WILMINGTON — The day that Torey Krug began thinking of the start of the 2013-14 NHL season — and the fitness test that comes with it — was “the day the season ended.” The Bruins defenseman wanted nothing more than to fast-forward to the start of the new year.
“At that moment, that year’s goal is unattainable and the next year’s goal is something you work for,” Krug said after the final captain’s practice at Ristuccia Arena Tuesday before training camp officially opens Wednesday. “So ever since that day I’ve been looking forward to [Wednesday] and I just can’t wait to get it going.”
Part of that is getting ready for the ever-popular fitness test, a day that tests both the mental and physical capacity of the players.
“Oh man,” Krug said. “The anxiety. You prepare all summer. I have so much confidence going into the testing that I’m going to do better than last year, that I’m going to pass all the tests, but there’s just something about it with the management and the coaching staff sitting there watching the tests.
“It adds that little element to it. Your heart’s racing and you spend a lot of energy. So it’s a tough day.”
His biggest focus was on improving his explosiveness. It helps, he said, now that he understands what’s important. That’s why he spent the summer doing Olympic lifts — cleans, snatches — along with box jumps and sprints. He has improved his nutrition, with new knowledge and understanding of what it takes to be in the NHL.
“I understand that I’ve got to win races to pucks and I’ve got to get away from the other guys faster, so that’s something I concentrated on,” Krug said.
The defenseman, who wowed in the playoff series against the Rangers with an offensive punch to go with his strengths behind the blue line, will be battling with a couple of other young defensemen to stay with the Bruins. Krug, Matt Bartkowski, and Dougie Hamilton are all up for jobs with the NHL club.
Adam McQuaid, who was paired on defense with Krug in the playoffs, said Monday, “I think we complemented each other well. We’ll see, obviously, what happens but I enjoyed playing with him last year in the playoffs. It was a short time, but I think if we got the opportunity to play together more, it could be a good thing.”
Enjoy the show
While some of the young players featured on the new NESN series, “Behind the B,” said they missed the show’s premiere Monday night, Krug tuned in and was interested in what he saw.
“I was on the edge of my seat,” Krug said. “It’s definitely an inside look and something they should take advantage of, because we don’t even get to see that stuff.”
Viewers got to see some of the young talent that took the ice for rookie camp this week, including Matt Lindblad and Malcolm Subban, both of whom said they didn’t see the show. There were also scenes of general manager Peter Chiarelli and his management team debating offseason moves — including the trade of Tyler Seguin — and scenes from the locker room just after the Bruins lost Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final.
“You’re always wondering in the back of your head what they’re thinking,” said Krug, who was gratified to hear it mentioned during the show that he could be another Andrew Ference. “To hear what actually goes on behind the scenes and to hear what they say makes you realize there’s a lot more that goes into it, makes you realize that it’s a business.
“It’s impressive. They make a lot of hard decisions.”
The show, which does not yet have a date set for the second episode, will be rebroadcast throughout the week on NESN.
Krug particularly enjoyed the portions featuring Bruins strength and conditioning coach John Whitesides.
“That was the most entertaining part,” he said. “He’s awesome. He definitely brings energy into the room.
“I’m glad we have him on our side because he makes sure nobody’s sleeping when they walk in the rink.”
The staff got a chance to look at the rookies at their tournament over the weekend in Florida, and came away impressed by some of the prospects. Providence Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said Zach Trotman was the best defenseman at the tournament, and also had praise for Subban, calling the goalie “very athletic, made some big stops.” On the offensive side, Cassidy called Ryan Spooner “very dynamic” and liked what he saw from Alex Fallstrom and Justin Florek. “I think it’s encouraging to see that there are names we’re thinking of that have legitimate chances as opposed to, well, these guys are all a year or two away,” Cassidy said.Amalie Benjamin can be reached at abenjamin @globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @amaliebenjamin.