Boston Bruins: Opportunity Knocks For Matt Irwin


The Boston Bruins gave their fans a small dose of reality this morning. With the Bruins first official day of training camp starting, the club announced that Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg had been injured. While it is considered to be nothing to serious, and he’s labeled as day-to-day, the dread began to flow in Boston.

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The Bruins were hoping to get to the regular season without any snags, they found their hopes dashed. Seidenberg returned from his injury last season a rather incomplete player. While he did play in all eighty-two games last season for the Black and Gold, the 34-year old blueliner’s season was a solemn disappointment. His fourteen points (three goals) was only good enough for fourteenth place among Bruins scorers.  Daniel Paille and Gregory Campbell (who were both sent packing) had twice as many goals. Matt Fraser(who was hung out to dry on the waiver wire) had as many goals.

So, if Seidenberg is about to start a season of on-again, off-again injuries. Who would be the best choice to replace him? (Factoring in that Torey Krug and Adam McQuaid will stay in their current roles.)

The Bruins best choice at the moment is Matt Irwin.

Irwin had a solid season last year for the San Jose Sharks. He put up nineteen points(eight goals) in fifty-one games. He’s dependable and has the most experience of all the candidates the Bruins have left available at the moment. He also has some local credentials as well. He played two years at UMass, and then four seasons with the Worcester Sharks.

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  • “Playing at UMass, playing in Worcester over the years,” said Irwin after practice today. “I got a feel for what the whole sports town was all about — what the Bruins and all the other major sports and how big it was, was very enticing for me. On a personal side, a fresh start, I think, was going to be good for me coming out of San Jose, and (coming to) a team with a history of winning with guys in the locker room that know how to win,” he said. “They’re hungry; we’re all hungry this year. I’m kind of coming from a similar situation in San Jose where we missed the playoffs, so everyone here is hungry to get back to where we deserve to be.”

    This evening at the State of The Bruins meeting, Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney echoed the opinion of head coach Claude Julien. They wanted the young players and the new blood to challenge for the open positions. They said that no one was going to hand them a job, and that it was up to them to reach out and take one.

    If Irwin needed an opportunity to shine in Boston, this is good as it can get. He’s got a better physical presence than Torey Krug, he’s got better hands than Matt Bartkowski did, and he seems to love Boston a lot more than Dougie Hamilton supposedly did.

    Opportunity is knocking, and it’s Irwin’s turn to answer.

    “I mean, that’s something you look at, too, when you’re weighing your options,” Irwin said. “Opportunity is a big thing, and I like the depth we have here on D. That’s going to push all of us to be the best we can every night so that coaches feel comfortable putting the best six guys on the ice every night.” Now it’s up to him to earn a place on the Boston Bruins roster.