Bruins: Torey Krug

Rapid Reaction: Bruins 4, Oilers 0

February, 1, 2014
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BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins recovered from their worst loss of the season with a 4-0 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday afternoon at TD Garden.

After a 4-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night on home ice, the Bruins played with more emotion en route to victory over the Oilers.

The Bruins received goals from David Krejci, Dougie Hamilton, Carl Soderberg and Torey Krug, while goaltender Chad Johnson finished with 22 saves for his first shutout of the season and second of his career.

After a scoreless opening period, the Bruins gained a 1-0 lead on Krejci's power-play goal at 2:06 of the second period. His shot from the high slot was redirected past Edmonton goaltender Ben Scrivens. It was Krejci's 12th goal of the season. The goal snapped Scrivens' shutout streak at 126:41. He made 103 saves during that scoreless streak, including a 59-save performance in a 3-0 win over the San Jose Sharks Wednesday night.

It appeared Boston added to its lead later in the period, but the goal was disallowed after it was ruled to have come on a distinct kicking motion by Bruins forward Loui Eriksson. On the play, Bruins defenseman Matt Bartkowski gained control of the puck at the offensive blue line and broke in down the left side. His centering pass went off Eriksson's skate and past Scrivens at 8:32.

The Bruins had another golden opportunity in the waning minutes of the second when Boston penalty killer Daniel Paille created a short-handed bid, but Scrivens stopped the breakaway attempt to keep Edmonton's deficit at one goal.

Hamilton finally gave the Bruins a 2-0 lead at 6:43 of the third period. He broke in along the right side and took a shot from the bottom of the right faceoff circle. Scrivens made the initial save, but Hamilton collected the rebound, skated behind the net and tucked in a wraparound for his sixth goal of the season and second in as many games.

Boston gained a 3-0 lead when Soderberg's wrist shot from the left faceoff circle beat Scrivens for his eighth goal of the season at 13:05 of the third period. The Bruins scored their second power-play goal of the game when Krug notched his 12th goal of the season at 15:42 of the third period to give Boston a 4-0 lead.

Save of the game: Johnson turned in the save of the game early in the first period. In a scoreless game, the Oilers created a quality scoring chance when forward Ales Hemsky had a breakaway, but Johnson stoned the attempt to secure the stalemate.

Drop 'em: The Bruins' Shawn Thornton dropped the gloves with the Oilers' Luke Gazdic at 3:20 of the first period. The two went toe-to-toe in front of the Edmonton bench, and Gazdic landed a hard right, dropping Thornton to the ice and ending the fight. After spending a brief time in the penalty box, Thornton skated off the ice and went to the dressing room. A few minutes later, a team doctor returned to his seat behind the Bruins bench, but Thornton remained in the room and did not return for the remainder of the period. He did return for the start of the second period. It was his second fighting major since returning from a 15-game suspension on Jan. 11.

Tribute: During a television timeout in the first period, the Bruins honored former defenseman and current Edmonton captain Andrew Ference with a video tribute. The 17,565 in attendance gave him a standing ovation, and he acknowledged it with wave of his stick. Ference spent seven seasons in Boston and helped the Bruins win the Stanley Cup in 2011.

Up next: The Bruins host the Vancouver Canucks Tuesday night (7 p.m.) at TD Garden.

Krug: Olympic nod 'would've been cool'

January, 2, 2014
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BOSTON -- The start of the season was a strong one for Bruins defenseman Torey Krug, and because of that early success his name was mentioned as a possibility for Team USA at the Winter Olympics. But as this season has progressed, Krug is still developing and he was not named to the roster.

“I kind of expected that. I really never thought I had much of a sniff,” Krug said. “I’ve been so focused on what’s going on here with the Bruins, and I’ve had a lot of ups and downs individually, and I’m trying to get out of those downs as fast as I can. I’ve just been focused on the Bruins and not much else. If you do get the [Olympic] call it’s pretty special, a pretty unique experience, I’m sure, and not many people get to do it. It would’ve been cool, but I didn’t expect much.”

In the midst of his first full season in the NHL, Krug is experiencing the normal growing pains that come with playing at this level.

From a statistical standpoint, the 22-year-old blueliner has eight goals and 12 assists for 20 points, including a plus-2 rating in 40 games. He’s played well, but defensively there are areas in which he has struggled.

“[Krug] still has a lot to learn and still has to improve,” said Bruins coach Claude Julien.

Julien added that both Krug and fellow defenseman Matt Bartkowski have earned their opportunity in Boston.

“Those are young defensemen that are good enough to play here, but just because you’re good enough to play here doesn’t mean there’s no room for improvement,” Julien said. “We’re happy with their play, but certainly we’re going to stay on them to continue to improve them just like every other player on this team.”

