TD Bank Facebook Twitter Instagram Bruins Mobile App
Features
 
  • PRINT
  • RSS

Motivation in High Gear

Matt Bartkowski draws on experience around B's to reach the next level

Monday, 07.16.2012 / 2:12 PM ET / Features
By Caryn Switaj  - BostonBruins.com
X
Share with your Friends


Motivation in High Gear

BostonBruins.com – For a defenseman who has only been in the pros for two years, the recently re-signed Matt Bartkowski is well traveled – and that’s not just due to the AHL and NHL schedules.

Matt Bartkowski
Related: Matt Bartkowski signed to one-year, two-way contract

In 2010, after playing two seasons of college hockey as an Ohio State Buckeye, Bartkowski found himself boarding a plane to Prague and Belfast on the Bruins’ preseason trip for the Compuware NHL Premiere. A year later, the defenseman was a Black Ace for the B’s during the 2011 Cup run, getting the chance to hoist Lord Stanley on Vancouver ice.

Despite not playing a game overseas, or suiting up in the playoffs, Bartkowski has gained plenty of experience being around the big club.

“After seeing that Cup run last year – as if I didn’t have enough motivation already – that definitely kicked it into high gear,” said the 24-year-old.

“The whole experience of it from start to finish, it just looked like a blast and that’s definitely something I want to be a part of.”

Bartkowski will have the chance to be in the fold of the Black & Gold for at least another season, having been recently signed to a one-year, two-year contract with the team.

He has spent the majority of the past two seasons with a regular role in Providence, but has been called upon by the B’s when injuries strike. He made Boston’s opening night roster last season, playing in three games before being assigned to the P-Bruins.

The shutdown defender is now eager for his third Training Camp in the Fall and another chance to wear the Spoked-B.

“I think I got a good shot - as long as I have a good summer and good camp and play well, I got a good shot at making the team this year.

“It’s a great bunch of guys and good city, so I’m pretty happy.”

Though the Pittsburgh, PA native is only a season and a half removed from his first three NHL appearances in 2011 – which all came against his hometown Pittsburgh Penguins, in what became a running joke between the D-man and members of the media that maybe he’d only play against the Pens in his career – Bartkowski is hoping to reach the next level.

And despite proving the Pittsburgh theory wrong, he knows that his time in Providence has been beneficial on the path to playing consistently in the NHL.

“It helps you settle in and there’s a lot of things that I still need to work on, and being able to play quite a bit down there, it really helps,” he said on his development with the P-Bruins.

“I played a lot the first full season, so that gave me an idea of how long the season is and how to gauge yourself physically. And then last season was a little short, but being able to work on everything that I need to work on, definitely helps a lot.

His 2011-12 season may have been cut short due to a knee injury in March, but Bartkowski is pushing himself hard in the offseason to ramp up for camp. He said he's been concentrating on further developing his all-around game, with focus on details in the defensive zone.

“Mainly from the faceoff dots down, just being able to make strong plays, make good decisions, make a good first pass,” he said on his areas for improvement.

But not even the most strenuous of summer workouts compares to the excitement of competition and internal challenges at Training Camp.

“It’s always fun coming back – first, being able to see everybody – and then being able to ramp it up and play at the high level again. That’s always a good time.”

As Bartkowski continues to progress in his career and raise his compete level, his comfort level has felt the effects as well.

“Compared to my first year, it’s way different – I’m totally comfortable,” he said in anticipation.

“I know what to expect, I know what they expect out of me, so I’m pretty comfortable heading into camp. Even compared to last year, just more settled in and more ready to go too, so everything’s working out.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 FLA 52 31 15 6 143 115 68
2 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
3 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
4 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
5 MTL 53 25 24 4 142 142 54
6 OTT 53 24 23 6 148 165 54
7 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
8 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
P. Bergeron 52 19 26 8 45
L. Eriksson 52 16 24 11 40
D. Krejci 42 12 27 2 39
R. Spooner 52 11 27 -5 38
B. Marchand 47 24 12 12 36
Z. Chara 50 7 20 8 27
M. Beleskey 50 8 17 10 25
T. Krug 51 3 21 6 24
J. Hayes 50 11 12 -5 23
B. Connolly 49 7 9 -5 16
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
T. Rask 19 15 5 .918 2.47
J. Gustavsson 9 3 1 .915 2.38
Hallmark Health System
BRUINS FAN POLL
 
Friendly's - Official Family Restaurant and Ice Cream of the Boston Bruins
NHL Ticket Exchange
Dunkin' Donuts Perks   AMI Graphics   Geico - Aim for savings

Click the instant ticket and enter to win Second Chance Drawings