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Speculation On Jim Montgomery’s Future Building



Boston Bruins

Could Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery be fired after just his second season if the Bruins lose Game 7 to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night?

With the Boston Bruins once again on the verge of being eliminated in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs after holding a 3-1 series lead, the vultures are already circling and Montgomery’s job security is being brought into question. In the latest 32 Thoughts Podcast, Sportsnet NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman and co-host Jeff Marek wondered how Bruins team ownership, team president Cam Neely, and general manager Don Sweeney would react if the Bruins lose another first-round Game 7 on home ice on Saturday night.

“We’ve talked a lot about the consequences of defeat in Toronto; it’s not as if there might not be consequences for Boston too,” Friedman opined to Marek.

“Boston is a very demanding organization. They expect greatness out of their Bruins and last year was a big upset and I think it shocked everybody, and upsets can happen, but I think if we have this two years in a row – 3-1 up, lose; 3-1 up, lose – Boston, to me, the organization of the Jacobs family and Cam Neely in particular – I think Don Sweeney is intense but a very level-headed guy – but the Jacobs family and Cam Neely in particular, I don’t see them taking this easily and ‘Nothing to see here’ and I just don’t believe that. So, I think there’s a lot riding for the Bruins too.”

Friedman then brought up a good point that NHL insiders have made to him about the Bruins’ lineup, and multiple NHL scouts have actually also made to Boston Hockey Now over the last few days.

“It’s different in the playoffs when people game-plan for you,” Friedman pointed out. “In the regular season, Boston’s a great team. They play smart; they rarely beat themselves. They’re talented and intelligent and that’s going to win you a lot of games. They’ve got good goaltending too. But where they think the difference is, is when it’s one team for seven games. If they can gameplan for what you do No. 1, and No. 2 if they’re – especially in Boston’s case, a couple of people said to me – is that if you’re disciplined defensively, for all of Boston’s hard work and for all of Boston’s brains, how many natural goalscorers do they actually have?

Like, you asked me about Nylander today. As far as I’m concerned, Nylander is a natural goal scorer and he scored. That’s what he’s paid to do. Toronto, even with [Auston] Matthews out, I think you could argue they still have more natural goal scorers than Boston does. You text people and ask people, and I was getting this during the game [Game 6], is that Boston, and even with Matthews for sure, they have to work harder to score than Toronto, but even without him, they have to work just as hard, if not harder than Toronto. That’s a tough way to win in the playoffs, very tough.”

The lack of scoring depth and lineup issues are more on Don Sweeney, but the chances are very slim that if the Bruins lose Game 7, it would be Sweeney and not Jim Montgomery who gets shown the door. Rightfully or wrongly, it appears Jim Montgomery’s seat is burning, and his job security is very much up in the air less than a year after he won the Jack Adams Award.

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