Krug made significant contributions during the Stanley Cup playoffs last spring. Due to a rash of injuries to Boston’s blue line, the Bruins recalled him from Providence and Krug quickly made his mark, adding plenty of offense from the back end.

Entering his first full season in the NHL, Krug knew he would deal with the typical ebbs and flows.

"If I thought everything was going to be pretty and beautiful I’d be completely wrong,” Krug said. “There’s going to be ups and downs, whether you’re a 20-year player in the league or first-year player, you’re not going to experience highs every night. There are going to be bad nights and it’s about minimizing those and how you respond to those.

“I haven’t been playing poor hockey, I’ve been playing pretty good, but it seems there might be that one play, the one errant pass that might get away from me, so for me it’s about focusing every single shift. There’s not a shift you can take off, whether you’re out against top guys in the league or fourth-line guys, because everyone can play the game of hockey and score goals. They take turnovers and they run with it, so it’s just about minimizing that one play that seems to come back and haunt me.”

B's unconventional PK saves the day

December, 22, 2013
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BOSTON -- Bill Belichick has made a Hall-of-Fame-worthy coaching career out of sweating the details in situational football. But sometimes, things beyond ordinary circumstances crop up. And when those situations arise, a coach has to think on his feet.

Case in point was Claude Julien's handling of a critical 5-on-3 penalty kill during the second period of the Bruins' 4-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night.

With Patrice Bergeron in the bin for a cross-checking minor, Gregory Campbell soon followed with a double-minor for high-sticking at 9:40 of the second. The B's had to brave it out for a minute and 49 seconds without two stalwarts of the PK unit, nursing a one-goal lead.

[+] EnlargeTuukka Rask
Steve Babineau/NHLI/Getty ImagesGoalie Tuukka Rask celebrates with Dennis Seidenberg after the B's beat the Sabres.
Factor in the already depleted depth of the team's usual cast of penalty-killers, with both Chris Kelly and Daniel Paille on the shelf due to injuries, and Julien was left with only so many options at forward in a make-or-break juncture of the game.

While also using David Krejci and rookie center Ryan Spooner as the lone forward on the unit, Julien looked down the bench to defenseman Torey Krug to fill in for a spell during the two-man advantage.

"You have to be ready for those types of things," Julien said. "I don't think you can necessarily be prepared for a 5-on-3 with two of our top centermen that kill those 5-on-3s in the penalty box, but you have to react quick and make that decision."

Krug was on the ice for only about 20 seconds of the 5-on-3 play, but the offensive-minded blueliner was able to utilize some of his insight from running the point on the opposite side to help his team shut out Buffalo on the man-up bid.

The Bruins also had a successful kill of Buffalo's abbreviated 5-on-3 power-play chance midway through the third period.

"Obviously, we watch videos on other teams and see what their tendencies are," Krug said. "At the same time, 5-on-3 hockey is simple. It's good for me because I look at it from an offensive standpoint and I look to see where they're going to take chances. And when you get thrown out as a defensive player, you try to take that away."

Julien explained his off-the-cuff decision by saying he saw Krug fitting the mantra of his most successful penalty killers up top. Working the top of the triangle in such a situation calls for both speed and grit.

"We want guys who are smart and quick up top, when those guys were in the box and they did a good job," Julien said. "You have to ad-lib every once in a while and be creative, and that's what we did."

The move took goaltender Tuukka Rask (34 saves) aback.

"I saw we had three D's out there, I don't know if we wanted it like that or not, but it paid off," Rask said. "It worked out well."

While Bergeron was in unfamiliar territory, taking a bystander's view of the PK unit, he found Julien's ingenuity to fall in line with the team's next-man-up mentality. With the Bruins struggling with a nasty case of the injury bug, that prevailing logic has held up.

Not only that, they've prospered. The Bruins are undefeated in regulation in their last 14 tilts (12-0-2) at the Garden.

"We have a system we believe in and they did a great job," Bergeron said.

But at times, you just have to make it up on the fly.

"You have to go with what your gut feeling is telling you at that time," Julien said.

Krug expected to play Thursday

December, 5, 2013
12/05/13
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MONTREAL -- After missing practice earlier this week due to a minor lower-body injury, Bruins defenseman Torey Krug should be in the lineup Thursday night against the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre.

After the team’s morning skate Thursday, Bruins coach Claude Julien said Krug will be a game-time decision.

“He looked pretty good there this morning, and it will be game-time, but I would be extremely surprised if he doesn’t play,” Julien said.

Krug blocked a shot during Saturday’s 3-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets and skated gingerly off the ice, but he was able to return. He did not practice during Monday’s optional session or on Tuesday. He returned to practice Wednesday.

“Yeah, I’m good. Just maintenance,” Krug said after the Thursday morning skate. “It was perfect timing to have a couple of days off to re-energize and get that maintenance.”

