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Bruins Break Up Day Transcript From May 16

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
BOSTON BRUINS BREAK UP DAY QUOTES

Friday, May 16, 2014

BOSTON BRUINS GENERAL MANAGER PETER CHIARELLI AND HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN PRESS CONFERENCE AT 2:00 PM
On the handshake situation with Milan Lucic and if he is sick of going to bat with these situations…
JULIEN: I think – I didn’t really see it and I haven’t really paid attention to all of the stuff that has been going on in the last couple of days. I’ve been here and been preparing for my meetings with the players and all that stuff. I kind of purposefully stayed away from all that stuff. So I don’t know that I have much to say about it. All I can tell you is that players – sometimes the emotions get the better of them. Whether it’s good or bad, I can’t even tell you because I don’t really know the whole story there. I know it’s frustrating for everybody. I think our players are extremely disappointed. They feel like they let the city, our fans and everybody down. I know that for a fact, I’ve heard it from a lot of players and our guys take a lot of pride in representing this city and this organization. No doubt that there was some huge disappointments after the game.

On these things coming with the package of Milan Lucic…
CHIARELLI: He plays on emotion and I – this series seemed to get a lot of little things that became really big things and that being one of them. Milan [Lucic] plays on emotion, he plays a hard game and stuff gets said on the ice, during the game, between whistles, after the game and he has to play – we have players that have to play that way. I don’t know what he said, I haven’t ignored it, I just haven’t really followed it that closely. I’m not trying to minimize it, you’re right, that is a proper characterization. He does play with emotion and I wouldn’t call it goodness with the bad or bad with the good, he just plays on emotion and he has to play that way.

On how he assesses the unrestricted free agents and who may not be back…
CHIARELLI: It’s really too early for me to tell you. I’ve got my own ideas I have to discuss them with our group. How do I assess what they brought? I think Jarome [Iginla] had a really good year for us. He plays our style of hockey, he’s hard, he can shoot, he’s combative. I thought Chad [Johnson] stepped in well for our backup. I think he accumulated over 35 points for us through his performance and allowed Tuukka [Rask] to have proper rest so I think he did a good job for us. Mez [Andre Meszaros] we brought in and he didn’t play a lot. I thought he filled in okay. It might have been better for him to bring him in a little earlier just so he could get acclimated to our system. It is a very good system and it takes some time defensively for our defenseman to get up to speed. What’s the other UFA? Corey [Potter]? Thornton. Thorty [Shawn Thornton] I thought had a kind of up and down year. He got, obviously, the incident with Pittsburgh and you know, there’s trends in hockey and the fisticuffs trend, again, this doesn’t characterize Thorty [Shawn Thornton] as just a fighter because he contributed on that line. That line has had a lot of success in the past. But there is definitely, we’re trending away from that style. I had a discussion with Thorty this morning and I said, ‘look, give me a couple weeks to digest what’s happened and then we’ll go from there. That same comment applies to Iggy [Jarome Iginla]. I haven’t talked to the other guys yet but to Iggy [Jarome Iginla] and Thorny [Shawn Thornton] so far.

On how much of an adjustment Brad Marchand has to make to not get ‘reputation’ calls…
CHIARELLI: Again, I font know if they were reputation calls. I mean, he – every year I seem to have this comment about him finding a balance between irritance slash agitator and a real good player. I think sometimes his antics get in the way. This has been a discussion I’ve had, we’ve had, Claude’s [Julien] has had over the course of three, four, five years and it’s a challenge for Brad [Marchand] to play that aggressive way and not to cross the line. And you’ve heard this from me a lot and if those were reputation calls, I’d be disappointed but sometimes that’s the reality. So we both had productive meetings with Brad [Brad Marchand] today and he scored 25 goals and he thought he had a bad year. That’s where he puts his expectations and we talked about that other stuff and we had productive conversation. So I don’t know what it is but we have to dial back some of that stuff and that includes Marchy [Brad Marchand].

On his initial diagnosis of the situation and his initial thoughts about changes for next year…
CHIARELLI: A diagnosis and an autopsy. Well let me just state my diagnosis, we won’t call it an autopsy. It was a very, kind of emotional series. The thin margins that we talk about during the regular season, the parity that we talk about I think was 100 fold in this series. Again, I have to give credit to Montreal, I have to give credit to their goaltender. They played well, their four lines played well. We had a lot of chances and we had – I don’t know the last time where we’ve started a game, not started a game, but had the first goal scored against us in seven straight games I guess. And that puts you at a disadvantage so that’s – you look back at the goals and the mistakes we’ve made. We made mistakes. We have a young back line right now and I’m partially to blame if you want to assign blame. Maybe we didn’t get enough at the deadline, maybe we overestimated the youth and where they were. They brought us to good spots and I think you’ll see in the future that these players, these young defenseman, are going to even be better as a result of participating in this series. For me, it was a seven game series. I felt we were the better team, it was a seven game series and they won on the margins and we didn’t win. So disappointing, more disappointing because it is a rivalry, but I thought we had a heck of a year in the regular season and I thought we had a really good first round. But we’re here to win it all so I’m disappointed.

On if he will try to consolidate on defense…
CHIARELLI: Consolidate meaning trade someone?

