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Shawn Thornton on D&C: ‘Those defensemen are playing unbelievable’ 05.20.13 at 10:16 am ET
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Shawn Thornton

Bruins forward Shawn Thornton checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Monday morning to talk about the B’s-Rangers series.

The Bruins took a 2-0 series lead with Sunday’s 5-2 victory, as Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers continued to play below par.

“I think they had their chances, to tell you the truth,” Thornton said. “I think the second period, it could have went either way. We were fortunate to get out of that with the lead. It could have been a different game if Tuukka [Rask] didn’t stand on his head for us in the second period.”

The big story of this series has been the play of the Bruins’ young defensemen, Torey Krug, Matt Bartkowski and Dougie Hamilton, who have sparked the Bruins with their fresh legs.

“Those defensemen are playing unbelievable,” Thornton said. “Torey Krug, obviously — not just the goal and the assist, those are great plays — but there were some plays he made that probably went unnoticed during the game that made our lives as forwards a heck of a lot easier. Some of the vision he has and some of the plays he made look easy, but they weren’t really easy plays, especially in the neutral zone.”

Thornton said he hasn’t thought much about what will happen when injured defensemen Dennis Seidenberg, Andrew Ference and Wade Redden are ready to return.

“I don’t know what the timeline is for those guys, but I’m sure Claude [Julien] will have some decisions to make once everyone’s healthy,” Thornton said. “Not easy decisions, I’m sure, but good decisions. It’s nice when you have that many options. It’s better than the opposite, when you’re like, ‘Oh, my God, we can’t find anyone to put in the lineup.’ ”

As for the possibility of hard feelings if a veteran sits in favor of a rookie, Thornton insisted it won’t be issue.

“Not in our locker room,” he said. “I’ve been that veteran guy squeezed out of the lineup for the playoffs. It’s all about winning this time of year. There’s no time for any personal feelings or agendas. It’s all about the team. We have a good bunch of guys in that room, and everyone’s aware of it.”

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Read More: Gregory Campbell, John Tortorella, Shawn Thornton, Torey Krug
Bruins’ little big man Torey Krug proving he belongs on big stage at 9:49 am ET
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Torey Krug is looking forward to bigger and better things in the playoffs. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

Every year, a player comes out of no where to become a big factor in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

That man for the Bruins this year so far is 5-foot-9 Torey Krug.

He did it again on Sunday. He scored the game’s first goal in the first period, beating Henrik Lundqvist. He did it again on the second goal, pinching in from his perch on the left point and firing a shot on goal that led to a rebound that was put away by Gregory Campbell.

Krug has been instant offense at the blue line for the Bruins. For a 22-year-old rookie in his second NHL playoff game, Krug looks like a trusty veteran.

“Yeah, well I’ve said it time and time again, I come into this locker room, very comfortable, calm,” Krug said after Sunday’s 5-2 rout of the Rangers in Game 2. “I get to watch some of the best professionals in the world prepare for games like this, as if it’s any other game. So, I have a lot of guys to lean on and they all give me confidence back. So, it’s unbelievable.”

What is so very striking about Krug is his confidence with the puck. Much like Dougie Hamilton displayed early in the season, Krug looks like he wants the puck at every chance, either rushing up the ice or setting up on the power play. Why is that?

“Well I’m a player. I’m 5-9, I’m not very big, I have to play with the puck to be an impact player,” he answered. “So, for me, you’ve got to be confident with the puck. If I’m not making plays, I’m not going to be effective and guys are going to go out there and they’re just going to find a 6-2 guy that can do the same thing without the puck. So, you just got to be confident and play with the puck.

On his goal, he managed to use his skates to control the puck, setting up the shot on his stick.

“That’s a skill that sometimes you work on it after practice,” he said. “You don’t have to work on it too much. It’s just a couple of extra reps here or there at the end, picking up pucks with your feet. So, it’s just something that I try to do, and I was lucky enough that it bounced my way.”

And his set-up of Campbell’s goal?

“It’s the same thing,” he said. “All that comes with confidence and being calm. If you’re freaking out, out there because the pucks not exactly where it is, you’re going to get yourself in trouble.”
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Read More: Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, Stanley Cup Playoffs, Torey Krug
Brad Marchand the OT hero this time as Bruins take Game 1 05.16.13 at 10:48 pm ET
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Brad Marchand celebrates his overtime goal that beat the Rangers in Game 1 Thursday night. (AP)

Overtime once again was the Bruins’ friend as Brad Marchand scored the game-winner to give the B’s a 3-2 win over the Rangers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals Thursday night at TD Garden. The goal was Marchand’s first of the playoffs, and the Bruins now have won two straight overtime games and all three overtime contests this postseason.

After a scoreless first period, Zdeno Chara got a slap shot through from the point that trickled past Henrik Lundqvist, ending the goalie’s shutout streak at 152:23. Ryan McDonagh scored on a laser from the left point that Tuukka Rask didn’t see with bodies in front of him. The goal came with 1.3 seconds left in the second, and Derek Stepan scored 14 seconds into the third to give the Rangers the lead on two goals in a span of 15.3 seconds. It was Torey Krug, playing in his first career NHL playoff game after playing only one regular-season game for Boston this season, who tied it with a slap shot on the power play.

Krug, Matt Bartkowski and Dougie Hamilton were called upon Monday, as Dennis Seidenberg, Andrew Ference and Wade Redden were out of action due to various undisclosed injuries. Game 2 will be played Sunday at TD Garden.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

• The Rangers might regret not taking advantage of this one later in the series if those defensemen are back. On the other hand, give guys like Krug and Hamilton credit for making the most of their responsibilities. Hamilton showed some of that much-talked-about poise on his pass to Krug on the power play to set up Boston’s second goal.

