NESN Bruins analyst Andy Brickley made his weekly appearance with Mut & Merloni on Wednesday to talk about Dennis Seidenberg , the injuries to Jarome Iginla and Kevan Miller, where Andrej Meszaros fits on the depth chart, the play of Matt Bartkowski and more. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page .
With momentum picking up on Seidenberg playing in the postseason at some point, fans have started to wonder where the defenseman would be on the depth chart. Brickley said he didn’t think that the 32-year-old should be slotted back on the top pairing at the expense of Miller, who’s played well in his absence.
“I just find it so difficult to put a guy that’s not a hundred percent, or depending on what percent he is, in front of say, Kevan Miller, who’s been getting the job done, who’s in top form, who’s game-ready and ready to go and proven that they have trust in this guy,” Brickley said.
Miller and Iginla both missed Tuesday’s matchup with Minnesota, despite making the trip. Brickley is confident both will be ready to go for the playoffs.
“If this was playoff hockey right now, I’m convinced both would be able to play,” Brickley said. “It’s all about maintenance, it’s all about rest, it’s all about precautionary, those are the terms you’re going to hear right now. Because the Bruins put themselves in this position, they have the options to really focus on the middle of April and not so much on the results and having guys play right now.”
At the trade deadline, the Bruins’ most significant move came in trading for Meszaros, who was expected to battle for one of the six defense positions. Brickley doesn’t think Meszaros has done enough, however, to warrant a spot.
“I think he is seventh on the depth chart,” Brickley said. “I think that’s based on what he’s done in a Bruins uniform relative to the six in front of him before he was acquired. I don’t think he’s supplanted anybody. I think he struggles a little bit with the defensive side of the game, the Bruins system, the decision-making, not to chase in one-on-one coverage. He’s real good when you start thinking about offense and jumping in on the play, having a good shot to point, maybe being an asset on the power play, but I don’t think that’s what the Bruins were looking for when they made that acquisition.”
While Brickley still sees Bartkowski, one of the players challenged for playing time with the Meszaros competition, making mistakes, he does see improvement.
“He’s still been a little bit up and down,” Brickley said. “He can have a really good game some nights for 55 minutes but then he’ll make a mistake and in a critical time and that mistake, traditionally or most commonly, has been a wraparound the boards when he’s under pressure instead of having the poise to make a play or making a better decision and not a simple giveaway. But overall I think his game has elevated.”