Consolidate meaning move two or three for one…
CHIARELLI: Again, I’m not going to – I appreciate your mind in all these issues but I am not going to disclose that stuff. They’re all good and young in their own way. So I think we’re in a good position and we obviously missed a couple of veteran D. You heard me during the year, we miss those D but it allows the young D to grow and to prosper so I can’t suck and blow here, I mean I don’t want to gloat. But they’re all good young D in their own way.

On if he looks at more team speed…
CHIARELLI: You know, I thought we played two of the fastest teams in the conference in Montreal and Detroit. I thought we did quite well against Detroit. I thought we were maybe challenged a little bit against Montreal. The ironic thing is that they muscled up a little more so they got less fast. We always try and create speed and Claude [Julien] does a really good job in creating speed from the back end. I’m not sure, that’s on one of the lists of topics for me to go over and look at and see what players are available. It certainly creates another diminution so it’s something that we are going to look at.

On how his plan went to keep Zdeno Chara as fresh as possible…
CHIARELLI: Well I think on its face it went well if you look at the minutes and the type of minutes. So I think it went well. Now if you’re asking me how do I think Zee [Zdeno Chara] played, he looked tired. If that’s what that question was underneath. I thought I would put him in with a bunch of players that they didn’t perform at the level that they should have and that is one of the reasons why we lost. I’m not singling out Zee [Zdeno Chara], I could name five, ten players, I could name myself because we didn’t get the right defensemen. But Zee [Zdeno Chara] I thought is a world-class defender and he played a good series but not a great series. Was he tired? I didn’t think he was tired. He may have looked to you that he was tired but he’s a big, tall, long guy and those strides, when they get going, it doesn’t always look like he’s fast. Montreal, they have the smaller forwards that buzz around and I think all our defenseman had some difficulties.

On if he knows how much he will have toward the salary cap with bonus overages from last year…
CHIARELLI: Not exactly but it’s going to be a sizeable number from the perspective of Iggy [Jarome Iginla]. So sizeable. It’s paying it forward the way I look at it and to spend money just to spend money is not always the right way. But we’ll manage. We’ve had overages before and cap’s [Salary Cap] going up so we’ll manage.

On how good of a sign was it that Dougie Hamilton played his best hockey toward the end of the season…
CHIARELLI: Yeah, I was going to follow up on that. I thought it was a real coming out for Dougie [Hamilton]. He had a real – he made mistakes, don’t get me wrong. But I think he had, by the end, a real good playoff. You saw confidence, you saw something that Claude [Julien] has been working on, the defending. And he still has areas to improve on there but he is really defending with more strength. He’s not always been good with the puck but he had a really solid, real solid playoff. As did Torey [Krug] while we’re talking about young defenseman. He played well too.

On how much injury played in to Zdeno Chara’s postseason…
CHIARELLI: I know there were all these rumors, I’m not going to comment on any of the injuries. I know I have before but I’m afraid if I do, someone may misconstrue it as an excuse. So we had players playing hurt and that is how I’ll leave it.

On how good they feel about the core and about the players going forward…
CHIARELLI: I’ll follow this one first Claude and then you can follow up.
JULIEN: it’s yours, keep it.
CHIARELLI: If you want to follow up.
JULIEN: They’ve heard me enough.
CHIARELLI: Yeah, maybe they’re tired. What I can tell you, and these aren’t the ones that are making the decisions, but every player to a T that I have seen so far this morning has like, you know, we should have been there meaning going all the way, or we will be there next year. We definitely feel strong. Now part of my job is to filter that stuff out because I’m the manager, they’re the players. But this is a very good team. This is a very good team. There are some tweaks here and there but it is a very good team. Strong down the middle, strong to the nets, good character, good core, we’ve won the Presidents’ Trophy, we beat Detroit in five, we lost in seven to Montreal. It’s like, you know, emotional. Very emotional and it is my job to be unemotional about it. So this is a good team and there are some trends in hockey that we have to address in this team. It may be that we don’t get addressed until fall or half way through the year or July first or before. Just, like, you have to let things unfold sometimes. But we’re not going to make too many changes to this team but there will be some changes.

On the performance of the fourth line in the playoffs…
CHIARELLI: I’ll look at the whole year. I’ll look at the history. But in this business, sometimes, I don’t want to be too shortsighted but you’re as good as your last shift, and that applies to managers and coaches, etcetera. Sometimes it shouldn’t but it does. These guys — the fourth line — they’ve been a character group for a while and they’ve given Claude [Julien] a real good tool to play them against higher lines and to play them and change them in and all that. He can speak to that, but have I got to tell you what I’m going to do with these guys? I mean, they didn’t play well there for the most part in the last series, but I’m not just going to gut the team because players didn’t play well.

JULIEN: Our fourth line — my assessment on the fourth line when I spoke to them is that I just found that in the years where they played well, they spent a lot of time in the offensive zone. And for some reason — it’s not one player only, it was as a line. I didn’t think they had enough puck poise and managed it well enough. That was my, I guess, constructive criticism to those guys. Where they had success, they were able to do that, so you got to remember Thorty [Shawn Thornton] missed a bunch of games — that suspension — then [Daniel] Paille missed some time with his concussions. It just seemed like they never got on a roll, so that’s the one thing that happened to our fourth line. And to their credit, the fourth line’s credit, they’ve enabled me to roll four lines for many years with success, and I think a lot of teams have taken that motto and have done the same thing now. And that’s because that fourth line of ours has had so much success, so you got to give them a lot of credit for creating that.

