The Off Wing

Opinion and Fact…From the Off Wing

Archive for the tag “Torey Krug”

Two U’s, Two K’s, One Major Blunder

At the end of game one, somewhere after 1:00am eastern time, the Bruins players were conducting their post-game interviews with the media regarding the triple overtime loss they just experienced.  There were the obligatory questions and answers regarding how the game went, how the players were feeling, what they needed to do in the next game etc., but one player in particular, the irascible (at times in the past) goaltender for the hometown six answered one question that, well, maybe he should have thought out before speaking.

Although i am unsure as to who asked the question, I can tell you with 100% certainty who answered it, and how.  Tuukka was summing up the game in front of his locker when he clearly stated that “We had the game.”  This was fine, no issues, but then Rask keeps spewing off at the mouth…”We were up 3-1 in the third, then a terrible turnover leads to a second goal and then a tough bounce leads to the tying goal. We just gave it away.”

WHAT?  Did I just hear him correctly?  Did the starting goaltender for the Boston Bruins, after a game one loss, a game which went to 3 overtimes, with players exhausted and giving every ounce of themselves, throw a teammate under the proverbial bus?  Now, to his defense,  the net-minder did not mention any names, but the mere mention of the exact incident is enough to cause consternation among those of us listening to him.

Tuukka is a very good goaltender, and I’m sure he has been playing hockey since he was a young child.  So, somewhere along the line I’m almost certain he must have heard from a coach that ice hockey is a team sport.  All of the time honored speeches must still linger somewhere in his brain, that you play as a team, you win and lose as a team, and if you have an issue with one of your team mates, you speak to that person in private, that you don’t throw it out in the open for the whole world to hear or read.  Having played and coached various team sports (granted none above the high school level). I would never have let my players start blaming each other after a loss.  Everyone carried the responsibility, everyone could have done something different that could have affected the outcome of the game or match.  And sometimes, even if you played your best, you still lost.

Surely Torey Krug feels terrible about what happened, but their are decisions players make, typically spur of the moment, that are going to have consequences good or bad.  Had Torey had a split second longer, he could have looked for a teammate to pass to, or he could have sent the puck along the boards, but time is a valuable thing while skating around and he had to make a quick decision.  Torey doesn’t need his ‘tender making him out to be public enemy number one in front of the press.

And while on the subject of laying blame, I have not heard nor read that Tuukka took responsibility for allowing the first goal of the game, a goal that, had he read the “book” on himself, he might have been able to stop with a quicker glove hand.  Not once did it come up, and his team mates on the ice and on the bench never once said, “you know, that terrible first goal that went in right over his glove hand really set the tone for the rest of the period.”

It would seem that Tuukka needs to re-learn what is important to him on the ice…primarily that the friends he has on the blue line in front of him, the ones that, on those rare occasions commit a “terrible” turnover, are also the ones that save his bacon, such as his captain did in the closing seconds of game 4 against the Pittsburgh Penguins.  A moment where Rask was “terribly” out of position, but no one said a word, just came over to him at the end and congratulated him on the win.

L.W.L.

Development Camp…The Defense

Development camp this year had many good players.  Too many to mention in just one post.  So here they are, the guys manning the blue line and the blue area in front of the trapezoid…

Matt Benning – The young man just barely turned 18 before development camp.  Went down a couple times on the first day during practices.  Showed some skills during the second session and the second day.  Appeared to struggle with power skating during the first session on day three.  During the first session on day 4 Matt left the ice with an apparent leg injury.  We later learned that he had a groin issue.  Some seasoning is in order as he is quite young but could prove to be a talent down the road.

Chris Casto – A big boy to be sure, but appeared to need a little toughness.  He seems to be a stay at home defenseman.  Good shot from the point, but it looked like he was getting pushed around at times.  His size is something that can’t be learned, and he has that going for him, but with the size of the other invitees and draft picks at camp, he didn’t overly stand out.

Tommy Cross – The senior member of development camp.   He has attended every one for the last six years.  Tommy has developed into a strong defensive defenseman.  Good skills, positionally sound and knows when to pinch and when to remain at the blue line.  Also has the ability to get physical.  Tommy, in this writer’s opinion, is the most NHL ready of the campers this year.  Not the fastest skater on the ice but he counteracts that with his solid positional play.  Also not the hardest shot, but he keeps it low to the ice and accurate.  He finally scored at a development camp, a fact he pointed out to the press on hand.

Matt Grzelcyk – Boston University has a lot to look forward to with this young man.  Not the strongest shot, but knows when to stay at the blue line and when to pinch.  He was paired up with Dougie for most of the second scrimmage and it gave me cause for worry having two offensive defensemen on the blue line, but Matt covered well when Hammy pinched (which was often).  Good speed and footwork complete the package.  Some seasoning at B.U. will do him good and I am looking forward to seeing him again next year as well.

Dougie Hamilton – Fellow viewers and writers present at Development Camp have already heard my opinion on Dougie.  A very talented young man with size to spare.  Dougie had good offensive skills and is good on the back check.  He has a quick outlet pass to the neutral zone and can catch up to the play with his speed.  All this being said, Dougie is not ready for the NHL yet.  Peter Chiarelli states that Dougie has put on 11 pounds since last year.  He still hasn’t filled out his 6’5″ frame and was being pushed around on the ice.  Dougie also showed his propensity for hot-headedness when he opted to return the favor for a check he received from Daniel Carr.  The hit was perfectly legal, but you could see Dougie planning it in his head from the time he received the initial hit.  Dougie was also caught below the offensive goal line on more than one occasion. He will play for the big club, without a doubt, it just shouldn’t be this year.

Torey Krug – Torey has speed and good hands.   Good defensive skills which showed up when paired with Dougie.  As we all know, Dougie is an offensive defenseman, a good part of Torey’s game as well.  Torey showed the understanding to hang back and patrol the blue line, freeing up Dougie to pinch down low.  Torey’s size could be a hindrance to him as he is only 5’9″ or 10″ but he stayed on his skates for both scrimmages and performed very well in power skating.

Robbie O’Gara – Congratulations Yale…You’ve got a real good defenseman heading your way!  Size, strength, a little speed, likes the contact (or so it appeared), and good positional play.  Robbie was more than willing to clear out the slot area and neutral zones when opposing offensive players were passing through.  I’m sure lacrosse had something to do with that.  He was paired up with Tommy for a bit, and what a “D” pairing that would look like for the Black and Gold in a few years.  Also spent time with Trotman and Grzelcyk.  Take care of this one, Coach Allain, the Bruins are gonna want him back!

Zach Trotman – More size on the blue line.  Zach has a shot that gets through more often than not.  He was paired up with Tommy and Robbie.  With Tommy he manned the blue line more frequently but with Robbie he was more the offensive defenseman.  Zach can throw his weight around and does a decent job in the corners.   No struggles in the skate drills and represented himself well.  Zach will look good in Providence.

Well, the plan was to include the goaltenders in this post as well however in my efforts to be thorough, I have rambled on long enough, so the men between the pipes will get a post of their own this afternoon.

L.W.L.

 

 

 

 

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