Boston Bruins: Prospects Knight, Krug off to a Rough Start as AHL Rookies

Al DanielCorrespondent IINovember 15, 2012

UNIONDALE, NY - MARCH 31:  Torey Krug #47 of the Boston Bruins skates in warmups prior to the game between the New York Islanders and the Boston Bruins at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on March 31, 2012 in Uniondale, New York.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

From what little information has been disclosed, neither forward Jared Knight nor defenseman Torey Krug appear likely to see much, if any game action for the Providence Bruins this weekend.

If that is the case, it will prolong a hard-luck early going for both Boston prospects in their respective rookie campaigns.

Knight, who was supposed to be (and could still later become) one half of a dynamic tag team with fellow freshman Ryan Spooner, has been confined to two pointless appearances in the first month of the 2012-13 season.

Those both happened to be on opening weekend Oct. 12-13. Since then, chronic hamstring difficulties have kept him out of commission. The most recent report from the Providence Journal in advance of this weekend’s action said that he “practiced without contact,” a sign that extramural engagements are still not in the immediate future.

The fact that the P-Bruins decided to spring for an ECHL call-up in the middle of this week after resisting any such moves since the start of the season is another potential indicator of Knight’s iffy status.

Krug, Knight’s fellow Michigander and first-year professional, entered this season on the heels of a pleasantly surprising two-game stint with the parent Boston Bruins straight out of Michigan State last April.

Much as Knight was seeking a spare forward slot in the NHL, Krug was supposed to be in the mix with Matt Bartkowski and free-agent imports Aaron Johnson and Garnet Exelby to be Boston’s seventh defenseman.

If there is any silver lining from the indefinite continuation of the NHL lockout, Krug ought to be feeling it as much as Knight. His development period in Providence has been defined by his below-average size hindering his effectiveness. Now his campaign has been complicated by an injury that had him sitting the last game out.

According to the Journal, Krug has been dealing with a foot ailment that kept him out of practice earlier this week. As it is with Knight, there is no definite prognosis as to his status, but odds are he will not be returning right away.

The 10 appearances Krug has made with the P-Bruins have been less than glamorous. In that span, he has accrued a team-low minus-eight rating.

Furthermore, of the 28 goals Providence has surrendered during Krug's 10 games-played, nine have occurred on his watch, all when he has been one of five or six Bruins skaters in action.

Krug has been on the ice for five even-strength strikes, three shorthanded and one empty net tally in his own cage. Putting that another way, nine of the season’s first 19 opposing goals to be scored when the Bruins had as many or more skaters on duty are, in part, on Krug’s tab.

He might not have a chance to start rinsing out that vinegar right away, nor may Knight be venturing out to hatch any of his goose-eggs before Thanksgiving.

Unlike veteran Trent Whitfield, who has been missing since Oct. 27 and dealing with repeat injuries for the last three-plus years, Krug and Knight are at least early enough in their careers. Plenty of fresh sheets should lie ahead for them as part of their terms in the Bruins system.