Bruins Beat: Bruins Respond To Coach Montgomery

Bruins coach Jim Montgomery blasted his players during Monday’s practice session, indicating the he was not happy with the way they started practice. Monty’s comments were followed by an exhausting ‘bag skate’ (sprints end to end). When speaking with the media following practice, he was pretty open when he clearly stated that he didn’t think his team was ready for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Much of this was sparked by the team’s poor play in the previous two losses versus the New York Rangers and the Philadelphia Flyers in games last week. Monty’s message obviously hit home, considering the playoff-like, come from behind win his team forged in Tuesday night’s 4-3 effort over the Florida Panthers. The physical play resulted in two fighting and five penalties for roughing for the night. The game was certainly entertaining for the fans in attendance, and showed certain evidence of the dislike both these teams shared, following Boston’s first round playoff elimination, at the hands of these Panthers to end last season.

Rewarding to see the locals score in each period for the win, most notable the tying and winning goals in the third period. Captain Brad Marchand assisted on Trent Frederic’s goal that tied the game at 3-3, and engaged in a fight with big (6’5”) Niko Mikola that showed Brad’s determination to jump start his team. Marchand, continues to make some big plays when needed at clutch times in the game. A second period fight, the first career fighting major of Hampus Linholm’s career, with Sam Bennett, was at the top of the night’s fight card. Jeremy Swayman’s performance (19 saves/23rd win), especially in the third period was effective, as he came up with several game-saving stops, despite being beaten 27 seconds into the game on Evan Rodrigues’ quick goal. Swayman showed his bounce back mentality to give the locals a chance to win the game. Charlie McAvoy picked up a pair of points on the night, with a goal and an assist, to go along with his usual solid defensive effort. David Pastrnak stirred the pot with his 45th goal to go along with his 100th point (for the second time in back-to-back seasons) and his assist on Pavel Zacha’s game-winning goal. Not a bad night at all for Pasta.

Boston’s time for celebration was short-lived, as they were due to face the streaking Tampa Bay Lightning (7-1-2 last 10) at press time yesterday  (Wednesday 7:30pm). Boston currently at 42-16-15 (99 points), will be facing some tough teams in the nine remaining regular season games, as they continue their six-game road trip. Saturday 7:00pm with the Washington Capitals (7-3-0 and a three-game win streak) providing the opposition, followed by a Tuesday 8:00pm matchup with the red hot Nashville Predators (8-0-2 with a six-game win streak), and end their road trip by taking on the Carolina Hurricanes (7-2-1) on Thursday 7:00pm. Tough games ahead on the schedule, but a good test in the preparedness of the Bruins for the rapidly approaching playoffs.

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