Bruins defenseman Matt Bartkowski joined Mut & Merloni on Friday to discuss being a young defenseman, the Olympics and other hockey-related news. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page .
With Zdeno Chara  out of the B’s lineup due to the Olympics, Bartkowski and the rest of the team’s younger defenseman are getting more ice time.
“We’re just trying to focus on playing our games,” Bartkowski said. “We’re not trying to change too much of what we do. We try and do too much then it ends up hurting the team or being detrimental, so as long as we play our games, we’re just getting some more minutes.”
Bartkowski, who played in 20 regular-season games and skated to a minus-3 in the previous three seasons, has registered 10 points in 41 games this season.
“I think it’s more just your comfort level and your confidence level,” Bartkowski said. “The more and more you play, and the more you understand that you, yourself, you should be there and you’re good enough, and you should be there for a reason — once you understand that, I think your instincts just kind of take over and you just play the game like you know you can.”
Bartkowski added that he does not focus on trade rumors.
“Honestly, I don’t even pay attention to any of it,” Bartkowski said. “Trying day-in and day-out to go to the rink, focus on what I can do, watch video, listen to the coaches and try to get better. … If you’re worried about getting traded, or if the sun will come up tomorrow, you’re not focused on the game. You’re not mentally ready.”
Following are more highlights from the interview. For more Bruins news, visit the team page at weei.com/bruins .
On Chara’s Sochi accommodations: “I haven’t seen the picture of his bed , but I’ve seen some of the other pictures of the hotels and the areas they’re staying around. I don’t know if they’re real of if people are just giving a bad name to Sochi, but I heard it’s not great over there. I think it’s pretty comical actually.”
On playing in the Olympics in the future: “I don’t really think about it. I’m just focused on — I just basically got into the league, so I’m just focused on what do I have to do now and how to get better, but you like to think that some day your best is good enough to play in the Olympics. It would be a great honor if I could.”
On Thursday’s overtime loss to the Blues: “We didn’t put ourselves in a good spot giving up that two-goal lead, but we fought back, and, in the end, I think we should have won the game. We had a lot of good chances we didn’t score on. Their goalie made some good saves, but the puck just didn’t bounce our way.”