David Krejci picked up the primary assist on Chara’s goal, which means he now has an NHL-best 14 points (five goals, nine assists) through eight games this postseason.

• Though they didn’t score on it, the Bruins turned in a very strong power play following a Derek Dorsett interference penalty in overtime. The B’s managed six shots on goal during the man advantage — three from Chara and one apiece from Seguin, Hamilton and Jaromir Jagr.

• Once again, the back end was a source of offense for the Bruins. After the B’s got six goals from their defensemen against the Maple Leafs, they got two more Thursday from Chara and Krug.

• Speaking of the Bruins’ D, Bartkowski is just oodles more confident these days than he had been in the past with the Bruins. The same kid who was once too afraid of messing up is skating with the puck, hitting guys and doing everything in between. After losing his stick in the neutral zone, Bartkowski lit up Rick Nash, much to the delight of the crowd. Bartkowski was on the ice for both New York goals, but he’s been a very important part of this team’s defense since stepping in. He was third on the Bruins in time-on-ice in regulation, skating 21:55.

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Read More: Brad Marchand, Torey Krug, Tyler Seguin, Zdeno Chara
Torey Krug enters the mix with Bruins defense banged up 05.14.13 at 1:50 pm ET
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Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli offered no updates on the team’s injured defensemen Tuesday at TD Garden, though he did say that the Bruins will recall defenseman Torey Krug from Providence.

Wade Redden and Andrew Ference missed Game 7 against the Maple Leafs and Dennis Seidenberg didn’t play after the first two minutes due to an injury suffered on his first shift. Chiarelli gave no updates on any of the three players, though he said that Redden would not be able to play if the B’s were to have a game Tuesday. The Bruins will begin their Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Rangers Thursday at TD Garden.

Krug is a left-shot defenseman, which will be a welcomed addition given that Seidenberg, Redden and Ference are all lefties. In 70 games for Providence this season (including the playoffs), Krug has 13 goals and 35 assists for 48 points this season.

For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.

Read More: Dennis Seidenberg, Torey Krug,
Bruins return Torey Krug to Providence 03.29.13 at 7:36 pm ET
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The Bruins returned defenseman Torey Krug to Providence Friday, two days after recalling the 21-year-old from their AHL affiliate.

Krug was recalled on Wednesday after the Bruins and Flames agreed to the since-derailed Jarome Iginla trade. Krug played Wednesday night against the Canadiens in place of Matt Bartkowski, who was scratched because of his inclusion in the trade. The Michigan State product picked up an assist in the loss to the Habs.

Krug has two assists in three career NHL games since being signed out of college last season. He has 10 goals and 24 assists for 34 points and a minus-6 rating in 55 games for Providence this season.

For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.

Read More: Matt Bartkowski, Torey Krug,
Bruins recall Torey Krug from Providence 03.27.13 at 6:16 pm ET
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The Bruins recalled defenseman Torey Krug from Providence Wednesday, and the 21-year-old will be available for Wednesday night’s game against the Canadiens.

In 55 games for Providence this season, Krug has 10 goals and 24 assists for 34 points and a minus-6 rating. The timing of the callup is intriguing given that it’s a week before the trade deadline. The Bruins may have recalled him for a potential showcase or as a body in the event that they move one of the defensemen currently on the roster.

For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.

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Torey Krug finally gets his chance on the big stage 04.04.12 at 10:30 am ET
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Not all rookies get their chance to make their NHL debut playing for the defending Stanley Cup champs the week before they begin their title defense.

But with the Northeast Division salted away again and their No. 2 spot in the Eastern Conference sealed, the Bruins had the ideal chance to baptize 20-year-old defenseman Torey Krug into the world of big boys hockey Tuesday night against a team with names like Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

Welcome to the show, kid.

“I think stepping on the ice the start of the game,” Krug said of his biggest moment during Boston’s 5-3 loss to the Penguins, his first game in the NHL. “What the coaching staff did was have me warm up a few games with the team and that actually helped a lot. You wouldn’t think it, but it really does. You get your bearings on the ice, skating around with the other guys.

“I mean I’m most upset that we lost. The expectation here is to win and we have to fine-tune-up before the playoffs.”

Krug has played on big stages before, playing collegiately for Michigan State in the CCHA. He’s played against the likes of Michigan, Ohio State and Ferris State. But clearly, Tuesday was a different animal.

“It’s a lot different,” he said. “It was a lot of fun to play in front of these fans. Michigan State, the crowd we had there was very intimate and into the game and I feel it was the same here. Everybody knows their stuff and they know hockey so the fans are unbelievable and it’s something I look forward to on a nightly basis.”

Krug, who turns 21 on April 12, was signed to an NHL entry contract on March 25. He skated with the Bruins last Tuesday in practice and dressed on Thursday but was a healthy scratch. After a week, he was ready to make his debut Tuesday against one of the most talented teams in hockey.

“I thought he handled himself well,” his coach Claude Julien said. “I like the way he moved the puck. I think everybody who knows the game realized that he’s a good puck-mover, his mobility was obvious, and the only thing I would tell you is that you could see him in the defensive zone really thinking about trying to play within our system, and sometimes he was maybe just a fraction of a second delayed – which is totally normal – but once he knew what he had to do, he went. So there was no hesitation once his mind was made up, and that will only get better as it becomes second nature, and that’s totally, as I said, totally natural for a guy playing in his first game. But the rest of it — as I said, when he had the puck, didn’t hesitate, thought he moved it well and made great passes.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Bruins, Michigan State, NHL, Torey Krug
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