On the 20-man depth chart, Adam McQuaid and Torey Krug are listed as the Bruins’ bottom defensive pair. But don’t tell that to the two young defensemen.
With injuries to Dennis Seidenberg and Andrew Ference during last year’s postseason, Krug was called up to fill one of the voids. By the end of the B’s second round matchup with the Rangers, Krug delivered the “magic” and found himself paired with McQuaid for the rest of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
McQuaid, too, benefited from Krug as a fellow companion. After battling adversity before and during the lockout-shortened season, McQuaid’s performance kept getting better. In Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the 6-foot-5 defenseman scored the game-winner to complete the sweep of the Penguins and advance the Black and Gold to their second Stanley Cup Final in three seasons.
Even with the different styles, McQuaid as a physical defenseman and Krug being a puck-mover, the two are back together, again, as a unit at training camp. And they’ve picked up right where they left off.
“There’s no question that we did really well last year, and hopefully we can just build on it,” McQuaid said about skating with Krug. “You don’t really look at him as a guy who’s had a few games, but you kind of look at him as a veteran on the team. And as you can see as well, we’re kind of a different style of a defenseman, but I think we compliment each other well.
“It’s nice to play with a guy like that, and we have a good relationship off the ice as well. And that helps a lot, too.”
Even after last year’s playoff performance, Krug knows his spot on the opening night roster isn’t guaranteed. The former Michigan State Spartan is battling with fellow youngsters Dougie Hamilton and Matt Bartkowski for the last two spots on the Bruins’ blue-line.
While he’s excited to get his first preseason contest underway this week, Krug, for one, isn’t taking anything for granted.
“When you’re out there you don’t want to hurt a teammate,” he said. “But at the same time, you’re working as hard as you can because you want to earn a spot on the team. These are just great opportunities to show what you can do, and, like I said, go out there and work as hard as you can.”
With several guys vying for roster spots around the league, the preseason should bring some intense battles for those last few voids. It’s also a time where teams can work out some kinks and shake off the rust after some time off.
But it’s also a time where teams look forward to getting back into game shape before the regular season starts in October.
“I think it’s going to be quite fun,” Krug said. “I’ve never played in an exhibition game at the NHL level, so I assume there’s going to be a lot of guys flying around trying to impress management; a lot of big hits and hopefully not too much chaos. I’m sure it will be fun hockey with a lot of energy and the fans should be excited.”