Krug tries to shake off Game 1 turnover

Krug tries to shake off Game 1 turnover
June 14, 2013, 6:00 am
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CHICAGO – Torey Krug was front, center and present when things were going really well for him in the playoff series against the New York Rangers, but that was probably easy for the 22-year-old. It becomes a little more difficult when things are going quite so swimmingly, but Krug was accountable as could be the day after his defensive zone gaffe opened the door for a third-period Blackhawks comeback.

His ill-chosen turnover to Andrew Shaw at the blue line turned into a Dave Bolland goal that made it a 3-2 hockey game in the third period, and led to the “puck luck” goals that eventually sank the Black and Gold in triple overtime. Krug was nailed to the bench for the rest of the third period following the giveaway, and Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask called it a “terrible turnover” during a particularly fiery postgame assessment.

Krug was also a minus-2 for the game and had the unfortunate distinction of being on the ice when the pinball game-winner was scored in overtime, but the other defenseman victimized on the play, Dennis Seidenberg, was chasing after his errant glove in the corner at the exact moment the puck bounced off two Blackhawks bodies in front of the net.

The moral of the story: everybody makes mistakes, and it was bound to happen sooner or later for a rookie with exactly one pro hockey season worth of experience under his belt while taking regular shifts in the Stanley Cup Finals.

“When you look at games, there are a lot of mistakes that are made. Some end up in goals, some you're able to recover from. Certainly, we shouldn't look and judge this player on one game where he might have been average instead of real good, like he has been,” said Claude Julien. “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.”

As Julien said, the Bruins went back to Krug in overtime and the youngster finished with 19:36 of ice time. Certainly the Bruins coaching staff couldn’t be blamed if they considered Matt Bartkowski or Wade Redden for a return to the B’s lineup, but neither of them could give Boston’s power play the kind of jolt that Krug is capable of providing while running the point.

He also showed real confidence and ownership of the mistake one day later, and that’s exactly the kind of mental toughness that plays during the postseason.

“We were making a line change and I know the past few games we’ve had a few too many men on the ice calls, so I saw [Daniel] Paille stretched out. I tried to get it to him and there was a play that I saw was there, but it just needs to be better execution next time,” said Krug. “Unfortunately it came back to hurt is in the end. Those things happen.

“I didn’t have a shift in the third period after that, and it’s understandable. But I’m a guy that likes to forget my mistakes. They happen, and they happen a lot. But not every one ends up in the back of your net. I thought I had a pretty solid overtime making plays and blocking shots, and I thought it was a pretty solid comeback there. Sometimes you can feel like you let the team down, and you just want to go back out there and do your best to make it right.

Krug mentioned one chance in the overtime sessions where he had a shot at a bouncing puck in the slot, but Corey Crawford came up with the save. That denied the rookie a chance to immediately redeem himself for the critical mistake, but the good thing is it appears the B’s coaching staff will stick with Krug, and give him ample chance in the Finals to atone for the mistake.