Boston Bruins: What to do with Matt Bartkowski?


Oct 23, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman

Matt Bartkowski

(43) sakes in the defensive zone during the second period at TD Banknorth Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Bartkowski is currently the most polarizing player on the Boston Bruins’ active roster. You either love the guy or can’t fathom why the organization keeps him around. He’s been the subject of trade speculation for the last two seasons, and a lot of Bruins fans just don’t understand why he’s still wearing the spoked ‘B’.

Last night’s game was another reminder that the B’s will need to make a change once Zdeno Chara and Kevan Miller are back in the lineup for Boston.  Matt Bartkowski was unable to control the puck and it led to the Nino Niederreiter goal for the Wild in the first. Matt Bartkowski was responsible for the breaks in coverage that led to goals from the Minnesota Wild.  Bartkowski (and Zach Trotman)were also on the ice for Justin Fontaine’€™s goal, with Bartkowski pushing his man away from the net, and not realizing that the puck was still in play. He finished as a -1 for the evening.

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With two defensemen down (and Johnny Boychuk playing for the New York Islanders) the remaining blueliners know they have to soak up a lot of minutes and stay sharp throughout the game. Dougie Hamilton was on the ice for 28:32 (A career high for Hamilton.) last night. He spent over five minutes of that on special teams. Torey Krug and Dennis Seidenberg both logged over twenty four minutes each. Adam McQuaid was off the ice for part of the first period and still was able to log 19:51. Zach Trotman put in 11:16 for the B’s.

So where did that put number forty three? Matt Bartkowski was on the ice for 8:56. That was the fewest minutes from any Bruins player. (Justin Falk had less time on ice than Bartkowski, but the recent call up for Minnesota spent most of his time last night being Milan Lucic‘s tackling dummy.) Bartkowski spent nearly two minutes of that time on the penalty kill(The B’s were able to stop the Wild from scoring a power play goal.).

He was adequate for us during Dennis Seidenberg’s absence during the regular season last year. He was good enough to get a NHL contract out of it. Then the playoffs came, and he regressed. So far this season it has been more of the same. He has only been on the ice for five of the Bruins games this season this season.

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  • Bartkowski has no points for Boston so far this season. He has accumulated six shots on goal, and is a team worst -4. He’s had one takeaway, and he’s given away the puck five times this season. That’s an ugly average for a Boston player to have.  That little time on ice is a clear indication that Claude Julien‘s confidence in him is at an all-time low.

    The Bruins will have to make a choice, and make it soon. Will they send Matt Fraser back to Providence so they can call up David Warsofsky to be the extra defenseman? Will the Bruins just choose to let Bartkowski go to Providence on waivers (probably safe to say he would clear them at this point) once Chara and Miller are back?  Maybe Peter Chiarelli can turn those Boychuk trade picks into something useful for the Bruins? Keeping things at the status quo will only continue to produce a sub .500 season for the Bruins.