If Boston’s training camp takes shape according to the consensus forecast, then Matt Bartkowski will be on the opening night roster for Providence rather than sitting among healthy scratches at the NHL Premiere in Europe.
In turn, he figures to join Andrew Bodnarchuk and Nathan McIver to form the returning corps from last year’s P-Bruins blue line brigade. Of the returning defensemen, those are the only three who donned the Spoked-P at least 50 times, let alone 60 or more, in 2010-11.
· Led all P-Bruins defensemen with 18 assists and 23 points on the year.
· Earned the opportunity to play six games for the parent club.
· Scored two assists and posted a plus-3 rating at Portland Nov. 6.
· Had a four-game point-scoring streak (two goals, three assists) between Nov. 6 and Nov. 13.
· Scored two assists in a Feb. 20 home bout with Worcester and against on Feb. 26 at Abbotsford.
· Had two stints in Boston, seeing action in a total of six games.
· Placed dead-last on the team with a minus-17 rating.
· Was on the ice for all three opposing goals in a 3-1 home loss to Connecticut Dec. 3.
· Posted a negative rating in each of seven consecutive games-played and nine in a span of 11 games during the month of February.
With six established veterans plus Steven Kampfer already on Boston’s blue line, Bartkowski ought to spend the majority of his second professional season in Providence.
So long as he is around, he could stand to refine his day job, as evidenced by his mix of playmaking proficiency and vinegary defensive stats. There is no reason why a player as touted as Bartkowski should be pitching in 23 points while still letting enough opponents slip by his post to finish with a minus-17 rating.