Jim Montgomery provides early perception into Bruins lineup for 2023-24 season


“What I like is we now have super alternative. I do know we now have nice gamers, I do know we now have actually good leaders.”

Bruins coach Jim Montgomery stands at the bench as Florida players celebrate on the ice after they beat the Bruins ion overtime.
Jim Montgomery believes that the Bruins nonetheless have the means to struggle for a playoff spot in 2023-24. John Tlumacki/Globe Workers

The Bruins is not going to open their 2023-24 season till Oct. 11 at TD Backyard.

However the work has already begun for Jim Montgomery and his workers to assemble a revamped roster within the wake of final 12 months’s crushing first-round exit.

In an interview with Steve Conroy of The Boston Herald, Montgomery provided up some early perception into how he plans to construction the Bruins’ roster up entrance, particularly in a top-six unit not buoyed by the presence of each Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci. 

As anticipated, Montgomery plans to enter coaching camp with Pavel Zacha and Charlie Coyle as Boston’s top-six facilities, with Coyle projected to play on a line that includes each Brad Marchand and Jake DeBrusk. 

Through the common season, a Marchand-Coyle-DeBrusk line logged 42:16 of 5v5 ice time collectively, with Boston holding the sting in shot makes an attempt (49-34), photographs on objective (22-17) and objectives scored (2-1).

They achieved extra success through the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs, with Coyle slotting in for Bergeron through the first 4 video games in opposition to the Florida Panthers.

Zacha, who had a breakout season whereas primarily enjoying alongside David Pastrnak, is anticipated to stay subsequent to his Czech countryman in 2023-24. Montgomery added that winger James van Riemsdyk will possible get the primary look subsequent to Zacha and Pastrnak at left wing.

“I believe [Zacha’s ceiling] is considerably greater,” Montgomery advised Conroy. “Not solely is he bodily ready, extra importantly I imagine he’s prepared for this mentally for the type of minutes, the duty of getting to be performed in all conditions — which he did rather well final 12 months — however they’re going to be extra essential minutes.

“However I simply assume he’s mentally prepared. He believes that he can do it. That’s the largest step for a participant. I’ve quite a lot of confidence that our prime two traces will probably be excellent as a result of I imagine Charlie Coyle is aware of he can do the job and can do the job and Pavel Zacha does too.”

Regardless of discuss of the Bruins nonetheless doubtlessly pursuing avenues so as to add a top-six middle into the combo earlier than camp opens, Montgomery mentioned that any late additions are unlikely.

“In my thoughts, that is our crew,” Montgomery advised Conroy.. “Ever since Krech made it official, we’d been considering that this is able to be our crew. Truthfully, we had been making ready this manner since mid-June.”

Montgomery additionally added in his dialog with Conroy that finding out the bottom-six ahead grouping stays an ongoing analysis, whereas Trent Frederic will possible be penciled in at proper wing, somewhat than middle.

Given the quantity of expertise that Boston misplaced by way of retirement, commerce and free company, Montgomery acknowledged that the 2023-24 Bruins have loads of doubters, particularly within the wake of how final season’s record-setting run ended.

However Montgomery believes this retooled roster is lower from the identical material as final season, a minimum of so far as expectations going into the brand new 12 months.

“After our common season, I believe lots of people forgot all of the query marks on our crew earlier than final 12 months,” Montgomery advised Conroy. “I believe it’s similar to this 12 months, that we’re a bubble crew, and that’s what folks had been saying about us final 12 months,” mentioned Montgomery. “What I like is we now have super alternative. I do know we now have nice gamers, I do know we now have actually good leaders. For me, the thrilling a part of it’s ‘how good can we be?’

“I don’t know what our ceiling is but and that’s what makes this coaching camp slightly extra thrilling than final 12 months’s, as a result of there’s much more transferring elements. … Some folks take a look at it as daunting. I don’t. I take a look at it as a chance for lots of gamers to turn into actual good Bruins for us and for us to search out our id as a crew and the way we’re going to win video games this 12 months.”