Player of the Week: December 29th-January 5th
There were a handful of people who thought Torey Krug was going into a funk. Not only did he not get the invite to play for Team USA in the upcoming Olympics, he was “dinged” up and his play wasn’t up to par in what Bruins fans saw last season into the beginning of this season.
Krug was going through some growing pains in the past few weeks, but he silenced his critics on Saturday versus the Winnipeg Jets with a three-point afternoon – a career high for Krug in a single game – notching two goals and an assist in the 4-1 victory.
Head coach Claude Julien suggested how Krug is trying to improve certain areas of his defensive game.
“I think it’s more about, we’ve seen times where he has forced passes and we have seen them picked off, there’s times where just has to make the safe play and sometimes the defensive part of that is when he turns the puck over that’s when it ends up being a defensive liability,” he said. “I think he feels he needs to make a play every time he has the puck, but sometimes it’s about making the safe play.”
Krug’s crucial turnover led to Dustin Byfuglien’s first period goal. But the rookie defenseman answered right away with a beautiful feed to Daniel Paille to tie the game at 1-1.
From there, it was smooth sailing for Krug en route to his career day.
“He played well,” Julien said about Krug’s performance. “When he’s on top of his game offensively he makes things happen. I liked his game a lot tonight.”
Julien deflected the notion that Krug is lacking confidence stating that is a non issue.
“His confidence will never lack,” Julien said. “He’s very assured by what he can bring and when you talk to him about parts of his game that he has to improve he acknowledges it, but certainly doesn’t affect the rest of the team.”
Krug finished the week with the two goals and an assist and knows he can move forward with a positive attitude after.
“It’s frustrating, but it’s all about forgetting and putting it in the past,” Krug said. “Forgetting about it and making plays to move forward and that’s what we do.”
Krug acknowledged that he felt a little pressure heading into yesterday’s game hoping he could help his teammates in any which way.
“Anytime you aren’t contributing the way maybe you were before you get frustrated,” Krug said. “All you can do is help the team win and when you’re not contributing it’s tough, but it is a good feeling when you get a goal.”
Krug has 10 goals and 13 assists on the season with a plus-4 rating. His 10 goals tie him for first in the league among defensemen this season with Shea Weber and Erik Karlsson.
The Michigan State alum knows he hasn’t played his best hockey as of late. But as long as the team wins, Krug knows that his game will come around.
“The main goal is just to help the team win hockey games and anytime you’re out for some goals consecutively in a row it’s a bad feeling,” said the 5-foot-9 blue-liner. “But, we’re winning hockey games and that’s what’s important.”