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Boston Bruins Break Up Day Quotes on 4/13

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
BOSTON BRUINS QUOTES

BREAK UP DAY
Monday, April 13, 2015

PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES WITH BOSTON BRUINS GENERAL MANAGER PETER CHIARELLI AND HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN AT 12:30 PM
On with the uncertainty of the future, do you go through this day the same as you normally would…
Chiarelli: Yeah we can. It’s business as usual and we started conducting the exit interviews at nine this morning and we still have a bunch of them left. We’ve talked to some of them. The job uncertainty, the questions surrounding us, it’s part of the job that you have to do and just move forward. But it hasn’t impacted my interviews, my discussions, my meetings with Claude. Business as usual.

On when you think you’ll get a better stance of where you guys stand…
Chiarelli: I couldn’t tell you. As I said, business as usual until we hear otherwise.

On missing the playoffs change the future battle plan…
Chiarelli: Well the way we look at it, we look at the whole year because points that you get are points that you lose at any point in the season are valuable points going one way or the other, so we have to look at the whole year. Right now we’re starting these exit interviews, starting with the post mortem we’re looking at areas where we need to improve and we’re not going to react drastically because we didn’t make the playoffs. As I said on Friday when I met with some of you in Tampa, there’s areas that we have to look at and there’s areas on the roster that we have to look at and we’re all under review. There’s no secret there and we’re going to go about our business and make the right decisions to make this team and organization better.

On making any decisions on guys that won’t be coming back yet…
Chiarelli: I’ve spoken with Dan Paille and Gregory Campbell and I told them that we won’t be resigning them.

On if you’re hoping to resign everyone else…
Chiarelli: Well there’s a little more questions that we’ve got to get answered first before we make determinations on that. We’ll see where that sits as kind of the day, the week unfolds. There’s time to make decisions, there’s time to go through the planning process, there’s time to look at various rosters and players and unfortunately we have a lot of time that way.

On if you think one season is enough to put you under review…
Julien: Well I don’t think it matters actually, DJ. I think the bottom line is it’s a tough business and right now it’s not my decision to make. It will all depend on how it’s being viewed from above me and deal with it from there. I’m like Peter [Chiarelli], I’ve had exit interviews today with players and my job continues just like any other year. Again I’m kind of repeating what Peter said. Unless I’m told otherwise I got to continue to do that. I’ve been here for eight years and I enjoy being here and certainly look forward to staying here, but again having said that I also understand the nature of this business.

On how you would like to improve the team…
Chiarelli: I think we want to—there’s a couple areas right now, Fluto, that are kind of highlighted in my mind. I’d like to kind of transition the puck better. Now you can do that in a number of different ways. Player personnel-wise, coaching-wise and that’s something I’d like to do better. I think that we can do that better. From that flows my next thing is scoring. We were deficient in that area, but we had as I said on Friday, we had almost just a little short of chances—five percent chances on the year and we just didn’t execute them. That can be personnel related also. It can be some other adjustments too. Those are the two things that fit in my mind right now.

On having the personnel either here or in Providence that can execute a higher pace of game…
Chiarelli: We may but we’ll see how kind of the Providence season unfolds and we’re obviously looking out in the market too.

On getting any indication of why scoring was such an issue during exit interviews…
Chiarelli: Yeah, I’m not going to share it with you but yeah. But this is a process that’s going to take more than a day of exit interviews. We have to look back at tape with the coaches, with our group and talk about it.

On Coach being careful of what you say during the season but now can you pinpoint what went wrong this year…
Julien: I think you guys are asking the same question to both of us there. There’s certain areas where there was some deficiencies and certainly things that we talked about internally and how we want to address. I’ve seen some of it and I think it’s important that we have a good look at that. I think that’s what we intend on doing, but again there’s a lot of different things that have happened this year that resulted in our failure to make the playoffs. But certainly there’s areas that can be fixed.

On the team saying when they played the system they played well, but they weren’t consistently playing it…
Julien: Well I think there’s a lot of players that did it well, there’s other players that didn’t do it as well as others and it created those situations. When those things happen it becomes a confidence issue. You trust each other out there on doing the right thing and that’s the biggest challenge for a coach nowadays is getting the whole team to play the same way and trusting each other that the right thing is going to be done. I think there was times that for different reasons that wasn’t happening.

On Milan Lucic’s play this season and upcoming contract situation...
Chiarelli: It’s a decision that will require some thought. You’re talking about resigning him? He’s a player that’s really helped us over the years; he’s a signature-type player. Certainly, and I lump him in with a bunch of guys that their levels of performance weren’t up to snuff this year. So, he’s a big strong player that we rely on and he’s paid a good salary now and if we extend him he’ll be paid a good salary going forward. So, it’s a difficult decision because he’s a player that creates space by his size and his style of play and you’d want more production in general, from not just him but from other players, and he falls in that category.

On Milan Lucic’s intangible qualities and evaluating his worth after the regular season...
Chiarelli: He brings the intangible stuff to the playoffs – the size, the strength, leaning on guys, the timely scoring, the clutch play in general. So, it’s part of the equation and certainly you expect production. Again, I don’t want to pick on Looch [Milan Lucic] here because I think a lot of the players didn’t perform to the level where we expect them to be, and he’s one of them.

On Milan Lucic balancing his intensity with smart play this season...
Chiarelli: It’s a balance and he expressed the same things to me in our exit interview. It’s a balance that is a challenge, and getting to that balance – that’s something that we talk about with [Brad] Marchand too and some of the other players – to have their balance with level of grit versus skill, and Lucic is in that boat. I think one of the things he said to me that I’ll share with you is he wasn’t in the right frame of mind, and it might have been kind of a follow up from what he said to you, following the Montreal series. He didn’t have the right frame of mind going into the year, whether it was kind of a defensive frame of mind – meaning he didn’t want to be as aggressive as he normally is, who knows.

On David Krejci getting past the issues he had at the start of the season...
Chiarelli: Well I’m certainly not going to tell, but the answer to your question is yes. That’s what he tells me.

On if any of the players have upcoming surgeries in the offseason...
Chiarelli: I haven’t met with the doctors. I’ve met with some players that say they may have to have surgery; I have to meet with the doctors at the end of the day. So, I don’t have that information for you.

On evaluating Zdeno Chara’s play based on his age and injury this season...
Chiarelli: I characterize it more of a difficult season, with the injuries, and Zee [Zdeno Chara] is a player who’s an elite defender in the league and I believe he can maintain that status. So, it’s about recovering and getting ready mentally and physically for next year, and if there’s anyone that can do that well from a physical and mental conditioning perspective it would be him.

On the challenge of going into the offseason and making roster changes...
Chiarelli: Well, it’s a challenge every year to keep good players and that challenge will exist this year also. So, it’s a challenge to do that and not be, not ignore your loyalty to players who have given you real good years of service and a Cup and a final and all that stuff. That’s a challenge. But, every team has their own challenges in team building and we’re no different. So, we’ll be facing a number of those this summer too, this spring and summer.

On how much the salary cap situation affected personnel moves this season...
Chiarelli: From that perspective, not one bit. Well, again that’s been a challenge and certainly been well documented by you folks, regarding my ability to do that. So I’ll leave that with you. There’s obviously overages that came from [Jarome] Iginla and what not, and well chronicled, and I look forward to reading it.

On losing Johnny Boychuk and trying to find someone to fill his role...
Chiarelli: Yeah, a little bit. The market was hard early and that was – when you’re shopping early, I mean it’s no secret, and then the prices are astronomical if there are offers at all. So, yeah, I was.

On if Dennis Seidenberg’s versatility affected his decision to acquire a defenseman...
Chiarelli: That versatility helped us. With Seids [Dennis Seidenberg] I felt, and I told Seids this, I felt that the first part of the year was typical of a player coming off of an ACL and generally it takes, for me it takes almost a full year before he gets his skating back and I think in the last third of the season I think you saw Seids’ skating come back. So, while his versatility helped us, it’s still like we knew we’d be up against it a little bit because of his recovery time.

