Jim Montgomery

Getty Jim Montgomery, Boston Bruins

On March 25, The Boston Bruins‘ team practice at Warrior Ice Arena came to an abrupt stop just five minutes after it began. Head coach Jim Montgomery, evidently displeased with his team’s effort at the start of the session, bellowed at his players:

“Wake the f— up!”

According to multiple accounts, Montgomery then made his team skate sprints up and down the ice and participate in rigorous 3-on-3 drills before practice resumed – colorful language and all.

Just got a “WAKE THE F%&$ UP” from #NHLBruins Coach Jim Montgomery as he stops practice 5 minutes in and makes his team skate!

And he continued to quite vocal when they resumed practice.

@wbz

The Bruins are tied for the second-most points in the NHL (97), within striking distance of winning their second consecutive President’s Trophy. They also have a decent shot at winning a stacked Atlantic Division and even earning the Eastern Conference’s top seed in the postseason. Still, given their lackluster performance in recent games – and at the start of Monday’s practice – Montgomery isn’t satisfied.

Montgomery: ‘I Don’t Think Our Team’s Ready Yet for the Playoffs’

The Bruins entered Monday’s practice coming off back-to-back losses after dropping a 5-2 decision to the New York Rangers on March 21 and suffering a 3-2 defeat at the hands of the Philadelphia Flyers on March 23. Boston lost the latter in particularly frustrating fashion, allowing the Flyers to score with 1:29 remaining in regulation to escape with a one-goal victory.

“I hated the way we finished the game in Philly,” he told reporters after practice. “It was a good hockey game, it was playoff intensity, a good physicality to it. I don’t think I’ve done a good enough job of teaching the details and game management that we need, and then we weren’t prepared to practice today… I take responsibility for it, but there has to be some responsibility from the players, too.”

🎥 Coach Montgomery after today’s practice: “I hated the way we finished the game in Philly…and then we weren’t prepared to practice today. That’s why. Those things coupled together…I take responsibility for it. There’s got to be some responsibility on the players too.”

Montgomery grew concerned as he felt that his team’s poor effort in the Philadelphia game carried over into the start of Monday’s practice. With Boston’s next game on March 27 coming against the Florida Panthers – one of the NHL’s only two teams that have more points than the Bruins do – Montgomery remains skeptical of his team’s preparedness for the rigors of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

“I don’t think our team’s ready yet for the playoffs,” Montgomery said. “We’ve got to continue to get tested, and we’re going to get tested… It’s been consistent throughout the year. We have good stretches where we manage the game, and then we get away from it. You can’t get away from it. You just can’t give a game away in the playoffs because you don’t get to play the following week if you do (that).”

Marchand: Montgomery’s Outburst Was ‘Completely Warranted’

Montgomery’s message resonated with the Bruins players, who echoed his frustration with their lack of effort.

“Every day it’s our job to be sharp, to be on the ball, and we weren’t today,” Bruins captain Brad Marchand said. “It was a great reminder from Monty that expectations are high here, completely warranted, and especially with the games we have coming up and where we’re at in the season. We need to be dialed in every day. We weren’t to start the practice, so great job by him to notice that, keep us accountable and keep us dialed in.”

🎥Brad Marchand on today’s message from Coach Montgomery: “Every day it’s our job to be sharp…we weren’t today so it’s a great reminder from Monty that expectations are high here. Completely warranted, especially with the games we have coming up and where we are in the season.”

Boston’s next seven games are against teams who currently hold playoff spots – Florida (2 games), the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Washington Capitals, the Nashville Predators and the Carolina Hurricanes (2 games). They will have a chance to respond to Montgomery’s message and send a message of their own in Tuesday’s game against the Panthers, which kicks off a five-game road trip.

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