By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
BOSTON --By the sights and sounds of things, it appears that young Bruins prospect Matt Bartkowski will crack the Bruins roster for the start of the regular season, but Steve Kampfer isnt entirely out of the picture either.
The Bruins await Kampfers MRI readings on Friday afternoon after he suffered a left knee injury in the third period on Thursday night, but they know that the promising puck-mover isnt going to be available for at least the next few weeks with the Oct. 6 season opener right around the corner.
The Bruins are just hoping its not a long term injury for Kampfer, but they dont have a read on that prior to the medical testing.
Until we get those details we dont know, said Claude Julien. We feel like its getting better and we feel theres a possibility it wont be the max number of games lost. Hopefully hell be back sooner rather than later.
So Bartkowski is all but assured to make the Bs as a seventh defenseman, and rightfully so after a solid training camp.
Julien stressed Kampfer wont lose out on a roster shot due to injury and will get his shot once hes feeling healthy.
Weve got a defenseman that was injured last night, so weve got seven in camp now. The calculation is there, right? said Julien. If we plan on seven then things are looking pretty good for Bartkowski right now then.
Having said everything else, when Kampfer comes back the roster battle will still be on. Kampfer had a great game against the Senators and I thought it was extremely unfortunate that happened to him. Hes earned the opportunity to get back and battle for that spot. So its not a given.
Bartkowski put on seven pounds over the summer and the Bs coaching staff has remarked on the gains the youngster has made in the physical strength department. Now hell get his audition with the Bruins holding only seven healthy defensemen on their roster and Saturdays preseason finale against the Islanders sitting dead ahead.
I worked on putting a little more weight and getting stronger, said Bartkowski. Its easy for me to gain weight rather than lose weight, so its doesnt really come off once its on.
Bartkowski said hes definitely looking forward to the final roster word one way or another, and says hell be ready to show one last time against the Islanders that hes worthy of an NHL spot.
Im looking for that final where am I going to play weight to be lifted off my shoulders, said Bartkowski. Itll be nice and Im excited to play another preseason game.
The final audition may be this weekend against the Isles, but it appears that Bartkowski has got the part regardless of the outcome.