BOSTON — Don’t expect the Bruins to roll out the same lineup that got thumped by the Florida Panthers in their Game 2 matchup at TD Garden.
Boston put forth perhaps its worst performance of the calendar year Wednesday night, allowing Florida to capitalize on “catastrophic” turnovers and even the first-round Stanley Cup playoffs series at one game apiece. Linus Ullmark gave up a season-high five goals. David Pastrnak was neutralized. The Bruins defense allowed Sam Bennett and Brandon Montour to score elementary level goals in the second and third periods. It was ugly all around.
In fact, the performance was disappointing enough to prompt an eye-opening answer from Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery in his postgame presser.
QUESTION: Does today’s result give you pause to think about any changes on the back end?
ANSWER: I think it gives me pause to think about changes everywhere.
That comment from Montgomery could mean any number of things, but conjures up thoughts of two men: Patrice Bergeron and Jeremy Swayman. Bergeron has missed each of the first two games of the series with a combination injury/sickness, while Swayman has and likely will continue to play the role of backup to Ullmark throughout the postseason. They could find their way into the lineup here pretty soon, however.
Bergeron is seemingly close to making his return, as he skated Wednesday morning and is notoriously hard to keep off the ice. Swayman? Well, that’s a different story, as Ullmark has done everything the Bruins could have asked from him this season. It might just be time to give him a break and allow the younger goalie to mind the net for a game.
There is also a litany of other players (Matt Grzelcyk, A.J. Greer and Jakub Lauko) who have been consistent contributors for Boston throughout the season. The seven-man rotation on defense with Grzelcyk worked well, while Lauko and Greer each did a tremendous job of filling in for Taylor Hall and Nick Foligno while they were on the shelf.
The Bruins obviously have not made anything final, but those are just a few options if Montgomery’s thoughts about making a change turn into a reality.