On if the coaching messages were received consistently all year...
Julien: Well, obviously I think the players would answer that a lot better than I would. But, I think it was. I didn’t see a doubt; I think the players believe in what we’re trying to do here, accomplish as a team. I know we worked hard to put a game plan together and whether that happened all the time or not, I’m really not ready to say it had something to do with the message not being well received. So, I still feel that the room is strong in there and that our voices are still heard as coaches. So, to me I don’t think that was a real big issue as far as that was concerned. Really felt, and you know, the last game of the season even after we’re out the guys still played hard right until the end, so I don’t think there was a thing there that indicated to me that the players, I know what the question is, tuned me out more or less.

On if the team’s leaders felt defeated as the season went on...
Julien: Well, no I don’t think the leadership would feel that way. I think it’s – did we have everybody going? No, absolutely not. There are guys that had off years, and all the stuff that’s happened, but at the same time I’m not going to stand here as a coach and say like I’m not taking part of that blame, because as a coach you’ve got to try and get the most out of your players. You know, whether the players – even if the players listened to the message, even if they didn’t execute, it didn’t mean that they weren’t listening to us or the leaders. But it was one of those years where we couldn’t get everything out of everybody. So, I have to look at myself as a coach and say what else can I do to get the most out of some of these players. You know, your core group for the most part was always good, and they came and played hard. But I still have to – and I’ve said that before and I’ve said that to Peter, I said my job as a coach is to get the most out of everybody and that wasn’t the case this year and I have to take ownership of that as well.

On the players’ collective personalities and how that affected the team...
Chiarelli: I don’t know. Whether it was something along those lines, or what did you ask me on Friday about a transition year? You’ve got some good lines to the room; I mean I don’t know, I couldn’t tell you. The guys that didn’t come back were character guys, or the guys that I traded. So, but we have a strong group and that’s how I felt about it at the time.

On if character is a delicate issue when building a hockey team…
Chiarelli: It is. But it’s also, in team building, you have to pass the torch. You have to do that, and then you have to do that to the younger or mid-age guys, and that’s part of the process. We done that before, and you’ve seen some of our former younger players grow into these roles, and we will continue to do that.

On if the game trending towards pace and transition affects how he looks at the roster…
Chiarelli: Sure it does, yeah. That trend’s been going on for a while. I would say when that rules package came in, that trend has been, with no obstruction, the game has been getting faster with less obstruction. So that’s been going on a while, and so I say that because teams have won by being not always fast, built for speed. Teams have won. But the trend continues, you’re right, and you can’t go too far one way or too far the other. You have to find a balance, and that’s certainly one area where you have to find a balance. But the puck retrieval, and you hear me talk about the transition. I mean, that stuff is important.

On if he views Torey Krug as a top-four defenseman…
Chiarelli: I told Torey [Krug] I liked his year. I told him that he’s defending better, and he’s continuing to get better at it. I’d like to see, it was sub-20, right, his average time on ice. So I think he’s trending in that direction, and I’ve liked his game.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD CARL SODERBERG
On how he would assess his season…
Normal season for me.

On if he’s ever gone through a goalless stretch like he did earlier this season…
Yeah I have, to be honest. I played on a team back in Sweden where we had a lot of good seasons as a team and I had stretches without a goal.

On his impending free agency…
I don’t know. I don’t think anyone knows. I want to hear from Boston for sure first. That’s my first choice. If we can find a solution together this coming couple of months, that would be great.

On how comfortable he is playing for the Bruins…
I’m comfortable. I like it here. I think everyone on the team does. I would love to be here next year and have revenge.

On assessing the team since he came here in 2013…
I came in here and we were the top team in the league and the first two seasons went pretty smooth as a team. Even if we lost to Montreal last year, I think we had a strong year. I know we were a Stanley Cup contender. I think it was hard for the whole group to realize that weren’t a contender this year. We were battling for the playoffs, and I think it took a while into the season this year before we realized that.

On if the end of this season was a reality check for the Bruins…
No. It was a long time ago, we realized we had to battle for the playoffs. I think a season takes seven months or something, so it’s a long time that you have to think a lot during that time. It wasn’t a wake-up call. I hope and I think the whole team knew long before that we had to battle.

On if he wants to keep playing in the NHL…
I’m going to play here for a couple years more, for sure.

BOSTON BRUINS DEFENSEMAN TOREY KRUG
On if the team didn’t play the way the Bruins normally do this season…
I think so. You know that’s a conversation everybody’s going to have and everybody’s going to wonder that, and wonder why we’re not playing maybe the way the Bruins typically do. It’s not fun to be a part of this group that has failed at our jobs, and we’ve just got to use it as a learning tool. As much as it stings, and it sucks, and everybody’s all upset, we have to make sure that we can find some sort of positive out of this and learn, and use it as a slap in the face and come back next year playing the way that we should.

On if there’s still a need for grit and toughness in today’s NHL…
It is a changing game. It’s more skill. Guys aren’t dropping the gloves as much. But there’s something to be said about a team having swagger, or a little bit of an edge and cockiness. I think that’s part of the game that our squad was missing this year. When we did have that, we saw glimpses of it all year, it’s like we rose to the occasion when we played the better teams, and we sunk down to our competition’s level when we played teams that were worse than us. It’s definitely a changing game, but there’s something to be said about having that edge and that swagger, and using that to your advantage.

On why the Bruins didn’t have swagger…
Yeah, I mean, that is the question. If we knew the answer, we wouldn’t be answering these questions right now. We’d still be playing. So, it’s tough. For whatever reason, like you said, it wasn’t there, and I think it’s obviously a mental thing, showing up to work every day ready to do the job and have that edge and that compete level. Like I said, I don’t know the answer to that, and I know that the coaches and the management are searching for that answer.

On if he answered any questions by playing a top-four role down the stretch…
Well yeah, I mean I learned a lot this year. It was a tough year, ups and downs and everything that comes with it, and then at the end, obviously playing more minutes and a bigger role with the team, and it was fun for me. Obviously if we were winning, it would say that everybody’s doing their job a little bit better, but I think it’s more fun to play against better players. It’s more fun to play more often, because your role and you’re playing more, and you’re just into it. I think I definitely answered that I can do it. Personally, it’s obviously fun to have those challenges and to play against better players. The hockey’s more pure, and it’s fun to compete. So I hope that I definitely proved that it’s a step in the right direction.

On what he learned this year…
There’s so many things that I learned. I think a big part of it for me is the mental side of the game. There were stretches throughout the season where frankly, you fall into the trap of hanging your head and being frustrated, and being pissed off. And then you realize that some things are just out of your control, and if you approach the game with the right mental attitude, then things just are better, overall. I think the mental side of things, the consistency, was a big thing that I learned.

BOSTON BRUINS DEFENSEMAN DENNIS SEIDENBERG
On his emotions after a few days to reflect on the season...
I think like everybody, pretty depressed with the way the season ended. Just disappointed. I mean, everybody expected more from this team – not just people on the outside but ourselves, I think. We expected a whole lot more, but at the end of the day it wasn’t enough and we have to deal with the consequences, whatever they will be.

On playing all 82-games after missing so many last year...
Yeah, I mean if you’re looking for positives than that’s one of them. Yes, that’s definitely one them, to be able to play all 82 games. That’s one of the bright spots. Like we always say after a loss, you’ve got to look for the bright spots and go run with it and hopefully try to forget the other ones as quick as possible.

On if he was surprised he was able to play all 82 games after recovering from injury...
I mean you need luck for that too. So many times you get a puck on a finger or a wrist or a foot and you just can’t put a skate on. So, I wasn’t surprised about it because I felt like my knee was ready, but you’ve obviously got to be lucky to be play 82 and that’s the one thing that worked out this year.

