With major changes come risk. But on Friday night in Florida, Jim Montgomery’s gamble cashed in.
The Boston Bruins head coach made a major shakeup throughout the lineup for Game 3 against the Panthers, including a last-minute change after David Krejci became a late scratch. It resulted in easily their best all-around performance of the series so far, at both ends of the ice.
The changes to the forward groups, in particular, made a huge difference and paid off on the scoreboard. It showed off their elite depth, as they dominated much of the game despite missing both Krejci and Patrice Bergeron. It also echoed recent comments by Brad Marchand about the Bruins’ versatility and ability to win in a variety of ways.
“Definitely a little bit of adversity, there, but we’ve been through that all year long,” Marchand said in a postgame interview. “It started from day one. We’ve always had that ‘next man up’ mentality. It just gives someone else an opportunity to step up and rise to the occasion. We had that tonight. [Charlie] Coyle had a huge game, Hallsy [Taylor Hall] had a huge effort, and Fliggy [Nick Foligno] had a huge goal for us at the end.
“That’s how we win, it’s by committee. It’s tough to have guys out, but like I said, it just gives everyone else an opportunity to step up.”