Krug signs with Bruins, will join team in Boston

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Krug signs with Bruins, will join team in Boston

ANAHEIM The Bruins will get another new face at practice and potentially in games after signing undrafted Michigan State defenseman Torey Krug to an entry level contract. Krug will meet the Bruins when they return back to Boston and will be with the team for Tuesdays morning skate prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Krug will practice and travel with the Bruins and potentially play with them as part of the negotiated deal with the Bruins, so one of his three contracted years will be burnt hanging with the Bruins for the final seven games of the season.

Peter Chiarelli said theres a chance that Krug could get into a game or two with the Bruins, but it could be tough given that his arrival makers nine healthy defenseman on the roster. At 5-foot-9 and 180-pounds Krug is clearly a puck-moving defenseman and power play quarterback, but the youngster wont be available for playoff roster consideration.

If theres a chance to play him I believe he might get a chance. But hes going to skate with the team and go through that experience, said Chiarelli. If circumstances dictate that hell play, and the coach decides hell play, then hell play.

The Krug signing sheds a little light on Bostons decision to trade Russian defenseman Yury Alexandrov to the New York Islanders for future considerations last week a move exacted to make room for Krugs contract on the organizational depth charts. Peter Chiarelli indicated the Bruins are at 49 contracts with a limit of 50 per NHL organization so theres still room to make one more signing prior to the playoffs if the opportunity presents itself.

Bruins coach Claude Julien indicated that the experience of watching Bostons push to the playoffs could be beneficial to a young player like Krug.

I knew it was in the works. Well head home tomorrow and talk to the front office. I havent seen him play, but a lot of good things are being said about this fella. I dont get a chance to watch a lot of college and junior hockey, said Julien. It makes for a lot of players, but you just wish youd had all those players a couple of weeks ago.

Its coming in and sometimes its a little bit of an initiation. Its not a bad thing. They come and spend some time with us, and it makes things a lot easier as far coming in next year. The strength requirements and the routine involved, and getting to know the rest of the guys . . . there are a lot of advantages. Anything that will make a player feel more comfortable headed into next year is a good thing.

Krug recently finished his junior season at Michigan State University after serving as captain for the second straight year.

In 38 games with Michigan State this year, he set career bests in goals (12), assists (22) and points (34) and was named the CCHA Player of the Year and a 2012 Hobey Baker Award Finalist. He led all CCHA defenseman in scoring, was selected as the Best Offensive Defenseman for the second straight season and shared the CCHA scoring crown with Notre Dames T.J. Tynan, becoming the first defenseman to capture a CCHA scoring title since 1986-87. He was also named to CCHAs First Team for the second year in a row.

In 114 career CCHA games at Michigan State, the 20-year-old finished with 26 goals, 57 assists and 83 points. The Bruins also announced that theyve signed former draft picks Zach Trotman and Justin Florek to entry-level deals and theyve already begun playing with the Providence Bruins.

Celtics can't complete comeback, fall to Bucks, 103-100

Celtics can't complete comeback, fall to Bucks, 103-100

BOSTON – Wednesday’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks wasn’t the first time during their impressive run at home that the Boston Celtics found themselves playing from behind most of the game.

But as hard as the Celtics fought, putting together one mini-run after another, it just wasn’t enough to knock off the red-hot Milwaukee Bucks who came away with a 103-100 win. 

The Celtics (48-27) had their four-game winning streak snapped while the Bucks (39-36) have now won 13 of their last 16 games as they continue to climb the Eastern Conference standings and pose a legit threat to any team they face in the first round of the playoffs. 

Boston, which trailed by as many as 14 points, rallied to tie the game at 93 in the fourth, but back-to-back baskets by Milwaukee’s Malcolm Brogdon put the Bucks ahead 97-93. The Celtics soon found themselves back to within one possession after Jae Crowder split a pair of free throws making it a 99-96 game. 

But the Bucks did as they had done all game, responding to the moment with a big play of their own. This time it was Brogdon finding Greg Monroe under the rim after Al Horford slipped, for an easy dunk that made it a 101-96 game with 1:06 to play. 

