The Bruins pulled out an overtime win last night against the Penguins when defenseman Torey Krug wound up and unleashed a slap-shot past Pittsburgh netminder Marc-Andre Fleury for a 4-3 final score. The goal was the seventh of the season for Krug who burst on the scene during last season’s playoffs when he became the first defenseman in NHL history to score four goals in his first five postseason contests. This year he hasn’t only been one of the league’s top scoring rookie defensemen, he’s tied for the league lead in goals among all d-men while ranking third among all rookie skaters.
The Bruins are no strangers to high-scoring defensemen as perhaps the best of them all, Bobby Orr, sported the black and gold, which is what makes the following statement all the more incredible. Krug has an excellent chance to be the top goal scoring rookie defenseman in Boston history. Currently the list of most goals during the equivalent of a Calder Trophy eligible season among freshman B’s backliners includes the Raymond Bourque (17), Greg Hawgood (16), Orr (13), Woody Dumart (13) and Eddie Shore (12). Krug’s seven goals have come in just 24 games, giving him more than two-thirds of the season to continue his assault on the net as well as the record books. Krug already has as many goals in less than two months as any Bruins defensive member of the NHL’s All Rookie teams (Glen Wesley scored seven goals in 79 games during 1987-88, Kyle McLaren had five in 74 1995-96 games and Nick Boynton four in 80 2001-02 games).
The alltime single-season NHL goals record is also within shouting distance of Krug who has 16 more tallies to go to reach the 23 scored by Rangers (by way of Boston College) Hall of Famer Brian Leetch in 1988-89. In fact, Krug’s current rate of 0.29 goals per game is just slightly behind Leetch’s pace of 0.34 which sets the standard during the expansion era (also at 0.29, only Hawgood and Colorado’s Barry Beck are in the same neighborhood among those in the post World War II era).
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He has also authored or made contributions to many books, including the Sports Illustrateds 100 Fenway: A Fascinating First Century.
Now living in Marblehead, hes focusing his attention on the Boston sports scene, specifically delving into the numbers affecting the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics and Bruins, with the goal of informing and entertaining real fans. You can follow him on Twitter at @SabinoSports.