On Zdeno Chara’s minutes…
CHIARELLI: That’s Claude [Julien]’s department. I’ll speak globally on Zee [Zdeno Chara]. He’s a terrifically conditioned athlete. He’s very serious. He works hard in the offseason. He’s, to me, for hockey, is — the way he can move with his size, it’s unparalleled. So it wouldn’t surprise me if he continues status quo for a little bit, a year or two years, three years. But just laws of physics and nature, the older you get, the less effective you’ll be. But he’s, as I said, an impact defender.

JULIEN: I’m going to tell you right now — for whatever reason, this minute thing about Zdeno [Chara] — you guys are way obsessed with it, to the point where I think it’s blown out of proportion. There’s some games where we gave him less minutes because we could. There’s other games where he’s played more because he had to, and I’ll tell you what: Anybody who thinks he was tired at the end, you’re wrong. He wasn’t tired, and he was fresh and we shouldn’t underestimate Zdeno because of his age, because he’s a real fine-tuned athlete and he’s capable of taking a lot. He takes good care of himself, so on, so forth, but moving forward, what I would answer you is, we’ll see when we get there because I don’t have the answer how Zee’s going to be halfway through next year or two years from now or when he’s 41. And I’d be wasting a lot of time trying to speculate that, but when you look at other guys, too — to me, Dougie Hamitlon will be a guy that will be on a lot of people’s lips here moving forward at the rate he’s improving. I think he’s going that way like he’s going to be an elite defenseman. We got [Dennis] Seidenberg, who we really missed a lot this year — there’s a lot of guys that can help. Throughout this thing, we had a lot of injuries this year. We had a lot of youth and still were able to manage the right minutes for all the right people — not just Zdeno. Whether it was Torey Krug’s minutes or anybody else, I think we personally I felt we did a good job, and Doug Houda has the mandate of kind of making sure that what we talk about before the game and depending on how players are playing between periods when we talk — he’s done a great job of managing that extremely well. That would be my answer on Zdeno and all these minutes. And he’s far from being dead, guys. He’s very much alive and in very good shape.

On whether the division realignment will influence the way the team is constructed going forward…
JULIEN: We do every year — not necessarily because of the opponents, and I’m not saying that we don’t pay attention to what the opponents will bring, but we do a lot of things that we feel can improve our team’s play, and that’s a first priority. But again, we can sit here and you can say Detroit wasn’t at its best, but you know, at the end, they had [Pavel] Datsyuk, [Henrik] Zetterberg, so on, so forth. And we had a lot of injuries, too. We didn’t have [Dennis] Seidenberg and [Chris] Kelly and those guys. So we were missing players too. So we can kind of balance those things out, but at the same time, we lost to a Montreal team, in my mind, for many reasons, not one reason. We didn’t play our best. We know that. Maybe like Peter [Chiarelli] said, we were maybe expecting some guys to be back and they weren’t, so we were maybe a little bit young. We did hit 10-12 posts. If some of those go in, are we sitting here talking about this today? There’s a lot of reasons. You got to have puck luck, you got to have a lot of things you got to… so for me, is it really about — all of a sudden we lost to Montreal, we need to overhaul in that? No, I think we need to look at the things that we need to tweak here and there, like Peter said, and make those kind of adjustments. And some of it will be minor adjustments and some of it, like Peter said, you can have some young players that are going to be that much better next year in those kind of situations. So year to year, things change, and I can only speak as a coach and this is not necessarily what Peter thinks or may think or may not think, but you explode a team that’s pretty good just because of the situation that is not based on one reason only, that could be dangerous.

On why the Bruins aren’t a team that blows the zone…
JULIEN: Well, there’s a couple of things here. When you look at Detroit, they only had one guy kind of blowing the zone to pull the D’s back, but they came out with a four-man attack. So it’s not like they were all — when you say stretched out, it’s one guy stretched out. And when we have guys stretched out, whether it’s two guys or so on, we’re flat-footed and we don’t get the forecheck that we need, and our team is built a lot on the forecheck. I think we have, and Peter [Chiarelli] alluded to that — what about Detroit’s speed and Montreal’s speed? Against Detroit, it wasn’t an issue. Against Montreal, if you look at Game 1 — which I thought was the best game we played — speed wasn’t an issue either. We were never able to recapture that Game 1. Even if we didn’t get the results that we got, I thought Game 1, we were by far the better team, and it wasn’t a matter of speed, it wasn’t a matter of anything. So that’s why I say I want to be careful in the assessment of our team and about why don’t we get guys blowing the zone. I think there was timing in Montreal, blowing the zone. As soon as they blocked a shot, they had one guy taking off for a breakaway and can that be put on your team? I think we’ve seen that happen with our team this year at times too. But again, that’s the style that they play. I thought the stretch man with Detroit, we handled extremely well because it wasn’t an issue. It became an issue against Montreal. Is it because we had a little less experience and they did a better job of doing those things? Possibly. But at the same time, our season was pretty good, the way we played. So we lost a round, and again, I don’t think — I know we didn’t play our type of hockey, and if we had, we wouldn’t be sitting here today. We played seven games or six or five like Game 1, we’d be moving on, and we weren’t able to do that, so the game of hockey sometimes is about momentum and ebbs and flows. And you saw how good our team could be in the month of March. Unfortunately we didn’t recapture that in the playoffs, and again, we played well against Detroit, didn’t play well enough against Montreal.

