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Prospect Report: Bartkowski

Thursday, 02.16.2012 / 4:17 PM / Features
Boston Bruins
BostonBruins.com – When the Boston Bruins beat the Nashville Predators 4-3 in a shootout last Saturday, Providence Bruins defenseman Matt Bartkowski and several teammates enjoyed the view from the press box. 

Bartkowski (click here for the full prospect report).
Bartkowski and his teammates were there to enjoy the game, but they also picked up a few lessons too.

“It helps to watch, and there’s the cliché ‘the game’s much easier from top’ and it is,” he said. “You can see everything and mistakes are more evident. It’s good to watch and learn from all the players.”

But for the 23-year old Pittsburgh native, the greatest lessons of all come from playing on the ice – and those lessons began in training camp back in September.

“Getting to be able to play against NHL players really helped a lot,” Bartkowski said.

“[The Bruins] have a really good, veteran core of defensemen from [Zdeno] Chara to [Dennis] Seidenberg – all of them you know. 

“Most of them have played in the league for years with the exception of [Adam] McQuaid – but even he is sound defensively. You can learn from each one of them.”

With Providence, Bartkowski has three goals and 17 assists, and is tied with David Warsofsky for most points among Providence defenseman (20).

But as he progresses through the season, he isn’t focused as much on stats as he is sharpening the small facets of his game.

“Just my play in front of the net, and then with the puck below the lower goal line,” Bartkowski said when asked about what he’s been working on. “Making sure I make better passes – better decisions. I’ve just worked at it all year.”

Bartkowski and the Providence Bruins (23-22-3, 52 pts) are pushing for the eight-seed in the playoffs, and are tied with the Albany Devils for 11th in the Eastern conference.

But the Worcester Sharks, who are in eighth place, are within striking distance at 55 points.

“We didn’t get off to as good a start as we wanted,” Bartkowski said. “We’re pretty young compared to other teams, so it took a little bit to get going. 

“But right now we’re playing well – good team defense playing our systems. We certainly want to put wins together, and hopefully we can hang on to that 8th spot or even jump up a bit and give ourselves a little bit of a cushion in the playoffs.”

Around Bartkowski, some of his Providence Bruins teammates are making the jump to Boston, while some are being sent back down. 

Most recently, Josh Hennessy and Andrew Bodnarchuk were recalled, while Steven Kampfer and Zach Hamill were assigned. 

However, the constant movement of players isn’t distracting Bartkowski – instead, it keeps him focused.

“It makes me hungry, but I understand at the same time where I am and what I need to do on a regular basis to be there,” Bartkowski said. “I just want to be ready if they need somebody to step up in Boston – I’d like to be that guy and be prepared everyday for it. [But in Providence] we got to get in the playoffs [first] and go from there.”

--- Anthony Gulizia

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ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
3 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
4 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
5 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
6 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
7 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
8 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Krejci 80 19 50 39 69
P. Bergeron 80 30 32 38 62
J. Iginla 78 30 31 34 61
M. Lucic 80 24 35 30 59
B. Marchand 82 25 28 36 53
R. Smith 82 20 31 28 51
C. Soderberg 73 16 32 4 48
Z. Chara 77 17 23 25 40
T. Krug 79 14 26 18 40
L. Eriksson 61 10 27 14 37
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
T. Rask 36 15 6 .930 2.04
C. Johnson 17 4 3 .925 2.10
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