Krug was wearing protective guards on both his skates Thursday and said he’s considering wearing them in the game for extra protection.

“The reason I’m here is because Andrew Ference took a shot off the foot,” Krug said, referring to the former Bruins defenseman, whose injury in the first round of the 2013 playoffs forced the team to call up Krug from Providence.

During that playoff series against the Rangers, Krug proved he could play and be effective at this level. This season, he has experienced some growing pains with his defensive game, but offensively he continues to contribute. He has seven goals and nine assists for 16 points, including a plus-5 in 27 games.

"There have been highs and lows,” he said. “It’s constant reminders that I could go out and make a mistake at any time. I’m confident in what I’m able to do. The coaching staff and my teammates are always in my ear, making sure to remind me of the little things you do to make sure you’re an NHL [caliber] defenseman every night.”

Krug played a preseason game at Bell Centre, but this will be his first regular-season game here.

"I don’t know what to expect tonight,” he said. “Even in preseason it was pretty special skating out there in front of their fans, and it’s a fun building to play in. I played against Montreal in our building last year, and the speed of that game was very similar to a playoff game, so I would assume it will be the same thing tonight. It’s going to be fun.”

Julien: Krug and McQuaid 'day-to-day'

December, 3, 2013
12/03/13
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WILMINGTON, Mass. -- Following the Bruins’ practice Tuesday morning at Ristuccia Arena, Claude Julien described the status of defensemen Torey Krug and Adam McQuaid as day-to-day.

McQuaid recently returned to the lineup after missing eight games with a lower-body injury. He has played the last three games, including Saturday’s 3-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets, where at one point late in the game he skated gingerly off the ice.

“Mac kind of re-aggravated his injury. When he came back he was 100 percent and he re-aggravated it a little bit, so he’s managing that," said Julien. "With Torey, when I say ‘day-to-day’ it’s more managing a situation because of the amount of days off we have. We hope to see him back on the ice tomorrow or for Thursday’s game.”

Krug blocked a shot during Saturday’s win and was clearly in pain afterward, but he was able to continue playing.

Due to both not being able to practice Tuesday, the Bruins recalled defenseman Kevan Miller from Providence. He recently played three games for the Bruins during his first stint in the NHL when both McQuaid and Dennis Seidenberg were sidelined.

Julien said he's impressed with the way Miller, who went undrafted before Boston signed him as a free agent, handles himself both on and off the ice.

“It starts at the top and we’re a group of people that we don’t care where you’re drafted, whether first round or a free agent, if you are deserving of playing or deserving of a call-up, you’re going to get it. If you’re deserving of more ice time, you’re going to get it. It all revolves around your play.

During Tuesday’s practice, Miller was paired with Matt Bartkowski.

“If I get the call, I’ll be ready to go,” Miller said.

Krug, McQuaid sidelined; Miller recalled

December, 3, 2013
12/03/13
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WILMINGTON, Mass. -- Bruins defensemen Torey Krug and Adam McQuaid are not practicing with the team this morning at Ristuccia Arena. The team recalled defenseman Kevan Miller from Providence of the AHL late Monday night.

McQuaid recently missed eight games due to a lower-body injury, but has played the last three games. At one point during Saturday’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, he did skate gingerly off the ice but returned.

Krug blocked a shot and also left the ice in pain, but returned as well.

Miller has played three games with the Bruins this season, when McQuaid and Dennis Seidenberg were sidelined with injuries.

Bruins' OT win not all that satisfying

November, 26, 2013
11/26/13
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BOSTON -- You can always count on Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask to be honest.

No matter the outcome of any game, he’ll give it to you straight.

That was the case again after Boston defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 in overtime Monday night at TD Garden. The Bruins played four times last week, had Sunday off and were prepared to host the Penguins, a team that entered the game only two points behind them for the top spot in the Eastern Conference standings.

Despite the win, the Bruins were far from satisfied with their game, which caused Rask, captain Zdeno Chara and coach Claude Julien to pick apart the victory as though Boston had lost the game.

[+] EnlargeRask
Winslow Townson/USA TODAY SportsTuukka Rask, who kept the Bruins in the game in the early going, said the team played like it was in a blur.
“It’s something you might expect from a Monday night game. It’s a case of Mondays, right?” Rask said. “You’re not fully awake and you’re in a blur, and that’s what it felt like. The people in the stands weren’t in it at some points and it reflects on hockey teams too.”

A case of the Mondays?

Maybe Rask has been watching the cult movie “Office Space” to come up with a line like that. But the Bruins definitely finished with more flare as Torey Krug’s goal only 34 seconds into overtime gave the Bruins the victory.

“Overall it was a tough night, a grinding night,” Julien said. “Maybe tonight we weren’t totally on and we had to work hard to make things happen. Some nights are not as easy as others and tonight was one of those that we had to grind it out. The sharpness didn’t seem to be there.”