A Celtics' time-out led to an Isaiah Thomas lay-up, making it a 101-97 game. Boston’s defense stiffened up, forcing a 24-second violation which led to a 20-second time-out by Boston with 36.9 seconds to play. The Celtics got another quick basket from Thomas who led all scorers with 32 points. 

Boston seemed on the verge of forcing a Milwaukee miss, only for Brogdon to step up with a clutch, tightly contested jumper that made it a 3-point game with 3.9 seconds to play. He finished with 16 points, nine assists and four rebounds.

Following a Celtics time-out, desperate for a 3-pointer to force overtime, Boston’s in-bounds pass was deflected. Marcus Smart was able to corral it before time expired, but his desperation was nowhere close to hitting the rim let alone going in. 

This game had the feel of a down-to-the-wire battle from the outset.

The Celtics were tied at 24-all after the first quarter, and trailed by six points at the half. Boston had good stretches in the third quarter, but once again found themselves trying to cut into Milwaukee’s lead which stood at 80-77 going into the fourth. But like each of the three previous quarters, the Celtics saw the window to close the gap slammed shut in their face as the Bucks opened the fourth with an 8-3 run to lead 88-80.

Boston’s uphill battle was fueled in part by a Milwaukee Bucks defense that didn’t give the Celtics many good looks at the rim. And offensively, Milwaukee’s ball movement was solid all game, generating lots of good looks at the rim. 

Despite all that, the Celtics were down just 90-87 following a 3-point play by Tyler Zeller. Boston had a chance to tie the game, only for Terry Rozier’s 3-pointer to hit the back of the rim and roll out. Bucks coach Jason Kidd knew he had to do something to slow the growing momentum by Boston, leading to him calling a time-out with 5:35 to play with it being a one-possession game. 

Boston continued to fight its way back into the game, and were within two (93-91) after Marcus Smart made the second of two free throws. 

He wasn’t done. 

Smart, who had his second double-double of the season with 11 points and a career high-tying 11 rebounds, scored on a driving lay-up to knot the game at 93-all with 2:46 to play. From there, the Celtics could not make the necessary plays to get the victory. 

Bruins still in waiting mode on Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, Anders Bjork

Bruins still in waiting mode on Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, Anders Bjork

BRIGHTON, Mass – While the NHL debut for Charlie McAvoy is a matter of “when” rather than “if” at this point after agreeing to an Amateur Tryout Contract (ATO) with the Boston Bruins, the jury is still out on Boston University center Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson and University of Notre Dame winger Anders Bjork become pros. 

Bruins general manager Don Sweeney says that Forsbacka-Karlsson has yet to make a “final decision” on his status for next season after BU’s elimination from the NCAA hockey tournament, and Bjork is readying for the Frozen Four this weekend along with the rest of his Fighting Irish teammates. The 20-year-old Forsbacka-Karlsson just wrapped up his sophomore season with the Terriers and posted 14 goals and 33 points in 38 games with a plus-11 rating, and has not given the Bruins any firm word on his plans for the immediate future. 

The urgency perhaps isn’t there for the Bruins to lock things up with Forsbacka-Karlsson right this second, because he wouldn’t be a factor for this year’s NHL team. 

Meanwhile the Bruins can’t do anything with the 20-year-old Bjork until at least the end of next weekend, but have been mightily impressed with a player that’s posted 21 goals and 52 points in 38 games for Notre Dame this season. Bjork had three assists in the game that propelled Notre Dame into the Frozen Four, and there would be a great deal of urgency for the Bruins to lock up a talented forward that might be able to help them right now. 

“I’ve been able to see [Bjork] a few times including the regional [in New Hampshire] last weekend, and he was outstanding. He played every other shift, he set up goals in the game and he’s had a really nice progression as a college player this season,” said Sweeney of the explosive Notre Dame junior, who was far and away the best player at B's development camp last summer. “They’ve done a fabulous job with their team, and hopefully they get to the Finals on Saturday against Harvard, and we get the best of both worlds seeing how our prospects play in the final game. He’s had a tremendous college career to this point, and we’re excited about his development.”

McAvoy is the front-burner issue for the Bruins at this point, but it would surprise exactly nobody if both Forsbacka-Karlsson and Bjork join him in Providence in the next couple of weeks as they wrap up their AHL season.