The St. Louis Blues allowed Alex Pietrangelo to walk away to the Vegas Golden Knights in free agency in October. Before that happened, the Blues had signed longtime Boston Bruins defenseman Torey Krug to a seven-year deal worth a total of $45.5 million.
The Blues have become less offensively challenged on the back-end with the additions of Krug and Justin Faulk over the last two seasons. They already had an offensive guy like Vince Dunn, but they have much more of it now with two players in Faulk and Krug that quarterbacked successful power plays prior to them signing with St. Louis.
The Goals Will Come
As of right now, Krug has just one goal in 26 games for the Blues as last season he tallied nine goals in 61 games with the Bruins. The goals will come, so there is no reason for Blues’ fans to panic over Krug’s lack of goals to this point, as his track record says they will come.
Krug had three seasons with more than 10 goals with the Bruins, including 14 goals in 2013-14 and 2017-18. His track record is that he will score more than five goals in a season and tally 30-plus assists over the last five seasons, and he has 14 assists this season for the Blues. It’s a shortened season, so he won’t reach the 40 or more assists numbers as he has had in the last five seasons.
Krug is on a power play unit with many shooters right now with Vladimir Tarasenko, Brayden Schenn, and David Perron, as all of those guys score goals, and Krug fits in perfectly to feed them the puck in tight lanes.
Power Play Is Getting Better
The addition of Tarasenko to the lineup helps the top power play unit immensely, adding another true sniper onto the unit. But the unit begins and ends with the quarterback, and that is Krug.
Krug has one goal and four assists on the power play this season, but the chances are getting better and becoming more frequent for him and that unit. They’ve scored on 19-percent of their chances on the man advantage this season, which is up from being under 10-percent for a lot of the early season. They are 20th in the league right now on the power-play, down from 3rd last season.
Perron has been a recent power play goal scorer, helping the numbers improve. The power play numbers are likely to get even better with Tarasenko returning to the lineup.
Where Does Krug Go from Here?
There are 30 games left in this season, and the Blues are currently 14-8-4 for 32 points and 2nd in the Honda West division. Their record should probably be in a better spot, but being over .500 with the number of significant injuries they have is a testament to the system and coaching. Krug is still getting used to playing with a new team after spending over seven seasons with the Bruins.
I expect his numbers to vastly improve as he gets more comfortable. He’s been terrific in all three zones while being paired with Justin Faulk. Those two have been amongst the best pairings in the NHL this season. If they stay together, the numbers will continue to improve.
Krug is locked in for a long time with the Blues, as he is only going to get improved numbers. There may be folks out there that believe he is not playing to his potential, which can be a fair criticism, but it is likely a comfortability thing. Krug played his entire career with one franchise prior to this, and the same can be said about Faulk after coming over from the Carolina Hurricanes.
Faulk is more comfortable and having an excellent season, I expect the same to happen for Krug. He is only going to improve his overall numbers.