Bruins Thanksgiving report cards: Torey Krug and the defensemen

Matt Kalman
November 28, 2019 - 10:50 am

Here are Thanksgiving report cards for the Bruins defensemen:

Brandon Carlo: A

Already the Bruins have gotten seven points out of the one of the best up-and-coming shutdown defenders in the league. The fact that he was willing to sign for just two years as a restricted free agent prior to the season makes Carlo even more valuable.

Zdeno Chara: A

I mean what more could you ask out of a 42-year-old who faces the most difficult matchups every night? He’s still averaging more than 21 minutes per game, is the sport’s most feared penalty kill around the net, and he’s even chipped in 12 points this season.

Connor Clifton: B+

Sometimes “Cliffy Hockey” means out-of-control, and that’s cost him some ice time and even a couple games that coach Bruce Cassidy has opted to go with the safer Steven Kampfer. He hasn’t been the fill-in for Kevan Miller the Bruins need in front of their net, but he’s mostly made smart plays with the puck and brought his own brand of physicality.

Matt Grzelcyk: A-

There should be a little more offense in Grzelcyk’s game (seven points so far), but there’s nothing wrong with him focusing more on the defensive end and waiting for the points to come. Had a tendency to get blown up a little too often, so he has to work on his elusiveness, but his versatility up and down the lineup has been a boon for Boston.

Steven Kampfer: A-

You can’t knock a guy who has played just four games while being healthy and practicing his rear end off every day. Nothing flashy, just sound defensive play.

Torey Krug: A

He’s a one-man wrecking crew with the puck on the power play, and in 3-on-3 overtime, as the Minnesota Wild found out this month.

More amazingly, he’s managed to continue his strong defensive play, paired with Carlo, from last year’s playoffs.

Charlie McAvoy: B

Let’s look beyond the offense and his goal-less season thus far. It’s a well-known fact he’s been reluctant to shoot since coming to the NHL, although he became more aggressive the past couple weeks. There are still things he needs to work on in the defensive zone, especially when matched against the best of the best opponents. Luckily his strength and natural talents, as well as Chara, bail him out at some of the tougher times.

Incomplete

Urho Vaakanainen showed some of his advertised puck-moving skills in his five games, but Cassidy was hoping to see more ability to win battles. … Kevan Miller and John Moore will hopefully be available to the Bruins before Christmas after missing the entire season so far.

 

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