Reading, MA — Boston Bruins defenseman Torey Krug joined members of the media for a Zoom session today. The 28-year-old Michigan native touched on a wide range of topics during his 25 minutes of press availability. Krug is back in his home state staying with his in-laws for the time being trying to stay sharp while social-distancing.
The unexpected stoppage in play due to COVID-19 has allowed Krug to spend more time with his family and is thankful for having the chance to do so.
“I’m enjoying the time, being with family,” said Krug. “Being able to be close to my daughter during this time has been a silver lining. But just like everyone else, I’m itching to get everything back to normal.”
Krug was injured against the Tampa Bay Lightning on March 7, a 5-3 loss at TD Garden. He missed the next game in Philadelphia, a 2-0 win, on March 10, it was the team’s last before NHL play was suspended for safety precautions.
“I feel really good and I’m healthy right now,” said Krug when asked about his injury. “I think I have a couple of hurdles I have to jump over once I get back to get officially cleared. As far as it goes, I’m fully healthy and I’m able to train as much as I can here at home. I’m feeling good.”
“That’s a tough one. Everyone is in a different situation with what is available to them,” added Krug about not being able to work out the way he normally would during the season. “Some guys have a nice big home with a personal gym that they’ve built themselves. For the first few weeks, I was still in Boston in a townhouse that didn’t have much. But you make due.”
“We’ve been given a body-weight program from our trainers at the Bruins,” said Krug. “That’s been great. It’s been tough. I have my personal trainer who has given me some stuff to work on as well. Then you have all the mobile apps, Peloton specifically, is one that I’ve been using.”
Krug added that he’s been running more than he usually would and finds it therapeutic.
Despite all that it is not quite the same as being on the ice every day, going against teammates or the NHL’s elite. There’s no substitute for the real thing.
“Absolutely nothing,” said the 5’-9” defenseman bluntly when asked if anything can help with skating. “The reality of it is, even roller-blading, yes it mimics the motion but you don’t get the build-up of lactic acid, having to deal with your groin and hip motion when you’re digging into the ice and trying to stop and start. That’s a big part of it.”
“Riding the Peloton, or using an assault bike, to mimic shift lengths, that all helps, it’s great but there’s absolutely nothing you can do to prepare for the ins and outs of a shift and the physicality of it. Not only are you trying to mimic a skating motion but there’s no way you can train for going into the corner with a guy that’s 6’2” 210 pounds and trying to out-battle him, get the puck, and skate away from him.”
In regards to the unfinished business of the 2019-20 season, Krug is hopeful and expects some type of closure on it.
“With so many unknowns, it’s tough to understand what our circumstances will be and what will be available to us,” said Krug. “Whether its normal buildings with fans involved, or empty arenas, or neutral sites where teams gather to play in that regard. For me, I think it’s just a fairness thing, as long as everyone is in a situation where the playing field is level and we’re all able to compete for a Stanley Cup. That’s our ultimate goal.”
Krug admits he’s intrigued to see how the NHL handles the future return of the game. “It’s a great opportunity to get creative and see what we can come up with.”
Krug also addressed his impending free agency which will start when the season is officially over. “We haven’t had any talks since this (stoppage) has started. In terms of my situation here in Boston, we haven’t continued any talks or made any progress in that regard.”
“I think for anyone that’s been through this (free agency) there’s so many unknowns, you can only control so much of that. For me personally, I really hope that I did not play my last game as a Boston Bruin. It’s been a place for me and my family to grow. My love for the game and playing in front of these fans is very special to me. It (the stoppage) hasn’t given any clarity.”
“If anything it’s made me wonder about this process a little more,” added Krug. “I was just in the moment and playing games to help my team win and hopefully push us in the right direction and win a championship. And now with the season paused I definitely wonder about what’s going to happen and in terms of clarity there has pretty much-been none…that’s just the reality of the situation.”
On a lighter note, Krug touched upon keeping in touch with teammates about “the normal silly stuff that we go back and forth with” and missing the small things in his Bruins life. “I know I’ll probably get chirped for how I look in this video,” said Krug. “I know guys are paying attention to social media, more and more and anytime something funny comes up we try to put it in the chat just to try and keep the bond going.”
“It feels pretty good,” said Krug about not getting his daily ribbing by Brad Marchand. “I just miss the simple conversations. Seeing what Pasta (David Pastnak) is wearing when he walks through the door. Wondering what kind of mood Chris Wagner’s going to be in or seeing Chuckie (Charlie McAvoy) and his big smile walking through the door everyday. Trying to make sense of what’s coming out of Jake DeBrusk’s mouth, there’s just so many things you miss on a day to day basis.”
“I hope everyone is staying safe,” said Krug in his closing remarks. “In some way, shape or form, I think we’re all connected to the Coronavirus, whether it’s someone you know or a family member personally. We’re all in this together. It’s a tough situation but there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel so as long as we continue to do what we’re doing hopefully we’ll see each other sooner rather than later.”