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SCOC Midseason Grades: Torey Krug

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The Offensive defenseman has taken on the role of giving fellow players the ability to score as well as scoring himself. That’s a good skill to have.

Detroit Red Wings v Boston Bruins Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Evaluation:

Offensive Defenseman are usually evaluated on the basis of their points, but typically the lazy easy route is to really bear down on goals they’ve scored.

Hell, because of the genesis of really good offensive defensemen in the NHL it’s begun to start swinging Norris Votes.

While Krug’s year has been occasionally marred by having to make up for the defensive mistakes of his partner on the blue line to mixed returns, Torey Krug has been on fire when it comes to getting points.

While he’s not exactly running up the score via goals, it’s becoming clear that his value as an offensive defenseman is currently coming from assists, which if you take a look at leaders in defenseman points, seems to be the way things are headed. Karlsson, Burns (who leads in goals), and Hedman are all earning their keep by just raking in the A’s.

Of which, by the way, Torey Krug is in the top 10.

And that’s not to say Krug can’t score, because he can still do that quite well.

It’s becoming clear that Krug is very aware of what he’s good at these days, and he’s more trying to get that tip-in from in front of the net, extend a play with a good pass, or set up a player for a goal they need. He’s driving possession in more than just scoring goals, which can become vital in games where Boston needs it.

But now we come to the part where we talk about his partner for most of the year: Adam McQuaid, who as we’ve discussed, is a player who has, with exception, been one of the players to struggle historically in Boston’s system, regardless of how many hits he throws, fights he gets into, or net-fronts he clears. He still somehow managed to allow shots to get onto his goaltender.

One player changed that. And that player is Torey Krug.

Krug’s possession stats are only matched and surpassed by two players: Bergeron and Marchand. Having the ability for McQuaid to pass to someone who can guarantee a zone exit and someone who can even jump up on the play and successfully execute a board pinch to get pucks to forwards is a huge help to a Boston that needs it. Granted, he still, and quite often, has to drag Adam McQuaid to respectable performances and his own play suffers drastically when he has to overcommit to rectify a mistake, there’s surprisingly few players who are better at keeping shots out of Tuukka Rask’s way than Torey Krug is. Just see his goaltending highlight reel:

Seriously, that’s impressive.

And for a little perspective? Krug’s raw stats aren’t just comparable to, they far exceed divisional all-star talent Erik Karlsson in terms of getting shots on net and keeping them away from his goaltender. That’s a good sign for Boston going forward.

Grade: A-

Krug’s sheer output of points puts him 4th on the team in scoring, which, for all the concerns might have with his shot accuracy, means he has to be doing something right. And that something, I have decided, is spreading the wealth. He doesn’t have to score at abandon, but he can make everyone else he plays with a much better player with his inclusion.

Stats:

Games Played: 55

Goals: 5

Assists: 28

Points: 33

Shooting-%: 4.95%

Season CF% as of 2/6/17: 59.90%

OwnThePuck Visual: