Hockey fans temporarily were thrown into a time machine Monday night during Game 1 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final.
Torey Krug, fresh off a dustup with David Perron in front of Tuukka Rask’s crease, skated the length of the ice midway through the third period of the Boston Bruins’ 4-2 win over the St. Louis Blues to deliver a bone-crushing hit on Robert Thomas. It was an energy-shifting moment fueled by emotion, and it’s since become the talk of Boston with the Bruins leading 1-0 in the best-of-seven series.
In short, the punishing blow looked like something you’d see years ago, perhaps when the Bruins and Blues last squared off in the Stanley Cup Final in 1970. The hit was both clean and emphatic, and Krug’s hair flowed in the breeze as he traveled the rink in search of revenge after losing his helmet while battling with Perron.
“It was a great part of the game,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said Tuesday. “They had a great battle in front, two guys going at it hard, and he came down the ice. I think he was actually joining the play to try and get involved offensively. The hit presented itself, he took it. Looked clean from my angle, both the no helmet and the way he went. Yeah, it was old school. I thought it was a good energy boost for our team, the crowd enjoyed it. Those hit usually are, they go each way. Good for Torey.”
Krug has been excellent this postseason, thriving as Boston’s quarterback on the power play while also proving he’s far more than just an offensive-minded defenseman. But Monday’s hit will go down in Bruins lore should Boston wind up hoisting Lord Stanley.
In 1970, Bobby Orr soared through the air following a championship-clinching goal against the Blues. This time around, a helmet-less Krug took flight after potentially setting the tempo for Boston.