Torey Krug: One Hit Wonder?

Torey Krug (Meowwcat/ Wikipedia)

Torey Krug (Meowwcat/ Wikipedia)

The Boston Bruins had a pretty great playoff run, coming within a minute of forcing a Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Finals. We saw a lot of great things from these Boston Bruins, but perhaps the best, and most surprising, thing was the breakout of young defenseman Torey Krug.

Krug had only played one game in the regular season, recording an assist in the Bruins loss to the Montreal Canadiens on March 27, but really broke out in the playoffs against the New York Rangers. Krug played in all five games and scored in four of them, four goals and one assist.

His great play may have parlayed into a starter’s role for this upcoming season. With the absence of Andrew Ference, there is now a free spot open at defenseman and Krug looks to be the favorite at that spot. The question is, should he be the favorite or is he a one hit wonder?

Looking at Krug’s playoff stats, you’d think, “Hey, this guy isn’t bad”, but looking more closely, there is cause for some concern. Krug had a great series against the Rangers as he really broke out and made his case. However, he was pretty much non-existent after then.

In the ten games after the Rangers series, Krug scored just one point, an assist in the Bruins blowout Game 2 win over Pittsburgh. Krug also had a dreadful Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals creating a very costly turnover that allowed Chicago to come back and was on the ice when the Blackhawks scored the game winner in the third overtime. After Krug’s timely turnover, he didn’t play for the rest of regulation, but as the game reached multiple overtimes, Krug worked his way back into the rotation.

Krug hasn’t really shown that he can be the defenseman of the future for the Bruins. Players go on streaks in the postseason and never really live up to expectations in the regular season, i.e. Steve Penney. It’s too early to tell if Torey Krug is going to be a one-hit wonder, but you can’t base a projected starter’s role on one series against the New York Rangers.

One thing working against Torey Krug is his lack of NHL experience. While Krug has played in 15 career playoff games, he has only played in three career NHL regular season games. I know players have to start somewhere, but the way that people are anointing Krug as a starter next season, it seems a tad presumptuous.

We’ll see how Torey Krug does during training camp, but it might be best for him and the Boston Bruins to start the season in Providence. A better option would be using the veteran Wade Redden in place of Krug until he gets more seasoning down in Providence. Krug has had his moments, such as the Rangers series, but he still plays like a rookie. That turnover in the Stanley Cup Finals was a huge mistake that goaltender Tuukka Rask called ‘terrible‘. If he wants to have any future with the Bruins, or the NHL, he needs to tighten up his game and some time in the AHL might be the trick.

Redden was picked up by the Bruins from the St. Louis Blues and played sparingly for the B’s, but now that Redden has been in the Boston system for some time, he can now get used to the system and scheme that Claude Julien runs. You also have Matt Bartkowski gunning for a spot on the Boston blueline, but the same questions about Krug could be raised for Bartkowski.

Like I said earlier, it’s still too early to tell if Torey Krug will be a one-hit wonder, but don’t expect him to light up the scoreboards either.

Do you think Torey Krug is a one-hit wonder or not? Comment below or sent me a Tweet, @MarkWGraham

 

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Mark Wallace Graham

Mark Wallace Graham

Mark Wallace Graham has been a writer for TheHockeyWriters.com since March 2013. Growing up in New England, Boston Bruins hockey was in my blood. Follow me on Twitter, @MarkWGraham
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9 Comments

  1. All I’m going to say here that wasn’t already said in Krug’s defense is the least you could have done was say “more time” in the AHL. The way this column was written it didn’t even sound like Krug had ever played there. All Krug did in the AHL last year was come in 11th in Rookie Scoring with 45 pts in 63 games as well as finish 4th in scoring by Dmen in the entire league.

  2. It may not be a coincidence that he played so well against the Rangers, a team whose entire system seemed to be based on letting the opposing team gain their zone with no resistance, and who never put any pressure on the point men. While the Rangers just let other teams set up and fire away, Krug looked absolutely mortal when he started to play teams who put pressure on the men at the point.

  3. He made one major mistake in 15 games, in a game that went well into triple overtime. It was a bad play, but it’s not like the Bruins as a team didn’t have nearly a whole second game worth of time to overcome it. Every hockey player makes mistakes, one bad play in 15 games shouldn’t be enough to cause alarm for him coming in a attempting to play a full 82 game season, anymore than one hot streak should be cause to hope that he plays a 40 point season

    Looking at the big picture, with the limited ice time he played, he was doing at least as good, if not better than most of the Bruins defense during the playoffs. He was good getting the puck into the offensive zone, and helped dramatically improve the Bruins use of time on powerplay.

    If Krug continues playing sheltered bottom pairing defensive minutes, plus getting significant power play time, there’s no reason not to expect a 20 point season from him with a positive +/- as well. It’ll be particularly interesting seeing the difference having him and Dougie Hamilton regularly skating has on the Bruins. The Bruins might just finally have the group of players assembled to actually give them a consistent power play.

  4. Cynthia Brown says:

    I would like to see Krug get a shot if he has a good camp. He’s got sweet hands. He can skate and he’s got good hockey smarts. You can’t judge a player off just his playoff record but, I would like to see more of him before passing judgement. I did see him in Providence a couple of times last year and thought he was very good.

  5. Carlos Danger says:

    Do you even watch hockey bro? You can’t base your “presumptions” off of playoff hockey. If you watched the way the kid handled himself throughout, you’d see that he may have lack of experience but his poise and hockey iq are pretty good considering said experience. While you can’t say he is 100 percent NHL ready based off one series, you also can’t assume he’s going to flow based off ONE costly error in ONE game. Who’s paying you to write for this site? I think they need to reconsider their options..

    • Given the rule changes, NHL hockey is a more flowing game. Therefore, teams need defensmen that can skate fairly well and handle the puck. You need to have at least one puck moving D’man on the ice at all time and one.
      Deadbeat goon defensemen (or forwards) do not really have a place in the NHL anymore as everyone on the ice needs to be skilled (if you want your team to last deep into the playoffs).
      Good hockey teams are running at least 3 sometimes 4 good forward lines and 6 good defensemen.

  6. Wayne Redden is an unrestricted free agent who the Bruins have already said they are not interested in bringing back. This is a hockey sight should you fact check your articles before you post them ?

  7. I think your comment is pretty accurate. It is still too early to tell if Krug will be a great defenseman in the long-run. He did have a very good second part of season last year in Providence too tough and he has shown great abilities with his hands.

    I like the idea of Redden taking a part-time job in Boston. However, he is not signed by them as of now as far as I know.

    Finally, I think Bartkowski might be the safest defenseman between Krug, Hamilton and himself but he will never rank-in near the numbers the other too will. However, I am pretty sure he will see a lot of ice time next year.

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