BOSTON (CBS) — Torey Krug provided one heck of a highlight during the Bruins’ Game 1 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Monday night. While it likely won’t get the iconic treatment that another Bruins player flying through the air against the Blues got nearly 50 years ago, Krug’s mountainous hit on Robert Thomas is now forever part of Bruins lore.

And though the play didn’t mean too much in terms of the final outcome of Boston’s 4-2 victory to start the Stanley Cup Final, the moment was not lost on Krug’s head coach. Bruce Cassidy saw his undersized defenseman getting pummeled by David Perron in front of the Boston net, losing his helmet in the process, only to pounce up and skate three-quarters of the way down the ice to deliver the massive — but completely legal — hit on Thomas. On Tuesday, with the hit still fresh on the minds of Bruins and hockey fans everywhere, Cassidy said it was a gigantic energy boost for his team.

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“It was a great part of the game. [Krug and Perron] had a good battle out front, two guys going at it hard. He came down the ice, I think he was actually joining the play to try to get involved offensively, and the hit presented itself and he took it. It looked clean from my angle,” said Cassidy. “With no helmet and the way it went, it was old school. I thought it was a good energy boost for our team. The crowd enjoyed it; those hits usually are [enjoyable] and they go each way.”

On Tuesday, Krug told reporters that he was trying to insert some physicality into the game, which was lacking from the Bruins early in the contest.

“That’s what we were missing in the first period, to be honest. Once we got going in the second period, we had a little bit more of a heavier style game. We took their game and gave it to them,” said Krug. “It’s critical for our success moving forward, we have to play on that edge – a very disciplined, physical style of hockey – so we don’t give them any momentum.”

Brad Marchand, though, thinks there was a different motive to the hit: Krug wanted to make a highlight that also showed off his locks.

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“He has some sexy flow; it waves in the wind and everything. I’m pretty sure he took that run up the ice because he knew there would be good pictures of it,” Marchand joked Tuesday. “But it was a good play.”

“Brad likes to come up with the good ones,” responded Krug.

Though Krug is just 5-foot-9, he’s been packing a mean punch during Boston’s playoff run. Better known for his offensive abilities, especially on the power play, Krug’s defense is often sold short. Cassidy is glad that’s being proven otherwise this postseason.

“Good for Torey. He’s had a real good playoff in terms of, people know he’s a good puck-mover with power play acumen, but he’s played heavy minutes against good players every night. I appreciate that, his teammates appreciate that and he’s building on his overall game,” said Cassidy. “He’s always wanted to do that and this playoffs has allowed him to get out of that label as just an offensive-defenseman. He’s been real good for us night in and night out.”

Krug is averaging 21:41 of ice time this postseason, contributing on offense with a goal and 11 assists. The hockey world has known for years that Krug can bring a wallop on that side of the ice, but only Bruins fans knew that he could also dole out some punishment when needed. At least everyone else is starting to catch up this postseason.

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