PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) – While Bruins defenseman Matt Bartkowski was growing up in Mount Lebanon, one of favorite Penguins players was another defenseman, Andrew Ference.

Of course, he had no idea that over ten years later – after moving on to juniors, Ohio State, and the Florida Panthers – he and Ference would end up being teammates – but on the Boston Bruins.

Not only that, but that he’d be playing against the Penguins in the Eastern Conference Finals.

“It’s really ironic,” says Bartkowski, “but I’m really happy it came together like this.”

Another irony, though, is that Bartkowski lost his spot in the line-up when Ference returned from injury. And you know it’s killing Bartkowski to not be playing.

“It’s killing me a lot, but it’d be even worse if we were losing,” Bartkowski rationalizes, “the team’s playing well right now. You want to play and it’s tough watching but we’re winning so it’s alright.”

And Bartkowski says it’s even worse not being able to anything about what’s happening on the ice below.

“Watching it from up top, if there’s breakdowns in a 1-1 game that goes into overtime, it’s pretty tough to watch,” Bartkowski laughs – because, of course, his team ended up winning in the second overtime.

Listen to Bartkowski’s full interview with Jim Colony below: