|Torey Krug’s cap hit is high, but likely not an overpayment||06.30.16 at 7:26 pm ET|
Four more years of Torey Krug for $5.25 million per. If that sounds like a lot of money, it’s because it is. It’s $21 million. That is so much money.
But don’t mistake “so much” as “too much.” Looking at what NHL defensemen make, Krug’s offensive contributions make him properly compensated. Scott McLaughlin already pointed out why his downtick in goals last season shouldn’t be too worrisome, but here’s a look at Krug compared to the other guys making his kind of dough.
Twenty-one defensemen either made in the $5 million-$5.5 million range last season or are set to do so next season. Of those 21, Krug ranked 14th in average time on ice with 21:37 per night. However, Krug’s 40 assists were tops among that group, while his points were second in that group only to Ekman-Larsson. His points on the season overall tied for 19th among NHL defensemen.
As usage goes, Krug had relatively easy zone starts. That suggests the Bruins, as they’ve done throughout Krug’s career, tried to give him shifts in which he would spent as little time defending as possible. As can be seen by his Corsi For percentage in such situations, he drives possession when doing so.
That shouldn’t come as a major surprise. Krug is determined to be a stout defender, but the Bruins are paying him for his skating, passing and scoring. If they put better defensemen in front of him, he would be as much a 5-on-5 weapon as he is a power play weapon. Whether the Bruins can do that remains to be seen.
Here’s a usage chart of Krug and those other defensemen in 5-on-5 situations from last season, courtesy of Corsica Hockey.
Some of those who want to criticize the Bruins’ four-year, $21 million deal for Torey Krug have already started pointing to the fact that he is an offensive defenseman who scored just four goals last season.
Krug did in fact score just four goals, but it is not something anyone should be worried about going forward. First off, Krug still had a career high in points last year with 44.
But more relevant to the goal discussion, Krug also had a career high in shot attempts (469) and shots on goal (244). He had the fourth-most shots on goal among all NHL defensemen, behind only Brent Burns, Erik Karlsson and Dustin Byfuglien.
Krug shot 1.6 percent last season. He previously shot 7.7 percent in 2013-14 and 5.9 percent in 2014-15. Of the top 30 defensemen in shots on goal last season, Krug was the only one who shot worse than 3 percent, never mind 2 percent. Most of those other 29 guys shot in the 5-8 percent range, the same place Krug was before last season.
Basically what we’re getting at is that Krug is going to score much more if he continues to shoot as much as he’s been shooting. Chances are he will never have a shooting percentage as low as 1.6 percent again. If he even shot 5 percent last season, he would’ve scored 12 goals. If he shot the 6.7 percent he averaged the previous two seasons, he would’ve scored 16.
Anyone who has watched Krug play knows he has a pretty good shot. He didn’t suddenly forget how to shoot last season. Sure, there are things he can do to make sure he does a better job finishing, but for the most part that 1.6 percent is just the product of rotten luck.
So, complain about Krug’s contract if you want. Criticize his defense, say he’s undersized, say he’s not a legitimate top-four defenseman. We can have legitimate debates about all that. Just don’t get worked up over him scoring four goals last season, because he’s going to score more than that — probably a lot more — going forward.
Shortly after beginning the buyout process of Dennis Seidenberg, the Bruins announced a four-year contract for defenseman Torey Krug carrying a $5.25 million average annual value. The contract buys out two years of unrestricted free agency for Krug (2018-19 and 2019-20); the player will have a limited no-trade clause in each of those seasons.
Krug, 25, is coming off his fourth NHL season and third contract. His new deal carries a considerable raise from the $3.4 million he made on a one-year deal last season, but the raise comes on merit given that his 44 points last season (four goals, 40 assists) were a career high. Furthermore, his 21:36 of ice time ranked second among Bruins defensemen last season.
With Krug signed and Seidenberg bought out, the Bruins have about $54,631,000 committed against the cap for next season. Under a $73 million salary cap, that would give them $18.369 million in cap space to spend on seven or eight players, assuming Malcolm Subban makes the team as Tuukka Rask’s backup.
|Torey Krug’s goalless streak continues after questionable offsides call overturns goal||03.05.16 at 11:35 pm ET|
While Alex Ovechkin’s hit from behind on Kevan Miller may grab the most headlines from Saturday’s game, the controversial play that actually had the biggest impact on the game was Torey Krug’s overturned goal early in the second period.
David Pastrnak carried into the offensive zone and fired a shot that led to a juicy rebound. Krug picked up the loose puck, cut to the middle and beat Philipp Grubauer for what appeared to be his first goal in 40 games.
However, the goal wound up being waved off after a video review determined that Loui Eriksson was offsides on Pastrnak’s zone entry.
The question, of course, is whether the video evidence was actually definitive. Eriksson clearly made an effort to drag one skate behind him to try to stay onsides, but the skate eventually lifted off the ice. On the replays shown on TV, it was hard to tell whether the skate lifted before or after the puck entered the zone.
The goal would’ve given the Bruins a 2-0 lead, and possibly a second straight win over a top team. Instead the Capitals tied the game at one later in the second period and eventually won in overtime.
Krug, for his part, downplayed the no-goal ruling after the game.
