fb-pixel Skip to main content
Bruins Notebook

Bruins coach Jim Montgomery expects Nick Foligno to bring a spark to third or fourth line

Veteran Nick Foligno will be counted to add his savvy with a third- or fourth-line presence.Derik Hamilton/Associated Press

In the jigsaw puzzle that is the working configuration of the Bruins forward lines, coach Jim Montgomery has veteran Nick Foligno, 34, penciled in on the third or fourth line.

Montgomery, new to town, also figures Foligno can score 10 goals, which would be a five-fold improvement over what the frustrated vet delivered here for strikes (2-11—13) in his first season with the Bruins in 2021-’22.

‘I think you can get 10 goals and up from a third- or fourth-line guy,” Montgomery noted following Monday’s workout sessions in Brighton. “And that’s even-strength goals. I don’t know if he’s playing power play yet or not. If he does, then [the goal total] will go up if he gets second-unit time … but those are things to see as we go through camp here.”


Ten goals would be nothing short of a Perfect 10 for Foligno, who never gained a foothold here last season after being hired on as an unrestricted free agent for $7.6 million over two seasons. Then coach Bruce Cassidy tried him multiple times on the power play, including in a net-front role, but for all of Foligno’s willingness to work the crease for tips and rebounds and redirects, the goals never came.

“Two goals isn’t what I expect,” noted Foligno, who rode Monday on a line with WannaB’s Vinni Lettieri and Joona Koppanen. “But I think I came in [to this year’s camp] and just tried to reset, work on some of the things I’ve always worked on … I know I can score goals, I’m not worried about that. I think my track record speaks well for itself. But it’s just more about putting myself in positions to do that.”

What does this season hold for Nick Foligno?Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff

Foligno was in the lineup Saturday night for the exhibition opener, a 2-1 loss in Philly, and showed some of his trademark savvy and spunk. But still, no goals.


Montgomery on Monday did not disclose who will suit up for Tuesday night’s visit to Causeway St. by the Rangers. It could be a lineup again dotted mostly with kids, though, given that Montgomery said he plans to roll more with vets beginning with Saturday’s visit by the Flyers.

Foligno is a proud and earnest guy, with a bona fide rèsumè of 1,021 NHL regular-season games, but he needs to show in camp that he can: 1. Keep up the skating pace in NHL Autobahn ‘22, and 2. Figure out a way to build on his 205 career goals. GM Don Sweeney acquired him last summer on a need-to-score basis.

The Bruins, KO’d in Round 1 of the playoffs last spring by the Canes, again came up short on getting pucks over the goal line. For his part, playing in a bottom six role, Foligno chipped in with a meager 0-1–1 over the seven games. He was hired on to be a difference-maker, particularly at crunch time, but it never happened.

This time around, Montgomery is looking for the ex-Columbus captain to create a “clear identity” on a third or fourth line.

That ID, added Montgomery, would include Foligno possessing pucks, being hard on the opposition and being “relentless” on top of pucks.

Montgomery, seen here during a recent workout in Brighton, sounds like someone who is in Foligno's corner.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

“I know, looking at last year, you know, I don’t think he was happy with how it went,” added the coach. “For his own play, I’m talking about.”


Offseason surgery last summer, noted Montgomery, prevented Foligno from training at his optimum level. Moving to a new city also presented challenges for Foligno, his wife, and three children.

Life, no matter the size of paycheck, often gets in the way.

“These aren’t excuses, but it is reality,” added Montgomery “So you’re overcoming a lot. You don’t get to train the way you want. You’re making sure your family’s comfortable — he’s a great family man and that‘s going to occupy a part of your brain. I expect him to be a big part of what we do this year, and because of those things, I think he’s playing a lot freer. He’s getting on top of pucks. He’s creating a lot of loose pucks. He’s getting to the net front — and that’s where he’s made his whole career, getting to the net front.”

Eduards Tralmaks to miss 4 weeks

Riga-born Eduards Tralmaks, who banged up a knee in Saturday’s practice, will be out for some four weeks, according to Montgomery. Tough break for the 6-foot-4-inch ex-UMaine winger … Anton Stralman, the 36-year-old Swedish backliner who came aboard over the weekend on a tryout basis, paired up with countryman Hampus Lindholm in the morning’s first practice session. “You can see he’s in really good shape,” noted Montgomery. “He ends plays and he makes good decisions with the puck. He’s played a lot of games in this league (930, dating back to breaking in with the Leafs in 2007-’08) and it showed today.” … Captain Patrice Bergeron rode with Jake DeBrusk (LW) and Pavel Zacha (RW), while prodigal pivot David Krejci lined up with Taylor Hall (LW) and David Pastrnak (RW) ... A stouter, more muscular Jakub Zboril lined up on his strong (left) side with fellow ‘15 draftee Brandon Carlo.


Kevin Paul Dupont can be reached at kevin.dupont@globe.com.