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Montgomery, Team Brass To Meet Media On Wednesday

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Boston Bruins

Since the Boston Bruins were eliminated from the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs by the Florida Panthers this past Friday night, there has been speculation regarding head coach Jim Montgomery’s job security.

While nothing is guaranteed, the NHL Betting Odds on Montgomery are safe for now as the Boston Bruins head coach should be high. The Bruins announced on Monday that Montgomery will join the team’s brass of CEO and Alternate Governor Charlie Jacobs, President Cam Neely, and General Manager Don Sweeney in the team’s end-of-season press conference on Wednesday at 1 p.m. at TD Garden.

Montgomery won the 2023 Jack Adams Award as NHL coach of the year after leading the Boston Bruins to an NHL record, 65 wins, and 135 points in the 2022-23 regular season. However, the Bruins were upset by the eventual 2023 Eastern Conference champions, the Florida Panthers, in the opening round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Montgomery then led what many considered an under-skilled 2023-24 Bruins squad that would lack offense to a 47-20-15 (109 points) record and a second-place finish in the Atlantic Division. This was a team that had lost longtime Bruins center and former captain Patrice Bergeron, longtime Bruins center David Krejci to retirement, and wingers Garnet Hathaway, Tyler Bertuzzi, and Taylor Hall, as well as defenseman Dmitry Orlov to unrestricted free agency last summer. This latest surprising Bruins roster came to within two games of what would’ve been the team’s first Eastern Conference Final since 2019.

However, with the Bruins falling to the Panthers again and some questionable coaching decisions – including an NHL-record seven too-many-men-on-the-ice bench minors, there was some NHL bettors‘ speculation that Montgomery could still be in trouble. That speculation followed Montgomery throughout his team’s 13 postseason games. When the Bruins watched a 3-1 series lead over the Toronto Maple Leafs in the opening round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Sportsnet NHL Insider Eliotte Friedman speculated that heads might roll for the Bruins if they didn’t get by the Maple Leafs.

“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 cohost Jeff Marek in the May 3 32 Thoughts Podcast.

“Boston is a very demanding organization. They expect greatness out of their Bruins, and last year was a big upset. 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 in the Toronto series.

“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.”

Apparently, Bruins management and ownership are owning part of the blame for that, too, and thankfully, not scapegoating Jim Montgomery.

 

 

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