On why this year’s team was unsuccessful compared to previous ones...
Well I think consistency is definitely one thing. We did play well for five, ten games and then we just wiped it out right after for the next five to ten games. So we never really a grasp on success and ran with it. It was always an up and down, and that’s what cost us at the end.

On if there was a point in the season he thought they had gotten over the inconsistency...
There’s a few points. I mean, we had a few five plus winning streaks and we were like okay, now that’s it, now we’re going to go play solid and we got it, we found our winning ways again. But, it just never was meant to be and something was missing.

On the changes he expects in the offseason...
I mean, there’s a lot of questions right, but as a player all you can do it sit tight and see what happens. Everyone in this locker room likes each other and we like to play with each other, but if you lose early like we did this year, things are going to change. It’s a just a matter of how many guys or what’s going to happen. So, everybody is wondering about it too.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD CHRIS KELLY
On being shocking that you didn’t make the playoffs…
Yeah it’s not obviously what we anticipated for our season ending in April. But that’s ultimately what happens when you don’t have the year you’re looking for.

On not being able to execute coach’s plan being on the players or the message getting stale…
No I think that’s solely on the players. The system that’s put in place since I’ve been here is a winning system and we had followed the system and everyone had success. For whatever reason we didn’t follow it on a consistent basis and when we did we had success but it wasn’t there enough this year.

On having a talented group…
I think so, we have a talented group in here and I don’t think talent was ever the question. I think it was just our consistency and mentally being focused ready to play and play hard. Working on the game plan night in and night out.

On the impact of locker room changing because of injuries and guys leaving in the off season…
Those are big characters. They’re big presence in any locker room and when you take guys like that out of a locker room, it’s very difficult if not impossible to fill their shoes. The guys that came in, I don’t think they were looking to fill those shoes because it would have been a task that would have been extremely difficult. It was one of those years that having Zee [Zdeno Chara] and Krech [David Krejci] hurt early on definitely hurt us.

On you being basically injury free all season…
To be honest I felt good all year. There wasn’t—I’ll have to when I look back at this point last year I was a different person. Having that back injury was a difficult thing but I worked hard in the off-season to come into camp and feel good and I felt good all year. I thought that there was no back issue, no real issues from the body except I missed two games with a rib thing but other than that I felt good all year.

On the young players and looking toward the future…
Yeah I think the group we have is a good group that works well together. There’s going to be turnover in any locker room, you’re going to have young guys come in and new faces and things like that. But, I think it just took us a little longer than we would have liked to gel properly, but it did come together and I thought once it did we had success. I think the group is a talented group and we’ll learn from this.

On seeing more turnover going into next season…
Probably, but that’s just the reality of the business. When you have success you try to keep as many guys together to maintain that success. Expectations have been really high here and obviously we didn’t meet those expectations.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD DANIEL PAILLE
On if he thinks he’ll be back with the Bruins next year…
I mean, when things don’t end well, you always expect the bad, but we’ll see. Not too optimistic but we’ll see how things go. I don’t know what the future will hold, but at the same time, I’ve got to think about what’s best for my family, myself, and my career at this point.

On how he looks back on his time in Boston if he ends up playing elsewhere next year…
It’s been a wonderful time. Obviously it’s not a season that I’d like it to end to, but it’s been wonderful, and if it continues, great, but I think when I look back here, we competed for a number of years and played some good hockey. It’s been a tremendous time, and it’s unfortunate we ended the season the way we did, but overall, it’s been a great experience and I couldn’t ask for anything better.

On if he sees the Bruins making a lot of roster changes…
I think there’s changes every year. I don’t know how much more different, that’s not necessarily my position to talk about. I find that it’s harder to make drastic changes than it has been in the past, given contracts and stuff like that and salary cap reasons. If there are changes, then it’s for the better of this organization. I think that’s what people should look forward to and look towards next season.

On why the fourth line was unable to produce this year…
I think a lot of it is chemistry, and we just didn’t build off too much chemistry. I think we rotated a number of guys, and at the end of the day, you want to try to play the same certain style, but you have to continue producing some way. If it’s not scoring, it’s another way. But normally, as a line, we succeed with obstacles that are surrounding us. Unfortunately this year, they got the better of us. It’s definitely a huge hit to take at this point, but at the same time, you’ve got to enjoy the good times too.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD PATRICE BERGERON
On if the team’s lack of consistency is why they didn’t make the playoffs...
Yeah, I agree with it one hundred percent. I think from day one, you know, we’ve lacked consistency all year and we’ve let huge points slip by late in games to obviously shootouts. We’ve had some stretches of good hockey followed with another same kind of stretch of not so good hockey and it definitely hurt us right now to get into the playoffs.

On if the team’s lack of execution reflects back onto the coaches...
No, I think it’s really about us not playing to our potential. I think no one’s going to stand here and say that they’ve had a good year or that they’ve overachieved, obviously. It’s a definite down year for us and we didn’t get the results because of it.

On the frustration of showing good stretches of play but not sustaining it...
Yeah, I agree with that. We’ve seen a lot of games also this year that we’ve played some good hockey, we’ve followed the system, we’ve played with the urgency that we should have and we’ve got the outcome that we’ve wanted. So, it was pretty obvious in the games that we didn’t that it was really based on the fact that we weren’t – no one was really playing their game and no one was following the game plan.

On why the team seemed to stray from the system this year...
Yeah, I mean I think it’s hard to put a finger on the reason why. Definitely at the beginning of the year the injuries didn’t help. You know, bringing in a lot of new faces, it’s definitely – it was for them a different system and we had to adjust to all of that. But it would be unfair to put the blame on them and it’s definitely on all of us. I don’t think I can really pinpoint one thing. You know, when you have a team – and I felt confident starting out the year with the team that we had – you have to do the job. It doesn’t matter who’s in, who’s out, you just have to show up and do your job and step up as a player.

On his frustration with the team as a leader...
I mean, it was frustrating for everyone. I think that we were all not playing to our full potential and it’s always frustrating to see that. You know, it’s something that we’ve tried to fix all year but it was working only for a few games and then going back down. So, like I said, consistency has been a huge issue this year and a reason why, and the fact that no one’s really performed to their full potential. You know, you can’t win when that happens.

On the changes in the offseason and if he’d like to see everyone stay together...
I do. I believe in this group. I hope it stays the same, but at the same time we understand the situation. We understand that it is a business and bottom line is you have to win. Especially in a city like Boston, which is a great thing, I think and it definitely always challenges you with all the other sports, but also with the fans. You know, we’ll see what happens, I mean it’s out of our control as players. Bottom line is we have to regroup and come back a lot stronger next year.

On if the team lacked urgency in the regular season in hopes of turning things around in the playoffs...
You know what, not for me anyways. I don’t think any other guys would say that; I hope not. It’s always a new year and it’s always different; you can’t really tell yourself that because it didn’t work the year before and you finished first that you have to kind of just need a ticket - whether it’s first or eighth, you always want to be at your best and climbing the standings. So, I don’t think it was really the case.

On if the team’s inconsistencies were addressed in the room as they occurred...
Yeah, it’s something that we’ve tried to talk about all year, we’ve talked about all year, but we’ve tried to fix also. It was really tough to understand or tough to really get why it was happening every five to eight games. But it was really disappointing at the same time.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD GREGORY CAMPBELL
On it being tough to end the season watching instead of playing…
It’s tough. Probably the toughest thing you can do as an athlete, not be a part of it. Not a fun situation.

On being capable of the same athleticism since breaking the leg…
Yeah, yeah I train the same way. I’m fine.

