BOSTON, Mass – There weren’t many bright spots for the Bruins in a shutout loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Monday afternoon, but the presence of a healthy Torey Krug represents one of the few. The 25-year-old D-man was definitely rusty in the 4-0 loss to the Avs, but he certainly wasn’t aided by the humid conditions turning the TD Garden ice sheet into more of a slush-fest.
Either way, Krug made his return with Matt Grzelcyk getting sent back to the minors after a solid showing in the B’s opener, and now he can begin to work himself back into midseason form.
“I felt okay. Felt good in the first, you know, the power play it just felt like I was doing down-and-backs the whole time until we got some sustained pressure,” said Krug, who was the first Bruins player waiting for the media’s questions. “In the third you’re playing catch-up and trying to join every rush and that can be difficult at times. So, felt okay. First game in six months, wish we could have just come out on top for sure.”
Krug finished a minus-1 with a minor penalty in 21:56 of ice time, and had six shot attempts to go along with a hit and a blocked shot. But he also had trouble cleanly handling passes in the offensive zone and didn’t look as smooth as he normally does once his feel and confidence with the puck are fully present. It was about as much as could be expected from a player that missed most of training camp with a fractured jaw, and returned about a week earlier than expected while playing with a protective helmet guard around his mouth.
“He wanted to be a difference-maker. He wanted to make plays, and we want that out of our players. Like a lot of the group, it has to fall into place for everybody, and it just wasn’t happening [for him] either,” said Bruce Cassidy. “Puck wasn’t cooperating, I don’t think with either team. There were some bouncing pucks out there and they were just able to make better plays than us when they had to, and simpler plays when they had to.”
Krug should be much closer to game speed after getting dropped into Monday afternoon’s matinee, but it’s fair to assume that Boston’s power play and puck-moving departments will be a bit in flux until the skilled, offense-producing D-man is back up to full speed.