The Bruins got the harshest wake-up imaginable from their long winter’s nap Tuesday night in what was arguably their worst performance of the Jim Montgomery era.

The Calgary Flames came into Boston and strangled the Black and Gold from opening puck drop to final horn, cruising to a 4-1 win at TD Garden. A frustrated Montgomery after the game lamented just about everything his team did in its first game in 10 days, including an assessment that “our brains were not very good in the first (period)” with only “marginal” improvement in the 40 minutes that followed.

Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy struck a similar chord, but he also pointed out how a humbling like this can be beneficial now and then.

“Every single night in this league can be a humbling experience,” McAvoy told reporters after the game. “I don’t think I’m gonna look too far into it, to be honest with you. First game out of the break, and a couple of practices — those are great and all — but now we’re back playing games and we’re the first-place team in our conference. We’re going to get everyone’s best, even more than we did before.

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“This is good. This is good for us to know what to expect from everybody.”

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There’s not much time for the Bruins to sit around and feel sorry for themselves, either. Boston is back to work Thursday night at the Garden when it welcomes the Vancouver Canucks to Boston. The Canucks own the NHL’s best record — two points ahead of the Bruins — after an impressive 3-2 win Tuesday night in Carolina. Elias Lindholm, acquired in a trade with Vancouver last week, scored a pair of goals in his debut with Vancouver, so Rick Tocchet’s team will come in riding high.

It’s not difficult to believe the Bruins will respond with a much better effort after their rude awakening against Calgary.

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Featured image via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images