On the fourth line not having the same impact this season…
I don’t know. It’s tough for anybody to look good on a team that doesn’t make the playoffs. It’s collectively it’s—there’s no success within the team so to have a specific line or individual look good it’s pretty hard. We were fortunate to have a solid sustainable line with three guys that were playing together night in night out for a long time which is very unique. So we started off pretty good with Gags then it was tough to find stability the rest of the year. Like I said it was a tough year as a team so it’s real tough for anybody to really look good.

On having four impactful lines in the past…
Yeah the team was different than the previous years. That’s obvious. It was no question, if you have four lines and six defensemen that are all playing well it’s a complete team. Yeah, we didn’t make the playoffs so it’s tough to really assess everything right now.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD BRAD MARCHAND
On emotions after missing the playoffs has sunk in…
It’s obviously very disappointing. Something to really—it’s tough to describe. You have such high hopes coming into the year and obviously with this team we’re expected to not just make the playoffs but win the whole thing. To not be there is different. I’ve never missed the playoffs before in my life so it’s not a good feeling at all. It’s definitely something that’s going to drive us next year.

On the team having inconsistencies, but addressing the way that you played individually…
I thought the season was ok, but at the same time obviously you didn’t do enough when you don’t make the playoffs and the team doesn’t succeed. I don’t think any of us played the way we can and I don’t think anybody would say they had a good year.

On not executing the coach’s plan being because of the players or the message being stale…
No I don’t think the message is stale at all. If guys don’t want to believe in that message and they don’t want to take the game plan that’s given to us and execute it, that’s on us. I think that its proven that it works. We’ve won a cup, we’ve been to another final, we’ve had some great teams, we won the Presidents trophy. It works when you play it and want to believe in it. It’s a great system so I don’t think it’s a stale message. It works and that’s on us for not, like Tuuks [Tuukka Rask] said, executing.

On there being enough talent in the room to execute…
Yeah there was. We might not have played the right way. That’s pretty clear but we still got a good group in here. It’s tough and it was definitely tough when Krech [David Krejci] went down. Our best player wasn’t in the lineup, that definitely takes a lot out of you. It breaks up that first line and then especially when other guys went down. It was an up and down year with that, we’ve had more injuries this year than I think we might have ever had. It was tough for us but we definitely still had a talented group. Definitely had enough to get in the playoffs but obviously we didn’t play to expectations.

On it being an uphill battle because the roster wasn’t the same as it has been…
Well for sure it’s tough, you can’t replace a guy like Johnny [Boychuk]. It’s tough to replace a guy like him, not just on the ice but in the room around the guys. And Iggy [Jarome Iginla] too, I mean Iggy is a 30 goal scorer consistently and 60 point guy. It’s tough to replace guys like that but to say an uphill battle, there’s just so many things that have to go into that. Every year teams get better and the league gets better, it just seems like this year the league was so close. Point-wise we didn’t have a bad year. 96 points is the only year it hasn’t had a team in the playoffs so you can’t sit here and say we had the worst year ever. It’s just unfortunate that 96 points didn’t get us to the playoffs. It’s obviously very disappointing but an uphill battle, we didn’t have the same group we had in the past but we still had a team that was able to compete and to win games but we didn’t play the way we can all year. Guys didn’t step up when we needed them to. Ultimately what cost us games and the season.

On you thinking there should be changes this off-season…
Well every year the teams change up a little bit. Well how much, that’s not really up to me to say. I don’t know but guys are obviously going to be leaving and new guys are going to be coming in. It’s unbelievable how a couple guys can change a team. You look at some of the teams around the league, just some young youth. Guys coming in like Pasta [David Pastrnak] came up this year. Guys love having him around. He’s a great kid in the room. He makes the older guys feel younger and brings that energy out. Who knows what’s going to happen next year just with replacing guys who are going to be leaving can spark the team. We could have a great year next year and hopefully that’s what will happen.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD DAVID KREJCI
On how surprising it is for the Bruins to miss the playoffs…
Yeah, it’s not very surprising, it’s more disappointing. We all know what we’ve got here. Obviously we didn’t deliver this season, and that’s why we’re talking here on April 13th. It’s obviously not a good feeling, but it is what it is.

On if his injuries this season made it a frustrating year for him…
Yeah, I mean every time I felt like my game was coming around, I got hurt. That happened three times this year. It was really frustrating, but I started feeling pretty good at the end of the season, and I wasn’t able to help the team get into the playoffs. So it’s a disappointing year for myself and for the team. We have a long summer.

On what the first injury he sustained this season was…
I mean I haven’t done my physicals yet. You’ve got to understand, I don’t want to say something. Lower body. Sorry. If I could I would tell you. I don’t want to get in trouble.

On if there’s anything he has to address this summer physically…
We’ll see. I was hurt a couple times this year, so we’ll see. I have to do the physicals, I mean I came back with I think nine games left, because we were trying to make a push for the playoffs. Who knows how we would have approached it if we had been in the playoffs, if I would be coming back that early or not. But I felt pretty good at the end of the season, so we’ll see. I have to talk to the doctors and then see what the next step is.

On if it’s possible that he might need surgery…
I mean, yeah it’s a possibility. I don’t think it’s a big possibility, but yeah. There’s a little chance.

On what injury his surgery would be related to…
I wanted to do this after the physical so I could tell you everything.

On if it was a lack of focus that caused the Bruins to miss the playoffs…
No not really, I mean you come into the rink every day and try to do your best. You’re being professional on and off the ice. So our effort was there, we just weren’t able to put a bunch of games together. We didn’t really have many guys that got hot for 10, 15, 20 games. If you look at our top scorer, 50 points, then the couple second ones were the mid-40s, so we obviously have to work on creating some offense for next year. But that’s a long way from now.

On how he defines this season relative to expectations…
I mean yeah, the expectations are really high from fans, from media, from our organization, but we knew it. We knew that we had a really good team, we can maybe talk a little bit about the injuries. We lost me for lots of games, Zee [Zdeno Chara], couple other guys, Millsy [Kevan Miller] missed a lot of games. I’m not making any excused but who knows what would happen if we were playing healthy the whole year.

BOSTON BRUINS GOALTENDER TUUKKA RASK
On his emotions going into the offseason...
It’s going to be a long one. So, plenty of time to get in shape and get ready for the next one, next season. That’s where I’m at right now. Haven’t really been thinking about it too much yet.

On how he feels his personal play was this year...
Good. Not great, good.

On if there’s an area he’d like to improve on for next year...
Improve? Always like to improve. But I looked at my numbers and the scoring chances, and it was not obviously quite as good as last year, but it was still over 82 percent. So, that’s good.

On if the team’s lack of consistency is why they missed the playoffs...
Yeah. I mean, we didn’t play consistent hockey, even within the games. We barely put a sixty-minute game together, so that won’t take you too far, obviously. But we battled and we were really close, but when you can’t find that consistency over the course of 82 games, you have failed as a team. That’s why we’re not in the playoffs.

On if the team’s lack of execution reflects back on the coaches...
No, I don’t think so. You look at video and you talk; we’re all smart guys here. So, you do understand what you need to do. But then it falls on the players, you know, mental sharpness and willingness to execute the game plan. For the most part, we didn’t really do that.

On the team showing moments of success in the season but not sustaining it...
You know, that’s probably the most frustrating thing – that we showed glimpses of great hockey and how good we really can be, and we just did not sustain that for too long. So, that’s probably the most frustrating thing about this.

On if the team had the roster that it needed to be consistent...
Yeah, I think so. I mean we showed it, we played good. But I really don’t know why can’t keep it. It’s a mystery and probably always will be a mystery. But just sometimes you just can’t find it. We’re not the only team in hockey who’s gone through that, but I know that us as a team and as an organization, it’s unacceptable and they want to fix it so this wouldn’t happen again.

On if he expects a lot of changes in the offseason...
I don’t expect anything, and also I expect everything. So, there’s going to be some changes. But you look at the contract situation with some of the guys have and you figure out probably not everybody’s going to be back. So, we’ll see what happens.

