Tonight’s game between the Boston Bruins and New York Islanders will be the last time the Bruins hit the ice until their regular season opener on Thursday against the Philadelphia Flyers. In their game on Thursday night against the Ottawa Senators, they lost more than a game. They may have lost defenseman Steven Kampfer for a while, as he injured his right knee in an awkward collision.
While that is unfortunate for Kampfer – who has had his share in the past week, also learning his name will not be on the Stanley Cup – this opens the door for another prospect. With a mistake-free game tonight, it almost assures that Matt Bartkowski will be on the Bruins roster as the seventh defenseman. He and Kampfer had been competing for that spot, and the recent injury has given Bartkowski a chance. Here is what to watch for tonight in the Bruins final pre season game.
Matt Bartkowski and Max Sauve
These two are vying for a roster spot with the Bruins and this is their last game to do so. Unless Bartkowski makes several awful mistakes, he is essentially a lock for the roster as of now. Sauve still does not have a fantastic shot at the roster, with it looking like Jordan Caron and Chris Clark will be in the regular lineup. There is a spot for13th forward, and that will come down to Sauve and Lane McDermid. Claude Julien said to the Boston Globe yesterday that he likes Sauve’s skill, so that might be good news for the young forward.
Will the Bruins give players like Milan Lucic and Patrice Bergeron a break, or will Julien play them one last time before their opener? We know that McDermid and Sauve will be given a chance tonight, and most of the starters likely will play, but the question is more of how much time. Will Bergeron play his standard 12 minutes? Will he be used on the Penalty Kill as much? Are they concerned with the rythym right now? Also, will Tuukka Rask play, or does Julien give Thomas one last start before the season starts?
If everyone plays equal time as they would in a normal game, what will the power play do? They showed promise last game versus the Senators, but they did show flashes of their same old same old from last season as well. Which power play shows up, and how much do they get Joe Corvo more involved? Also, Kampfer was on the second power play unit last game, so it should be interesting who fills that spot. I would expect Johnny Boychuk.