On the first line’s lack of production…
CHIARELLI: We had a lot of chances this series, and you expect your primary guys to score. I think — I know they felt that they disappointed in that regard. So we hit posts and everything, but partially that’s credit to Carey Price because he’s a big guy, he plays high up and forces those. But those are close calls. Usually you finish. Usually half of those go in. So those guys, those primary guys that didn’t score — again, there’s a number of reasons why we didn’t win and you — an option, you might think that those two top lines wash out … and then your third line pushes you over. That’s been our formula before but it wasn’t this time.

JULIEN: We made it to Game 6 of the Finals last year and I think Tyler Seguin, [Jaromir] Jagr — those guys didn’t score, so it doesn’t mean that because those guys didn’t score, that’s the reason. Sometimes we seem to tend to look for one reason why we didn’t win, and that’s what I tried to explain earlier. I really felt that it was a combination of a lot of different things, and we talked about our team give credit to Montreal and their goaltender and I said that after the Game 7, he was outstanding, gave them a chance to win every game. He’s so good. So those are — what you’re asking is maybe could it have helped? Absolutely. Is it the reason? I think it’s more than that.

BOSTON BRUINS DEFENSEMAN ZDENO CHARA
On how tough the past couple days have been…
Yeah, it is sad, for sure. But we’ll get over it.

On if he is having surgery today…
No. No surgery. That’s a positive.

On what happened with his finger…
I don’t like to talk about injuries. It’s something that doesn’t need to be surgically done so far, and hopefully it stays that way. But again, it’s not something that I’m going to be blaming, or making excuses. That’s the way it is. We all play with different injuries, or you’re banged up, and that’s part of hockey and the playoffs. For sure that’s not why we lost.

On if he looks at playing through injuries as something hockey players have to do…
Exactly. I mean we all do what we can to play. Like I said, once you put the uniform on, you’re 100 percent committed to play and do whatever needs to be done to help the team.

On how happy he is that he doesn’t have to have surgery…
Well it’s, again, something that we have to stay on top of these next few days, but for sure. It’s something that you don’t want to have, and it’s always nice to avoid.

On if Montreal’s team speed was the biggest difference in the second round…
I don’t think it was the speed. I think we faced teams, even before, that were fast teams. We can talk about Detroit, they were a pretty fast team and we were handling their speed well. We just didn’t perform our best hockey in that matchup against Montreal.

On if the Bruins were able to keep him fresh throughout the season…
I felt fine, physically and mentally. Obviously losing Dennis [Seidenberg] and Adam [McQuaid] throughout the regular season, maybe put more of a load on certain guys, and for sure maybe even on me. But it’s not something that we were not handling, or we were getting caught off-guard. It’s just the way it happens sometimes. You lose guys throughout the season, and you have to pick up more minutes. It was a great chance for our guys to step up and play well, and they did play very well.

On if he expects the team to take a similar approach with keeping him fresh next year…
I haven’t put too much thought into next year yet. I think it’s just something that’s a decision that the coaching staff and management have to think about. Again, I’m going to do my best to be in the best possible shape for the upcoming season, as I always do, and I’ll be ready for next season and play my best.


On how much the Bruins missed Dennis Seidenberg…
I mean, when you talk about Dennis [Seidenberg], he’s an important, a very important, player for our team. He’s logged big minutes. He’s played all the situations. So yeah, we did feel that it was a missing piece in our lineup. But again, there’s nothing you can do about it, it’s just part of the game that players do get hurt. That’s part of what you can’t control, so like I said, you give the younger guys a chance to step up, and they handled it really well, and they played really well.

On if the Bruins are a Stanley Cup contender as the roster sits now…
I believe so, and for sure I think that we have a great group of guys. It’s something that we have to learn from this year, and be more motivated and better coming up on playoffs.

On how Boston’s younger players progressed as the season went on…
We had four guys on the back end that had played a full year in the lineup, and when you really look at what they have accomplished, from coming into the lineup and towards the end of the season, it’s amazing. They can be really proud of their game, and they really stepped up. We couldn’t ask more from guys like Torey [Krug] and Dougie [Hamilton] and Kevan [Miller], and obviously Bart [Matt Bartkowski], they played outstanding.

On his finger injury having an impact…
I’m not going to, again, no excuses. No, no it didn’t.

On it seeming like he was being hit and knocked down more against Montreal…
I don’t think so. I mean, there were battles and guys just fell down on the ice, and it’s just the way it is sometimes. You can’t really stay in all those battles and not fall down, I mean it’s just the way it goes. That’s playoff hockey. There are always a lot of scrums. When you’re falling down and losing your balance, you do whatever you can to play the puck and throw yourself in there.

