krug_card_younggunsWILMINGTON – Bruins defenseman Torey Krug is almost done getting changed when he looks across the room at goaltender Niklas Svedberg and asks the questions of the day: “How’s my shot?”

Krug’s concerned about the velocity of his shot, as well he should be. He just came back from surgery that repaired the broken pinky on his left hand. Last season, Bruins captain Zdeno Chara could barely shoot in the playoffs because of an injury to his pinky. A little more than two weeks removed from surgery, Krug’s trying to be the dynamic offensive player that often gets the Bruins going and can be the difference between them and other elite teams in the NHL.

Through three games, we’ve hardly seen Krug contribute in that manner. And in the two games this week against Toronto and Montreal, where the Bruins were outscored 11-2, Krug landed four shots on net and didn’t resemble the player that fired 14 pucks past goaltenders last season. He doesn’t have any points in his three games since he returned to the lineup.

Krug is clearly not 100 percent healthy and is adjusting his game in response to that. But he’ also trying to get back to the player he was before the injury.

“Yeah, you do [try to adjust]. You know you always try to play the game the same way but there are definitely times when you think about it and you’re not focused on everything,” Krug told after practice at Ristuccia Arena on Friday. “There are definitely times I can’t shoot the puck as quick as I normally could. You definitely have to make adjustments, but now there’s no excuses now. I’m comfortable with it and there’s no reason for not being able to play the way that I usually do.”

All 18 skaters that played against the Maple Leafs and Canadiens made their contributions to the Bruins’ dreadful defeats. Some had more problems than others. Krug was a minus-2 in Toronto and had an even rating in Montreal. His line might’ve been worse had the bounces not gone his way or had his teammates not bailed him out. Some of his decisions to pinch put the Bruins in bad situations. He missed on some hits in the defensive zone, including one miss that nearly turned into a highlight-reel goal by Montreal forward Alex Galchenyuk had goaltender Niklas Svedberg not made the stop.

Krug might still be shaking off some rust from inactivity. But he doesn’t think he’s done anything differently in terms of his decisions.

“I mean obviously you can always be better. Especially when you have a team effort like the last couple games, I think you always look in the mirror and say ‘yeah, I can definitely read better.’ But I feel up to speed,” Krug said. “And especially that first game back, I felt great getting back for pucks and making quick decisions. And I’m always confident in my decision making, so it’s not an issue for me. Maybe it’s just emotionally getting a little more engaged and being ready for that.”

Although two weeks was part of the two-to-three-week prognosis when he was initially injured, it still seemed like a quick return for a defenseman, especially one that’s as reliant on his shot as Krug. One has to wonder if David Warsofsky hadn’t been injured or if Kevan Miller and Zdeno Chara weren’t already out of the lineup if the Bruins would’ve waited a little longer to have Krug whole rather than at less than full strength.

It speaks to the Bruins’ lack of faith in Matt Bartkowski that the defenseman has been a healthy scratch even as Krug has clearly not been himself and opponents have been able to erase the threat of a Krug shot from their list of concerns.

Nonetheless, Krug doesn’t feel like he rushed back.

“No, not at all. I mean it was within the timeline that we suggested,” he said. “Maybe a day earlier but I mean we were cautious with that and I didn’t need to rush back. We won four in a row at the time. So I felt I was ready to go and I was. So now it’s just getting even more comfortable out there.”

Chara didn’t have surgery for his finger problem. The Bruins lost to Montreal in the second round of the playoffs and he had plenty of time to rest and heal for this season. Krug’s surgery accelerated the healing process, but one has to wonder when we’re going to see the full-steam-ahead Krug that makes the Bruins’ backline corps an offensive threat.

Oh, and for what it’s worth, Svedberg didn’t seem to think there was a problem with Krug’s shot.