BOSTON — It was the hit heard around the world.
In the third period of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, Boston Bruins defenseman Torey Krug — all 5-foot-9 of him — got tangled up with St. Louis Blues winger David Perron in front Boston’s net. The puck already had gone well the other way, but the two wouldn’t stop sparring.
Perron eventually got away first, skating to the Blues bench. Krug, who lost his helmet in the scuffle, dashed toward Perron, but seemed to think better of trying to hit him. He dashed into the defensive zone just as Robert Thomas got the puck and leveled the Blues winger with a thunderous hit.
“I had a lot of hits,” Krug quipped when asked to walk reporters through his hit. “Just battling with their guy in front, got up without a helmet and wasn’t too happy about it, and just came down the ice and had a chance to make a hockey hit, and it turned out to be a good one. Hopefully it gave the guys a boost on the bench and the crowd obviously liked it. So it’s just part of the game. I’m sure there’s going to be another one next game involving someone else I’m sure.”
Indeed it did give his teammates a boost, as many gave the veteran blueliner high marks after the game.
“Oh!” shouted David Backes before the reporter asking had a chance to finish his question. “That gave me some goosebumps. He’s battling in our zone with Perron, and I don’t know what kind of twister game they were playing in front of our net, but no bucket and to — I was hoping he would change, he doesn’t have his helmet on — but goes right up the ice and lays a big hit. But I don’t know he thinks he’s playing 30, 40 years ago, but that was an exchange that I think was Torey Krug establishing himself in this series. And that was, from my perspective, a big boost.”
Connor Clifton had a pretty simple response when asked what Krug showed with the hit.
“His courage and that you don’t want to mess with that guy,” Clifton said. “Don’t make that guy mad.”
Perron, whose teammate got pasted because of his kerfuffle with Krug, didn’t really see what happened, but he certainly heard the reaction.
“I honestly didn’t see it,” Perron said. “I just went back to the bench, we got tangled up, I went to the bench and all I hear is the crowd. I tried to look for the replay and I barely saw it, so it’s tough to comment. Ask me again tomorrow maybe.”
There really wasn’t a rivalry between the two teams going into this series, similar to the 2011 Bruins and Vancouver Canucks, so one has to get built along the way. It’s probably safe to say Krug’s hit is going to help serve as a catalyst in sparking a rivalry between the sides.