Despite a 2-0 lead after the opening period, the Bruins did not play as well as they wanted, and if it weren’t for Rask’s 10-save performance in the first, the Penguins easily could have had the lead. Pittsburgh tied it at two in the second period on a pair of goals by James Neal. Chara scored with 5:15 remaining in the third, but even that lead didn’t hold.

“It wasn’t our best game,” Chara said. “It was one of those games that things were happening for us slow. We weren’t as quick as some other nights, but that’s going to happen throughout the heavy schedule.”

After a hit-and-miss first period for Boston, the Bruins regrouped in the second and third. It appeared the home team would win in regulation but the Penguins pulled their goalie for the extra attacker and with three-tenths of a second remaining in the third period, Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby tied the game at 3-3.

“The puck came to the right spot at the right time to the right player and he tied the game,” Chara said. “But we found a way to score in OT and that’s important. It was a big win.”

The Bruins’ record shows a string of success as they've posted an 8-1-1 record in the past 10 games. They own the top spot in the Eastern Conference with 34 points. Still, they’re not playing their best hockey 24 games into the season. The signs are visible but it’s hard to judge exactly how much potential this team has.

“It’s going to happen that you’re not going to play a great 82-game season, but we’ve got to make sure we’re more focused and attached more emotionally and physically,” Chara said.

From an overall team standpoint, to a man, the Bruins weren’t totally satisfied with their win over the Penguins. The saving grace was Boston didn’t panic after Crosby’s late goal. Instead the Bruins came out strong in the overtime and won it.

[+] EnlargeTorey Krug
Winslow Townson/USA TODAY SportsTorey Krug salvaged an uneven night for the Bruins with his goal 34 seconds into overtime.
In fact, Monday's win was their third consecutive overtime game and their sixth this season. Boston is 3-0 during the extra period and 1-2 in shootouts.

“We’ve been through these kinds of situations before and the experience of that has helped us out. We were calm and just got ourselves ready for the overtime,” Julien said. “To me, when you get scored on like that late it can be devastating for certain teams. It just made us a littler hungrier. We went out there, showed some character and ended it early.”

At the start of overtime, Julien decided to go with two defensemen and two forwards, but once they had the faceoff in the offensive zone, he went with the line of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Loui Eriksson, along with Krug on the point.

The Bruins were sending a message that they were going for the win and didn’t want this one to go to a shootout.

“We were off a little bit,” Julien said. “Again, it’s not to say we were a bad team, but we weren’t as sharp as we can be when we’re at the top of our game.”

Boston has played well and earned victories against the top teams in the NHL this season, including the Tampa Bay Lightning, Detroit Red Wings, Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers and Penguins.

All four of Boston’s lines are producing. The team is receiving contributions from everyone in the lineup. Rask is the early-season favorite for the Vezina Trophy. Overall, the Bruins have a 16-6-2 record for 34 points.

But they believe there’s more.

It’s a sign of a good team when it beats a legitimate opponent and still isn’t satisfied with the outcome.

“We set the bar high for ourselves and we know how good we can be,” Rask said. “We’ve maybe touched that peak at times, but we haven’t been there consistently throughout the 60-minute games.”

Krug delivers in Olympic audition

November, 26, 2013
11/26/13
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BOSTON -- Early Monday afternoon, Pittsburgh Penguins and Team USA head coach Dan Bylsma said Bruins defenseman Torey Krug is being considered for a spot on the roster for the upcoming Winter Olympics.

The 22-year-old Michigan native helped his cause Monday night when he scored the game-winning goal to lift Boston to a 4-3 overtime win over the Penguins at TD Garden. His slap shot from the left face-off dot beat Pittsburgh goalie Marc-Andre Fleury only 34 seconds into the extra period.

After the win, a confident Krug didn’t want to talk about his Olympic hopes, saying he’s only focused on the Bruins.

“I don’t think about it,” he said. “I’m just worried about what’s going on here with the Boston Bruins and trying to help them win games, and trying to make sure I solidify my game and make sure I’m in the lineup every night.”

Pressured further and asked if he thought Bylsma’s comments were a compliment, Krug said, “Sure. I don’t know. Yes.”

Krug has three goals and five assists for eight points in his last 10 games. Overall, he has seven goals and 15 points in 24 games.

Bylsma: Krug getting Olympic attention

November, 25, 2013
11/25/13
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BOSTON -- Pittsburgh Penguins and Team USA head coach Dan Bylsma on Monday gave Bruins defenseman Torey Krug a strong endorsement for a possible spot on the men’s hockey roster for the upcoming Winter Olympics.

With the Penguins in town to face the Bruins, Bylsma was asked if he’s paid attention to the play of Krug this season.