On losing character guys like Johnny Boychuk before the start of the season...
Well you know, I think character is the toughest thing to replace, you know. You lose character, just because of the nature of the sport – you can’t keep everybody together all the time and it’s going to happen. So then you need new guys to step up, and I think this year we just got caught kind of in that building process and we didn’t get to the level we wanted after losing that character. You know, it’s not easy, but that’s something we needed to figure out and we couldn’t quite do.

On if not making the playoffs will be a reality check and if the team took anything for granted...
Yeah, well you know, I certainly hope we didn’t think that way. Because we talked about even last year and the year before that – you win something and it’s over. Obviously, we were riding that way for a little bit and something like this happens, it’s the last straw. I think we talked about it last year. We’re not the same team we used to be and blah, blah, blah, and now we’re in this situation. If anybody in here thinks that because we’ve won in the past, it’s going to bring us success, that’s – this is it.

On what the consequences will be of not having a successful year...
Yeah, well we’ll see. I don’t know what’s going to happen.

On not making the playoffs but still having a good amount of points after the season...
You know, every year before I think this amount of points would have been enough to make it. Then again, every year is different. At the end of the day, as I said before, you get what you deserve and we didn’t get our game to the level that we wanted and we needed. So, getting 96 points is not going to make us feel better because at the end of the day we failed as a team and that’s it.

On how he would grade this season...
Well, what’s failed, F? Because you know, if you don’t make the playoffs, you’ve failed. You know, it doesn’t matter what happened, if you make the playoffs you’ve failed. I mean, if we were to make the playoffs, who knows what could have happened. So the line there is very thin, and we really felt like we had a group of guys to make a good run in the playoffs. But we failed because we didn’t make the playoffs and we’ll never find out.

On if it’s difficult to accept this season’s outcome...
Yes. Never would have thought that I’d be in this situation, never been in this situation in my career before. Hopefully never have to be here again. It’s tough.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD LOUI ERIKSSON
On why you think you guys missed the playoffs this season…
It’s just a big disappointment for sure that we can’t make the playoffs. That’s where you want to be. End of the day it’s always tough for everyone. Everyone wants to be playing right now and keep going. We had our ups and downs this year and at the end it comes up to the last game of the season and it’s too bad we didn’t make it. It’s a big disappointment.

On having a bounce-back year…
I’m feeling, yeah much better this year. I thought I’ve been having a pretty good season. Been playing in all different situations and producing pretty good. I’ve been feeling good. Hopefully I can build on this and we get better for next year.

On not being able to score more regularly…
I don’t know that’s more something we talked about. We need to get more shots to the net and get more traffic and get more people in front. Sometimes we had it and that’s when we were scoring and sometimes we were kind of being on the outside a little bit too much and we’re not scoring many goals. Just finding ways to get more shots and making more traffic, that’s how you score in this league.

On inconsistency being a lack of desire or will…
Maybe sometimes, I think everyone wants to win and do well. I think we felt like we could do a little bit better job in getting more shots through and getting more traffic, like I said, and get more of those dirty goals.

On comparisons from last year to this year and leading into next year…
Yeah for sure, I think I took a step forward this year. Last year was real tough with all that went wrong with the concussions and everything. I think this year I only missed one game so it’s good to have been healthy and been playing. I think I learned the system well and I’ve been having a good year. It’s too bad it comes up to missing the playoffs. It doesn’t really matter how much you produce or everything around it. All you want us to do is make it to the playoffs and try to win.

On changes coming next season…
Yeah you never know. It’s up to the organization to make the decisions and of course they’re not happy how this season ended and we didn’t make it to the playoffs. For sure, we’ll see what’s going to happen this summer. We can’t really do much right now.

On Boston being a place you want to stay in…
Yeah for sure. I think it’s a city and a team that’s a great team to play for. A lot of good fans, it’s always a good atmosphere when you’re here and you play. Yeah for sure. We can do something better than we did this year to make it to the playoffs next year so hopefully we can have a good summer here and get better.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD BRETT CONNOLLY
On if the team’s struggles and frustrations affect his game…
I don’t think so. I think everyone’s obviously disappointed about the season, but we’ll go into the summer, we’ll think about things, and we’ll have a good offseason and try and work on some things, and come back and be better. So it was a tough year for everybody, I think. Obviously, I was only here for a couple months, and then I had the injury, so it was obviously tough for me. But it’s encouraging. It’s a deep team, and there’s a good leadership group here. So we’ll look at some things and come back, and hopefully be stronger.

On if he felt comfortable playing in the Bruins’ system…
Yeah, for sure. I think that it’s a good fit for myself. Obviously you want to get in the playoffs, and I felt like I had a lot more hockey in me, but these things happen, and like I said before, we’ll work on some things in the offseason, get better and come back stronger next year.

On decompressing after not making the playoffs…
It’s tough. Obviously nobody wants to be in this situation. None of us want to be in this situation. Everybody obviously cares, and nobody’s happy about it. So you take a couple weeks and you think about it. You can’t dwell on it, but you don’t want to have it happen again. So take a couple weeks and just kind of reflect and think about what you can do in the summer to be better, and come back next year and make sure it doesn’t happen again. We’ll obviously focus on some things and come back stronger next year.

On if missing the playoffs will add motivation to next season…
Yeah, I think that, just motivated to have a good summer and just to work on things and come back as a better individual, a better player, so we can be a better team next year and we can do better things. Obviously it’s disappointing, but as a group, we’ll come back next year, and we know how this feels, obviously not ideal, but we’ll definitely work on some things and come back stronger.

On where his game was compared to what it would have been in a couple weeks…
It’s one of those things, you get in five games, you miss a month. I felt good, it was just tough as a team. We had a chance to win a couple games down the stretch in the last few games to get in the playoffs. We didn’t do that. For myself, I think that it was very encouraging. I’m in a good situation here, and it’s a good opportunity. Obviously next year, come back, have a good summer and come back in good shape to have an impact and to be a go-to guy on this team. I understand it’s a big summer for myself and a very important training camp, just to have a good start next year. Hopefully we can get off to a good start, and not be feeling like this at this time of year next year.

BOSTON BRUINS DEFENSMAN ZACH TROTMAN
On how you feel you have progressed this year…
Obviously started off two games of NHL experience. Started off in the AHL and then due to injuries and whatnot I got a chance to come up here and play quite a few games which was a big step forward for me as far as experience goes and kind of getting my foot in the door. I felt like I was able to learn a lot and get a lot of experience from my time up here.

On feeling like you could be up on a full-time basis next year…
I hope so yeah. I felt real good about my game obviously. It wasn’t enough there towards the end of that stretch but I feel confident in my abilities to make a push.

On being the experience to play with Zdeno Chara…
It’s awesome. Obviously he’s a legend. I make a mistake and he covers up for me. It makes my job a lot easier and it’s nice to be able to learn from someone like that and play with someone like that. I always felt that’s how you learn the most and gain the most experience is when you can play alongside someone like that.

On trying to fit in with all of the roster changes and injuries…
You can’t really think about anything like that. You come up when you come up. If they need you in the lineup then you just have to do your job, you can’t really think about where you fit in, what’s my spot, that kind of thing. You just have to play day-by-day, take it game-by-game. Kind of worry about the rest later I guess.

On paying attention to contract statuses and relating that to your own opportunities…
Yeah I mean, again it’s kind of the same thing where you can’t really worry about contracts. That’s stuff that you cannot control. You try and just focus on what you can control, playing well and then when you do get your chance hopefully slipping in and doing something productive and helping.

On playing in Providence for the playoffs…
No idea yet.

On if you would like to play in Providence for the playoffs…
Yeah obviously I like playing hockey so I want to play as long as I can. We’ll see what happens.

