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  • Young D stepping up on depleted blue line

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    Young D stepping up on depleted blue line

    Chris Chirichiello November 3, 2014

    If the Kevan Miller and Zdeno Chara’s injuries weren’t enough to send panic through Boston, Torey Krug was added to this list last week as well, leaving the Bruins with an inexperienced blue line.

    The Black and Gold improved to 3-1-0 without their captain and staple on defense Saturday night as they beat the Ottawa Senators at the TD Garden, 4-2. Matt Fraser played the role of the hero with two goals, but it was hard to ignore the fact of the Bruins young defensemen such as Dougie Hamilton, Zach Trotman, Joe Morrow and David Warsofsky stepping up in the absence of the team’s key blue-liners.

    Matt Bartkowski, who played key minutes for the Bruins down the stretch last season, has been struggling lately. As Bartkowski watched Saturday’s game from the Level 9 press box, the young defensemen called up from Providence continued to buy into Claude Julien’s system.

    Related: Julien’s new contract a good deal for B’s

    One of the B’s veteran workhorse defensemen with Chara out is Dennis Seidenberg, and he is very pleased with the young kids stepping up and helping the cause.

    “I think they’ve been very poised with the puck, skating the puck very well and just playing consistent hockey,” Seidenberg said after his team’s two points against the Senators. “It’s nice to see that, again- we always talk about depth and hopefully we can build on that and put some consistency together.”

    He may seem like a veteran, but Hamilton is only 21 years-old. He is racking up the ice time on the B’s top defensive pair with over 22 minutes per night.

    “Yeah, he’s been playing big minutes, playing strong minutes and very consistent minutes,” Seidenberg said of his defensive partner. “That’s all you can ask from him and it’s a ways to go for both of us, but so far it’s been good.”

    As Hamilton tries to carry the B’s defense along with Seidenberg, he knows the team has depth and it is really paying off with the call ups of Trotman, Warsofsky and Morrow.

    “They’ve been really good,” Hamilton said. “I think it just shows how deep our organization is and you could see that in the preseason and training camp and everything and they can all play, so it shows I guess, like I said, how deep we are as an organization and they’ve played really well, so it’s nice to have that.”

    Warsofsky, who was off to a slow start in Providence, kept things simple and was just trying to stay positive. He has played two games for the Black and Gold this season and he is playing upwards of 20 minutes.

    The former BU Terrier may not be “the answer”, but he is showcasing himself and stepping up in a crucial stretch for the B’s.

    “It definitely feels good,” Warsofsky said. “Whenever you get called up and you get the ice time that I’m getting, it’s obviously a good feeling. They trust me to put me out there in situations and it’s a good feeling for me.”

    The Bruins just need to keep their head above water until Chara, Krug and Miller come back – whenever that may be. The schedule may be a little soft right now, but it is a confidence builder for a team that has seen its struggles early on.

    Make no mistake about it, the likes of Trotman, Warsofsky and Morrow are playing key minutes, and for now, are playing mistake free hockey for the most part. We’ll see if it can continue for a long stretch because by then, their captain will be healed, Krug will be back and Miller will be ready to throw his body around again.

    For now, the Bruins young defensemen deserve to be praised for stepping up in crucial situations.

    Relive what the Bruins had to say after Saturday’s win over the Sens.

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