When many fans and media a like discuss Boston Bruins defenseman Torey Krug, they’re usually talking Krug’s offensive acumen and how he may be quarterbacking the power play in any given game. Bruins hall of fame defenseman Ray Bourque, however, sees a more well-rounded defenseman than many. #77 is a huge fan and friend of #47, and he knows how physical Krug can be despite his smaller stature. That’s why Bourque wasn’t the least bit surprised to see Krug lay that thunderous hit on Blues forward Robert Thomas mid-way through the third period of his team’s 4-2 Game 1 win over the St. Louis Blues in the Stanley Cup Final Monday night. Bourque does understand that due to his size, skill set and primary roles on the team, people may not expect Krug to get physical or have a gritty side to his game, but as he pointed out to BostonHockeyNow Tuesday morning, they should learn that there’s way more to his game than just offense.
“Big time!” Bourque said. “I saw him play in Providence and the urgency he plays with and how competitive he is … believe me, you’re around Torey, and you see how he’s built, he might not be the tallest guy, but he is built solid. How he competes and how he goes about it, I just love his game. Quarterbacking the power play is something that is obvious and that’s what people think of the most with him, but I think when you’ve played the game and you watch him close and how he competes, and how physical he can be, you can see he’s tough. There are some battles he won’t win but I’ll tell ya, he’ll go down fighting and that’s what you want from anybody you’re playing with. I’ll tell ya though, he wins a lot of them and he’s done a great job so far in these playoffs not only on the powerplay but 5-on-5 and in all situations.”
The hit on Thomas stemmed from Thomas’ teammate David Perron basically rag-dolling Krug and knocking his helmet off in front of the Bruins net. There were no penalties on the exchange of pleasantries between Krug and Perron and Krug decided to take matters into his own hands and let the Blues know he won’t be pushed around without consequences.
“You see it all the time from him and how he competes and how physical he can be and how he tries to be all the time,” Bourque said. “It would be easy for him to maybe play a soft and easy game and just kind of be that power play guy, but that’s not who he wants to be. He wants to be a well-rounded, all-situational guy by how he competes and how he plays with urgency in his game and how he wants to get physical. As a teammate, you’ll know what you have in him and that’s not even talking about his leadership skills. I’m sure he’s one of those guys in that room that certainly makes a difference when it comes down to leadership.”
Bourque’s son Chris played with Krug in Providence with the Bruins’ AHL affiliate, and the two became instant friends. Since then the elder Bourque has also become friends with Krug and a big fan of him not only as a player but a person.
“I’ve gotten to know Torey personally from when he was down in Providence, and he played with Chris,” Bourque said. “We’ve spent some time together off the ice with him and Chris’ family. He and his wife are about to have a little baby here next month. So we’ve got to know him a little more than just watching him play hockey. He just loves the game; he loves talking about the game. He’s such a competitor and has such a passion for it and on top of that, he’s a fun guy to be around.”
Krug, 28, will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2020 and Bourque is hoping the B’s can find a way to keep this fierce competitor in the mix because not only does he love watching him play and talking hockey with him, but he also knows that Krug loves wearing the spoked B and he and his wife love Boston.
“I’m pretty sure he’d love to spend his career here,” Bourque said. “He and his family love this place, this area and I hope it happens for them, that would be great.”