Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery took every opportunity afforded to him to send Charlie McAvoy back over the boards during Wednesday’s Game 5 overtime defeat.
McAvoy carried a heavy workload, leading all skaters with an eye-popping 30:57 of ice time in the 4-3 loss. No other member of the Bruins tallied more than 26 minutes of time on the ice.
McAvoy made the most of his chances, too. The star defenseman flew around the rink, registering two assists while blocking three shots and doling out four hits, which was the high mark among Bruins defensemen.
It’s a tremendous luxury for Montgomery to have as he has no hesitancy with the volume of work he puts on the shoulders of the 25-year-old. While many would call McAvoy the anchor of the Bruins’ defensive corps, Montgomery had a different comparison in mind.
“He’s a horse back there and he doesn’t need a lot of rest,” Montgomery told reporters Thursday before flying to Florida for Game 6, as transcribed by Bruins.com’s Eric Russo. “He (takes) 20 seconds on the bench…he’s like a Clydesdale, you let him out of the barn again and let him go and I thought he was very impactful…he was around the puck, he was making plays, and doing real good things for us last night.”
Despite the toll of the series, it shouldn’t be a surprise if McAvoy sees the same amount of work going forward. He has led the Bruins in time on ice in each game of the playoffs except for Game 1.
And with the stakes growing, make no mistake that Montgomery will make sure his Clydesdale is on the ice for nearly all situations.