Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Krug making great American history for Bruins

Matt Kalman
December 21, 2018 - 12:55 am

Torey Krug remembers his early career with the Bruins, when he was one of two Americans on the team.

Now he’s one of 11 U.S.-born Bruins on a roster that features just five Canadians and doesn’t have a single player from north of the border among its defense corps.

Why are the Bruins becoming so America-centric? Because of the greatness of players like Krug, who continues to prove every night, like many other across the NHL, that extraordinary talent no longer just comes from Canada.

Krug showed off his marvelous powers Thursday during a 3-1 win against Anaheim at TD Garden. His blind cross-ice pass set up David Pastrnak’s power-play goal that put Boston ahead 1-0.

“That’s a chemistry play,” Krug said. “More often than not you’re seeing Bergy make that no-look pass to him and I’ve watched it enough to know that he’s going to be there.”

That assist gave him 200 career assists, which are the most by a U.S.-born Bruins player.

“It means a lot, especially with the rich history of the team and all the great players that have come through this locker room and put on this sweater,” Krug said. “So I’ve played with a lot of great players, been on the receiving end of a lot of great plays. But you can’t get there without a little bit of luck and a lot of hard work. So it’s pretty cool.”

Krug then added a goal to run his season’s point total to 21 and his career total to 256, 10 behind Ted Donato for third on the Bruins’ all-time American scoring list.

When asked what he knows about Ted Donato, other than he fathered Krug’s teammate Ryan, the 5-foot-9 defenseman mentioned that he knows Donato played with current Bruins Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron. Soon Donato may also be known for being passed by Krug on that scoring list.

“Obviously there’s great players on that list, so just try to knock them down one at a time,” said Krug, who also has second-place Mike O’Connell (268 points) and first-place Craig Janney (283) in his crosshairs.

Although he was passed up for most USA Hockey teams as a youth, Krug is still patriotic. And he finally got to wear a Team USA sweater when he won a bronze medal at the 2015 IIHF World Championship.

In recent years, Patrick Kane, Jack Eichel, Auston Matthews and a parade of Americans have made the Red, White & Blue a formidable hockey force. Krug is a leader among the second tier of that crew in terms of star power, but his talents will be as inspirational to young Americans hoping to thrive in the sport. So Krug might not last as long at the top of the Bruins’ all-time lists with the likes of Charlie McAvoy and Ryan Donato already in the organization and a generation of young Americans sure to fill the draft pool for years to come.

For now, though, Krug’s among the great Americans in Bruins history and the Bruins are attempting to be great with a  preponderance of Americans leading the way.

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