With a week to go before the start of the regular season, the current plan is for Boston Bruins defenseman Torey Krug to make his preseason debut Wednesday night against the Detroit Red Wings.
At least that's what Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said on Tuesday, and what appears to be the natural next step as Krug continues to skate with his Bruins teammates without any sort of noticeable limitation.
"I feel pretty good; baby steps," Krug, who suffered a broken ankle in Game 4 of Boston's second-round series loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning last may, said on Tuesday. "Tough to tell day-to-day, but week-to-week, it's a lot better. Just trying to stay in the groove and get ready to play.
"I don't plan on any setbacks or anything."
Given his importance to the Boston defense -- Krug's 59 points were the most by any Boston defender since Ray Bourque's 82 in 1996 -- the Bruins have rightly exercised caution with Krug's comeback. But Krug, whose ankle injury did not require offseason surgery, feels as if he's worked through almost everything necessary to get his game back to where it needs to be.
"I actually feel really good skating-wise," Krug admitted after Tuesday's on-ice session at TD Garden. "I feel faster in the neutral zone, pivots are good. Just the stops and starts, reacting to the other players in the corners. That's probably the last part of [my recovery]."
Paired with Brandon Carlo on Tuesday, with whom Krug spent over half of his nearly 1,300 even-strength minutes a season ago, Krug is aware of the stumbles that could come as he works his way back into game-shape ahead of next Wednesday's season opening tilt in Washington.
"You're not gonna feel exactly how you felt the last time that you played," Krug acknowledged. "But like I said, it will come pretty quick. I'm not too worried about it. We're right on the cusp."
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