Matt Bartkowski is one of the more po..."/> Matt Bartkowski is one of the more po..."/> Matt Bartkowski is one of the more po..."/>

Boston Bruins: Another Opportunity For Matt Bartkowski.


Mar 27, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman

Matt Bartkowski

(43) celebrates with goalie

Tuukka Rask

(40) after defeating the Chicago Blackhawks 3-0 at TD Banknorth Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Bartkowski is one of the more polarizing players on the Bruins roster. The fan base either loves him or hates him. He’s a strong, speedy, and skilled player. He is also a player that is prone to mental lapses at the worst possible time.

Going into the off season last year, it seemed clear that Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli was going to attempt to move Bartkowski.  (He had been part of the aborted Jarome Iginla deal the year before.) With the Bruins solid core and reserve of defensemen, Bartkowski was one player the organization could move and attempt to earn some trade value from.

More from Bruins News

Then things went out of whack for Boston. They couldn’t come to a deal with Torey Krug, leaving them down a defenseman.  None of the AHL Bruins looked ready enough to take on full time NHL responsibilities. The Bruins were finally able to come to terms with Krug only to trade away Johnny Boychuk to the New York Islanders a few days later.  Even with the roster is such flux, the Bruins saw fit to only dress Bartkowski once in their first seven games.  In that game, Bartkowski and fellow defenseman Dennis Seidenberg misread a play which allowed Avalanche forward Daniel Briere to score in the final second to give Colorado a 2-1 win over the Bruins.

Bartkowski knew that loss was on him, and he knew it didn’t help his chances. “I mean, all-around, it wasn’t a good game,” he said after the loss. “But I’d like to get some games in a row here and get going. Yeah, it’s always better – easier to get in the flow. Playing a few games in a row, it’s easier to be more consistent,” he said. “Just getting back playing, it’s always easier to play more.”

Live Feed

2023-24 NHL Schedule Key Dates: Opening Night, Trade Deadline, More
2023-24 NHL Schedule Key Dates: Opening Night, Trade Deadline, More /

Puck Prose

  • Blue Jackets Officially Introduce Pascal Vincent as Head CoachUnion and Blue
  • Detroit Red Wings 2023 Rookie Camp Has Plenty of Ups and DownsPuck Prose
  • Blue Jacket Prospects Win Traverse City Tournament: Who Stood Out?Union and Blue
  • Fantasy Hockey: Potential Calgary Flames sleeper picksFlame for Thought
  • 3 Oilers Players Who Should See An Expanded Role In 2023 And 1 Who Should NotOil On Whyte
  • Bartkowski is now getting that chance. Kevan Miller suffered a separated shoulder during the B’s 4-0 win over the Buffalo Sabres. With Miller out for the next few weeks, Bartkowski is now the Black and Gold’s sixth defenseman. He had an opportunity to show the better parts of his skill set in the San Jose Sharks.  By and large he succeeded.  He had a solid fourteen minutes on the ice. He generated two shots and one hit in that outing.  While he did generate two giveaways, he was able to correct those mistakes. He also did this without being responsible for any goals being scored on him or taking penalties.

    The Bruins had multiple opportunities to dump Bartkowski in the last few months.  They could have even let him walk away when he asked for arbitration over the summer. The fact that they didn’t says that Coach Claude Julien (and the Bruins organization) still believe in Bartkowski’s potential.

    “He’s just got to play his game,” said the Bruins bench boss. “His game is about skating and moving the puck, and where he just needs to continue to work hard on is being a little harder to play against. He’s a defenseman – he’s got to defend and has to be a little harder sometimes in areas where he has to defend, so those are areas we talk about with him and continue to work with him on.”