This entry in my Top 100 may get an eyebrow or two raised, but Kruger to me was a great soldier that played his role, and he was an integral part of 2 Stanley Cup runs.
When I did this countdown 3 years ago, I didn’t include Marcus Kruger in my Top 100 because at the time he only had one Stanley Cup, and his role wasn’t as defined as it was when he was traded to the Vegas Knights last week.
When he arrived in Chicago, they tried to make him the 2nd line center which was a role he truly wasn’t built for, and many thought that would be it for Kruger with the Hawks.
Then he took over the bottom line with a host of different players, and he became one of the best penalty killers on the team along with Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, and Michal Frolik.
The biggest Kruger highlight had to come in Boston during Game #6 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final during those wonderful 17 seconds. at he didn’t even get a point on the play, but his little back pass to Johnny Oduya started the domino effect of the puck ending up behind Tukka Rask. One of the best highlights is seeing Kruger jumping into Dave Bolland’s arms first!
Kruger definitely became a fan favorite for accepting his role with the Blackhawks and becoming an invaluable piece to the Blackhawks Stanley Cup puzzle! He did all the little things that most guys don’t like doing especially on the PK.
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Kruger of course isn’t on this list because he lit up the stat sheet, but here are his stats while playing with the Hawks.
Of course even though he didn’t score a ton of goals, he was able to put the puck in the back of the net even when the spotlight shined brightest. His overtime goal in Game #2 of the Western Conference Finals was probably overshadowed by the Andrew Shaw Head Butt goal, but it was a huge goal in that series.
There are a lot of role players in Chicago Blackhawks history, but the difference with Kruger is that he hoisted the Cup two times!
What do you think? Too high or too low or shouldn’t be on the list?
Only 90 days left until the Hawks host the Penguins at the United Center!! Is It October yet?