Ex-Bruin Uniquely Describes Jim Montgomery’s Coaching Style

'It's easy to have good days when you're winning every game'

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Mar 23, 2023

To say that former Bruin Mike Milbury is a colorful figure in the world of hockey would be an understatement; he once hit a fan in the stands with his own shoe.

Milbury is second in Bruins’ history in penalty minutes with 1,552. The only player with more penalty minutes is Terry O’Reilly, who ended his career with 2095.

Milbury did not only play 12 seasons for the Black and Gold, but he also coached Boston for two years. He was a recent guest on the popular hockey podcast Spittin’ Chiclets to discuss his controversial career.

“When I first became coach, I was too kind. I tried to be like one of the guys,” Milbury explained. “And then a couple of assistant coaches convinced me that I needed to use the hammer more, and I did. And I got their respect. I don’t think I was over the top, but when they needed it, I could go to it. and sometimes they needed it.”

The former coach said he believes players like Cam Neely, Ray Bourque and Andy Brickley would recognize him as a good coach because of the way he would keep things interesting.

Milbury told a story about a long Western road trip the Bruins were on, and the team had lost a game to the Winnipeg Jets. Milbury wasn’t happy with the way Boston played.

Knowing the players would be expecting to have a hard skating practice the next day, Milbury took a different approach and went after who he called ‘The big guy,’ – Bourque.

“I’ve watched you the last three games Ray, give away the puck Ray, Ray, give away,” Milbury told the story. “I’m so stupid I put you back out after Ray, Ray give away.”

Milbury said he did the back-and-forth skate, not Bourque, and then continued with each player on the roster.

“I think we won by a big margin in Vancouver, and I think Ray had 5 points that night.”

While Milbury doesn’t think he was “Over the top,” he believes current Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery is in a unique position.

“Montgomery, he’s Mister Rogers,” Milbury said with a chuckle. “I mean, it’s a wonderful day in the neighborhood every day for him, but it’s working, so let it be.'”

The fellas from Spittin’ Chiclets agreed, saying, “It’s easy to have good days when you’re winning every game.”

The Bruins have been on a historical run this season sitting atop the league with 54 wins and 113 points.

Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images
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