How can the Bruins overcome their troubles within the Garden playoffs?


Over the past twenty years, home playoff success has eluded a handful of teams across the league.

The Boston Bruins were victims of this development several times, particularly in the course of the Jim Montgomery regime.

After extending their season with a Game 5 win at Florida, the Bruins will begin their fourth series-ending scenario within the last two years on TD Garden ice. Montgomery's club missed each probabilities in last 12 months's first-round loss to the Panthers and this 12 months lost a choice in Game 5 to the Leafs in Causeway before recovering in Game 7 of the primary round with a Hampus Lindholm equalizer and a game-winning goal recovered in beyond regular time by David Pastrnak.

The Bruins carried the momentum of their emotional win over Toronto into their second-round opener against the Panthers. But they barely followed that wave in the following three games, including a pair in front of boisterous Garden fans.

During those two games, the Bruins heard a variety of boos from the hometown crowd. They also watched as their fans littered the ice with gold towels and other debris after some questionable calls.

But the Panthers couldn't beat the Bruins in Game 5, continuing one other trend of teams failing to secure a series win at their first likelihood.

With the season on the road, Montgomery saw his team play a bit looser and more effectively in all three zones. Now he hopes their street success translates back home to a loud and passionate fan base.

“I saw that our team was feeling extra pressure and that our team was playing loosely,” Montgomery said on the eve of Game 6. “You know, I think it just depends on where the series is. And I also think there is a negative side to playing at home: when the fans start booing you, it affects the players. It just does.”

The boos and negative feedback aren't just in Boston.

After all, they experienced the backlash of a hockey-loving Original Six culture in Toronto in the course of the first round.

“We’ve seen it with other teams. We saw it in Toronto. We saw it here,” Montgomery added. “It’s not a lack of effort. The players are not trying to win. They are, you know, and sometimes you have to be patient. We have to play through this.”

Pushing through ineffective games at house is as mental because it is physical. Sometimes overthinking results in players gripping their sticks tighter in every area of ​​the ice, selecting to search for the proper play inside their attack zone layout.

It may even be transferred off the ice. There's not as much teammate spirit at home as there’s on the road. Each player is more vulnerable to seeing backlash on social media or hearing sports radio stations like “Sully in Southie” or “Rick in Revere” air their views, with the slim likelihood of encountering an identical forged of characters in person.

Still, the Bruins gave themselves a likelihood to reverse last 12 months's collapse.

Even though Jeremy Swayman broke out after the season, an identical performance to Games 3 and 4, where they saw a major decline of their shot selection and puck possession, won't help. But with a bit more confidence heading into a distinct elimination scenario, the Bruins can take a have a look at their Game 5 formula, wherein they got several high-danger looks and improved their net coverage in front of Swayman.

“Playing at home … it’s always more fun,” said forward Pavel Zacha, still searching for his first profession playoff goal. “I think everyone is taking it positively and you know, with a lot of fans in our favor, we are creating the momentum we need. Then you want to spend a lot of time in the O-Zone and take a lot of shots. It helps you get back into the game and you gain more and more confidence as a result.”

The Bruins can use all their confidence as they enter Game 6 with a 3-7 home record from the last two playoffs. But they put themselves ready where they may buck their home trend and extend their season at the highest again in front of a sell-out crowd.

In doing so, they gave Brad Marchand a likelihood to return after he missed the last two games with an upper-body injury sustained from successful by Sam Bennett. If anything, the Bruins and their loyal supporters can witness the emotional lift of Marchand's return to the lineup.

“I think it’s going to be wild,” defenseman Charlie McAvoy said Marchand could also be coming back. “Our fans are passionate, amazing and they love him. If he can go tomorrow, I think it will be loud and exciting. We count on them to help us tomorrow.”

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