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Montador excited to be part of another turnaround

Sunday, 03.08.2009 / 12:01 PM / Features
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Montador excited to be part of another turnaround
New Bruins defenseman Steve Montador is familiar with teams making quick turnarounds.
How is an NHL team like the economy? Because most teams need exactly what businesses need today, turnaround specialists.

Defenseman Steve Montador, acquired by the Boston Bruins on Wednesday from the Anaheim Ducks for forward Petteri Nokelainen, thrived under one turnaround specialist, Darryl Sutter in Calgary, and looks forward to working for another, Peter Chiarelli in Boston.

Sutter became general manager/coach of the Calgary Flames on April 11, 2003, and a year later had the team in the Stanley Cup Final, which they lost in seven games by one goal. Chiarelli has the Bruins on top of the Eastern Conference in his third season as general manager.

"It's hard to compare because I'm not nearly as familiar with Boston as I was with Calgary," said Montador, who contributed two shots on goal in nearly 14 minutes of ice time in his debut Thursday, a 2-1 loss at home to Phoenix. "What was special about that city and team was Darryl Sutter turned things around by adding a couple of key players. It was important for us to be growing all season. At Christmas, we were not in a playoff position but by the All-Star Game, we were. We had a team that battled and believed we could win every game, going into the playoffs."

Montador and the Bruins will be looking to turn things around Sunday when they head to New York to face the Rangers in an NHL on NBC battle at 12:30 p.m. ET. Boston has nine losses in its last 12 games, and has seen its double-digit lead in the East dwindle to just six points on second-place New Jersey.

Montador has joined four other members of that Flames' team on the Bruins: center Marc Savard, the leading scorer; defenseman Andrew Ference; right winger Chuck Kobasew and defensive center Stephane Yelle. Montador said rejoining his ex-teammates is one of the reasons he's excited about playing for the Bruins.

That Chiarelli is an admirer of Sutter's work in Calgary is another reason to be excited, Montador said, adding that his agent, Steve Kasper, played for and coached the Bruins and has told him he will enjoy playing in Boston. Montador said he is familiar with the history of the team and is excited about "wearing the black-and-gold."

"I can't get there soon enough," Montador said Wednesday in a media teleconference before hopping an eastbound flight.

A few minutes later, Montador realized he was familiar with the Bruins. The Ducks and Bruins met in Boston last Thursday and it wasn't pretty.

"Oooh, a 6-0 shellacking," Montador moaned. "It was impressive. We did have a few scoring chances but Tim Thomas, with that unprecedented style, prevented us from getting any goals. He's hard to beat and hard to figure out. The Bruins are a team that holds onto the puck as much as possible and they work in the middle of the ice instead of just working along the boards. They can play inside and outside because of a mix of players who can work both angles. It's a well-rounded group of players who are tough to play against. I didn't feel like we could generate very much. We had our hands full that night."

Montador said he's been impressed by the growth of the players he teamed with in Calgary who are now in Boston.

"I think everybody in Calgary and in juniors, prior to his time with the New York Rangers, knew how skilled 'Savvy' was," Montador said. "He has matured as a pro and he has taken the extra steps we've become accustomed to. He's been in the top 10 in scoring the past three seasons. I know Marc, we have a lot of mutual friends. He has grown immensely and I'm sure the Boston fans have come to enjoy that.

Author: John McGourty | Staff Writer




1 MTL 62 41 16 5 171 135 87
2 TBL 63 38 19 6 207 167 82
3 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
4 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
5 FLA 62 27 22 13 150 175 67
6 OTT 60 27 23 10 171 163 64
7 TOR 62 25 32 5 170 189 55
8 BUF 63 19 39 5 123 212 43


P. Bergeron 61 18 26 4 44
L. Eriksson 61 14 21 2 35
R. Smith 62 12 23 11 35
B. Marchand 57 18 16 8 34
M. Lucic 61 13 21 11 34
D. Hamilton 62 10 24 0 34
C. Soderberg 62 10 24 6 34
T. Krug 58 11 20 6 31
D. Krejci 38 7 19 7 26
C. Kelly 60 7 19 8 26
T. Rask 25 16 9 .920 2.34
N. Svedberg 6 5 0 .917 2.39
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