BOSTON – It was a garbage time goal for Torey Krug that capped off Boston’s 5-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes with only 10 seconds remaining on the clock, and the balance of winning or losing having long already been decided.
So the 22-year-old defenseman was able to keep his sense of humor about it when asked about its importance after the game.
“It was an important goal,” said Krug with a smile. “Time was running out, and we got rewarded. Those guys, the fourth line, were playing well all night. It was just good for them to get rewarded. I just put it on net and it went in.”
It was nice for the rookie defenseman to get some results as well, however, coming off his first healthy scratch of the season. Krug finished with three shots on net and five shot attempts along with a plus-1 in 16:06 of ice time, and was once again in the middle of things offensively. The ultra-competitive youngster was just happy to be back in the lineup with Andrej Meszaros named a healthy scratch Saturday against the Carolina Hurricanes.
With three different defensemen serving as healthy scratches in the last three games for Boston, it’s pretty clear Claude Julien has himself an extremely crowded blueline situation with defenseman pushing each other for playing time.
“That’s basically what you would hope to see as well. We mentioned it after we made those [Meszaros/Potter] deals, that there’s some depth. But there’s also some competition now,” said Julien. “If there’s nobody pushing from behind, no matter who you are, you have a tendency to get comfortable. So we try to keep that competitive edge within our hockey team, and right now it’s there with our defensemen.”
The goal was a notable one for the organization as well. It was his 14th goal of the season, which allowed Krug to pass Bobby Orr for the third-most goals scored by a rookie Bruins defenseman behind only Ray Bourque (17) and Greg Hawgood (16) in franchise history.