On your goal being the last peak for the team and what the last week was like…
It flew by honestly. Everybody was really excited to try to make a push there. It’s a just tough way to go out. We kind of controlled our own destiny and weren’t able to come through there. It’s a tough road trip to finish this season up on. I feel like we made a really good push in Tampa Bay, we played a really good game but it was too little too late scenario. Obviously it’s a learning experience. Something to take with you. Next year you’ll remember that for sure.

On being confident in the ability to make the push into the playoffs…
Yeah I was drafted in 2010 so I’ve been around here for five years and I guess it was one of those things where it was never even a second thought of whether or not we were able to do it, it was more of an afterthought. So it’s just kind of—it hasn’t really hit home yet I guess. It’s a shock so it’s obviously disappointing.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD DAVID PASTRNAK
On how he would sum up his experience with the team this season...
Yeah, you know, there have been a lot of things in that ten months and I’m happy I could be here, you know, and get as much as experience as I could. I really enjoyed every second here; just unfortunately it’s finished pretty early.

On if he knows what his future will be with the team...
No, we’re still going to have some meetings and see. We’re going to talk about it, I’m not sure yet.

On how he’s feeling physically...
I feel alright, you know, just I would rather play more hockey, you know? So I feel good.

On what he takes away from his NHL experience...
Yeah, definitely. I’m going to have all summer to get better, get stronger, and I will try to do my best and get ready for next season.

On if hopes to stay with the team next year...
Yeah, hopefully. That’s my goal to make the team again. It’s going to take a lot of hard work.

On coming up to the NHL in the middle of the season and his experience with the team...
You know, it was really great experience for me. I enjoyed it – I could be here and unfortunately it was too short a season, you know. But I tried to get as much experience as I could, so it’s going to help me in the future. It’s a tough to finish that early, but you can do nothing right now, just get ready for next season.

BOSTON BRUINS DEFENSEMAN ADAM MCQUAID
On the frustration of the team’s lack of consistency...
I mean, I don’t know for what reason the consistency was probably the main thing that was difficult for us this year. Not only within games, but from game to game. We would have a good period and maybe a not so good period, and then we would go on a stretch of winning games and a stretch of losing games. That kind of seems to be the pattern; you just want to focus on playing and not analyzing. It was a focus of ours to try to bring that consistency and we weren’t able to find it.

On the team feeling pressure over the last few weeks to make the playoffs...
Yeah, I mean it felt like we were scrounging for points all year long. Definitely the last twenty games or so, every game felt like there was that feeling of almost like if we lose this game it could be the difference and you saw that. You say it comes down to the last weekend, but realistically it’s an 82-game season and you miss out on a few points and that’s the difference. So, I mean, everyone wants to play in games that mean things so from that sense you try and bring that element and try to enjoy that part of it, but I don’t know. It’s difficult.

On the pressure of needing points and if it got to the team...
I don’t know if it got to guys, I know that obviously we were aware of the situation. It was a close race there where other teams were able to win a couple of games at the end, they were able to pull through and we weren’t able to find that. Again, it’s one of those things that you look back and you want to say we didn’t get enough points in the last weekend of the season, but we put ourselves in that situation with an 82-game season. You don’t want to put yourself in that situation, and at different points in the season guys said that it can come down to a few points, and it did and that was the difference.

On if he hopes to be back with the team next year...
Yeah, I mean obviously I want to be back. I’ve had so many great memories here with this group and this organization. I guess it goes without saying that guys – I don’t know, I can’t picture not being here. So, I haven’t had any meetings, I haven’t talked to anybody. I don’t know – it’s a different situation for me this year, some uncertainty. So, I guess we’ll see how things play out. But, my priority, my goal would be to come back here. I don’t know if that’s realistic or not. I guess time will tell.

On if he’s considered what his worth is to other teams...
I guess I haven’t had any meetings, so I don’t know what the thought process is. I’ll wait and see if it comes to that, then obviously you have to go down that avenue. But, this is where I want to be. It’s the organization that – they’ve given me so many opportunities and worked with me. I’ve said before that they’ve stuck with me through some tough times, and there were times that I felt like – there were things I couldn’t control, obviously, with injuries and stuff – but I felt like I wished I could have done more and been available and I wasn’t. There were times I kind of felt like I hadn’t held up my end of the bargain as far as that stuff is concerned. But again it wasn’t anything I could necessarily control so it was hard that way. So, I don’t know. I don’t think things have really sunk in yet. The whole situation is new for me; it’s the first time in my life that I haven’t been on a team that’s made the playoffs. Just the contract situation, it’s all new. I haven’t wrapped my head around everything quite yet.

BOSTON BRUINS DEFENSMAN MATT BARTKOWSKI
On your emotions after not making the playoffs…
I don’t know if I’ve ever had a summer this long to begin with. It’s just disappointing. Not happy at all. 

On assessing the way that you played during an inconsistent season…
Ok, I mean, inconsistent kind of like the team. Could have played better here and there. I’m sure we all feel the same way.

On something being “off” about this season…
Very, yeah just a little off like you said. Even when we were bad I felt like it was only, maybe one piece that wasn’t clicking or something like that. It wasn’t far off. There were some days where we were god awful but other than that it’s just up and down and inconsistency.

On being an unrestricted free agent…
I honestly really haven’t thought about it. I’ll think about it this summer I guess once things get deeper into the summer. Honestly I haven’t really thought about.

On your reflections on your time here…
I’ve been here five years. Developed is one word that comes to mind. From the top down, they’ve done a great job of helping me out along the way. I can’t thank them enough.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD MILAN LUCIC
On his emotions heading into the offseason…
Obviously it’s disappointing to be out of the playoffs and not have a chance to compete for the Stanley Cup, which we’ve been used to the last seven years. But now that I’ve had a day to kind of let it sink in and think about things, with all the hockey that we’ve played over the last seven years, you’ve got to make the most of this time to get our rest, heal physically and mentally, and prepare for a bounce back season next year. So again, obviously a lot of disappointment not getting in the playoffs, especially with getting 96 points, that’s usually enough to get in, but it wasn’t enough this year.

On how he would assess the way he played this year…
Too inconsistent, personally. Especially the way I started the season, I was very inconsistent and a very poor player in the first 35 games. I think I only had six goals by New Year’s, and that’s not acceptable from a personal note and from a team standpoint as well. But then I kind of got my game going in the right direction in the last six, seven weeks of the season, got things going again as far as the way I wanted to play. Obviously I had a lot of fun playing with Spoons [Ryan Spooner] and Pasta [David Pastrnak] to end of the season there. We had some success together, and for myself, like I said, I just want to do the best I can to heal physically and heal mentally here in this long offseason and bounce back as best as I can. I have an opportunity now to get into tip-top shape, with all this time now to head into next season. I’ve got to do the best I can to make the most of that, and bounce back the way I know that I can.

On if missing the playoffs will motivate the team this offseason…
I think so. I hope that it does. This is a feeling that we don’t want to experience again, so I think we’ve got to use that as motivation for the offseason, for everyone to get themselves better personally, and you hope that’s the mindset heading into this offseason.

On the potential for major roster changes this offseason…
When you don’t make the playoffs, changes usually are made. As a player, those are the things that are out of your control, and you just hope that a group can stay together as long as it can. But I mean, you trust that the GM and the whole management group are going to do the best they can to put the best team on the ice. As a player, that’s all you can really do, is just trust in the management group that they’re going to do the best that they can to put the best team on the ice moving forward.

On how shocking it is that the Bruins missed the playoffs…
I think that’s what makes it so disappointing. It’s because of the talent that’s in this room, and we didn’t get the job done and make the playoffs. Like I said, we didn’t give ourselves a chance to compete for a Stanley Cup because of the talent that we have here, and that’s one of the things that makes it so disappointing. We need to use it as a motivator to make ourselves better, to make sure it never happens again.