“I can, without hesitation, say he has been mentioned and talked about a little bit based on how he’s played, the start he’s had and what he’s done so far through 23 games,” Bylsma said. “So, yeah, we’ve been watching. We’ve got a lot of people out watching hockey games live and on tape. We’ve certainly made note of how he’s been playing and what he’s done on the back end.”

Krug, along with teammates Matt Bartkowski and Kevan Miller, are currently the only Americans on the Bruins roster. Krug, a 22-year-old Michigan native, was a major contributor during the Bruins’ postseason run to the Stanley Cup finals last spring. This season, he has six goals and eight assists for 14 points, while posting a plus-5 rating in 23 games.

The Bruins could have numerous players representing their countries in Sochi, including Tuukka Rask (Finland), Patrice Bergeron (Canada), Loui Eriksson (Sweden), David Krejci (Czech), Zdeno Chara (Slovakia) and Dennis Seidenberg (Germany).

Bruins coach Claude Julien will serve as an assistant for Team Canada.

Krug joins list of ailing defensemen

November, 23, 2013
11/23/13
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BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins are already down two defensemen -- Adam McQuaid and Dennis Seidenberg -- due to injury, so the sight of Torey Krug limping off the ice in the waning minutes of regulation had most thinking the worst.

After blocking a shot by the Hurricanes' Manny Malhotra with less than four minutes to play, Krug needed help down the tunnel but was able to return to the bench a few moments later. However, he did not play another shift.

"I guess when you make bonehead plays, you've got to do something to help out," he said. "I'm all right."

Initially, even Krug thought it was worse.

"Yeah, I thought so," he said. "It was tough to stand up, but I'm all right. It caught me on the inside [of the foot], and it's not a good feeling.

"It's a sigh of relief, too, once you realize you're OK. It's not fun when you're laying there and you've got to get up and get off the ice."

With both McQuaid and Seidenberg dealing with lower-body injuries, rookie Kevan Miller has been in the lineup the past two games and has played well for the Bruins.

"He's been great. He's even been a bit of a calming influence," Krug said. "When he goes back for pucks he makes the right play almost every time, and he's really good at eating the puck, too, when he doesn't have options. He can take that hit and then move the puck."

Bruins coach Claude Julien gave his players Sunday off, so Krug will be given a day of rest before preparing for the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday night at the Garden.

Chara, Lucic help B's finish off Ducks

November, 1, 2013
11/01/13
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BOSTON -- Whatever the root cause may be, lately there seems to be some sort of jumper-cable spark to the Bruins' sense of urgency in the 11th hour.

Last week, it was David Krejci redirecting a soft Adam McQuaid wrister from the point with 0.8 seconds left to snatch two points from San Jose. Thursday, it was Zdeno Chara who netted a tying power-play goal against Anaheim with 2:50 left in regulation.

After an interference call on Anaheim winger Patrick Maroon and with the Bruins down 2-1, Milian Lucic scraped Krejci's won faceoff away from the Ducks' Francois Beauchemin, centering it into space near the blue line. Puck-moving defenseman Torey Krug charged toward the loose puck and heaved a wrister at goaltender Jonas Hiller, getting a tip from a screening Chara in the low slot. From there, Krejci slid the rebound between the legs of Cam Fowler to the wide-open weak post, where Chara easily tapped it home for the power-play goal and 2-2 tie.

Tuukka Rask, Torey Krug
Jared Wickerham/Getty ImagesTorey Krug (47) congratulated Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask after Thursday's shootout victory.
"There was a loose puck up top and Looch was in the battle, and I saw they had a third guy coming in to the battle and I kind of retreated," Krug said. "I saw that he slid and lucky enough, I was able to keep the puck in and I knew they had three guys up high and Z [Chara] was down low.

"Any time Z is down there it's a good chance for our team. So I just threw it at the net, it didn't have to be hard. He got a good tip on it and Krej made a great play to get it over to him."

After a scoreless overtime, Jarome Iginla, who scored his first goal as a Bruin in that wild finish against San Jose, came up big again in the shootout. In the second round, Iginla went glove side on Hiller and the Bruins won the shootout 1-0 after a final attempt from Ryan Getzlaf hit the crossbar.

Asked if he felt fortunate to come out of Thursday's game with two points despite another sluggish start, Bruins head coach Claude Julien wouldn't go that far.

"I don't know if I'm going to say fortunate," he said. "I think we worked hard and when you look at how we were in the second period, we had a lot of offensive zone time in there. I thought we had some chances. I thought again, that goal in the last 20 seconds of the second would have probably broken a lot of teams' backs; didn't break ours. We came back out in the third and fought. I'd rather give my team credit for this one than say we're fortunate.

