BOSTON (CBS)- After the Bruins held two training camp practice sessions at TD Garden Saturday, Matt Bartkowski said he hadn’t yet heard the encouraging words coach Claude Julien uttered during a press conference earlier in the week.
“Well I think the first thing I would say is that he’s come to camp in better shape than he ever has,” Julien said. “I think that’s part of a player maturing into a good pro and he’s obviously figured it out, which every player has to go through. So that’s a good start for Matt this year. And obviously, the way things went for him last year with us, finishing up the season with us, he’s coming in with a lot of confidence. I think right now it’s basically his job to lose, as far as being here with our hockey club. He took it seriously enough to come in the best shape ever and right now the confidence that he’s gained throughout the last part of last year playing with us has certainly helped him.”
For a 25-year-old entering his fourth pro season with just 20 NHL regular season games under his belt, those words “his job to lose” are just what any player would want to hear. Relayed the message by a reporter, Bartkowski was glad to hear about his coach’s confidence. But it didn’t really matter to him what was being said because that was the mentality he showed up with at camp in addition to his better fitness.
“Yeah, and I came in thinking, just preparing and everything to be on the team,” Bartkowski said. “And I just got in the mindset of anything less is a disappointment so just put my best foot forward.”
It took until he was thrust upon the grandest stage in the sport for Bartkowski to put …read more
Source: CBS local Boston