After going scoreless in the first five games in the month of January, Torey Krug has jumped back into his offensive groove.
Krug has a goal and five points in his last three games, and fired home the game-winner in last weekend’s win over the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre amidst a three-point effort against the Habs. It’s been an interesting time of adjustment for Krug as he’s topped 20 minutes of ice time just once in eight games this month, and has at times not been out on the ice with the Patrice Bergeron line when they’re doing their thing.
Krug has also been digging himself out from the minus-9 in the first month of the season after coming back from a fractured jaw, and the plus-7 this month finally has him in the positive plus/minus rating as well for the first time this season.
“He’s a guy that sees [Matt] Grzelcyk playing well, and he wants to be a part of it,” said Bruce Cassidy of Krug. “Some of it is that I think, in my experience with him and I haven’t had him forever, with Torey that he gets better as the year goes along. This year the injuries led to that with the broken jaw, so he had a little bit of a setback and was playing catch-up. Part of it now is that he’s getting more comfortable, and as the year goes on he’s getting better.”
Krug is still on pace for 13 goals and 51 points this season, so he’s right on time for normal offensive production while working with a different D-man partner in young Brandon Carlo this season. But mixing in a game like Saturday night when he’s got three points, a game-winning goal and a plus-3 rating is a clear sign that he’s playing some of his best hockey of the year.
“You play with [the Bergeron Line] and you’re pretty lucky…you’re probably going to have a lot more chances for, and not many chances against,” said Krug. “It’s nice because [defenses] are so focused on shutting those three guys down that the fourth ‘D’ can get in on the attack and make something out of nothing. We were able to do that [against Montreal].
“It’s one of things where you just keep going to work and getting better every day, you put your head down and don’t listen to anything. It all falls into place for you, and I’m just going to keep doing that.”
So many of Boston’s best players, both veteran and rookie, have been playing their best hockey during the Bruins two-month run toward the top of the standings. After the last handful of games for the offensive defenseman, you can add Krug to that long list of B’s players now operating at full tilt.