2013 Blackhawks Report Cards : Marcus Kruger

Harry How

Today we look at one of the unsung heroes of the 2013 Cup team, Marcus Kruger.

Standard Regular Season Stats

Scoring Stats Goals Assists Ice Time
GP G A PTS GC +/- PIM EV PP SH GW EV SH PP S S% TOI ATOI
47 4 9 13 5 3 24 4 0 0 2 7 0 2 50 8 666 14:10

Advanced Regular Season Stats (5 on 5)

TOI G A FirstA Points Shots iFenwick iCorsi ShPct G/60 A/60 FirstA/60 Points/60 Shots/60 iFenwick/60 iCorsi/60 IGP IAP IPP
519:09:00 3 5 3 8 45 55 67 6.67 0.347 0.578 0.347 0.92 5.2 6.356 7.743 18.7 31.3 50

Standard Playoff Stats

Scoring Stats Goals Ice Time
GP G A PTS GC +/- PIM EV PP SH GW S S% TOI ATOI
23 3 2 5 2 -2 2 3 0 0 1 27 11.1 317 13:48

Advanced Playoff Stats (5 on 5)

GP TOI/60 Corsi Rel QoC Corsi QoC Corsi Relative Corsi On On-Ice Sh% On-Ice Sv% PDO Pens Taken/60 Pens Drawn/60 Off Zone Start % Off Zone Finish %
23 10.27 -0.721 -4.685 -10.7 2.79 7.08 921 992 0.3 0.8 22.8 41.6

Marcus Kruger was a very important piece to the Blackhawks 2013 Stanley Cup puzzle, but you wouldn't know from just looking at the stat sheet. Kruger is one of those guys that does so many things that never show up on the score sheet but are just as important as goals and assists. Marcus has taken on the nickname of Frogger because of the way he seems to get run over, just like everybody's favorite 8 bit frog from the 1980s. While he did not deliver many hits, only credited with 12 in the regular season, he certainly absorbed his fair share. If "hits taken" was a category Kruger would be one of the league leaders. Not sure why every team seemed to target him but to his credit, he took every single one of those hits and never slowed down.

Frogger started the year in Rockford, during the lockout, and I think the time down there really helped his development. Kruger finished the year with just 13 points (4 G, 9 A) but two of his four goals were game winning goals. He had three goals in the post season with one being the game winner. Kruger did not score often, but it always seemed to be a big goal when he did.

But Marcus Kruger is not here to be a goal scorer, he is here to be a penalty killer and a defensive reliability. He has accepted this role and has excelled at it. His development on the defensive end was one of the reasons trading Dave Bolland was made even easier. Kruger was one of the key players on a penalty kill unit that allowed a league low 18 power play goals during the regular season. During the playoffs the Hawks PK only allowed 7 goals on 76 chances. Marcus Kruger had only 6 giveaways in the regular season which, along with Michael Frolik, was the lowest of the regular Blackhawks. His 24 takeaways was good for 8th on the team.

One area of Kruger's game that can use some improvement is his faceoffs. He won 228 of his 493 (17.8% of the team's total faceoffs) draws which equals a 46.2 win percentage. His faceoff percentage on the penalty kill wasn't too spectacular either as he won just 58 of his 150 shorthanded draws (38.7%). His numbers at the dot dropped off in the post season as he only won 37.6 of his draws.

When grading a role player like Marcus Kruger, you can't compare him to the other players on the team. He doesn't stack up to the top line players on the Blackhawks. You have to grade him on the duties he has been asked to do, and for the most part he has done an excellent job at those. The only thing that prevented Frogger from getting an A was his struggles at the faceoff dot. As of now Kruger is still an unsigned restricted free agent but negotiations are ongoing between the Hawks and his agent.

Final grade: B

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