BOSTON BRUINS GOALTENDER TUUKKA RASK
On whether he feels he was outplayed by Carey Price…
I don’t know. Well in the first couple of games I think he played tremendous, but I never, they didn’t really get that many shots, you know? It was just like that last game, they get 17 shots or 18 shots, you know that’s 18 scoring chances, so it’s tough. But he made more saves than I did obviously, so I guess he outplayed me.

On whether that will motivate him over the summer…
Yeah, at some level for sure. But I felt like I was good. It wasn’t like I sucked… it would be a different story. I might be more mad at myself, but sometimes you feel like you did enough but it just wasn’t very good and I think it was more of a team loss than anybody individually.

On how surprising it was that the offense was so good all season but the finish was not there…
Yeah, you can’t explain that right? You have empty nets. You hit the post. I mean, we’ve had that against us sometimes. Somebody counted the posts we had. Was it 13 or something? I don’t think Montreal had any, and the other years it’s been the opposite. The other team hits our post, so it’s just unexplainable. I don’t know. We tried. It’s not like you have that empty net and you have your hands up even before you take a shot. It’s just sometimes the puck bounces and stuff like that. It looked like our offense slipped a little bit, wasn’t as aggressive as in the first couple games.

On what his plans are now that the season is over…
Got to make the baby a U.S. citizen, then we can fly wherever we want. …I’ll try to sneak in that U.S. citizenship line though [laughing] … She’ll get that citizenship and passport, yeah. … Make some phone calls I guess.

On how much he is looking forward to having time to devote to being a father…
It’s awesome. It’s been awesome for the past week and a half or couple weeks the little time I’ve spent with her, but it’s just great. You spend time with your kid and kids are the best thing in the world, so I can’t wait.

On how big of a hole there was in the defense without Seidenberg…
Well we missed out on that experience, but I thought everybody who stepped in did a great job. Obviously you’re a rookie or whatever, it’s not always easy and you get nervous or whatsoever, but I thought the guys stepped up and did a great job.

BOSTON BRUINS DEFENSEMAN DENNIS SEIDENBERG
On when he thought that this year would be a possibility after his injury…
I think in the beginning I thought, I mean they do tell you six to eight months, but I know people that come back in a shorter period of time, so I just told myself, why not try my best and see where it takes me.

On whether there were any doubts that he may come back too soon…
It was definitely strong enough. I mean, something would have happened it would have been another freak thing, and you never really think about it when you play, and once you start playing you focus on the game and just try not to think about it, which is a tough thing but in a situation like that I think it’s very doable and you just play.

On how tough it was to not play…
I mean I went through this before. It’s terrible. It’s very annoying. You feel out of place. You feel you’re in somebody’s place. You don’t know where to be. It’s just uncomfortable and it’s not fun watching because as I said before you’re always the best player looking from up top on the little ice surface and seeing everything perfectly, but it’s not fun.

On whether he felt like a superhero because of how quickly he recovered…
No, not at all. It’s just putting in the work and sticking with it. It’s a long period of time it’s taken but if you just take it day by day it goes by that much faster.

On whether he felt any pressure to return…
I mean, no pressure to return. There’s obviously pressure to perform because you don’t want to come back and be a liability. You want to come back and try to be at your best, but there was no pressure whatsoever. It was all about being smart about returning and being also cautious in regards of my future.

On how the younger guys played…
Very good, I mean they were tremendous, like all season they’ve been playing great. The team hasn’t missed a beat without me, so they’ve done a great job and it was awesome to see.

On whether he would have been ready for game one of the third series…
I don’t know. I mean I would have been a couple practices, obviously yesterday and today or just today, and we would have felt out how it goes and how the contact is going and if I feel right and then we would have made a decision, but it’s tough to say. Game one or game two, I don’t know.

On whether he could put a percentage on his health…
Well, I mean I feel conditioning wise it’s great. I’ve been doing lots of cardio over the last few months. Strength wise the same. Pretty good. There’s still a little pain, but that’s just stuff you can deal with and once you play you don’t think about it, so I don’t know. I don’t want to say a number because it’s tough.

On whether practicing again has given him confidence that he will be the same player next season…
I’ll be better. I’m confident I’ll be just as, hopefully better than before.

On what the process will be from this point forward in recovery and whether he will get into offseason mode…
No right now it’s more about keep doing rehab until it feels great, and then just keep working out. I mean I haven’t really had a strenuous season behind me so there’s no reason why I should take some time off. Obviously you take a couple days here and there but for the most part just getting ready for next year and hopefully feeling great.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD CHRIS KELLY
On his injury…
I got a herniated disc in my back, and more than likely that will require surgery, so I was just trying to do everything I could not to have surgery in order to play, but now that the season’s done I’ll probably go ahead in getting it fixed.

On whether the injury happened on a particular day or if it was the result of wear and tear…
I hurt it in Minnesota I think. I don’t know what game it was but about five weeks, yeah April 8. It just, my back seized up on me, and I thought I caught it soon enough, but after that I was pretty sore for a while there and it’s still sore. A lot of the muscle and it’s a nerve thing so it shoots right down my leg, so some days are better than others, but hopefully I’ll get it fixed and it’ll be fine.

