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Montgomery On Poitras: ‘He’s Gotta Kickstart Himself’



Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins rookie center Matthew Poitras has seemingly hit the proverbial rookie wall with just one assist in his last six games and a goal and two assists in his last ten.

In his pre-game media availability just under two hours before faceoff for his team’s game with the Florida Panthers in Sunrise, Florida, Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery was asked by Boston Globe reporter Jim McBride if there’s anything Montgomery and his coaching staff can do to jumpstart the 19-year-old rookie.

“You can put him in situations that are favorable, like offensive zone starts, but he’s gotta kickstart himself,” Montgomery replied.



That’s the first time that Montgomery has actually openly challenged Poitras since he burst onto the scene in training camp and made the 2023-24 Boston Bruins roster out of camp. There wasn’t really much to challenge, though, as Poitras aced his nine-game regular season tryout and even drew comparisons to recently retired former Bruins captain and future hall-of-famer Patrice Bergeron. Poitras scored three goals and had two assists over his first nine games, and rightfully so, had his new head coach gushing over his two-way, mature, and gritty game.

“I think his play, he’s earned it,” Jim Montgomery said back on Halloween. “I think we’re comfortable with him. There are still no guarantees here for the rest of the year, but we feel that the way he’s progressed, that for the time being, he’s going to be a Bruin, and he’s helping us win hockey games, and that’s the most important thing, right? He’s still 19, so we’re going to be cautious.”

Montgomery went on to get in-depth on why Poitras was sticking around.

I think that’s why – the number one reason – why he’s going to play a tenth game is because of that,” Montgomery pointed out. “We see the hockey IQ; we see the skill, we see the vision, but if you don’t compete, you don’t have natural second and third effort, especially at such a young age. It’s hard to stay in this league, and that’s been the quality that’s. …the best quality as to why we think he’s earned this.”

Even as Poitras’ offensive game has gone the other way, Montgomery has done his best to work with him and put him in good situations, and still supported him when he assessed his game with the media. It appears, though, that maybe the reigning Jack Adams Award winner has decided to take a different approach and use a little tough love on Poitras, who was once again expected to skate between Danton Heinen and Jake DeBrusk on Wednesday night.



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