On if he would be surprised if he were traded…
I hope to be here, and my plan moving forward is to always remain a Bruin, but like I said, the management group is going to do what’s best for this team and this organization. I hope that it’s me on the team moving forward, and I hope that I’m in their vision for the future, but I can only control so much. Like I said, I’m just going to do whatever I can with the time that I have here in this offseason to better myself so that I have a bounce back year.

On if next year being a contract year for him adds motivation…
Yeah for sure, definitely. Like I said, my plans are to remain a Bruin and the best way to get an extension is by my play and my actions on the ice. I need to prove to the team and the organization and the fans, with my play on the ice, that I deserve an extension. So I definitely have to use that as motivation.

On if the players didn’t execute gameplans or the coaching message got stale…
I don’t think the message was stale, because you saw when we played the system the way that we could, we had success. I mean we had some winning streaks and we had an 8-1-2 [stretch] in March. I just think that there was too much inconsistency throughout individuals and players on the team, and we didn’t bring our best game night-in, night-out. I think that’s what hurt us, because personally I still believe in the gameplan, and I think the gameplan works, and will continue to work. It’s just about being more consistent in our game as players.

BOSTON BRUINS DEFENSEMAN KEVAN MILLER
On how he would assess his performance this season…
Obviously a little bit frustrating with the injuries and whatnot, and as a whole, as a team, not what we were looking for from the beginning. So I guess frustrating would be the best way to put it.

On how his health is now…
It’s good. It’s coming along pretty well. It’ll be seven weeks since surgery on Thursday, so it’s actually progressing really well.

On if he’s rehabbing his injury now…
Yep, been doing that for a while now, so it’s going well.

On how difficult it was for him to have to watch the team down the stretch…
It’s probably the toughest thing. It’s tough to not be a part of it. You’re kind of watching the games up there and you can’t really do anything about it or help the team. You want to cheer the guys on and be there for them, but yeah, it was definitely tough to watch.

On how shocking it is that the Bruins missed the playoffs…
Yeah, it’s, I don’t know the best word to describe it, but it’s strange for sure. It’s something that we’re not accustomed to. A lot of the guys in the room have been here for a while and haven’t had this before. So, it’s a lot of time to reflect on it over the summer, and be ready for next year.

On what the team could have done differently in order to make the playoffs…
You know, our game was up and down. I think you could say that for pretty much the whole season. We were up and down. We had some good points, we had some low points. I mean, that’s with any team. I think in the last two or three months we really kind of let it get away from us a little bit. This is different, a new position that we were in, compared to last year or years in the past. I don’t know if I can put a finger on it, or say exactly ‘this is why,’ but I think there were a number of things that we just kind of let get by.

On if he will watch the playoffs…
Absolutely.

On how wants to come back next year…
Be stronger than I was this year.

On how his rehab is going…
It’s going extremely well. I’m ahead of schedule.


BOSTON BRUINS DEFENSEMAN ZDENO CHARA
On having a good regular season but not burning out around playoff time...
No, I mean, you always want to be in the postseason, you always want to be competing for the Stanley Cup.

On how he would assess the season...
Yeah, I mean I think that we really didn’t have a stretch during our season that we would get on a roll or kind of get it going. We had, right from the beginning we had some games where we played well and then games where we didn’t play well. So it was kind of up and down throughout the whole season and it went all the way until the end.

On the lessons that can be learned from this season...
I mean, nothing is guaranteed. I mean, that’s for sure something that we all have to again go back to and start fresh next season. Just because somebody’s speaking you to be the team that could be competing for the Stanley Cup or the team that previously won something – nothing is guaranteed. Everybody’s starting from the same and that’s for sure, number one step we have to take, the first approach.

On why the team couldn’t score more this season...
Yeah, that’s a good question. I think that’s the question we’ve been getting all season. It’s one of those things that for sure it’s something we could have done better and so many different answers you can go through. For sure, lack of scoring cost us many games and if we would have points from those games for sure we wouldn’t be standing here.

On if he expects a lot of changes to the team in the offseason...
That’s something that, obviously it’s up to the management of the team. They will reevaluate this situation. As players, you can’t control those.

On his thoughts on not making the playoffs...
Disappointing. We all wanted to be in the playoffs, we all wanted to be competing for the Stanley Cup. That’s pretty much what we all play for and yeah, it’s a huge disappointment.

On the team rebuilding again at this stage in his career...
First of all, my age has nothing to do with it. You know, it’s something that it happens. You have teams that go through, if you want to call it, rebuilding process. They make big, major changes. Then other teams are trying to do slow, slowly kind of replacing pieces and players. But that’s again, something that’s up to the management. But me as a player that has been in this organization for a good period of time, I know that we’re going to be better. I know that it’s something that we’ll realize it’s got to be much better next season. This is a team that has obviously high expectations. No matter how we’re going to do it in the offseason, as far as you call it, changing personnel or whatever’s going to happen, we’ve got to do our job on the ice.


On the team’s desire to win...
Well, again, it was like everything else. It was inconsistent. There were games where we were really into it, really emotionally attached, really engaged, and then again, games where it was missing.

On the challenges of going through an injury this season...
Yeah, I mean I said it before, it’s never easy. Coming to camp, I really felt I was in the best shape I was in in a long time and felt extremely well. And then something like that happens, it’s obviously, you don’t want to deal with it. But again, it happened and it took me a while to be back at my game. Believe it or not, it’s something that slows you down. You have to make adjustments, you have to deal with different things that you’re not used to and again, at the end of the season I felt much better and back to myself and performing like I’m more known for.

On if he’s fully recovered or will need to continue to recover in the offseason...
Well, again, I didn’t have any issues later in the season. When I came back, it was still not completely a hundred percent, but obviously at that point you want to play; you want to be with the team and do whatever you can to help. But towards the end there were no issues.

On if he’ll need surgery...
No, well, if it would go that way we would do it right there. But, again, it wasn’t – other parts of me were not affected and that’s what saved it.

On if the team’s lack of execution reflects back on the coaches at all...
I don’t think it’s, again, it’s a coach fault. They do their preparation, they give us the game plan before the games, and it really comes down to executing on the ice and doing what’s needed for a team to win. That’s, again, it was there some games and some games it was not.

On if the team had the personnel they needed to execute the game plan...
Well I think that it’s not always going to be perfect. You’re not always going to have the team that you always wanted to have or wished to have. It’s about, if you have that team it’s about the players – are they willing to sacrifice, are they willing to put everything on line for the team and be consistent with it. Like I said, that was one thing that was missing this season.

On if the lack of consistent effort bothered him as a captain of the team...
I mean yeah, it’s not ideal. It’s something that you wish you would have that every game. Even though there have been up and downs this season, you’re going to have some stretches of going through games that are going to be rough. But again, we never hit that time of the year that we would go on a roll and then could afford to have those kind of games or spans where we knew that okay, now we’re in a little bit of a slump. But you can afford those when you get on a roll, you win seven, eight, nine games out of ten or eleven and you can build a little cushion. But we never had that.

BOSTON BRUINS GOALTENDER NIKLAS SVEDBERG
On how he would assess this season compared to his expectations…
Yeah, obviously you mean we missed the playoffs, so it’s not what we were looking at. It was a tough season for our team.

On his play this season and low number of games played…
Yeah exactly, the number of games weren’t what I expected. I was hoping to play more, and I think I was playing good this year. So certainly I was hoping for more games. The kind of position we were in, there was a lot of pressure here on the team, so Tuukka [Rask] played a lot of games and he also played very well. It’s the way it is. It was kind of frustrating. You want to play more, but that’s the way it is.

On his contract being up and his status being up in the air…
Yeah, I mean, I’m a free agent.

On if he would like to continue playing in Boston…
I’m going to talk to my agent here in a week to see how we’re going to move forward. So I don’t really know yet.

