#43 / Defenseman / Boston Bruins
Jun 04, 1988
|2012 - Matt Bartkowski||11||0||2||2||0||6||0||0||0||9|
Matt Bartkowski spent his third full season with the Bruins organization this year. While he spent the bulk of his time playing with the Baby B's in Providence, he also played a total of 11 regular season games during the injury riddled period between March and April. His numbers in Providence were solid -- he went 3-21-24 over the course of 56 games -- but many (myself included) were a bit skeptical after his first few games with the big club. He needed a bit of time to adjust to the speed and intensity of NHL-level play, but settled down admirably after the first few games, posting 2 assists, an even +/-, and a 15.22 corsi on at ES (with 60.8% offensive zone starts, to be fair -- no defenseman except Torey Krug in his one pre-playoff NHL game started in the offensive zone more).
Of course, amidst all this was the now-infamous aborted Iginla trade. In what would become one of the major storylines of the 2013 trade deadline, Chiarelli and co. had a deal in place that would send Bartkowski and prospect Alexander Khokhlachev to Calgary in exchange for the veteran winger. Bartkowski was apparently one of the key pieces of the almost-trade, with the Flames coaching staff particularly high on him.
As we all know, the trade fell through in what turned out to be an ok thing for the Bruins, since after injuries to literally half the blueline by the end of the playoff series against Toronto, the Bruins found themselves in the position of needing to fill in with call-ups/rookies. While we've all heard about Torey Krug's playoff heroics, Bartkowski also played a key role in the seven games he played, including a 26 minute effort in game 1 against the Rangers. Overall, his playoff performance included 1 goal, 1 assist, and 12 SOGs to go along with a 14.28 Corsi on. He also saw his offensive zone starts drop to 50%, while his o-zone finishes were a delightful 59.3%. Not to shabby for a first shot at the NHL postseason.
While not as offensively oriented as Krug or Hamilton, Bartkowski proved to be a valuable puck mover and responsible injury replacement. Many actually would have preferred to see him remain in the lineup after some of the injured veteran blueliners were able to return during the playoffs. In any case, he performed solidly during a high-profile, high-stress series and looks to compete for a full-time spot (along with Krug) come fall.