Boston Bruins: Jim Montgomery Looking Forward, Looking Back
Updated: Jun 27
Boston Bruins Head Coach Jim Montgomery is attending tonight's NHL awards in Nashville. He is up for the Jack Adams Award for the Best Coach in the league.
Montgomery was indeed the front-runner for the award at the end of the regular season. He had taken a team that was missing several important pieces on opening night and kept them delivering win after win. The Black and Gold went on a tear through the league, putting up a record 135-point season in Boston.
Then, somehow, things went off the rails. The Bruins had the Panthers on the ropes with a 3-1 lead, only to watch Florida come back with three straight wins and remove the President's Trophy winners in the first round.
Montgomery keenly felt the highs and lows of the B's wins and losses. He also acknowledged the biggest issues the team faced in the playoffs.
“The defending part kind of it got away from us, especially in big moments,” said Montgomery. “I thought one part of our evaluation is that the net front battles, and I think we lost that. And I give (Matthew) Tkachuk and (Sam) Bennett incredible kudos there. They were really good at getting in front of our goalie there. There were too many screens and not enough box-outs for our liking."
"Sometimes you have to tip your hat to great players and unfortunately, that’s an area I felt we didn’t win. If we win that area, I think we would have moved on.”
The Bruins are favored to win several of the big awards tonight. Linus Ullmark is the favorite to win the Vezina. Perennial nominee and future Hall of Famer Patrice Bergeron is in the running for the Selke. David Pastrnak is a Hart Trophy finalist as well.
“When I think of our season and I think of the history of the league, it’s pretty special what we accomplished. And that’s never going to go away. Any time the next team comes along, we’re going to be one of the teams in that breath,” offered Montgomery on the Bruins' postseason collapse.
“I don’t know if it takes away the pain because that lingers with us. We know we fell short. That pain lives with you. Your failings, as long as you learn from them, they make you stronger and they make you better. We want to know this is how we’re going to move forward. And we have a great corps of players. All together with (GM) Don Sweeney and what we do in the Bruins culture, we’re going to move forward and we’re going to get better from this."
"We’re going to have to win with less. We all know the cap situation. So things are going to change for us. But Florida, they had a much better regular season (in 2021-22) and they were in the finals (this season).”
The Bruins certainly had the ability to win the Stanley Cup this year. The fans and the Coach knew this. While the Jack Adams certainly isn't the best consolation prize, it would be a fitting award for a Coach who led a team to a spectacular regular season.