Jim Montgomery guided the Bruins to a historic regular season during his first season at the helm with Boston.
And Monday night, Montgomery was rewarded for helping the Bruins rewrite the NHL record books.
Montgomery was named the winner of the Jack Adams Award, given to the league’s top head coach. Montgomery beat out Dave Hakstol of the Seattle Kraken and New Jersey Devils bench boss Lindy Ruff for the award — both viable candidates after leading sensational turnarounds for their respective teams. Montgomery becomes the fifth coach in Boston’s franchise history to earn the recognition since it came into existence in 1974, joining Bruce Cassidy, Claude Julien, Pat Burns and Don Cherry.
“I view this award as a team award, it’s a reflection of the great Boston Bruins organization,” Montgomery said upon accepting the award, as seen on the TNT broadcast. “Of what Cam Neely and Don Sweeney did to assemble such a talented team and the players that I was honored and lucky to coach this year.”
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The Bruins took off under Montgomery, posting a remarkable 65-12-5 record that set league marks for most wins and points (135) in a single season. The Bruins also tied the NHL record for most road wins in a season with 31 while taking hold of a new franchise record with 34 wins at TD Garden.
Boston’s dominance stretched further than just the record book. Under Montgomery’s watch, the Bruins were the best defensive team in the NHL allowing 2.12 goals against per game while ranking second in scoring at 3.66. Boston also had an eye-popping plus-128 goal differential, which was 61 more than the next closest team.
Montgomery and the Bruins weren’t able to generate similar success in the postseason, bowing out in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs to the Florida Panthers. Voting for the Jack Adams Award was done at the conclusion of the regular season.
Now, Montgomery not only has all the records, but the hardware to remind him of the terrific first season he had behind the bench with the Bruins.