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The Bruins are clear about five of their seven defensemen. Zdeno Chara is their shutdown ace. Johnny Boychuk is the hard-hitting first- or second-pairing strongman. Torey Krug is the power-play specialist. Kevan Miller is the No. 6 stay-at-homer. Adam McQuaid is the one who can’t stay healthy.
There is less definition regarding Dougie Hamilton and Matt Bartkowski. It is because their ceilings correspond with their skill.
Whether it’s using their wheels or sticks, Hamilton and Bartkowski can be the team’s best at pushing the pace and moving the puck. At their peak, which they showed in Saturday’s 4-0 win over the JV Oilers, Hamilton and Bartkowski can change the game.