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Julien: Players upbeat, not jet-lagged

Sunday, 06.05.2011 / 7:16 PM / 2011 Stanley Cup Final - Canucks v Bruins

By Emily Kaplan - NHL.com Staff Writer

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Julien: Players upbeat, not jet-lagged
Despite having traveled from coast-to-coast, Bruins coach Claude Julien insists his team isn't jet-lagged, and remains upbeat.
BOSTON -- Claude Julien is not looking for excuses.
 
The Bruins' coach knows his team has been through a lot in the past five days. After losing back-to-back heartbreakers in the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final, the Bruins boarded a plane early Sunday morning to make the more than 3,000-mile journey from Vancouver to Boston.
 
And they don't have much time to rest: Game 3 is Monday night in Boston (NBC, CBC, RDS, 8 ET).

Yet the coach doesn't want anyone feeling sorry for his team -- especially because they're not feeling sorry for themselves.

"No matter what, we're going to have to battle through it," Julien said.  "There's no way around it.  We have to fight through those kind of things. I don't want to use this as an excuse or disadvantage.  I want us to I guess challenge ourselves to be able to fight through that kind of stuff."

Intensity and travel were just two of the topics the coach talked about when he addressed the media Sunday afternoon at Boston's TD Garden. Here's a quick rundown of what Julien had to say:
 
›› Time-zone challenge of this 2011 Cup Final
 
"We wanted to get back on Eastern Standard Time as quickly as we could," Julien said. "So that's the purpose between us leaving at the time we did, getting here at this time right now. But our players seem to feel pretty good right now.  They said that they really didn't feel it.  We'll see tomorrow morning when they show up at the rink and maybe ask them again if they're still feeling the same way."
 
›› Western Conference teams more accustomed to long road trips

"Well, we're not going to hide the fact that we don't travel as much as they do," Julien said. "They're probably used to this more than we are.  So I think it was important for us to really look at it in a way where we had to make it the best possible way for us."

›› Don't expect the Bruins to be any less physical in Game 3

Julien said that physicality has been an important attribute to his team all season, and they're not changing that now, even this deep into the postseason.

"Well, I think what we have to continue is to bring that part of our game to the table every night," Julien said. "It has been part of our makeup. If that's the case, so be it. I don't think we plan on changing that part of our game.  There're other parts that we feel are more important that we get better at.  But the physical part is going to be there. I suspect it's going to be there right till the end."

 ›› Scoring two goals in the first two games of the Final

"We're never pleased with the amount of scoring chances you have," said Julien, who was clear about his dissatisfaction with Boston's goal output. "You always try to get more.  I think you have to ask your players to maybe create more obviously in that area. You also have to give the other team credit sometimes for how they defend.  So that's one of the areas I think that if we can improve on, make it a little harder for them to defend against our offense, it's certainly going to help our chances, obviously. I thought we got a little better yesterday, but not good enough."

›› The second shortest overtime of Stanley Cup Final history

Don't ask Julien about Alexandre Burrows' game-winner 11 seconds into overtime in Game 2.

"Let's not talk about the overtime," Julien said when a reporter asked him about Vancouver's ability to close out games. "It didn't last long enough, right?"

Quote of the Day

They said, 'You're going to love the city. It's smaller than Philadelphia, but you're going to love it. You're going to love the fans. Just watching the playoffs last year, the fans seemed louder there than they did anywhere. I'm really excited about that.

— Forward Scott Hartnell on his upcoming season with the Columbus Blue Jackets