"I'm not going to stand here and say we're playing great hockey because, as I mentioned before, it's a game of momentum and right now the momentum is not quite where we'd like it to be. We played a tough game yesterday in Pittsburgh and I think it took its toll on us a little bit. And for us to come out here and play a gritty game and then battle right to the end to win this one against a team that was fresh and waiting for us here, if anything I'd say it was a real gutsy effort on our part."

Krug, Krejci have power play clicking

October, 9, 2013
10/09/13
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WILMINGTON, Mass. -- The Boston Bruins have not finished higher than 15th in the NHL on the power play the previous four seasons. No matter how hard Bruins coach Claude Julien tried to fix it, the team’s PP struggled to capitalize on the man-advantage.

It has ranked 26th, 15th, 20th and 23rd the last four seasons, and even though the Bruins won the Stanley Cup in 2011, they accomplished it with a dismal power-play unit.

This season, the early signs are positive. Boston is 2-for-7 in the first two games of the season, but it’s clear the new additions and changes Julien has made should make a huge difference moving forward.

“The whole dynamic of our power play, even though people see some of the same faces, it’s much different,” Julien said.

[+] EnlargeIginla
AP Photo/Eric CanhaRight winger Jarome Iginla and his nasty one-timer should add a new dimension to the Bruins' PP.

Defenseman Zdeno Chara’s role on the power play has changed, with his 6-foot-9, 255-pound frame camped out in front of the opposition’s net. Newcomer Jarome Iginla has the ability to unleash his one-timer, which Julien admitted is an aspect of the power play that’s been missing the last few years. Former Bruins winger Tyler Seguin attempted to be that type of shooter, but he had trouble hitting the net from point-blank range.

Rookie defenseman Torey Krug has been quarterbacking the first unit, along with forward David Krejci.

“We take pride in our 5-on-5 game, but when the power play is clicking and putting some goals in the net, it always helps the team,” Krejci said. “We’re going to try to do that this year, and if we can be successful on the power play we’re going to be an even better team.”

The second unit is a combination of Patrice Bergeron, Loui Eriksson, Brad Marchand, Gregory Campbell, Dougie Hamilton, Johnny Boychuk and Dennis Seidenberg. It’s been a while, but Julien finally has options on the PP.

“Now we feel like we’ve got two power plays that can really do a good job,” Julien said. “A few new faces here and there can change your whole dynamic of your power play, and give you not just one, but two good ones.”

Not only has Krug made an impact in every aspect for the Bruins, but it’s evident his presence on the power play has made a major difference. He can skate the puck. He can pass it. He can shoot it. More importantly, he does it all under control. The 22-year-old already has one power-play goal this season.

"I like everything about him,” Krejci said. “He’s a great player, not only on the power play, but 5-on-5 he’s doing a great job. He’s great on breakouts. He’s just so shifty and quick. I love everything about him.

“He looks like he’s been in the league a long time," Krejci added. "Every decision is the right decision. He shoots the puck when he has to, he passes the puck when he has to and it’s just fun to play with him.”

[+] EnlargeTorey Krug's presence on the power play has already made a difference for the Bruins.
Brian Babineau/NHLI/Getty ImagesTorey Krug's presence on the power play has already made a difference for the Bruins. "Hes a great player, not only on the power play, but 5-on-5 hes doing a great job," said teammate David Krejci.
“It’s a lot of fun,” admitted Krug. “We have a lot of different skill sets on the power play. Whether it’s Krej with vision and his skill, Iggy’s one-timer, Looch’s ability to shoot the puck and to battle down low, and obviously Z can do all of that. There’s a lot of different players on the power play but we’re having a lot of fun with it, moving the puck around and always trying to get better.”

Krug went undrafted as a collegiate player at Michigan State University and arrived in Boston after the Bruins signed him as a free agent on March 25, 2012. He played two regular-season games for the Bruins that spring before returning to school to finishes classes.

During that brief stint in the NHL, he registered one assist and it was obvious he had the ability to play at this level. He spent his first full pro season in Providence of the AHL and was recalled once to Boston during the regular season.

His services were needed during the Stanley Cup playoffs when three of Boston’s veteran defensemen were injured. Krug took advantage of the opportunity and scored four goals in five games against the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference semifinals. He remained in the lineup and helped the Bruins reach the Stanley Cup finals.

“The first couple of games he played before he went back to school, he played well and you could see he had good vision,” Julien said. “He moved the puck well and didn’t seem intimidated by that jump coming out of school to the NHL. You could see he had the poise and the confidence to be a good player.

“Last year was important for us to give him a year in the minors for him to fine-tune his game and learn to play the pro game. He is a smaller player, so those kinds of guys have to adjust to playing against guys bigger and stronger, and that was an opportunity for him to do last year.”

At the start of this season, Krug’s name was mentioned as a possible candidate for the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie. Nashville’s Seth Jones, Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon, Dallas’ Valeri Nichushkin and San Jose’s Tomas Hertl are also possibilities.

