Boston Bruins: Torey Krug Not Letting Mistake Hurt His Confidence
Photo credit: Steve Babineau/Getty Images
By Mitch Cole (@DirtyWaterBuzz)
Bruins rookie Torey Krug spent the majority of the regular season playing for the Providence Bruins, Boston’s AHL affiliate, despite a one game appearance with Boston after being called up on an emergency basis the night Boston believed they had dealt Matt Bartkowski in a package for Jarome Iginla. After being sent back down to Providence to finish the regular season, he was called back up to Boston to be inserted into the lineup for the second round playoff series against the New York Rangers. Krug surprised everybody, scoring four goals in a five game Bruins victory over the Rangers. He continued his excellent play in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Pittsburgh Penguins, despite not scoring a goal in that series. Krug continued to move the puck up ice well, and was consistently an offensive threat.
However, in Game One of the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks, Krug attempted to pass the puck up ice, but it was intercepted at the blue line by Andrew Shaw. Shaw then passed the puck across the slot to Dave Bolland, who beat Tuukka Rask and pulled the Hawks to within one.
But Krug isn’t going to let one mistake get in his head.
“I’d probably try it again in the future. I would just execute it differently”, Krug said of the pass. “For me, playing that way, you have to have a short term memory. I think the best players do. I’ll quickly forget about it. I’ll learn from it.”
“We’ve all been there. Everybody has made passes that don’t work out. So what? That’s the game”, defenseman Andrew Ference said of Krug’s mistake. “I mean, nobody expects perfection. You know the other team is going to get chances. You move on. What’s done is done.”
Krug’s turnover has led many to speculate that he could be a healthy scratch for Game Two, but such a move would be rash and dumb. Krug has been nothing short of great in his first nine games, and he finally looked like a rookie in Game One. Head coach Claude Julien showed support for the young defenseman today, giving the impression that Krug will be in the lineup for Game Two.
“Certainly we don’t shouldn’t look and judge this player on one game where he might have been average instead of real good, like he has been. Those are part of a player getting better. Doesn’t mean we lose confidence because we still had the confidence to put him out there in that game, in overtime and everything else. He’s also the kind of guy that can produce that goal that you needed.
“It is what it is. It’s easy to focus in on one thing. Yes, it was a mistake to throw that puck up the middle. If you look back at the play, I didn’t think we had a great line change and he didn’t have a ton of options. I think there could be some blame shared on that goal.”
Krug is an offense first defenseman, and he is willing to take risks. His defensive game needs some polishing, but he’s been nothing short of great in these playoffs.
What does he think about taking risks?
“It is (fun). High risk, high reward.”
I think that says it all.