“(Lindholm-Carlo) is a pairing that did really well against the Matthews line last year and this year, and they did well again tonight”

Jim Montgomery, Boston Bruins after the game
Jim Montgomery, Boston Bruins after the game

Jim Montgomery spoke to the media following the Maple Leafs’ 5-1 loss to the Boston Bruins in Game 1 of the ECQF playoff series.

On the decision to start Jeremy Swayman, and whether he will stick with him in Game 2:

We felt like Swayman hadn’t had the opportunity to start a series before in recent years. We wanted to see him start a series and how he would handle it. He did very well.

To answer the second part of the question, I haven’t thought that far ahead.

On Swayman’s early saves to get the team in the game:

I thought his athleticism allowed him to make some really good bouncing puck and rebound saves. He made a pair of scoreless saves early in the first inning. And then I thought we were on our game. It was very important that he made those saves.

It ended 1-0, but we ended up with a crossbar and a post in the first inning.

On the decision in net for Game 2:

It’ll be hard to get away from Sway. He played a great match and we won 5-1. If we decide to go with Ullmark, we feel comfortable with it. Our team feels comfortable with it.

It doesn’t affect us in the room, whoever starts the next game.

On the team’s keys to success in Game 1:

I really liked our team discipline. I liked our performance. I loved the emotion we played with.

The physicality of our group was very evident.

On Patrick Maroon’s contributions to Game 1, including hitting Timothy Liljegren on the bench:

There is a lot of emotion coming our way, especially because the audience is absorbed in it. As for the play he made, that’s what he’s good at: creating subtle plays that build up team play.

What he is very good at – and what we noticed on the bench, just like Nick Foligno – is talking a lot of positive things and reinforcing the plan. He really reaches out to his linemates – Boyqvist and Beecher – with real positive reinforcement about what they’re going to do next shift, and not just about what just happened.

On the big 4v3 penalty kill to start the second period:

Swayman had some great saves, but there was also the effort from the boys on the ice. We could go the other way and get some power plays. The second goal was huge.

On Jake DeBrusk’s three-point performance:

Jake was great.

For most of the game, I’d say everyone really executed the way we wanted. It was a really good team effort. That’s why I felt like we could go wave after wave like we did – all six D and all four lines.

Jake was really good. The shot on the third goal is a goal scored by the goalscorer. It’s nice to see him rewarded for the hard work he’s put in all year.

On John Beecher’s performance after Providence’s call this week:

Beecher was really good. I think this is the best game he has ever played as a pro.

The challenge for not only him, but for the entire group: Can we do it again? It’s nice that we got Game 1, but we know Toronto is a very good hockey club. We know it’s going to be a difficult series. We have to get ready for Game 2.

On improving the team’s power play:

It’s fresh. Players are on the move. I love the way we grow together. The pace of the power play looks fast. When the power play seems fast, the penalty kill has to make split-second decisions.

On the first few power plays where we didn’t score, there was traffic and convergence at the net. We created opportunities to score.

On whether Matt Grzelcyk’s performance will keep him in the lineup for Game 2:

I didn’t analyze. Tomorrow we will analyze as a staff, but I thought Grzelcyk was very good for us tonight. He and McAvoy did a lot of good things together.

I don’t know who our goalkeeper is. I don’t know who our defenders will be in the next game. I will not tell you.

On the big swing in the match after Auston Matthews hit the post at 1-0 and Brandon Carlo made it 2-0 shortly afterwards:

It was huge. I thought it was 1-1 as soon as he passed Swayman. We need to be better in those areas. We can’t give Matthews those kinds of opportunities. He’s too good a scorer.

On the play of the Lindholm-Carlo pair against the Matthews line:

That’s a combination that has done very well against Matthews’ line all year long – last year and this year – and they did well again tonight.

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