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Montgomery: Boston Bruins ‘Hard To Play Against’ In Big Moments



It’s no secret that the Boston Bruins offense hasn’t been cranking up at quite the same levels as it did earlier in the season.
Sure, they dropped seven goals on the Ducks last weekend in a 7-1 win at the Honda Center to cap off their California road trip, but they’ve also fallen out of the top spot as the NHL’s most explosive offense behind the Buffalo Sabres. The Bruins scored 49 goals in 14 games during the month of December, which is a 3.5 goals per game pace that was down from the four goals per game that the B’s have averaged pretty much all year.

It resulted in a few more shootout losses for the dominant Black and Gold sprinkled in over the last six weeks, but it also seems like the Boston Bruins are getting back on track with 18 goals scored in four games during the month of January including outscoring the California teams by a 16-5 margin during the recently concluded three-game road trip.

With that, though, has been another quality that’s risen to the forefront for Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery even when the B’s weren’t at their absolute best.

“With the grind of the season, I’ve been amazed with the consistency and how hard we’ve been to play against,” said Jim Montgomery, who was named to coach the Atlantic Division squad at the NHL All-Star game next month. “I don’t think we’ve been all that dynamic offensively in the last 15 games, to be honest with you. But I think how hard we are to play against in big moments has been consistent throughout the year and I think that’s a reflection of our record.”

The puck doesn’t lie when it comes to Montgomery’s words. The Bruins are the NHL’s stingiest team allowing just 2.13 goals per game that puts them far ahead of the remaining 31 team, and they’ve been a team playing with attitude and emotion when the going gets tough and rough. Just witness what happened when Trevor Zegras tried to yap at Trent Frederic in front of the Bruins bench after scoring a goal in Sunday’s game that seemed to wake up the Bruins in a game where they eventually blew out the Ducks.

“You can’t do that after a goal,” said David Pastrnak. “You have to have some certain respect. You can’t score a goal and then yell at the opponent no matter what happened in the sequence before…it hypes everybody else up.”

It’s become a tough night for the rest of the NHL with physical, heavy competitors like Trent Frederic, Brad Marchand, Nick Foligno, Derek Forbort and even Charlie McAvoy digging in along with Mr. Selke, Patrice Bergeron.

Don’t think the Boston Bruins are particularly hard to play against? Maybe ask Zegras and the Ducks and you’ll probably get a pretty colorful answer that’s more Black and Blue than Black and Gold.

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