Krug has already reached the Stanley Cup finals and came agonizingly close to hoisting it. Winning the rookie of the year would be a nice honor, but he’s focused on the ultimate team goal.

“I still have a spot here that I’ve got to secure. Every day I come to the rink trying to prove myself and prove to the coaching staff, management and even my teammates that I’m a guy who wants to be on the ice every game and I want to be a big part of the team. I don’t really think about [awards] at all. I’m just focused on my job,” Krug said.

Final buzzer: Red Wings 8, Bruins 2

September, 19, 2013
9/19/13
11:02
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BOSTON -- In the final five minutes of Boston's 8-2 loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night at TD Garden, some of the 16,839 in attendance began to chant: "We want Tuukka."

It was unwarranted given that Malcolm Subban, who was in net for the Bruins, was in his first full preseason game. The rookie and former first-round pick (24th overall in 2012) received plenty of encouragement from coach Claude Julien after the game despite the tough performance.

[+] EnlargeMalcolm Subban, Justin Abdelkader
Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY SportsMalcolm Subban makes a save on Justin Abdelkader, but let eight shots get past him.
“It was one of those nights, unfortunately, our guys in front of him certainly left him out to dry a little bit,” Julien said. “We made some real bad mistakes. It’s easy to point the finger at him, but if anything we all have to take the blame for that and that’s for leaving him out to dry.”

Subban made his debut Monday in Montreal, playing the final 30 minutes against the Canadiens, and earned the win with his 12-save performance.

Despite the number of bad goals Thursday against the Canadiens, Julien wanted Subban to fight through it and finish the game.

“This is a good learning thing for a goaltender,” Julien said. “This is what he’s going to be facing and he’s got to fight through these situations.”

It was evident Subban was not happy with his performance.

“No matter what I did, the puck just found its way in. Some bad bounces, but I didn’t do my part tonight,” he said.

Julien didn’t have to explain much because Subban realizes the team he faced Thursday night is one of the best in the league with talented veterans.

“They’re a good team and it can only get better from here. I’m not looking at it that way. I’m looking at it a positive way,” Subban said. “It’s probably a good thing, now I can be more focused obviously and start the game better. Going down 2-0 pretty early like that didn’t help.”

The Red Wings gained a 2-0 lead in the first period. Justin Abdelkader scored a power-play goal at 5:01, before Dave McIntyre gave Detroit a two-goal advantage at 16:07 when he scored during a delayed penalty.

The Red Wings gained a 4-0 lead with a pair of second-period goals by Henrik Zetterberg (3:28) and Danny DeKeyser (9:17).

The Bruins' Jarome Iginla scored his third goal in two games when he notched Boston's first tally. He was camped out in front when a shot by Bruins defenseman Matt Bartkowski hit his skate and beat Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard at 11:47 of the second period.

Speaking of three goals in two games, Bruins' Nick Johnson accomplished the same feat when he made it 5-2 at 11:32 of the third period. However, that was all the offense the Bruins were able to produce.

Detroit added three more goals to pull away.

“I guess when you let in eight goals, focus probably isn’t there all the way,” Subban said. “I guess I thought I was focused, but obviously not. I’ve got to be better the next opportunity I get.”

(Read full post)

Final buzzer: Competition on D, in goal

September, 18, 2013
9/18/13
6:56
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BOSTON -- After Boston's top four defensemen of Zdeno Chara, Dennis Seidenberg, Adam McQuaid and Johnny Boychuk, it will be a true competition between Dougie Hamilton, Torey Krug and Matt Bartkowski for the final two spots on the blue line.

Hamilton, Krug and Bartkowski have all played well in the first week of camp and into the preseason exhibition schedule. But one of those three will serve as the healthy scratch once the season starts, so the competition should be intense and healthy.

"We don't have to spell that out to them," said Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli. "I spoke openly to the group about competition. I'm really looking forward to seeing the competition at all levels, at all positions.

"Common sense would dictate right now that it would be those three guys for those two spots. They've embraced it and they've played well. I thought Dougie had a good game [Tuesday night]. He was strong on the puck and made some good plays and closed well as the game progressed. Torey and Bart, the other night in Montreal, they both played well."

Chiarelli added that no spot is guaranteed, but when asked if he would be comfortable seeing Hamilton play for the P-Bruins at some point instead of watching from press level as the healthy scratch, the GM said: "My goal is to have him in the NHL."

* With two exhibition games in the books, all four goalies have each played half of a game. Tuukka Rask and Niklas Svedberg played Tuesday night against the Washington Capitals, while Chad Johnson and Malcolm Subban played Monday at Montreal. The latter three are competing for the backup role behind Rask.

