Torey Krug started the season healthy for the first time in years, and consequently got off to the best start in recent memory for the Bruins while putting up numbers right from the very start.
The 28-year-old is pacing for 12 goals and a career-high 61 points for the Bruins, and that would give him four straight seasons where he’s topped an impressive 50-point mark for the Black and Gold.
But unfortunately for Krug, he suffered an upper-body injury earlier this week after getting crunched in front of the sideboards by a charging Tom Wilson, who leaned into the diminutive D-man with his 6-foot-4, 220-pound frame.
Krug will be out at least three games or a week’s worth of action after being placed on IR, but he could conceivably return against the Columbus Blue Jackets on January 2 after giving his body ample time to heal.
Bruce Cassidy confirmed to reporters that Krug wasn’t in the concussion protocol while away from the team, which just lends further credence to the idea that it was a shoulder injury suffered upon impact with the big, bad Wilson.
Either way, it sounds like Krug might just be out more than the minimum of three games missed with the current upper-body injury, and may at the very least be out a few more games after already missing five earlier in the season.
With the rumor mill active with whispers that the Bruins and Krug are nearing a multi-year contract extension, the injury bug biting Krug once again makes anybody wonder whether it’s wise to shell out large sums of money and large blocks of term for a 5-foot-9, 180-pound defenseman that’s always going to get banged around physically.
What Krug has working for him is the continued offensive struggles of McAvoy, who hasn’t scored a single goal this season with the New Year’s Day Winter Classic right around the corner, and the limited offensive upside for defenseman Matt Grzelcyk. It was Grzelcyk that stood up and scored two goals and four points in the five games that Krug missed due to injury earlier in the season, but he’d be hard-pressed to do that on a regular basis in place of Krug.
Part of the reason that progress may be happening with Krug and the B’s on a contract extension is the pretty clear picture at this point that Boston doesn’t have anybody that’s going to be able to adequately fill in as quarterback on the No. 1 power play, and doesn’t have a D-man that can replace the double-digit goals and 50 point seasons that Krug has put together recently.
But the latest injury for Krug is a stark reminder that he misses time during the regular season with injuries given the rugged style of play, and that goes even more so in the Stanley Cup playoffs where big bodies like Wilson are constantly looking to clean his clock.
It’s simply part of the package with a player like Krug that the B’s are well-versed in these days. The Bruins will keep getting the offensive production and the PP prowess that Krug has consistently brought to the Bruins over the last few years, but they’ll also get a player that routinely misses time with injuries and can be exploited in his own end.