BOSTON — The Boston Bruins had one of their worst showings of the 2023-24 season in the ugly loss to the Washington Capitals.

Even though Washington took Boston out of its game, Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery was not satisfied with the focus of the team.

“I don’t have answers,” Montgomery told reporters after the loss. “If I did, I would have given it to them. But it’s unacceptable. We’re not going to accept that. We’ll change, or things will change. It’s not acceptable. We were just bad.”

When asked if Montgomery was alluding to a change in personnel, the second-year coach tried to elaborate the best he could.

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“I don’t know. Systems. We’re going to have to look at everything,” he explained. “It just comes down to if there’s a puck between you and I, I want to break your leg to get it, and we don’t have that right now in two of the last three games. That’s what it boils down to.”

It’s not that the Bruins don’t have the talent to win hockey games. They own a 32-11-9 record, but between the loss to Washington and the 4-1 decision to the Calgary Flames on Feb. 6, Montgomery believes the poor play equates to mental breakdowns.

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“I think it’s mental for sure. It’s preparation. It’s focus. It’s wanting to sacrifice for the greater good,” Montgomery said. “If you look at the totality, the season has been pretty good, but there were moments in December very similar to those two games.”

Given the culture in Boston, Montgomery isn’t concerned with his team turning it around.

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“Just keep working on our habits and our details,” Montgomery said. “Try and get better. If we’re not going to compete, it’s problematic.”

The Bruins have a couple of days to work on their details before getting back to game action against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night.

Featured image via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images