“If it’s offside, it’s not a goal,” Krug said. “I mean, it’s frustrating. I haven’t scored in a while, but that’s a good test for your character and trying to respond and still having faith. It’s, like I said, right time, right place, it’ll happen.”
The Bruins, to their credit, didn’t seem to get too deflated by the call. They controlled play for the majority of the second period and outshot the Capitals 20-7 in the frame. Unfortunately they couldn’t find the back of the net again, while the Capitals eventually did.
“We did OK,” Krug said. “I think this year we’ve done a really good job of responding to calls that haven’t gone our way. Unfortunately they got the next goal, so it’s not clearly indicative of how we responded, but we did an alright job.”
Claude Julien didn’t say much about this specific call, but acknowledged that he doesn’t always agree with video reviews — understandable considering Saturday’s wasn’t the first to go against the Bruins this season.
“You guys keep asking coaches. We’re not all, I guess, 100 percent on board with some of that stuff, but you’ve got to live with it” Julien said. “You live with it, because we always compare it to other calls that we’ve had, whether it’s with other games and stuff like that. I guess we don’t always see consistency.”
Dennis Seidenberg played the voice of reason, offering up an idea that could clear up situations like Saturday’s.
“You have to see something in the future, I guess, on the level of the ice where you can actually see the skate coming up – like a camera on the blue line,” Seidenberg said. “But it’s tough to see. I didn’t see it and it’s really tough for me to judge because I don’t know.”
|3rd-place Bruins say they’ve ‘surprised,’ ‘proved people wrong’||01.27.16 at 2:15 am ET|
The Bruins’ final game before the All-Star break didn’t go their way, a 6-2 loss to Anaheim that dropped the B’s home record to a lousy 11-13-2.
However, the players in the Boston dressing room seemed content with their lot in life as they packed up for a week’s furlough, a 26-18-5 season mark in tow that was holding them third place in the Atlantic Division with 33 games remaining on the season.
“We’ve surprised a lot of people,” said defenseman Torey Krug. “We’re not surprised in here where we [are]. We had a goal to be in the top three [of our division] before the All-Star break and we’re sitting right there.”
“At the beginning of the year there were a lot of people that probably thought that we wouldn’t be in the playoffs,” echoed forward Ryan Spooner. “You kind of heard that stuff, and that we would be a younger team. But we’ve shown that we can play with the top teams. We’ve proved a lot of people wrong and we just have to keep that up.”
The Bruins have indeed exceeded many preseason prognostications to this point. The team’s 21-10-2 record against the Eastern Conference shines bright, as does its 12-6-1 mark within the division. The latter includes a 4-0 performance against the two teams ahead of Boston in the Atlantic (Florida and Detroit).
That said, despite winning five of their last seven games, players also are willing to admit that their current playoff perch is a tenuous one.
|Torey Krug on fight with Chris Stewart: ‘I started it’||01.26.16 at 11:18 pm ET|
The Bruins lost Tuesday’s game because they were terrible for most of the opening 40 minutes, not because Torey Krug lost a fight.
During the 6-2 loss Krug took on the much bigger Chris Stewart (the former future Bruin has 5 inches and 45 pounds on Krug) and predictably lost. While fans during the game wanted Krug’s defeat avenged — and for all we know maybe Stewart was challenged at another point during the game — Krug and Claude Julien both took no issue with the fight after the game.
“I started it,” Krug said. “He didn’t want to fight me. It was a mismatch, but at the end of the day, I don’t know, I didn’t like what happened there and it got a little crazy.”
Said Julien: “Torey dropped the gloves against him. It’s disappointing to see that kind of fight, but when your player drops his gloves against you, what is he supposed to do? He defended himself, and some people might have done it a little differently, but it doesn’t matter. To me, Torey dropped the gloves like he wanted to fight, and I don’t think that took any juice out of our team. I think if anything it kind of gave a little bit more animosity to the rest of the game.”
|David Krejci week-to-week with upper-body injury||12.28.15 at 12:24 pm ET|
Krejci, whose 11 goals and 33 points in 35 games had him on pace for a career-high in both categories, suffered his injury in the second period of Sunday’s loss to the Senators. Claude Julien would not specify the nature of Krejci’s injury — he wouldn’t elaborate past calling it an upper-body injury and terming the player “week-to-week” — but Krejci was seen wearing a sling on his right arm after Monday’s practice.
In other injury news, Torey Krug is day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Krug left Saturday night’s game after the first period and did not play on Sunday. Krug skated prior to Monday’s practice, as did recovering forward Joonas Kemppainen. Julien said that Monday was either the first or second day back on the ice for Kemppainen, who has not played since Dec. 7 due to an upper-body injury.
With Krejci out, Ryan Spooner was elevated to Boston’s second line to skate with Matt Beleskey and Loui Eriksson in Monday’s practice. Landon Ferraro moved up to take Spooner’s third-line spot. Boston’s lines in practice were as follows:
The absence of both Krejci and Krug also led to changes on Boston’s power play units, as Krejci and Krug man the points on the team’s first unit. The Bruins power play units in Monday’s practice were as follows:
Without Krejci, the Bruins have just 12 healthy forwards. David Pastrnak is currently in Finland for the World Junior Championships, but Julien said he feels the Bruins might be better off letting the player regain his timing and confidence in the tournament rather than hurrying him back to the NHL.