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Boston Herald
Boston Herald
25 Mar 2023
Steve Conroy

NextImg:Bruins notes: Garnet Hathaway looking good in black and gold

Garnet Hathaway looks ready for the playoffs to start. And the Maine native has looked ready to be a Bruin his whole life.

Hathaway was front-and-center in a taut, grind-it-out game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday. He stood toe-to-toe with big Pat Maroon in a fight to start the game and then scored what turned out to be the game-winning goal late in the second period in the B’s Atlantic Division-clinching 2-1 win over the Bolts.

Hathaway is exactly what the Bruins bargained for when they got him in a trade with the Washington Capitals along with Dmitry Orlov.

“He’s been great,” said Patrice Bergeron, whose line was often checked by Hathaway’s line before the trade. “I’ve always liked his game. I guess you don’t like playing against him, but he’s very efficient, very good for his team. He came in and fit in nicely on that line, but also off the ice. He’s a great guy. He seems to be a character guy. He’s leading his own way, leading by example. I can’t say enough about him and the impact he’s had.”

It was clear there was going to be a little bit of a rumble before the name even started with Maroon and Hathaway were yapping at each other and jousting a bit with their sticks. Once the puck was dropped, it took nine seconds for the gloves to come off. Maroon, with a 30-pound size advantage, got in more shots, but Hathaway held his ground and delivered a few of his own.

Hathaway has been in enough scraps (and will no doubt be in a few more) not to beat his chest about it afterwards.

“Yeah, we chatted quick. And it just happened later,” he said with a shrug.

It was not the last impact Hathaway or his linemates would have. With the game tied late in the second period, the Bolts had some heavy bodies on the ice but the B’s won the physical battle. Hathaway and Jakub Lako beat Erik Cernak and Tanner Jeannot in the corner in a scrum for the puck in the corner and Tomas Nosek eventually chased down a loose puck to get it up to Matt Grzelcyk at the left point. Grzelcyk’s shot bounced off Andrei Vasilevlskiy and Hathaway was there to bat it home.

It was the kind of goal that fit the vibe for the game and the B’s fourth line, but Hathaway felt that work ethic permeated throughout the lineup.

“As a team, we’ve been looking forward to this, to (play) a team that’s going o be in the playoffs and we potentially could see, a team that’s battling right now,” said Hathaway. “And you’re going to have to play that way. So it’s encouraging for us as a line, but encouraging for us as a team to play that way and to play to our identity. That’s how we’re going to have to play in a couple of weeks.”

No matter how long he remains a Bruin – he’s scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent in the summer – Hathaway looks like he was born to fill out the uniform.

“Playing against this team already from the other side, seeing how successful they were before I got here, wanting to be a part of the continuous run and helping it, it’s a little bit of stress,” said Hathaway. “You go into it wanting to make an impact. You want to feel a part of the team and this group has been unbelievable in that. I got a call saying I’m traded and you don’t know where it is initially. And I couldn’t be happier for where it is.”…

The B’s got one of their two goals on the power play, but nobody left the Garden believing they had solved their issues on the man advantage. They had a chance to end the game on several power plays but they managed to go just 1-for-6. And they didn’t look good in the process.

“It’s our breakouts, it’s our entries and the speed in which we move the puck once we have possession in zone,” said coach Jim Montgomery. We’re very slow in attacking the net and converging on it. That’s just something that we have to continue to work on and get better at.”

The B’s have switched out Charlie McAvoy for Hampus Lindholm at the top of the first unit. Could any other personnel moves be in order?

“We’ve got to analyze everything, right?” said Montgomery. “I don’t know yet. We’re going to have to review the tape and look and see if we need to make some changes or not.”…

Orlov was a beast on Saturday, delivering six hits and playing a big role on the penalty kill (a team-high 4:56), especially on Tampa’s unsuccessful 5-on-3.

“He took a couple of big runs at players. And that’s noticeable on both benches. It’s nice when you see your team respond. The other team starts out hard, and we come back harder,” Montgomery….

Not only would a win in Carolina on Sunday be the B’s first victory at PNC Arena since clinching the Eastern Conference crown in 2019, it would match the B’s club record with 57, set by the 1097071 team.

Montgomery wouldn’t say after the game if he was resting any of his top players.