With his Penguins in town to play the Bruins Monday, Team USA head coach Dan Bylsma said that the management and coaching staff has mentioned Torey Krug in their discussions about their roster for February’s Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
“I think I can without hesitation say that he has been mentioned and talked about a little bit, based on how he’s played, the start he’s had, what he’s done so far through  games,” Bylsma said. “So yeah, we’ve been watching. We’ve got a lot of people out watching hockey games live and on tape. We certainly have made note of how he’s been playing and what he’s done on the back end there.”
He got to witness some of that play firsthand, as Krug scored the winner against the Penguins, sending in a shot from the right dot that beat goalie Marc-Andre Fleury in the Bruins’ 4-3 overtime victory. It was Krug’s seventh of the season, tying him with Erik Karlsson, Shea Weber, and Michael Stone for the league lead among defensemen.
There are names ahead of his for the Olympics, certainly, but the fact that Krug’s name has come up says something about how far the rookie blueliner has come in his brief time in the NHL.
Krug, though, shrugged off mention of a potential spot on the Olympic team.
“I still don’t think about it,” he said. “I’m worried about what’s going on here in our locker room and still trying to make sure I keep my game at a level where I want it to be.”
Krug had played just three regular-season NHL games before breaking out with four goals in five games against the Rangers in last season’s playoffs, and he hasn’t stopped.
The defenseman remains a long shot for Team USA with more established and more defensively responsible players ahead of him. He doesn’t play against an opponent’s top line, which could be a problem in the Olympics where teams roll out stars on nearly all their lines. But he has been excellent as the quarterback of the Bruins’ first power-play unit, and seems to thrive in the four-on-four environment of overtime hockey, as he showed on Monday.
“I love it,” Krug said. “A lot more room on the ice to skate and play with the puck. It’s more of a possession game, you’re not just chipping pucks up the wall, and if you watch me play you understand I like to play with the puck, so it’s a lot more fun for me.”
Krug was not invited to the Team USA orientation camp this summer, nor was any member of the Bruins. (Boston has just three Americans on its roster: Krug, Matt Bartkowski, and Kevan Miller.)
The team is likely to send a number of other players to the Olympics, with Patrice Bergeron (Canada), Zdeno Chara (Slovakia), David Krejci (Czech Republic), Loui Eriksson (Sweden), and Tuukka Rask (Finland) locks. Other players who could be headed to Sochi include Carl Soderberg (Sweden) and Milan Lucic (Canada).
Johnny Boychuk took a puck to the throat in the third period, immediately skating to the bench and heading to the dressing room before returning. “I thought it might have been cut, so I wanted to get right off,” Boychuk said. He said that he had a bit of trouble swallowing right after it happened, but that he would be fine. “Superman prevails,” he quipped . . . The last time a Boston opponent scored with less than a second to go in the third period was Jan. 19, 2009, when the Blues’ David Backes did it. St. Louis won that game in overtime . . . The Bruins have played three straight overtime games; the last time that happened was in January 2009, when they played four straight.