It’s now been over a month since the St. Louis Blues signed defenceman Torey Krug and ended the Alex Pietrangelo era in St. Louis. Blues fans have started to calm down and think rationally about the future of the team. So, let’s talk about the potential positives and the negatives of the signing.
Positives of Torey Krug Signing
For the Boston Bruins last season, Torey Krug had nine goals and 40 assists for 49 points in 61 regular season games. 28 of those 49 points came on the power play. He averaged 20:29 of ice time.
His possession numbers were 55.6 percent Corsi and a relative Corsi of 6.3. He added six assists in 13 playoff games. He averaged even more ice time in the playoffs with 22:51.
Obviously, no one is going to replace Pietrangelo, but they do have some similar statistics. Pietrangelo had 16 goals and 36 assists for 52 points in 70 games last season. 22 of those 52 points came on the power play.
Pietrangelo averaged more ice time than Krug at 24:11 per game. His possession numbers were 53.0 percent Corsi and a relative Corsi of 3.9. In the playoffs, Pietrangelo added one goal and five assists for six points in nine games and averaged 25:12 of ice time.
The Blues power play was not good in the playoffs and losing Pietrangelo will no doubt hurt it. Krug is also known to produce on the power play so he could potentially help even it out.
Krug might be expected to take on more responsibility and play more minutes as a member of the Blues. Even if he isn’t, if Krug can do as well as he did in Boston in St. Louis, it’s a huge positive for the Blues.
Krug is already extremely familiar with the Blues and the way they play. He played against them in the 2019 Stanley Cup Final. So unlike a lot of players, there shouldn’t be a huge transition period where he is adjusting to the Blues’ style of play. At least, that’s the hope.
All anyone can do before training camp is make an educated guess on what the defensive pairings will look like, especially since Vince Dunn is still a restricted free agent.
However, it would be interesting to see if head coach Craig Berube decides to test out the chemistry between Justin Faulk and Krug, who played together for Team USA in the 2015 World Championships. That could be fun to watch and could help out both of them.
Negative of Krug Signing
The potential negative of Torey Krug is that it’s hard to know if he will fit in with the team until they step out on the ice. A lot of Blues’ fans were excited about Faulk when he was first traded to the Blues and then he had a disappointing season offensively.
He got better as the season went on, but Blues’ fans were pretty tough on him. And considering Blues’ management ultimately chose to use the money they could have used to pay Pietrangelo on Krug, Blues’ fans are sure to be extra hard on him.
It will be important to remember going forward not to hold him to an unrealistic standard and to give him some time to adjust to his new teammates. He’s not Pietrangelo and he’s not trying to be. He’s a different player who can still provide a lot of great things for the team.