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Boston Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien Postpractice Media Availability on 9/29

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
BOSTON BRUINS PRACTICE QUOTES

Sunday, September 29, 2013

BOSTON BRUINS HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN PRESS CONFERENCE AT 11:30
On thoughts going into the regular season…
Obviously we’re happy with what it looks like. I think we’re also happy that we’ve got some players that you may see here again, that made a good enough impression and that showed that they’re capable of playing with us. And for some it’s just a matter of getting a little bit more experience and working on a few things so that’s just a matter of time. Other guys it’s just a matter of numbers; being easy call-ups. There are some guys with experience that we can certainly rely on if need be. Like I said there’s a variety of two types of players that got sent down that we’re extremely happy with.

On if it gives comfort as a coach seeing the performance from guys who didn’t make it…
It is. Because the fact is you’re going to have injuries along the way. And you’re going to need to rely on those guys and when you get to see them and get a good feeling about them, that’s easy for us as coaches when guys go down to say, “Well let’s call this guy up, he can come in and play.” When you don’t have that kind of situation it’s a little unnerving I guess for coaches to say, “Well I’m going to have to shorten my bench up a lot,” because of the lack of depth or not sure this guy can handle this level right now or this kind of a job. So there’s no doubt knowing that guys can step in and do a good job here is refreshing for us to know that.

On if it’s tough to tell someone like Nick Johnson that he still didn’t make the team…
It’s not an easy conversation, no doubt. I think it’s one of those things that also those kind of players understand. I think individuals are different, he’s actually, the little bit of time I’ve got to know him, he’s a real quality person, and in his mind he says, “I’m going to keep working hard because I have a feeling I’m going to be back here this year.” So there’s confidence in his voice and determination and that’s what you want to hear. So I know he’s disappointed and you would hope he’s disappointed, but at the same time he seemed to have the right attitude to work his way back here.

On what he saw in Jordan Caron that helped him make the final cut…
Well I think the last couple of games I thought there was a little bit more urgency in his game, in doing the things we talked about. His whole camp was what we know about Jordan; reliable and doing the things he has to do. But we asked him to do a little bit more. So not just because he scored a goal, but he had some chances and we used him on the penalty kill and different areas. But he seemed to generate a little bit more, but that has to continue. He’s 23-years old, he’s still a young player, and he’s a player that an organization doesn’t want to give up on too early. So we feel as coaches that we can help him improve and we’re going to work with him to make him improve in those areas. Around the net, like I said he’s very reliable along the walls and that but it’s more along, around the net area, hopefully if he improves there he’s going to give us a little bit more production and maybe a little bit more offense.

On if he saw Caron’s confidence improve in camp, especially after last year where he felt let down…
Yeah and I think it probably hurt him down the road. So it was important for him not to come with that attitude again or that thought process. But he seemed to get better, like a lot of players do in training camp. When you let them play they get better and better and that’s what training camps are for. And he followed that path. And like I said, the last two games, I thought both games out West he was a pretty decent player.

On if it’s more of a feat for Caron to make the team this year in the midst of all the competition…
Yeah because he did have more competition. It was there, I think he saw it as well. But again, the one thing I keep repeating is that he came out of Junior and he was a guy that would take pucks to the net and had good hands and would score some goals. And it seems like he focused on so many other things because we talked about his feet, making sure he had quicker feet and sometimes you focus on something and you let something else slip so we’re going to try and, like I said earlier, work on that part of his game so that his hands and his production gets back to where we anticipated it would be when we drafted him.

On if Tuukka Rask and Chad Johnson can be expected to rotate often throughout the season…
Again, I said that last year, I say that every year. I’m not a coach that kind of says, “Okay, you have so many games.” And, like that I do with the team, I also look at my goaltenders. Sometimes he looks like he’s fresh and other times he may look tired and I’d rather make that decision then, than look too far ahead. And that’s not to say that during that week I say, “Well maybe we can use him for these games and we’ll use the other goaltender for those ones.” I do, do those things but I don’t necessarily stick to them as if it’s carved in stone. So I like to make decisions based on what I see and feel and what I think is right.

On Andrew Ference becoming captain of the Oilers…
I just sent him a text to congratulate him. I think he’s deserving, everybody knows him here knows what kind of a person he was and what kind of a leader he was on and off the ice and they’ve got a young team over there and the minute he signed there, in the back of my mind I thought he had an opportunity to become the captain there and I think they made a great choice—very deserving and because of what he is and what he represents and what he does for a hockey team. 

On David Krejci and Carl Söderberg’s absence from practice today…
They’re still going through the same thing we talked about the other day and they’re just right now I would say day-to-day and maybe as we move forward it might be better and then to be honest with you, Krech [David Kejci], I think it might be better. With Carl [Söderberg]—not sure yet. Because of the injuries suffered when he hit a rut the other night, it’s still up in the air as far as the seriousness of it. So we had first deemed it minor now it’s questionable. 

On the cuts made yesterday…
Oh yeah and I think that’s one of the reasons it was good to see him play in Krejci’s [David Krejci] spot last night to see how he’d fare and you know, he did okay and you could see a bit of a difference when you play against top D’s on the other team and top lines he wasn’t maybe quite as flashy but he wasn’t bad. He still did a good job, still make plays, still thought he had a real decent game. So right now, for him, I think the way his season was last year and where he was as far as his game was concerned, we talked about his ability and everything else is there. He showed in this camp that the areas we asked him to work on as far as being a little bit more determined to take pucks away and then getting in there and then coming out with a puck, he’s got to go there and show us that he’s going to continue to do that on a regular basis. You see so many times where it goes; you see those kinds of things for a while and then the old spots on the leopard show up again. So, we have got to make sure that thing is engrained in him and that he’s going to be doing it. I think that once he does that and it becomes second nature as I use in my terms talking to players, he’ll be that much better and he’ll definitely be an NHL player so, he will play. Sometimes you hear me say certain things about certain guys. He’ll play in the NHL. He’s got a lot of talent. He’s just got to polish his game a bit.

On the lineup now that preseason games are over…
No this is when I say where we’re going to Stowe right now, we’re going to do things and then by the time we get back on Wednesday we should more or less have an idea what we want to do here with our lineup. Doesn’t mean I’m going to tell you though. 

On Dougie Hamilton and if he is improving…
Yeah he is and when you look at his game I think because of who he is—and as far as the first round there and because he was there last year, we have a tendency, and that includes us to focus or pay more attention to his mistakes than others. When you look back you keep an open mind and you look at [Torey] Krug and [Matt] Bartkowski, those young players all made a lot of mistakes defensively that we’re going to work with those guys to make them better in that regard so I don’t think Dougie [Hamilton] was any worse, if anything I thought he was, he got better as camp went along. His offensive abilities are still there and he’s going to improve if he plays but if we didn’t think that he could play at this caliber I don’t think we’d hesitate to do that but we really feel he is going to be an asset to us. Looking back at how he started with us last year gave us a real good indication as to there’s no good reason why he can’t be that player again.
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