There’s also a natural element of comfort when it comes to leaning on a Stralman — even if he’s a little long in the tooth — to adapt to a new city and more importantly a new system over players still trying to carve out full-time roles for themselves at this level in the case of a Clifton and a Zboril.
“Anton’s really smart [and] Anton has never been a really fast, gifted skater in the league, and what I mean by that is he’s been always an above average skater, and his gift is his brain and how he competes,” Montgomery said. “Guys like that are able to extend their careers because they have the ability to adjust because of their brains in any role.”
The Bruins could always use more of that on their backend. This would be especially true if the looming cap crunch when the fully healthy Bruins need to make move to become cap compliant sometime in late November comes at the expense of a pricier defenseman.
And the locker room adjustment is one that Stralman, who is more than familiar with the Bruins thanks to his recent tenures with the Lightning and Panthers, can undoubtedly ease into as well.
“It’s an organization that’s expecting to win, want to win, and that’s exciting,” Stralman said following his first skate with the club last Saturday. “So [it was a] good first day for me. Kind of ease into it a little bit and get my feet under myself and then we go from there.”
Through two skates with the Bruins, Stralman’s most common pairing partner has been fellow Swedish defenseman Hampus Lindholm. Stralman knew Lindholm from their time together on the Swedish team at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. Beyond that, however, there’s not many known relationships for the 930-game NHL veteran. But that hasn’t stopped him from picking up on the vibes of this room.
“I think the culture is great,” Stralman said. “There’s a lot of veterans on this team, which I think is fun. I think it’s a good mix of players. When I look at this roster, there’s a lot of guys that are hitting their prime right now. And also you have guys like Bergy and guys that have won and know what it takes. I think that’s an exciting mix, and especially with the goalies too. I think it’s a fun team.”