Jim Montgomery believes in "the process."

That's what the Boston Bruins coach preaches to his team. A simple strategy to keep his players focused on the present.

No looking back on what's happened. No dwelling on an uncertain future. Commit to the now and results will come.

Those principles have guided Montgomery throughout his career. But ever so rarely, Montgomery could be persuaded to take in the whole big picture.

It happened on March 30. David Pastrnak had just scored 41 seconds into overtime to down Columbus and earn Boston its franchise-record 58th win of the season. It also secured its long-projected status as the Presidents' Trophy winners, a distinction awarded annually to the league's regular-season points leader (additionally, it guaranteed Boston home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs).

"It's been a magical season so far," the first-year coach reflected. "We know the hardest part is ahead of us, and we're looking forward to that grind."

The simplest summation — until it's fully unpacked. Because Boston is wading into historically tumultuous waters, battling the riptide around that ol' Presidents' Trophy curse.

The hangover accompanying a Presidents' Trophy victory has drowned decorated Stanley Cup hopefuls for years (we'll get to the how's and why's of that shortly).

Only this Boston team isn't like any other — literally.