On if his playing time this season will factor into his decision…
Yeah. I mean everything influences the decision. So we’ll kind of see in the coming weeks how to approach the next year. I’ll talk to my agent, everything, we just finished the season so I haven’t thought about it that much yet. So we’ll see.

On if he wondered why he didn’t get more opportunities to play…
I think before Christmas I played a decent amount of games. Obviously we were in the spot we were, and there was a lot of pressure on the organization. So Tuukka was playing a lot of games, and I didn’t play for a long time. Especially in January and February, I didn’t play for a long time and then I had like one bad game when I got to play. So that kind of made everybody a little bit nervous, and I didn’t get to play for a long time. That was kind of the circus that was going on there for a while, with being scratched and everything, but I think if I look overall at my season, at my games that I played, there’s not been a lot of bad games. I’m happy with my game, and how I played, and obviously not happy with the result that we didn’t make the playoffs, that we’d like to play more, and it could have been better for sure. But you’ve always got to aim for better. I think if you look at the whole season, I had a pretty good year, put up good numbers in a rookie year. So I’ve got to kind of build from that, if you’re looking at the personal side of it.

BOSTON BRUINS DEFENSEMAN DOUGIE HAMILTON
On if he would have been able to come back from injury if the team had made the playoffs...
I don’t know. I think, obviously it doesn’t matter now. I was working hard with Whitey [Strength and Conditioning Coach John Whitesides] last week improving and trying to get better. I don’t know what would have happened.

On the details of his injury...
I don’t really know.

On the frustration of getting injured in the last few weeks of the season...
Really tough. I think it’s obviously the time of the year that you want to be playing and hard to watch and kind of just trying to cheer for the boys and everything. Obviously not the position we want to be in right now, so I think we’re all pretty upset.

On his personal growth this season...
Yeah, I think I improved. I think for me, I still think I can get better and improve. I think that’s what kind of excites me and for me now I just want to take advantage of the summer right now and get better and come back a better player next year.

On what areas he wants to improve in....
In everything.

On if the team’s lack of success is due to the coaches not getting their message across...
No, I don’t think so. I think it’s the players that are playing and it’s our responsibility to do what they say and execute and make things happen on the ice. I think that’s – we’re the ones playing and I think it puts the responsibility on us.

On the team’s difficulty with execution this year...
I don’t know. I think if we knew we would change it. I think it’s kind of been an interesting year, I guess, right from the start and obviously especially so now. I think it’s a pretty, I guess, really weird feeling doing these today and it just doesn’t feel right at all. So I think everyone has said it in the room and will keep saying that no one’s happy obviously, and I think we’re all trying to get our heads around it.

On the changes the team will face after this season...
It’s not my job to focus on. For me, just trying to get healthy and be a better player next year.

On his contact with the Celtics' Kelly Olynyk after being referenced in his press conference...
We talked a little. It’s, I don’t know, it is what it is. I actually told him to say that just to mess with you guys a little bit [laughs]. So, we talked a little bit and I saw him last night actually. Just cheering for them to make the playoffs now.

On his time with the Bruins and the progress he’s made...
I think the first thing I think of is how fast it’s gone. I think it’s crazy how it’s been two and a half years already and personally I think I’ve gotten a lot better in every aspect and more comfortable in everything. So it’s exciting to I guess see that growth. Again, for me I think it’s just trying to get better every year and keep improving and hopefully I can keep doing that.

BOSTON BRUINS DEFENSEMAN KEVAN MILLER
On how he would assess his performance this season…
Obviously a little bit frustrating with the injuries and whatnot, and as a whole, as a team, not what we were looking for from the beginning. So I guess frustrating would be the best way to put it.

On how his health is now…
It’s good. It’s coming along pretty well. It’ll be seven weeks since surgery on Thursday, so it’s actually progressing really well.

On if he’s rehabbing his injury now…
Yep, been doing that for a while now, so it’s going well.

On how difficult it was for him to have to watch the team down the stretch…
It’s probably the toughest thing. It’s tough to not be a part of it. You’re kind of watching the games up there and you can’t really do anything about it or help the team. You want to cheer the guys on and be there for them, but yeah, it was definitely tough to watch.

On how shocking it is that the Bruins missed the playoffs…
Yeah, it’s, I don’t know the best word to describe it, but it’s strange for sure. It’s something that we’re not accustomed to. A lot of the guys in the room have been here for a while and haven’t had this before. So, it’s a lot of time to reflect on it over the summer, and be ready for next year.

On what the team could have done differently in order to make the playoffs…
You know, our game was up and down. I think you could say that for pretty much the whole season. We were up and down. We had some good points, we had some low points. I mean, that’s with any team. I think in the last two or three months we really kind of let it get away from us a little bit. This is different, a new position that we were in, compared to last year or years in the past. I don’t know if I can put a finger on it, or say exactly ‘this is why,’ but I think there were a number of things that we just kind of let get by.

On if he will watch the playoffs…
Absolutely.

On how wants to come back next year…
Be stronger than I was this year.

On how his rehab is going…
It’s going extremely well. I’m ahead of schedule, and my knees are actually looking really good.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD RYAN SPOONER
On being more impactful on the second call-up than the first…
Yeah I got hurt there for a bit and I went home for the all-star break I believe. I kind of just went home and kind of looked in the mirror a little bit and said I wasn’t playing how I can and I just came back and said I was going to have fun with it and that’s kind of what I did.

On thoughts about not being in the playoffs…
It sucks. I mean, I thought the last 20 games we had some ups and some downs. The last three games we only got one point, which wasn’t good enough, which hasn’t really sunk in yet. It’s a tough one.

On learning from the way the season started this year and what to take into next training camp…
Yeah, I think I just need to do some different things in the off-season. Maybe mentally just coming to camp and being in a different spot than I was at the beginning of the year.

On how you would describe the spot you were in the beginning of this season…
I think I was just afraid to make a mistake and kind of put a lot of pressure on myself to come in and make the team and that’s kind of not a way to play. I didn’t really make the plays that I should have. If I come into camp in this next season coming up I’m going to just try to go out there and have fun.

On Providence being an option for the playoffs…
I haven’t talked yet, I’m going to talk after this. I’m not sure what’s going to happen yet. We’ll see soon.

On wanting to play in Providence for the playoffs…
Yeah, last year we made it to the second round, year before that second round. They have a good team down there. We’re young and we’re skilled. I would love to go down there and help. Hopefully we can win and see how that goes.

On where you see yourself next year with the Bruins…
I have no idea. I’m just going to focus on the summertime and I guess go home and just have some fun and come back here and just try to play well. That’s kind of where I am with that.

On what you need to work on…
Face-offs would be one. Again, had some ups and downs on that. Had some games where I’ve been good, some games where I was bad. And then I’d say probably, I guess, defensively you could say. It’s going to take some time too. I’ve only played like 60 games so I’m going to try to work on that too.

On establishing yourself as an NHL player this season…
Yeah, I guess I’m happy that I did that. At the same time too, it just sucks that we didn’t make it. It’s kind of what I wanted to help out with and that didn’t happen.

On not being able to fix inconsistency mentally sticking in players heads and overshadowing games…
I wouldn’t say there was, I guess, wrong. We had a tough time scoring I think in the last 10 games. We weren’t getting blown out. All the games are pretty close. Maybe we didn’t get any bounces and that kind of stuff but at the end of the day it’s in the past now so just have to move on with it.

On you feeling like you’re done with the AHL…
Yeah I played there for I think 120 games there and I played in the playoffs too. If they want me to go back now I’d do that and work hard and help out. As far as next season goes, come into camp here and try to make it.

On possibly working on defensive play in the AHL playoffs…
I think, it’s a mental thing for me. Just my face-offs and all that kind of stuff too. I can kind of work on that. I think they have three games left and then the playoffs too so you could play up to 28 games or whatever. It’s going to be fun.
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