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A Win Win Situation

Friday, 07.13.2012 / 5:45 PM / Features
By John Bishop  - BostonBruins.com

BOSTON -- The Providence Bruins haven't reached the AHL playoffs since 2009 and going into his second season as the head coach of the Rhode Island edition of the Black & Gold, Bruce Cassidy acknowledged there’s a fine line between winning and managing player development.

"Last year we won more than we lost, but not enough to make the playoffs," said Cassidy. "That’s ultimately our goal as a team, but again it can’t come at the expense of developing players."

Two of those players that Cassidy helped develop are forward Lane MacDermid and defenseman Matt Bartkowski; restricted free agents who recently re-upped with the B's.

Both men have played a handful of NHL games -- Bartkowski with nine, MacDermid with five -- and have spent the majority of their professional careers with Providence. However, Assistant General Manager Don Sweeney expects that both prospects will be pushing for playing time in "The Show" come September.

"Lane got an opportunity last year when we had an injury and the physical presence and the simplicity of his game is very, very effective," said Sweeney of the rough-and-tumble MacDermid. "He’s a big strong player, plays in really straight lines, he’s worked hard at execution of the smaller details of the game.

"He can kill penalties – he’s done a good job of that in Providence.

"Lane is a really, really hard worker," added the assistant GM. "I think he’ll continue to push forward and try and grab a spot.

"Bartkowski has come in and bounced a little bit between Boston and Providence, which is not always the easiest thing to do," explained Sweeney, a former Bruins defenseman. "Sometimes it’s easier just to go and play and continue to develop until you are completely ready and then maybe you don’t ever go back.

"He’s sort of at that crossroads, as well; that he can come in and push and challenge and carve out an NHL role for himself and I think he’s looking forward to that challenge coming up in training camp.

"He’s going to work awfully hard," continued Sweeney. "He had knee surgery this past year that set him back after he played a significant stretch of games where we felt he had turned a corner in identifying what player he was going to be.

"So hopefully he can get right back on that horse, pick up where he left off, and move forward."

For either MacDermid and Bartkowski moving forward would mean traveling north up I-95. But Cassidy certainly wants players with potential in his P-Bruins locker room, and remains excited for the challenge of producing NHL-ready talent for Boston, all while earning wins in Providence.

"I’m here to get players up here to help the Bruins win a Stanley Cup and we want to win at the same time down there," said Cassidy. "So, you know, you’re juggling some things, but that’s our goal and hopefully we do more winning this year than we did last year."

SCHEDULE

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STANDINGS

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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