Thursday, November 4, 2021

Krug plays arguably best game as a Blue in shootout loss to Kings

Defenseman tied it in waning seconds to secure point, 
displayed excellence at both ends of the ice in over 20 minutes

As he skated in from the left point, seeing a chance to pounce on a split-second opportunity, Torey Krug scoring to help the Blues at least salvage a point against the Los Angeles Kings was fitting.
(St. Louis Blues photo)
Blues defenseman Torey Krug (47) celebrates scoring late in the third period
of a 3-2 shootout loss against the Los Angeles Kings.

Fitting to the fact that it may have, arguably, been Krug's best game with the Blues since they signed him to a seven-year, $45.5 million contract prior to last season.

Yes, it was a fortuitous bounce of the puck when Jordan Kyrou's blind backhand feed into the slot area caromed off Kings captain Anze Kopitar, but for a skater who had his handprints all over the game, Krug was in the right place at the right time to slam home the shorthanded goal with Jordan Binnington pulled with 8.1 seconds remaining in regulation and give the Blues a valuable, hard-earned point in a 3-2 shootout loss Wednesday.

It's the sixth-latest shorthanded tying goal in NHL history at 19:51.

"It was a desperation play," Krug said. "At that point, you don't worry about positions, you just try to play hockey and make a desperate play. Luckily for me, we went to the net and the puck just ended up on my stick with a wide open net and I was able to put it in."

The goal was important in itself, that's obvious, and it was Krug's second of the season and in as many games; he scored the only goal of the game, a power-play goal, in a 1-0 win over Chicago last Saturday, so his two goals have led to the last three points in the standings.

But let's take a look at the overall game for a moment, one in which Krug played 20:26, even though it seemed much more than that, with a goal and an assist, helping set up Brayden Schenn's power-play goal. He also had four shots on goal and six attempts, one hit and three of the Blues' 20 blocks on the night.

Krug, who leads Blues defensemen with eight points (two goals, six assists) in eight games, was doing the things his d-partner (Justin Faulk) has been doing in the early going, breaking up plays but not only doing that, but retrieving pucks and turning them back up the ice into one of the forwards hands. As a 5-foot-9, 194-pound smaller guy on the blue line, Krug was taking care of the puck, putting it into areas that allowed the Blues to go in on the forecheck and when defending his gaps were clean and with little room for the Kings to operate.

"Individually, I had some pop tonight, I had some juice and I felt really good about it," Krug said. "It was good to contribute. I wish we had a few more power plays, but we've got to work a little harder to earn those chances, but I felt good with the puck, defending as well. My gaps were pretty tight. All in all, I definitely tried to help our team."

It took Krug eight games this season to match his goal total he had last season in 51 games.

"I thought he did a lot of good things with the puck," Blues coach Craig Berube said. "I think he defended well, he's playing a pretty solid all-around game."

The Blues are going to need that moving forward.

Krug, in his second season with the Blues, went through a bit of what Justin Faulk went through his first season with the Blues in 2019-20, and it was obvious an adjustment period was necessary.

Krug, who led the Blues defensemen with a 22-13 edge in Corsi-for and Corsi-against in the game, and was also the leader among the d-men in Fenwick-for and Fenwick-against at 19-8, was the team leader in expected goal-for at 1.52, scoring chances for at 14 and seven high danger scoring chances-for, per

But as the players say, at the end of the day, two points is the main objective, but at least Krug provided the necessary pop to give his team a chance, and through eight games, the Blues have collected 13 of a possible 16 points.

"I think they came out and dictated play in the third period and that resulted in us having to scramble to tie one late, and then when you do get to overtime, it's a reset and you've got to restart," Krug said. "Our penalty killers did a great job of killing it off early. Unfortunately, we couldn't come through getting the extra point. Overall, we got one and not we've got to move on and play a big game tomorrow.

"We don't quit. That's part of the DNA of this team. We continued and we got one there late and helped us out."


  1. With O Reilly out it was said Blues players need to step up and play and Bennington and Krug has done just that in game. Need few more to step up their game tonight now.

  2. Wonder what happened to Neighbors? Enjoy watching him in earlier games