Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery has had enough of opponents constantly taking liberties with Bruins captain Brad Marchand and alternate captain David Pastrnak.
Lost in the aftermath of a 5-3 Bruins win over the Detroit Red Wings to close out the calendar year of 2023 was Montgomery, unprompted, calling out league officials for letting not just the Red Wings but various opponents targeting David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand with infractions that should be penalized.
“I do think though that there was a gameplan to go after Pastrnak and Marchand,” Montgomery said after beginning to answer a question from Boston Globe reporter Kevin Paul Dupont on Bruins goalie Jeremy Swayman who improved to 11-2-4 on the season with the win over the Red Wings on Sunday.
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But Montgomery isn’t just frustrated with the lack of protection from officials for his players, but all NHL superstars. He also referenced the abuse that Edmonton Oilers forward and three-time Hart Trophy winner Connor McDavid has endured.
“I do think that we need to protect the stars in our game,” Montgomery pointed out. “When guys are getting cross-checked and stuff after whistles, I think that’s something that needs to be important to the league. We’ve seen it several years with [Connor] McDavid. Last year he had several points but the years before, in the playoffs, they allowed people to maul him, and you don’t want to take away the great skill of a McDavid, a Pastrnak, or a Marchand because that’s what this league is about.”
Montgomery cited the punch Boston Bruins forward Morgan Geekie took from Red Wings defenseman Ben Chiarot 11:23 into the first period and the ensuing scrum as a result of the referees not doing their job to protect stars like Pastrnak.
Chiarot fights Geekie after a couple pokes but I’m not sure Geekie fights Chiarot pic.twitter.com/roKwyCUy2C
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“Yeah, that’s a function of it,” Montgomery said. “That all started by someone bodying ‘Pasta’ and no problem with body contact, but when the extra shoves get high and there’s no real reason for it, that’s what we want to clean out.”