Jim Montgomery Has Confidence in His Bergeron Replacement

Published September 1, 2023 at 9:10
BY JAMES CONNELLY
     
The Bruins have a lot of question marks heading into next season; most importantly how their Patrice Bergeron replacement will fare.

Two Massive Losses



The Boston Bruins had a fantastic regular season in the NHL, setting high hopes for a Stanley Cup win. However, they were unexpectedly knocked out in the first round by the Florida Panthers, leading to the retirements of Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci.





Many expected the Bruins to sign a new first-line center in free agency, but they chose to solve the issue from within.

Montgomery's Thoughts on Replacing Bergeron



Coach Jim Montgomery recently shared his plans for the upcoming season with the Boston Herald. He outlined his ideas for the first two lines:

Montgomery has his first two lines pretty much mapped out, at least tentatively. He expects to pair Pavel Zacha with David Pastrnak, with James van Riemsdyk most likely getting the first look at left wing on that line. He expects the other top line will be Charlie Coyle centering Brad Marchand and Jake DeBrusk.

Montgomery is putting his trust in Pavel Zacha to fill Patrice Bergeron's shoes. Zacha had a career-high 57 points last year.

Here's what Montgomery said about Zacha:

«I think (Zacha's ceiling) is significantly higher,» he said. «Not only is he physically prepared, more importantly I believe he's ready for this mentally for the kind of minutes, the responsibility of having to be played in all situations which he did really well last year but they're going to be more important minutes. But I just think he's mentally ready. He believes that he can do it. That's the biggest step for a player. I have a lot of confidence that our top two lines will be very good because I believe Charlie Coyle knows he can do the job and will do the job and Pavel Zacha does too.»

With Montgomery's faith in Zacha, we might witness him becoming a true first-line center and reaching the potential he has always had. If Zacha does take that next step, we could watch him lead the Bruins back to the playoffs for a championship run.

As seen on the Boston Herald -Jim Montgomery still bullish on the Bruins
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