Berkshire Bank Faceoff: Bruins’ Blue Line Situation Still Up in Air Heading Into Panthers Game


Matt Bartkowski, Milan Lucic, David KrejciBruins coach Claude Julien said prior to this season that there would certainly be some sort of rotation for the fifth and sixth defenseman slots. So far, he’s stayed true to his word.

The battle for the final D-spots, however, appears to be down to a battle for one spot. It certainly appears that Torey Krug has won a full-time job on the Boston blue line, thanks in large part to his role on the power play. The young defenseman has been at the point on the top power-play unit all season long, and he’s looked fine doing so.

So that leaves Dougie Hamilton and Matt Bartkowski battling it out for the sixth spot. Hamilton got the nod in the first three games of the season, but he was up in the press box last Saturday against Columbus, which was Bartkowski’s first start of the season. Judging on the pregame skate prior to Monday’s tilt with Detroit, it looked like Hamilton was going to be back in the lineup. However, it was Bartkowski who took the ice when the game began, not Hamilton.

Julien wasn’t tipping his hand at all Thursday morning at his team’s morning skate in advance of the Bruins’ matchup with the Florida Panthers. So it looks to be a gametime decision yet again.

Here are the projected lines for both clubs for Thursday night’s game.

Bruins (3-2-0, 6 points)

Milan Lucic — David Krejci — Jarome Iginla
Reilly Smith — Patrice Bergeron — Loui Eriksson
Brad Marchand — Chris Kelly — Jordan Caron
Daniel Paille — Gregory Campbell — Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara — Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg — Dougie Hamilton/Matt Bartkowski
Torey Krug — Adam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask

Panthers (2-5-0, 4 points)

Tomas Fleischmann — Aleksander Barkov — Brad Boyes
Jonathan Huberdeau — Scott Gomez — Kris Versteeg
Scottie Upshall — Nick Bjugsta — Tomas Kopecky
Jesse Winchester — Marcel Goc — Shawn Matthias

Brian Campbell — Tom Gilbert
Dmitry Kulikov — Mike Weaver
Erik Gudbranson — Matt Gilroy

Tim Thomas

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Berkshire Bank Foundation

During the 2016-2017 regular season, Berkshire Bank Foundation will donate $100 for each Bruins assist to three local non-profit organizations. Click here to see official rules.

As of March 30, the Berkshire Bank Foundation has raised $11,500 for Cradles to Crayons, which provides children from birth through age 12, living in homeless or low-income situations, with the essential items they need to thrive -- at home, at school and at play.

Earlier this season, the foundation raised $10,000 for Soldier On, a private nonprofit organization committed to ending veteran homelessness, and $12,100 for Birthday Wishes, a non-profit organization with a mission to provide birthday parties to children experiencing homelessness.