Bruins Notes: Jim Montgomery Disappointed In Boston’s First-Round Exit

'I would say it lies on me'


Apr 30, 2023

BOSTON — The Bruins season ended on a disappointing note when the Florida Panthers took the series in overtime in Game 7 on Sunday night.

“I guess the words that come to mind right now are disappointment, confusion,” Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery said following the loss. “And then I would say the other part is, as you start looking at the season, it was an honor to coach that group. You know, I know we didn’t get to where we wanted to get that. But their professionalism and their work ethic, to be involved, it was a pleasure to be around.”

The Bruins had dominated the regular season from start to finish, only losing four games in regulation at home on TD Garden ice, but the Panthers were able to solve Boston and hand them three losses at home throughout the series. The Bruins just couldn’t find a way to solve the Panthers.

“I thought that that (Sam) Bennett line was pretty dominant,” the first-year coach said. “And (Matthew) Tkachuk is an outstanding hockey player, and we didn’t contain them.”

Here are more notes from Sunday’s Bruins-Panthers Game 7 contest:

— Tkachuk led the Panthers in scoring, potting five goals and adding six assists in the series, and Bennett added three goals of his own to go along with two helpers.

“I thought they always changed the momentum back to them every time they were on the ice, pretty much,” Montgomery said. “I thought that if I’m looking at the series, that was the biggest difference because statistically, our power play was better than their penalty kill. There were a lot of things, but in the end, that line kept making plays.”

— Montgomery added that he felt the Bruins had the right players to get the job done. They simply didn’t.

“I felt we had the right personnel, and I have to take some responsibility for not being able to get us to play North quicker,” Montgomery said. “And so, if I’m going to answer that right now, I would say it lies on me.”

— Montgomery said in hindsight; he’s not sure he would have made any other changes to the lineup in the series.

“I think the only thing I can look at right now and say I would have done differently is started game five, would have had (Patrice) Bergeron, (Brad) Marchand together,” Montgomery said. “It took me eight minutes to get there. I don’t know if that makes a difference. But, you know, that’s the only thing I look at right now that I would change.”

— Montgomery and the coaching staff, along with General Manager Don Sweeney will undoubtedly be looking at game film from this series to see what needs to be addressed personnel-wise.

— As for the Panthers, they have a date with the Toronto Maple Leafs in the second round.

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery
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