Bruins training camp, Day 1: Torey Krug knows his worth

Sara Civian
September 13, 2018 - 5:58 pm

Tom Szczerbowski/USA Today Sports

Most of the Bruins hanging around Warrior Ice Arena after off-ice testing Thursday agreed on two things:

1. The NHL China Games are awesome.

2. They’re inevitably making this year’s training camp experience a little weird.

“I think the main reason this camp feels so different is because of the China aspect,” Torey Krug said, mentioning the familiar F.O.MO. of scrolling through social media and seeing your friends somewhere.

"I think every year is about making sure you find a competitive level and push guys for different spots but also to be better and to push our limits," Patrice Bergeron said. "It's different this year...usually you're trying to bond and create chemistry right away, but that being said it's an adjustment and it's about making sure you feel good individually but also as a team."

“It’s fine,” Zdeno Chara offered. “It’s exciting to be starting practice together. It's a lot to be excited about. There's that vibe and energy that everyone brings in, so it's exciting. It's a time of the year that we're happy to be back and playing hockey and training and playing organized hockey and being around each other.”

Does anything bother that man?

Half of the roster is in Shenzhen, China and the other half is at home in Boston. To a degree, this makes training camp battles at third-line center, second-line right wing, and general depth even murkier.

•Like I just said, the Bruins have their fair share of uncertainties headed into the season.

The importance of Krug’s role isn’t one of them. You better believe he knows that.

“I don’t really see anyone doing my job here,” he put it bluntly. “I just gotta make sure i’m showing up every day doing my job. Can’t really worry about what people are saying.”

The speculation throughout the offseason that Krug was on the trading block was served with a side of “it’ll be fine, Matt Grzelcyk is Krug 2.0.” That side dish was pretty unfounded considering Krug (14-45--59) was 4th on the team in scoring while Grzelcyk (3-12--15) was 15th.

Grzelcyk’s breakout season was encouraging for sure, but he seems to be shaping up as more of a puck-mover than a scorer. Even if I’ve pegged him wrong, there was this widespread belief going around that it’d be easy for him to simply slide on up, quarterback a power play, and score 59 points in 76 games if Krug left.

Like, did this belief come to fruition just because they’re both short, left-side defensemen and Grzelcyk has a bright future?

There are plenty of Bruins doing plenty of jobs, but Krug's right -- I don’t really see anyone doing his.

He had heartfelt parting words for Adam McQuaid, but admitted his departure will make some things easier.

"It's tough, especially to see a guy that is willing to do anything for this team and whatever team he's on, the type of teammate that he is, the type of friend that he is, it's sad to see him go.

“(Having eight defensemen) is great for practice,” he said, joking about the lesser workload, “but you’re (less established players) always looking over your shoulder, you don’t feel comfortable playing, you’re always on edge. There were times my first couple years I did feel like that, you feel like you can’t reach your full potential. We’re obviously gonna miss (McQuaid), but now guys can slide into certain positions."

As for actual news?

•Bergeron and Krug are both easing into camp and might not see any pre-season play. Bergeron has been dealing with some back spasms, likely a side effect of his off-season groin surgery.

Bruins assistant coach Joe Sacco, who’s running the Boston camp, said “hopefully” Bergeron gets in a late pre-season game. He’s still on schedule to be ready for the start of the season.

Krug has been skating without the team as he’s still recovering from a broken ankle sustained in the playoffs.

“I'll probably be skating on my own still for a little while, just slowly working with the group, eventually get into a (pre-season) game hopefully," he said.

Observations

•34-year-old David Backes lost 10 pounds over the summer to keep up with a league Krug called more and more of a “track meet.”

• I (extremely regretfully) didn’t actually witness this, but The Athletic’s Joe McDonald reported 255-pound Chara did 16 pull-ups today...with 62 pounds of weight added on.

That’s it for today. There will be much more to discuss when the on-ice part of camp finally starts tomorrow.

 

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