Krug starting to feel good about his game

Krug starting to feel good about his game

BRIGHTON, Mass – Torey Krug said prior to the game Thursday night against Las Vegas that he’d have to wait and see how much of a difference it would make shedding the protective gear off his helmet with his fractured jaw finally healed.


Well, clearly it was a factor after Krug enjoyed one of his best games of the season in the 2-1 victory at TD Garden. Krug nearly doubled his season point output by assisting on both goals and appeared much more involved in the offensive zone after an uncharacteristically quiet start to the season.

Clearly, there had been some evidence that his game was beginning to turn prior to Thursday night. Krug has three shots on net in his past two games after registering a big, fat donut in the shots on net category in the previous three games.  

“[It was] really good. The peripheral vision was better and overall, I just felt more comfortable [shedding the protective gear],” said Krug, who has two goals and five assists in 10 games, along with a minus-7 rating, after his two assists and plus-2 evening vs. Vegas. 

“Physically, I missed training camp, a lot of exhibition games. On the mental side of things, you get pretty frustrated because you know how well you can play, but you’re just not playing up to your potential. The stars aren’t lining up for you. It’s a grind both mentally and physically.

“That’s the hope,” added Krug when asked if he was ready to go on an offense-heavy streak now. “I just want to feel good out there…breaking pucks out, feel comfortable with my game. Those little streaks, they’ll come when you feel good about your game.”

The first period certainly wasn’t Krug’s best as he still battled a couple of turnovers against the Vegas pressure, but he turned those early “burps”, as Bruce Cassidy called them, into smart, aggressive plays around the net in the latter two periods. For both goals, it was hard, accurate shots from Krug that forced Vegas goalie Maxime Lagace into scrambling saves and eventually set up the dirty work goals from Riley Nash and Sean Kuraly.

That’s exactly the kind of thing that the Bruins are going to need from Krug over the next stretch as they battle through a number of injuries that have significantly weakened them down the middle of the ice.

“I think [the facemask] hinders a person – especially a guy that plays a finesse game,” Cassidy said. “You’re not used to having that on there. It’s a reminder that you’re protecting an injury. You know, there’s enough going on the ice that you don’t need those reminders. So,  probably [now] in the back of his mind, ‘okay, I’m healed, I’m even more prepared to play.’ I think he’s been coming out of his [funk]…his game has been coming around anyway. For the most part, it’s been solid.

“There have been a couple of burps here and there that we weren’t able to get out from under in terms of just tough luck, to a certain extent. We didn’t get a save or we didn’t get a clear after or whatever. So, I think for the most part he’s been managing the puck well, making his plays, and starting to feel like Torey again. [His game vs. Vegas] was good. We need his offense, especially now since we’re a little bit depleted. If he can add some secondary scoring like he generally does then we will be that much better.”

Thursday night was Grade-A evidence of that as Krug played a major role in the two goals required to get the two points against a gritty, competitive Vegas bunch that wasn’t going to go away easily.

For the Bruins, watching Olympic hockey "stings a bit"

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For the Bruins, watching Olympic hockey "stings a bit"

TORONTO – It’s no secret that NHL players weren’t happy about being barred from participating in the Winter Olympics wrapping up in South Korea this week. 

Instead the NHL continued their regular season with business as usual while skipping the Olympics for the first time since 1998, and college hockey players, minor league players and players already playing overseas in Europe were utilized to comprise the teams for the US, Canada and others participating in the Olympic Men’s Hockey tournament. 


The lack of NHL participation has made for a wide open tournament at this month’s Olympics, and led to the major upset of Canada actually losing to Germany on Friday in a match to play for the gold medal game this weekend. That was bad news for former Bruins forward Chris Kelly as the captain of Team Canada at the tail end of his hockey career, but great news for fellow former B’s forward Marco Sturm as the head coach of Team Germany. 

Naturally one couldn’t help but wonder what was going through the minds of players like Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, who certainly would have both been on Team Canada, watching Hockey Canada fall short of the gold medal game. 

“Obviously you cheer for your country and that’s what we were all doing. I got up early to catch a little of the game,” said Bergeron. “It’s too bad. I thought Germany played a really good game, and there’s a part of me that’s very happy for Marco [Sturm] since he’s a friend of mine. We played together for a long time.

