Weekly 3 Stars: October 8-17th, 2015
Today is a day of firsts here on Bruins Daily.
In addition to Anthony Travalgia debuting three up and three down, our second weekly feature focuses on the three stars for the week. In this instance, we went back as far as opening night for the debut edition.
Although the Bruins are 2-3-0, a few players had notable starts to their season — and in some instances their career. We also devoted another star to a local former hockey player who continues to make strides amidst all the obstacles he’s had to overcome in his life.
So without further adieu, let’s reveal the Weekly 3 Stars from the first five games of the 2015-16 NHL season.
*** – Torey Krug
With notable departures and injuries to the blue-line to start the season, Torey Krug was thrust into the top defensive pairing with Adam McQuaid on opening night. Since Zdeno Chara returned, the Bruins captain has taken over top pairing duties along with Kevan Miller, but Krug is still getting top-4 minutes and he is holding his own. The 5-foot-9 Michigan State alum is averaging 23:08 time on ice per night, which is second on the Black and Gold behind the 6-foot-9 Chara (23:56).
The Bruins expect more from Krug on the back-end this year, but he is still providing the team with a tremendous offensive touch. He has a team-leading six assists and has been instrumental on the first power play unit notching five points with the man advantage, which is good for the league lead with David Krejci (more on him in a bit).
** – Tyler Randell
With all due respect to one of Jack Edwards’ quote about Tuukka Rask, let’s paraphrase Tyler Randell’s stat line for one time only: two games, two shots and two goals.
Randell’s presence on the fourth line has given his unit a spark. His speed and physical play has been solid so far. Eventually, he’ll drop the gloves, but so far he is playing smart and effective hockey.
Although Randell has only averaged a hare over six minutes of ice time during his first stint with the big club, the fourth line winger is making the most of his opportunity. He is capitalizing from the momentum he had during a strong preseason and will try to prove that he belongs with the big club for the foreseeable future.
*A – David Krejci
Head coach Claude Julien said it best before the Bruins’ opening night matchup with the Winnipeg Jets: “To me, you have a healthy David Krejci, you have a different team.”
Following an injury-plagued 2014-15 campaign, Krejci vowed to bounce back. So far, he has done just that with points in each of his first five games. The Czech centerman is tied with Henrik Zetterberg and Vladimir Taresenko atop the league lead in scoring with nine points. Moreover, Krejci is shooting the puck more often as indicated by his 14 shots on goal, and is obviously making plays.
A healthy Krejci and Chara, along with stellar netminding from Tuukka Rask, is one of the keys for the Bruins to have a bounce back season. Chara is still getting his feet wet and Rask is struggling early on, but so far Krejci has done his part and more, earning him the 1A star for the week.
* – Travis Roy
This week’s first star hasn’t laced up the skates since suffering a debilitating spinal cord injury just 11 seconds into his first and only career collegiate shift for Boston University exactly 20 years ago today. Despite all the adversity he’s faced after being paralyzed from the neck down, Travis Roy has persevered and helped others suffering from similar spinal cord injuries by launching the Travis Roy Foundation.
The Bruins honored Roy by signing him to a one-day contract against the Tampa Bay Lightning where he dropped the puck for the ceremonial opening faceoff. Earlier today, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh declared October 20th as ‘Travis Roy Day‘ in the city and later tonight, BU will hold “A Night for Travis Roy” fundraising event at Agganis Arena.
ESPN’s E:60 program profiled Roy last week. For those who haven’t seen it, take about 15 minutes of your time and watch the video below. It’s well worth it!