Torey Krug Enjoys a Memorable NHL Debut After Last-Minute Scramble to Get Family to Boston

Torey Krug Enjoys a Memorable NHL Debut After Last-Minute Scramble to Get Family to BostonBOSTON – The toughest part of Torey Krug's first night in the NHL actually came the day before his debut.

The new Bruins blueliner, who was signed out of Michigan State as an undrafted free agent last week, found out he would play his first game with his new club on Monday. That led to some last-minute scrambling to get his family to Boston in time for the big event on Tuesday.

"It was crazy, I didn't get too much sleep," Krug said. "I actually slept better [Tuesday] before the game when I took my nap. It was just hectic trying to get my family in to watch."

The Krug clan all eventually made it to the Garden, with his parents, Kyle and Cheryl, and older brothers Adam, who played professionally this season in Romania, and Matt, who played for Toledo in the ECHL, and younger brother Zak all on hand for the grand debut.

"Everyone was here," Krug said. "My three brothers, my two parents, they played a big role in getting me here to this level so I had to get them out here."

That wasn't too easy though, as Krug's parents were already in the air heading home to Michigan when he got the news and tried to reach them.

"My parents were actually in New York and when I found out they were on the plane back from New York from this weekend to Detroit," Krug said. "So I couldn't get a hold of them so they were the last ones to find out."

After handling all the travel details, playing against Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin was the easy part. Well, maybe not quite easy, but Krug held his own, finishing even with two shots and a blocked shot in 18:18.

"I thought he handled himself well," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "I like the way he moved the puck. I think everybody who knows the game realized that he's a good puck-mover, his mobility was obvious, and the only thing I would tell you is that you could see him in the defensive zone really thinking about trying to play within our system, and sometimes he was maybe just a fraction of a second delayed, which is totally normal. But once he knew what he had to do, he went. So there was no hesitation once his mind was made up, and that will only get better as it becomes second nature, and that's totally, as I said, totally natural for a guy playing in his first game."

Krug was more critical of his own game, but praised his new teammates for helping to ease the transition.

"I'm most upset that we lost," Krug said. "The expectation here is to win and we have to fine-tune before the playoffs."

But the loss couldn't take away all the enjoyment of the special night.

"That was something special sitting there watching Malkin and Crosby and lining up against those guys," Krug said. "So it was a lot of fun and my teammates did a great job making sure I was doing okay and comfortable out there.

"The biggest advice I was given was have fun and be myself," Krug added. "You know, when it comes down to it, it's just another hockey game and it's just a level higher. All the guys said, 'Have fun, you're going to remember this for the rest of your life,' and I think I did that."

Krug may remember it for the rest of his life, but for now, he's still having trouble believing he's in the NHL.

"I'm not even sure if I realized that yet," Krug said. "It's something I can't put my finger on, but hopefully in the next couple of days it will settle in."

Have a question for Douglas Flynn? Send it to him via Twitter at @douglasflynn or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.

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