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Bruins Add Defensive Depth

Conventional wisdom is that you try to have a playoff run with the team you had at the end of the season.  It is not the time to audition new players.  The Boston Bruins are not listening to that wisdom on defence and thus far it is working.  Two of the players who have been playing big roles on the Bruins defence in the 2013 playoffs have been Torey Krug and Matt Bartkowski.  These are both players who spent most of the season playing outside the NHL.  Bartkowski began the playoffs playing for Providence in the AHL.  He was called up during Providence's AHL playoff run that ended this week.  In fact, it is likely true that Providence was eliminated 4-3 in a second round series against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton because of their depleted defence without him.  Krug has turned pro after finishing his season in the NCAA with Michigan State.

Krug has four points in four playoff games so far.  He has played only three regular season games over two years with two points.  That offensive record is impressive in limited play and likely won't be kept up longterm.  If Krug wasn't a point per game player in the NCAA, why would he be one in the NHL?  Bartkowski has not scored as well as Krug.  He has two points in six playoff games, but he has handled more ice time than Krug has.  Bartkowski has averaged almost 20 minutes per game in the playoffs.

Part of Boston's playoff success has come from their addition of two new defencemen during their playoff run.  Matt Bartkowski and Torey Krug have played well.  Their lack of NHL experience has not hurt Boston during their playoff run.  This is somewhat impressive given the timing of when it is occurring.

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Comments

Bossy_Rules's avatar

So what do you think of that conventional wisdom?  If a gm feels that a potential call-up is a better player than someone already on the roster should they call him up and replace the guy who has been on the team all year?

Posted by Bossy_Rules on 05/26/13 at 02:12 AM ET

PuckStopsHere's avatar

Ideally you want to play the best possible group of players that you can in any given game.  The problem is when you are looking at a guy that has no NHL history there is an awful lot of uncertainty in projecting how he will respond to NHL play.  Ideally you would have given any potential player you might consider using in a playoff game an audition in the regular season. 

I guess the short answer is that it has to be looked at on a case-by-case basis, but it is often a bad idea to play unproven people in key roles in key times.

Posted by PuckStopsHere on 05/26/13 at 04:39 PM ET

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imageThe Puck Stops Here was founded during the 2004/05 lockout as a place to rant about hockey. The original site contains over 1000 posts, some of which were also published on FoxSports.com.

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