Jim Montgomery, Boston Bruins post game
Jim Montgomery, Boston Bruins post game

Jim Montgomery addressed the media after 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 if he will stick with him in Game 2:

We felt that Swayman hadn’t had the opportunity to start a series before in the last couple of years. We wanted to see him start a series and how he would handle it. He did really well.

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

On Swayman’s early saves to settle the team into the game:

I thought his athleticism allowed him to make some really good bouncing puck, rebound kind of saves. He made a couple of point-blank saves early in the first. And then I thought we got to our game. It was really important he made those saves.

It finished 1-0, but we finished a crossbar and a post in the first.

On the decision in net for Game 2:

It is going to be hard to go away from Sway. He played a terrific game, and we won 5-1. If we decide to go with Ullmark, we are comfortable with it. Our team is 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 execution. I liked 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 into the bench:

It is a lot of emotion that comes our way, especially because the crowd gets into it. Regarding the play that he made, that is what he is good at — making subtle plays that build the team game.

What he is really good at — and what we’ve noticed on the bench, a lot like Nick Foligno — is a lot of positive talk and reinforcement of what the game plan is. He really grabs his linemates — Boyqvist and Beecher — with really positive reinforcement about what they are going to do next shift, and not only about what just happened.

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

Swayman had a couple of great saves, but there was also the effort by the guys on the ice. We were able to go the other way and get some power plays. The second goal was huge.

On Jake DeBrusk’s three-point performance:

Jake was terrific.

For the majority of the game, I would say that everybody really executed the way we wanted. It was a really good team effort. That is why I felt like we could go wave after wave as we did — all six D and all four lines.

Jake was really good. The shot on the third goal is a goal scorer’s goal. It is nice to see him get rewarded for a lot of the hard work he has done all year.

On John Beecher’s performance after the call-up from Providence this week:

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

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

On the improvement on the team’s power play:

It is fresh. Players are moving. I like the way we are converging. The pace of the power play looks fast. When the power play looks fast, the penalty kill has to make split-second decisions.

On the first couple of power plays where we didn’t score, there was traffic and convergence at the net. We were creating opportunities to score.

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

I haven’t analyzed. We will analyze as a staff tomorrow, 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 goalie is. I don’t know who our defensemen are next game. I am not going to tell you.

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

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

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

That is a pairing that has done really well against Matthews’ line throughout the year — last year and this year — and they did a good job again tonight.