BOSTON, MA -- B's rookie defenseman Torey Krug made his NHL debut on Tuesday night, played 18:18, put two shots on goal and blocked another as the Bruins dropped a 5-3 decision to Pittsburgh in TD Garden.
"It was a lot of fun," said Krug. "Something I’ll remember forever.
"Unfortunately we didn’t get the result that we wanted."
However, Boston Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien said he liked what he saw from the young blueliner.
"Yeah, I thought he handled himself well," said Julien. "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," explained the B's coach. "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.
"The rest of it -- as I said, when he had the puck, he didn’t hesitate, and I thought he moved it well and made great passes."
Krug said that playing against some of the NHL marquee talent put an exclamation point on the experience.
"Yeah, that was something special sitting there watching [Evgeni] Malkin and [Sidney] Crosby and lining up against those guys," said Krug. "It was a lot of fun and my teammates did a great job making sure I was doing okay and comfortable out there."
The fans in the Garden made the rookie feel right at home as well.
"It was a lot of fun to play in front of these fans," said Krug. "Michigan State, the crowd we had there was very intimate and into the game and I feel it was the same here.
"Everybody knows their stuff and they know hockey so the fans are unbelievable and it’s something I'll look forward to on a nightly basis."
Before the game, Krug said he got some good advice that allowed him to focus.
"The biggest advice I was given was have fun and be myself," said Krug. "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."
In doing that, Krug put his best foot forward.
"He gets the experience to play at this level, and to play at this level right now is pretty good," said Julien. "We get to see him not just fresh into training camp, but also having played a full season at school and coming in in the best of shape he can be in right now.
"So we’re seeing him at his best, and we’re seeing some of the hockey at its best, so it’s a great way to evaluate a player right now."
But right now, Krug is also just trying to get a handle on the whole experience of playing in his first NHL action.
"I’m not even sure if I realized that yet," said Krug. "It’s something I can’t put my finger on, but hopefully in the next couple of days it will settle in."