The Boston Bruins made a bold move last Saturday trading Johnny Boychuk to the New York Islanders for draft picks. This was a surprise to many and leaves a void on the second defense line. Luckily for the Bruins, they have solid options to pair with Dennis Seidenberg.
Matt Bartkowski was paired with Dennis Seidenberg during the final two preseason games. Bartkowski was also rumored to be on the trading block, but has played well this preseason and is staying in Boston for now. However, Bartkowski struggled in the playoffs last year and needs a veteran on his opposite side to play with confidence. While the Bruins seem to want to give Bartkowski a chance, there may be better options for the second pairing.
Another intriguing option is Kevin Miller. Miller is the most similar of the young defensemen to Boychuk. He's strong, physical and is not afraid to drop the gloves. A Seidenberg-Miller pairing would definitely be imposing for smaller offensive players and seems the most likely option for Bruins' coach Claude Julien and his goal prevention ways.
The third option for the Bruins is Torey Krug. Krug is an offensive blue-liner who likes to take some risks and move the puck forward. Playing with Seidenberg would allow Krug to take more chances and play his style - allowing for more offense. This would be an intriguing pairing for the black and gold, but would also be surprising given the defensive system Julien is committed to.
When healthy, Dennis Seidenberg is one of the best defenseman in the NHL. He is very versatile and will make any defenseman look good along side him. The loss of veteran Johnny Boychuk makes it even more essential that a younger blue-liner be paired with a more experienced player like Seidenberg. Even though Matt Bartkowski was paired with Seidenberg during the preseason, he is the weakest player for the Bruins on the back-end. Putting Krug with the 33-year-old would allow for more puck movement and scoring, but the Miller-Seidenberg grouping makes the most sense for Boston's system.
Follow myself (@kevclance19) and all the writing staff at BruinsLife.com (@BruinsLife) for all of your Bruins coverage this season.