"We're all competitive and we all want to be out there," Rask said. "I haven't paid too much attention to that yet but I'm sure as the camp keeps going further and further I'll get to practice with the other goalies and see how they're doing."

Camp has been split into two groups, so Rask has been on the ice with Svedberg all week.

"I thought he made some key saves out there," Rask said of Svedberg's performance Tuesday night. "I thought he was solid."

* Bruins forward Daniel Paille did not practice Wednesday, but both Chiarelli and coach Claude Julien said it had nothing to do with hockey, simply saying Paille was ill and expected back on the ice Thursday.

* While it's a possibility Gregory Campbell could return to game action Thursday night against the Detroit Red Wings at TD Garden, teammate Patrice Bergeron still needs more time, according to Julien, but the coach added it's a possibility Bergeron could play Saturday at Detroit.

* Rask's spirited temper is in midseason form. During the last drill of Wednesday's practice, he took a couple of shots up high and had a few goals scored on him. He stormed off the ice, smashed his stick into pieces against the boards and threw his gloves down the hallway. Afterward, he was fine, saying he's not a fan of the neutral zone scrimmage.

* The Bruins made their first round of cuts Wednesday afternoon. Camp invites Scott Campbell, Jack Downing, Steven Spinell and Ben Youds will join the Providence Bruins training camp, while Tyler Randell and Adam Morrison have been assigned to Providence.

Final buzzer: Bruins 6, Canadiens 3

September, 16, 2013
9/16/13
10:26
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Jarome IginlaEric Bolte/USA TODAY SportsJarome Iginla celebrates one of his two goals with his new linemates David Krejci and Milan Lucic.
The Bruins can move on from Nathan Horton and let him enjoy playing under the radar for the Columbus Blue Jackets because, after one exhibition game at least, his replacement in Boston, Jarome Iginla, fit perfectly on the team’s top line along with David Krejci and Milan Lucic.

After Horton’s surprise departure from Boston during the summer as a free agent, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli signed Iginla in hopes the future Hall of Famer would have an impact in Boston.

During the first four days of training camp, the chemistry between Lucic, Krejci and Iginla was evident. It continued during the Bruins’ first preseason game against the Montreal Canadiens Monday night at Bell Centre.

Iginla scored a pair of goals as the Bruins defeated the Canadiens, 6-3, as Lucic added three assists and Krejci contributed a goal.

VERY SPECIAL: Boston’s power play, which has struggled the last few seasons, was tremendous against Montreal. Sure, it’s only a preseason game, but Boston went 4-for-6 on the PP and showed quick puck movement and quality goals. The top unit Monday night of Iginla, Lucic, Krejci, Carl Soderberg and Torey Krug was outstanding.

KRUG IMPRESSIVE: The phenom rookie defenseman doesn’t want to be a flash in the pan, and by the way he played in the first preseason game, that won’t be the case. He provided three assists to help Boston to victory. He burst onto the scene for the Bruins last spring during the Stanley Cup playoffs and made significant contributions to help Boston reach the finals. He entered camp in great shape and with one goal: to earn a roster spot. Krug, who has shown an ability to get his shot from the point through on a consistent basis, assisted on Iginla’s second goal of the night. Krug also quarterbacked the power play. So far this preseason, he’s been paired with veteran blueliner Adam McQuaid.

IN GOAL: The Bruins had goaltenders Chad Johnson and Malcolm Subban split net time against the Canadiens. Johnson started and played the first 30 minutes and allowed three goals. Subban made his NHL preseason debut and did not allow a goal in his 30 minutes of action. Early in the third period, however, Subban learned he’s no longer playing junior hockey. He mishandled the puck to the left of his net, then was penalized for playing the puck outside the trapezoid. Subban played against his older brother, Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban, for the first time in their respective careers. Malcolm picked up the win with his 12-save performance, while P.K. scored a goal for Montreal.

BATTLING FOR A SPOT: There are two forward positions up for grabs in Boston’s lineup this season, and while the young homegrown prospects in camp are all in the mix, newcomer Nick Johnson made his presence known in the first preseason game, scoring a pair of goals. Johnson has 104 games of NHL experience with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Minnesota Wild and Phoenix Coyotes. Boston signed the 27-year-old forward as a free agent in July.

LINED UP: Here are the lines used against the Canadiens:

FORWARDS
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Jarome Iginla
Matt Fraser-Carl Soderberg-Craig Cunningham
Anthony Camara-Ryan Spooner-Nick Johnson
Daniel Paille-Alex Fallstrom-Shawn Thornton

DEFENSE
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid
Matt Bartkowski-Kevan Miller
Tommy Cross-Zach Trotman

GOALTENDERS
Chad Johnson
Malcolm Subban

UP NEXT: With the first of seven preseason games in the book, the Bruins travel to Baltimore on Tuesday and will face the Washington Capitals.

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