On the treatment process…
I think we were trying everything we could, and we were going to do a few other things that we could have done to avoid surgery, and so I’ll push it back until after the season is done, but now we’ll just go that route.

On whether he knows when he will be having surgery…
No I’ve got to get another MRI, and we’ll go from there.

On how long he has left on his contract and whether expects to stay and would like to stay in Boston…
Two years. The first question, that’s probably up to Peter [Chiarelli]. The second question, yeah definitely. Who wouldn’t want to be here? This is a great team. We had another great team with a great year and we accomplished a lot. Obviously it’s disappointing. You’re going to be disappointed regardless when you lose. I think the only time this group has been smiling at the end of the year is a few years back, so expectations are extremely high here and rightfully so. We have such a good group, and it’s just unfortunate the way it ended this year.

On whether they gave him a timetable on surgery recovery…
Not really. It said maybe four to six weeks, and I should be fine.

On whether his injury is similar to Henrik Zetterberg’s…
I don’t know what he had. It’s L5, so if he had that then I guess it’s similar.

On whether he expects to be ready for training camp…
Yeah, definitely. Yeah, yeah and that’s why we’re trying to get this done sooner than later, so I have plenty of time.

On how disappointing it was to not be on the ice with his teammates…
Extremely frustrating. I thought the guys played really hard and did a great job. It’s difficult to watch. You’re still invested in the group, but it’s kind of out of your control, so it was difficult.

On whether this was overall a frustrating year…
Yeah, obviously when you get injured in a year it’s a frustrating year, but those things happen. I think it makes you stronger as a person, as a player, and you just push forward.

On what his line created towards the end of the season and whether that is something to look forward to…
For sure. I think another frustrating part was I felt that Carl [Soderberg], Loui [Eriksson] and myself were actually forming real good chemistry and being able to play well and getting to know each other on the ice was a good thing, but obviously with Loui getting a couple injuries and then myself with some injuries it was tough, but when we did play together it was extremely fun.

On whether surgery is definite…
I think I’ll speak with the doctors and we’ll determine on the next MRI what the proper procedure is.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD MILAN LUCIC
On the team’s second-round exit from the playoffs…
I think that’s almost the worst part, that you let the fans down and you let the city of Boston down. But sometimes, when you have hard defeats like this, it gives you motivation to work harder in the summer, to come back hungrier for next year. Obviously, I’ll take a few days to get over a loss like this, but eventually you know that you have to move on and focus on next year. But as of right now, it definitely still stings.

On the handshake line with Montreal still being talked about…
It’s unfortunate, especially because what’s said on the ice stays on the ice, and unfortunately that code is broken. It’s unfortunate that it blows up to what it is now. I’m not the first guy to do it. I’m not the last guy to do it. I’m not sorry that I did it. I’m a guy that plays on emotion, and this is a game of emotions. Sometimes you make decisions out of emotion that might not be the best ones. That’s what it is. I didn’t make the NHL because I accepted losing, or I accepted failure, and I think that’s what gotten me to this point and made me the player that I am. Other than that, there’s not much more to it. Like I said, I’m not the first guy to do it, and I’m sure I won’t be the last.

On if he is sorry about what happened in the handshake line…
I can’t take back what I said. I’m not apologizing for what was said in the handshake [line]. Like I said, it’s just unfortunate that what was said on the ice gets leaked out and gets blown out of proportion.

On if he would say the same things if he could do it over again…
Well probably not, you know? But again, I live by what’s said on the ice, stays on the ice.

On the brace on his wrist…
I got it caught and jammed it in the first period of last game. Unfortunately now I have to get an MRI on it, so hopefully there’s nothing too bad in there other than just a sprain.

On if he is otherwise healthy…
All healthy. Fortunately it was a healthy, healthy year, and the two games that I did miss were both because of the flu. I was able to keep myself healthy all year long, performing at the level that I wanted to. I felt like I was able skate well. I had one of my best skating years, as far as the season goes there. You always want to keep improving to get better. With this loss, I think it’s definitely something that’s going to motivate you in the summer.

On the Bruins’ goal-scoring becoming an issue in the playoffs…
That’s kind of the disheartening thing. Our offense and our goal scoring never let us down, all season long. It came in waves from all different guys at all different times, and unfortunately when we needed it the most, it wasn’t there for us. You look, and we hit what, like 12 posts in the series? They go post-and-out instead of post-and-in. In a winning year, those go post-and-in. That’s a part of winning, too. You need that puck luck, and you need those bounces to go in for you. That’s one of the things that let us down, that potent offense, that we had all season long, unfortunately wasn’t there for us at the most important time.

On the Bruins not getting enough second and third chances against the Canadiens…
Yeah I think so. I think that was probably the best way to put it. There was a lot of one-and-done, one chance and done. We weren’t able to capitalize on many rebound chances and stuff like that, especially against a goaltender like [Carey] Price playing the way that he’s playing. You’re not going to beat him on a lot of direct shots. We didn’t have enough of that jam in that series, and like I said, that’s the disheartening part that we have to live with right now. I think it sucks, but at the end of the day, you take a few days to be mad about it, and eventually you have to move on and hope that it motivates you, so for next time, you’re ready to go.

