MONTREAL – In a game between the Bruins and Canadiens that felt like the heated, hated rivalry for the first time in years, Torey Krug was at the forefront of the hard-hitting revival with a big first period collision with Andrew Shaw that could be considered a borderline hit. The Bruins D-man said he hadn’t re-watched the hit on video following Boston’s 2-1 overtime win against the Canadiens at the Bell Centre, and there was no penalty called when the 5-foot-8 defenseman blasted the pesky Shaw at center ice.
Instead Krug said he was bracing for contact as both players raced full speed for the puck, and the resulting hit ended with Shawn getting knocked to the ground while his stick helicoptered away from him.
“I haven’t seen it. I just went to grab the puck and thought he was going to hit me, so I just lowered the shoulder,” said Krug. “I was just going for the puck, and I assumed that Andrew Shaw was going to hit me. That’s about it. I saw him and I knew who it was, and I just assumed he was going to play the body because he’s a physical player.”
While it did look like Krug may have made contact with Shaw’s chin, it’s also clear the Canadiens forward was crouched down and lunging forward while reaching for a puck that both players were trying to win in a 50/50 battle. It seemed in watching the replays that it would have been difficult for Krug to avoid making the contact he did with Shaw once he committed to win the puck battle, and that there may have been enough gray area to keep him out of trouble with the Department of Player Safety.
Needless to say, however, Montreal coach Michel Therrien didn’t like the hit while Claude Julien termed it “a good hit.”
"I thought Shawsy was in a vulnerable position, and he got hit to the head,” said Therrien. “I don’t like the hit."
Shaw was held out for the rest of the first period after getting off the ice slowly following the big collision, but the Montreal forward returned at the start of the second period before going on to play 16:37 of ice time in the overtime loss. Krug also answered the bell for the hit one shift later when Brendan Gallagher challenged the B’s D-man to a fight, and the two diminutive players tumbled to the ice after throwing off their gloves.