These are exciting and anxious times for Torey Krug, for a couple reasons
ST. LOUIS — The upcoming week has the potential to be quite a frenzy for Bruins defenseman Torey Krug.
Not only is his team competing in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday night, Krug’s wife, Melanie, is also scheduled to give birth to the couple’s first child any day now. With the Bruins about to play their 24th game of the playoffs — 11 of which were on the road — the past two months have undoubtedly been rather busy.
“She’s getting a little nervous here,” Krug said Monday at the Bruins’ hotel in St. Louis.
The nerves are there for Krug, too, as is the excitement. He said during the conference semifinals that he’s doing his best to “enjoy every second” of the parenthood journey amid Boston’s push for the Cup.
Although he admitted he gets anxious, experiencing the full spectrum of emotions that come with an expectant wife, Krug noted that he’s able to do his job “without too much stress.” Starting with his helmetless hit on St. Louis Blues rookie Robert Thomas, the 28-year-old stalwart has strung together an impressive postseason.
“It’s been fun,” he said. “Family is the most important thing in this world, for sure. It’s kind of allowed me to relax and just play hockey.”
Over the next couple of days in Boston, Krug plans to lie low ahead of his two potentially life-changing events.
“My wife won’t be moving around too much,” he said.
If all goes according to plan, the celebrations will be plentiful.
As the only member of the roster who was on the team in 2013 but not 2011, Krug said he utilizes that loss as a motivator and is eager to do his part so that he can avoid watching an opposing team hoist the Cup at TD Garden for the second time.
“For myself, personally, that feeling after losing in 2013 was crushing,” he said. “I never want to feel that again, to be honest.”
Grzelcyk not cleared
Defenseman Matt Grzelcyk remains in concussion protocol and has not yet been cleared, coach Bruce Cassidy announced.
“Who knows how that’ll play out Wednesday,” Cassidy said.
Even if Grzelcyk is cleared in time for Game 7, Cassidy was not dead set on re-inserting him into the lineup. Grzelcyk has not played since exiting Game 2 with a head injury and has since practiced twice in a red noncontact sweater.
“He’s missed some games now,” Cassidy said. “Do you want to mess with the back end?”
If Grzelcyk is unable to go — or if Cassidy elects to sit him — John Moore will probably continue to skate in his place.
Forward Karson Kuhlman, who made his Stanley Cup Final debut in Game 6, will also stay in the lineup, Cassidy said.
Replacing veteran David Backes in the second line, Kuhlman scored Boston’s third goal Sunday night. The 23-year-old rookie became the 21st player to score a goal from the Bruins this postseason, leaving Moore and netminder Tuukka Rask as the only ones who have suited up but not scored.
It’s go time for Blues
Blues coach Craig Berube is asking his players to up their physicality in Game 7.
“We got to be aggressive,” Berube said before his team departed for Boston. “That’s our style. That’s the way we have success.”
Berube wasn’t sure why his team seemed to be less physical in Game 6, suggesting players may have held back in fear of a whistle.
Officiating has been an ongoing topic of discussion this series, as both coaches have issued their fair share of criticism.
Two Blues have been suspended, one for boarding and the other for an illegal check to the head.
“Who knows what goes on, what goes through guys’ heads, things like that,” Berube said. “I think we can be more physical than we were last game.”
Berube also said the team shuffled things around on the power play, moving guys to different spots with hopes of generating more “dirty goals.”
The Blues have struggled mightily with a man-up advantage, converting just 16.3 percent of their chances this postseason. In Game 6, they came up empty-handed on five tries.
Berube said he liked most of the looks his team got, but players need to create second and third opportunities as well. He credited the Bruins with doing a good job collapsing to help out Rask.
“It’s going to take a couple dirty goals, better net presence, screens, [and] finding rebounds,” Berube said. “We need to outnumber them at the net a little bit more, so we can try to get a couple dirty goals.”