On David Krejci lamenting not getting Lucic and Jarome Iginla the puck more…
He’s been such a great player for us for so long, and he’s been such a great playoff performer for so long. Everyone goes through slumps, and I definitely don’t feel like he let us down. It’s a team game. We win together and we lose together. Obviously it feels like he’s pretty hard on himself. He’s allowed to be if he wants to be, but at the end of the day, he’s been my centerman for four or five years now. We’ve always each other’s backs, and we’ve had success over the last few years. Sometimes it just doesn’t go for you, but like I said, you have to have the type of attitude where you don’t accept losing. You don’t accept failure, and you hope that it motivates you moving forward.

On if he thinks his reputation was tarnished during the playoffs…
Somebody always has something to say, right? At the end of the day, I’ve built a reputation for myself over the last seven years, and for the way that I play, kept it clean over the last seven years other than a couple times. Like I talked about, the emotions that go into it, and I’m not worried about people trying to tarnish my image and stuff like that. I still need to be the person that I am, and I care about the people I’m accountable to. That’s my teammates, the coaches, my family, the fans, all those people, so if I have the respect and the right image from them, then like I said, I’m not worried about my image being tarnished other than from the people that I’m accountable to.

On if he has anything to address with Dale Weise next season…
No, it’s just, the only thing I was talking about was what I believe in, it’s that’s what’s said on the ice, stays on the ice. That’s all that I was talking about.

On if he loses respect for players who ‘break the code’…
I’ll only comment on myself when it comes to stuff like that. You guys have all known me for a long time now. You guys know I don’t come running to anyone about anything. I deal with my problems myself. That’s the way I go about my business. I don’t think much of the guys that feel the need to go and do stuff like that.

On how much he’d like to see Jarome Iginla return to the Bruins next year…
Yeah, he was really good for us this year, a 30-goal season for him, and I think he brought an element of consistency to our line. You can see why he’s the type of player that he’s been over the last 17 years, from a consistency standpoint. You can see it in practice, and you’d love nothing more than to have him back. You guys all know that I’ve loved him from watching him play, growing up as a teenager getting to watch him play. He’s one of those guys that you look up to. He’s everything that you thought he was going to be as a person and as a player. That’s why it was such a fun year to have him here, and you hope that it continues moving forward, and he continues being a Bruin. He looked pretty good in our colors, and I’m sure he’d like to stay here as well.

On the possibility of Shawn Thornton not returning next year…
Yeah I’d love to see Thorty [Shawn Thornton] back. Me and him, when I started here, he started here as well, establishing himself as the guy that he is in Boston here. We’ve had a great relationship over the last seven years, you see those posters, the ‘Bruise Brothers,’ that kind of stuff. Early on, we were playing together on the same line, and we really fed off one another. Even though we don’t play together anymore, I think we still do a lot. I think he’s awesome for this dressing room. He’s awesome for the fans and the city of Boston, and for the community work that he does for the Bruins and the foundation and all that type of stuff. He really means a lot to the guys here in this dressing room, and again, I’d love to see him continue on and be a Bruin.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD PATRICE BERGERON
On how tough the last couple of days have been…
Yeah it’s been tough. I mean definitely when there’s nothing you can do about it afterwards it’s even harder because you wish you could go back and try to definitely do things, I guess win it and keep going, and it’s hard to, this time of the year, to be done. Definitely.

On what he thinks happened in the Canadiens series…
I don’t know I mean it’s hard to just pinpoint one thing. Definitely lots of breakdowns that usually never happens to our game that happened, and us forwards, we definitely missed way too many chances to score goals, and they did do a good job of defending, but still we’ve got to be better. And they capitalized on their chances and that’s where the games were played I thought.

On his positives and negatives of the season…
Well definitely some positive, I mean I thought it was a terrific regular season. I thought it was probably the best I’ve seen so far in my career. As a team and the consistency we’ve had all year and being able to win the Presidents’ Trophy and just I thought we never got rattled, and definitely in the playoffs I don’t think I need to mention the negative. It’s definitely being out right now and the way that we ended the series against Montreal.

On how he feels physically considering how he felt at the end of last season…
Yeah, I mean definitely a lot better. I feel okay. I feel fine. It’s disappointing and it’s tough to be standing here right now and not advancing so physically I’m fine but mentally and with my mood and everything it’s definitely not there. It’s not where you want to be.

On what the biggest challenge was aside from Carey Price, and whether the Canadiens’ speed was a factor…
I don’t necessarily think their speed. I thought their team game really was probably what gave us I guess trouble is the fact that they really did a good job of boxing out and they blocked a lot of shots in that series and that really, it was hard for us to get the puck through and get to the net. Their speed is definitely part of it. I didn’t see it as really the biggest issue there, but I thought lots of I guess the chances or the plays that they got was, a lot of our breakdowns, a lot of plays that’s uncharacteristic of our team, and they did a good job of that. They capitalized and they played well as a team system-wise and bottom line they played better than we did at this time, and that’s who advances in the playoffs is who plays the best.

