BOSTON, MA — The 2022-23 Boston Bruins may have had an historic regular season but they also completed an historic choke job. After blowing a 3-1 series lead, the Boston Bruins blew a late 3-2 lead in Game 7 and then lost 4-3 on a goal by Florida Panthers forward Carter Verhaeghe 8:35 into overtime.
GOLD STAR: It’s very rare that we mention a head coach here, but as he has since Game 5, Florida Panthers bench boss Paul Maurice out-coached Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery. Whatever Maurice said to his team before and during Game 5, it worked and remained in effect during Game 7. As they were in the previous games, the Panthers were the more opportunistic team and yet they did so with structure and patience. They also put the pressure on as if their lives depended on it and swarmed the opposing puck carrier for the majority of the game. There just seemed to be no room for the Bruins to create and as a result, the Bruins made mistakes and unforced errors. Jim Montgomery may get the Jack Adams Award in June but Maurice may still be playing in June.
BLACK EYE: Once again, the Boston Bruins did not have a good start and allowed the Florida Panthers to take the TD Garden crowd out of it early on. Panthers defenseman Brandon Montour gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead 12:23 into the first period, and then at 1:14 of the second period, the Bruins were down 2-0 thanks to a Sam Reinhart goal, and you could hear a pin drop in the Garden.
TURNING POINT: Former UMass-Amherst (yes, he only played 21 games there, but I’m a proud UMass grad!), and Florida Panthers defenseman Brandon Montour was great throughout this series, but when it mattered most, he was an absolute beast. Montour had two goals in Game 7 and five in the series but his second in this game was the biggest of his career. That goal tied the game with one minute left in regulation, ultimately sending it to overtime where Verhaeghe won it.
Brandon Montour ties the score 3-3 with 59 seconds left of play in regulation of Game 7 pic.twitter.com/k8StpUUV36
— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) May 1, 2023
HONORABLE MENTION: David Krejci showed why he earned the name ‘Playoff Krech’. After notching in an assist in his return to the lineup in Game 6, ‘Playoff Krech’ arrived when the 2022-23 Boston Bruins needed him most. The 37-year-old center got the scoring going for the Bruins 7:52 into the second period with a powerplay goal, and then assisted on Tyler Bertuzzi’s powerplay goal that tied the game 55 ticks into the third period. The craft pivot wasn’t done though as he picked up another helper on David Pastrnak’s go-ahead 4:11 into the final frame. Krejci finished the game with a goal and two assists in Game 7.
David Krejci absolutely CRANKED this one. 🎯
— NHL (@NHL) April 30, 2023
BY THE NUMBERS: The Boston Bruins are now 3-5 in Game 7’s since walking off the ice as Stanley Cup champions on June 15, 2011.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “Disappointment, confusion, but it was an honor to coach this team.” – Montgomery what he was feeling right after Game 7 ended.