Mar 16, 2012; Dallas, TX, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Marcus Kruger (16) defends against the Dallas Stars attack during the game at the American Airlines Center. The Blackhawks defeated the Stars 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
For any team to have success and have a good Stanley Cup run they need depth. Marcus Kruger is the kind of player the Blackhawks need to log those minutes fighting in hockey’s “trenches.” He is a very capable young centre. With some experience, he could easily bloom into a key player for Chicago. Last year, as a rookie he had 26 points (9G, 15A) in 71 games. The most intriguing stat however, was that he was +/- 11 on the season, good for 6th on the team.
In Rockford this season, he had 22 points, 24 PIMs and 8 goals in 34 games.
What I would like to see from Marcus is an added grit to his game. With Brandon Bollig as a possible line-mate, Kruger could really become a sore sight for Central Division defensemen. If he manages to stick with the club this season, I think he can be a dependable player down on the depth chart. What he needs to do this year is show up to play every game, and the point totals will go up from there. However, he is currently not taking part in training camp due to the flu.
If Marcus manages to play the majority of the season with the ‘Hawks, his over under is going to be around 5 goals/10 assists. However, the things that make him a successful player at his place in the lineup are not going to be padding the stat columns. He will need to make smart decisions with and without the puck, have a very strong fore-check and back-check, and keep himself healthy and out of the penalty box.
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