to play in back-to-back games.

Following Friday’s game, Morris said the knee feels good but he understands the need to be cautious.

“It’s frustrating,” said Morris who acknowledged the decision was made by the coaching and medical staff. “I’m a competitor, so I want to be out there.”

He added, “Like I said, at this point I pretty much don’t have control over it when I’m playing. It’s a long season. I just want to be ready for June.”

With Morris out and Brown potentially out as well, the Celtics will be extremely thin and inexperienced at the wing position. Look for Marcus Smart and Aron Baynes to be in the starting lineup if Brown is out along with Morris.

Also, Stevens will likely use Terry Rozier and first-year forward Semi Ojeleye more in addition to increased spot-duty for another rookie, Abdel Nader. On Friday, Rozier had a career-high 23 points while Ojeleye and Nader had seven and three points, respectively.