Twenty-four-year-old goaltender Michael Hutchinson, a Bruins third-round pick in 2008, continued to make that draft year a nightmare for Boston with another stellar performance against his former organization Friday.
Hutchinson improved to 2-0-1 in his career against the Bruins with 30 saves on 31 shots, including 16 saves in a shutout third period, in the Winnipeg Jets’ 2-1 victory.
Hutchinson now has a .961 save percentage and 1.27 goals-against average against the Bruins in three NHL games. He’s clearly the best player they selected in the 2008 draft, which is more a statement on how badly they struck out that year than Hutchinson’s potential to collect the Vezina Trophy.
The Bruins’ first-round pick was Joe Colborne, who through no fault of his own had unrealistic expectations thrust on him by being chosen so high. The Bruins went against the CSS draft rankings to take Colborne 16th. Colborne recently began to establish himself as a third-line center with Calgary, which was really his projection when the draft rankings came out that year. The Bruins, of course, traded Colborne to get Tomas Kaberle in 2011. You can argue both sides of whether the Bruins benefited from that trade on the way to the Stanley Cup championship.
The rest of that 2008 draft has played two NHL games and none of the players are in the NHL. Max Sauve and Jamie Arniel played one game each for the Bruins. Sauve is now in Germany and Arniel is in Austria. Nicolas Tremblay is the East Coast Hockey League and Mark Goggin’s playing career ended after his sophomore season at Dartmouth.
The Bruins have changed up their amateur scouting department since those dark days late last decade. It’d be a lot easier for them to look forward to a brighter future if Hutchinson wasn’t still around to haunt them.
♦The Bruins survived Minnesota’s offensive barrage on Wednesday and pulled out an overtime victory. The defense clearly needed a shake up. So coach Claude Julien inserted Matt Bartkowski. Talk about throwing gas on the fire.
Bartkowski was a minus-2. His decision making still resembles that of a squirrel trying to cross a road. Every pass off his stick is a prayer. It’s almost unfair to ask him to play better when he sits out for two weeks at a time.
Meanwhile, Joe Morrow can’t get a sniff of the ice. Even if Zach Trotman needed a night off, and I’m not so sure Trotman was a problem, picking Bartkowski to go in over Morrow makes you wonder if a coin flip is involved in the making out of the lineup. Morrow has played with confidence and poise ever since getting promoted from the AHL. Julien has often complimented Morrow’s ability to not get rattled. At least Julien used to do that before he decided Morrow should sit out seven of the Bruins’ past eight games. When Morrow does finally get back in, he’ll have no choice but to be rusty. And at this point, you have to wonder if the Bruins are doing the 22-year-old right by making him sit out rather than continuing to develop at the AHL level if he’s not worthy of being in the lineup instead of Trotman or Bartkowski in someone’s mind.
♦The night in Winnipeg started with the head-scratching decision about Bartkowski getting in the lineup. The loss ended with the baffling decision to put the man with the hardest cement hands on the Bruins on the ice for the 6-on-5 after Julien pulled Tuukka Rask for the extra attacker down with Boston behind 2-1. There was 1:40 left when Rask went to the bench, so Julien didn’t want to wear out his best players by asking them to go two minutes straight. But the shift before the goalie pull Milan Lucic, Daniel Paille and Carl Soderberg were the Bruins forwards. Julien then threw out a group of Torey Krug, Dennis Seidenberg, David Krejci, Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand and Campbell. No Patrice Bergeron, no Reilly Smith, no Loui Eriksson. Gregory Campbell got the call.
At least there’s an excuse for Seidenberg being on the ice. Dougie Hamilton and Zdeno Chara had also just finished a shift. So that left Julien to decide between Seidenberg and Bartkowski, if Julien was unwilling to go with five forwards. But putting Campbell out as one of four forwards is inexcusable.
What’s next, Campbell on the power play? It’s been a few years since we’ve seen that gem of an alignment.