“It was tough. You wanted to be out there and you wanted to be able to compete. It’s too bad that we didn’t have a say in it. That’s probably the biggest thing for me. That’s my biggest disappointment that we had no say in being a part of it. It was different. The last two Olympics I was in it, and now being able to watch it on TV it’s actually been a lot of fun to be able to watch different events at any time of the day.”


While Bergeron has his two gold medals from each of the past two Olympic Games to go along with his memories, Marchand might have missed his one chance to be a part of Team Canada at the Olympics during the peak of his hockey career. Coming off last season’s stunning performance from Team Canada at the World Cup, Marchand would have been close to an automatic for the Olympic roster, but instead it’s an experience he may have simply missed the boat on given that he’ll be 33 years old the next time around. 

“Obviously you get over it, but it was more about it being an opportunity lost, I think,” said Marchand. “It was a potential opportunity lost, but it allows other guys to have opportunities. I couldn’t be any happier that a guy like Chris Kelly gets to be there. It’s a huge opportunity. A lost opportunity for us is a huge opportunity for other guys…but it would have been nice to be there and be a part of it. It’s the biggest stage in the world.  

“The biggest reason it stings is that I never thought I would even be potentially be looked at for a team like that. With how things have played out the last couple of years, I might have been able to crack that [Olympic] lineup. So I think it stings a little more for that reason…to have the rug pulled out from under you for no reason. It does sting a bit, but that’s how it goes.”

That stinging feeling from the league pulling out of the Olympics will no doubt be revisited the next time the NHL and NHLPA go to the bargaining table for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. But that’s a different story for a different day as the first Winter Olympics without NHL players in 20 years finally goes into the books this weekend.


DeBrusk on being subject of trade rumors: "I love being a Bruin"

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DeBrusk on being subject of trade rumors: "I love being a Bruin"

TORONTO – Jake DeBrusk has heard about the trade rumors. Heck, the 21-year-old has actually been traded before in his hockey career as he was dealt in junior hockey from Swift Current to the Red Deer Rebels in his final season. It’s a little different, however, when DeBrusk hears his name involved in trade rumors with New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh, and reports indicate that DeBrusk is a name that Rangers GM Jeff Gorton wants included in any deal. 


It makes perfect sense with DeBrusk off to a strong start to his NHL career with 11 goals and 29 points in 54 games while playing a top-6 role next to David Krejci, and just scratching the surface of how good he can be with the Bruins. Brandon Carlo has likewise been mentioned prominently as well as a young NHL player being sought after in trade talks. 

But the bottom line for all the Bruins youngsters is that they don’t want to go anywhere, and are doing their best to block everything out while preparing to go out and do their best. 

“I got traded in junior, so I know a little bit about it…but it’s a little different when it’s the magnitude of the NHL,” said DeBrusk. “We’re just focusing on getting wins, and doing everything I can do to help the team win. At the same you’re keeping an eye out and looking [at the rumors] secretly. But it is what it is. You can’t control it. You can only control your play, and do anything I can to help the team win now. You can only take it day by day. 

“I love being with these guys and we’re a pretty tight group. So whatever happens is going to happen, but at the same time whoever is on the ice we’ll go to battle with them.”


Clearly DeBrusk wants to stick with the team that selected him 14th overall in the 2015 NHL Draft, and the Bruins would do well to keep a talented, likable and bright youngster that could be a meaningful member of the organization for a long, long time. But he’s also drawing whatever positive that he can out of the situation, and the biggest one is that other NHL teams are clearly taking notice of what he’s done this season as a rookie. 

Being the primary name mentioned in a deal for a player like the captain of the New York Rangers means you must be doing a lot of things right. 

“When you’re a rookie with your name being thrown around and the other guy has some pretty high stature in the league, it’s a compliment. But I don’t look too much into it,” said DeBrusk. “I love being a Bruin. I just want to continue to get better, continue to improve and I’ve got lots of room to grow. I’m just taking it shift-by-shift.”

That’s a smart kid with a good answer as he focuses on his game on the ice, and learns on the job to navigate through his first NHL experience that’s now included being at the heart of a juicy trade rumor for the Black and Gold.