TD Bank

Learning the Ropes

Krug, young P-Bruins look to adapt to AHL style

Friday, 10.5.2012 / 9:45 AM ET / Features
By Evan Sporer  -
Share with your Friends

Learning the Ropes
Trent Whitfield knows a thing or two about what it means to be a Providence Bruin, and he and the other veterans on the P-Bruins are doing what they can to prepare a group of new professional hockey players for what\u2019s to come. \r\n

MARLBOROUGH, MA — Trent Whitfield knows a thing or two about what it means to be a Providence Bruin.

The rugged 35-year-old forward (who began his pro career in 1988 and has made nine different stops in the NHL) has been a part of the Bruins organization since 2009 and is currently the Providence captain.

As his Providence club continues to progress closer to the start of its season, set to begin October 12, Whitfield, and the other veterans on the P-Bruins, are doing what they can to prepare a group of new professional hockey players for what’s to come during the regular season.

Whitfield got his first chance to skate alongside one of his new, young teammates in a game Thursday night, as Providence took on Bridgeport in an exhibition on "neutral" ice in central Massachusetts.

For Whitfield, and Providence rookie Torey Krug, it was their first taste of preseason action.

"You’ve just got to teach them to be professional and play every night," Whitfield said after the Bridgeport game of his role in helping younger players.

"It’s not once a week or that type of thing," added Whitfield. "It’s an everyday kind of thing."

For Krug, while it may have been his first night skating in a game for Providence — even if it was only an exhibition — there appeared to be no first-game jitters. The Michigan State product, who actually played two NHL games with the Boston Bruins at the end of last season, showed the skills that caught the eye of the Black & Gold and made him a Hobey Baker finalist last season.

The young blueliner saw time on the Providence power play and, looked poised on the puck as he buzzed around the ice firing sharp passes to forwards to start the P-Bruins attack.

In his own zone, Krug looked comfortable on the boards, and showed a physical side, which may have come to a shock to those watching the 5-foot-9 defenseman. At one point in the third, Krug stood up a Bridgeport player at his own blueline, causing a roar from the crowd.

"He’s obviously a great skater," Whitfield said. "He moves the puck well, he sees the ice really well.

"He’s only going to get better."

But postgame, Krug acknowledged having to makes adjustments.

"It’s just a different style," Krug said of professional hockey. "More guys chipping pucks, taking the body, while in the NHL, more guys are controlling the pucks, making plays."

The 21-year-old defenseman said he’s getting closer to becoming accustomed to AHL play, while still learning the nuances of the pro game.

"There were definitely plays out there that I felt I was in midseason form, but there were also plays out there that I felt like I was stuck in summer," explained Krug with a smile. "But there’s definitely little things like that you have to take [note of] as they come.

"That’s the reason there’s exhibition games."

However, Providence Head Coach Bruce Cassidy held high praise for his young player after the final horn, saying he was good on both ends of the ice.

"He’s creative, does a good job on the offensive blue line, good job breaking pucks out," Cassidy said. "He sees the ice well.

"So he’s going to be good in transition for us. I think he defends well, too."

But as Krug and his young teammates continue to prepare for his official AHL debut next week, throughout the regular season they'll also stand to benefit from the wealth of pro-level experience boasted by Providence.

"When you get up, even in the American League, it’s one of the best leagues in the world," Whitfield said as he went through a veteran's mental checklist. "It’s just good young talent; keep them focused, keeping them upbeat, and get them to play hard every night together."




1 MTL 75 46 21 8 197 167 100
2 TBL 75 46 22 7 244 194 99
3 DET 73 39 22 12 212 201 90
4 OTT 73 37 25 11 213 195 85
5 BOS 74 36 25 13 195 193 85
6 FLA 74 34 26 14 184 202 82
7 TOR 75 27 42 6 194 241 60
8 BUF 74 20 46 8 141 249 48


P. Bergeron 73 21 31 2 52
L. Eriksson 73 19 23 0 42
D. Hamilton 72 10 32 -3 42
M. Lucic 73 15 25 10 40
B. Marchand 69 22 17 6 39
C. Soderberg 74 11 27 8 38
R. Smith 73 12 25 8 37
T. Krug 70 12 23 12 35
D. Krejci 39 7 21 7 28
C. Kelly 72 7 20 8 27
N. Svedberg 7 5 1 .919 2.30
T. Rask 29 19 12 .921 2.34
Hallmark Health System
Friendly's - Official Family Restaurant and Ice Cream of the Boston Bruins
Jack Links
NHL Ticket Exchange
Dunkin' Donuts Ultimate Bruins Experience Sweepstakes   AMI Graphics   Geico - Aim for savings

Click the instant ticket and enter to win Second Chance Drawings