On how hard it is to say goodbye to teammates who may not be coming back…
It’s hard. You don’t know who it is but definitely hard to, it’s never a fun day, you know, unless you win it all it’s never a fun day to be here, and definitely the same thing knowing that some guys are not going to be back, so it’s always tough to say goodbye to the guys that are leaving us, and you’ve established some relationships and some friendship over the course of a year for some guys or a few years and even more than that for a lot of guys, so it’s going to be hard if some guys are leaving.

On Zdeno Chara’s impact…
I think Zee is always, is definitely our Captain. I think he leads us in any way that he can, and he’s the type of guy that’s going to play on one leg if he needs to, so he’s the type of guy that I don’t have anything to say about him. I thought he was, he still is, he’s a terrific leader and captain.

On whether he thinks they are Stanley Cup contenders for a few years…
Yeah, we were this year. I think we still are. If you look at the guys most of the guys are still going to be with us next year, and I think it’s, we have a great group of guys, a great core and we have the experience that you need in playoffs, and I think this year hopefully makes us eager to do it next year.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD SHAWN THORNTON
On the last couple of days…
Not fun. Still a little in shock, I guess. Definitely not the way we wanted it to end.

On the season being positive or negative…
Negative the way it ended obviously. We had high expectations in here, obviously everyone around here obviously had the same expectations. We are disappointed, I think on a personal level with the suspension is probably a negative. Spent a lot of time trying to get back from that. It could have been better. I don’t know much else to say other than that we are very disappointed.
 
On looking ahead now that the season is over …
I am hoping I am back. I don’t know. I haven’t had my meetings yet, but if not I am still going to be in the community. I am still going to be here. This is where we live now. This is home. That stuff will not change. I’ll be here, trying to get back when I can. I love it here.

On Boston hypothetically being a permanent home after retirement…
Yes, 100 percent. We already talked about it as a family. This is where we will end up.

On Thornton still planning on playing if not with the Bruins next season…
Oh yeah, 100 percent. The body still feels good, which is kind of surprising to me after fighting for 15, 16, 17 years. Actually, a little surprised on how good I feel. Yeah, I plan on playing for at least another year, hopefully two.

On the water bottle situation…
Could we not talk about it. God, let’s stop making this a story. It was a joke.

On Thornton’s reputation taking a hit…
Probably, whatever it’s water. It’s not like I slashed someone in the face.

BOSTON BRUINS DEFENSEMAN ADAM MCQUAID
On how he is feeling…
I’m feeling pretty good. It feels good to get my ankle taken care of. It’s been something that’s been going on for a little while, so I’m just in healing mode right now and looking forward to getting healthy and I’m optimistic about going forward here.

On his injuries…
Well, my ankle has been something that’s been going on for, it’s been bothering me for a while. Decided at the end of last year to try and play through it this year, just with how quick the turnaround was last year, so it was something that I knew coming into the year that I would have to get done at the end of this year. We got to a point with my quad that we knew it wasn’t going to be an option for this year, so that was when we decided to do the ankle as opposed to waiting until the end of the year.

On what the frustration level has been for him…
Of course it’s frustrating just having, getting, feeling like I was getting close at times and having setbacks and just never quite getting there, so it was kind of, in a way each day I was kind of holding onto hope and each time I really did think that I was going to be alright to get back. Mentally I think it made me stronger just going through this and of course I hope it’s all behind me now but at the end of the day it was something that really I couldn’t control and I knew I was doing everything that I could, so now at this point it’s just giving it the actual time to heal that it needs and again I have no worries about it going forward.

On how optimistic he is that his injuries are behind him…
Well, yeah I mean the ankle I know it’s going to feel so much better and even in a few weeks I feel a difference, so I’m really, really excited about that, and then my quad again just needs the time that I wasn’t able to give it. It’s been a long time since I’ve really felt good and felt like myself, so in a way I feel good about it that there’s a possibility that I could feel that much better than I have in recent times, so it’s all positive for me in that mindset.

On whether one injury led to the other…
Hard to say. Potentially maybe the ankle may have ultimately ended up causing my quad, but it’s hard to say. But then it made it that much more difficult with the rehab because there were certain things that I wasn’t able to do with my ankle, so it wasn’t a very simple process and we kept going back to the drawing board and trying to figure out what we could do and ultimately it didn’t work out the way I had hoped.

On whether he feels snakebitten…
Maybe, a little bit. I’ve obviously come to realize that hockey is a game where things can happen and I’ve been kind of trying to just roll with the punches. I really have kept a positive mindset for everything, and the term injury prone or whatever, I don’t feel like that’s the case, so I’ve had a couple unique situations, and like I said, everything is positive with me. I’m keeping a positive outlook on everything, and I know something good has got to come out of the situation.

On whether he feels he is due for a year without any issues…
Yeah, I hope so. I would like to at some point have somebody ask me a question about a game as opposed to how I feel, you know, so yeah I think everybody comes into each season with the hopes of playing 82 games, and that’ll be my hope again next year as it was coming into this season and I’ll take it one day at a time. We’ll see how things go.


On how much he appreciates the support…
Everyone has been great. All the guys have been really good and upbeat with me, and having Seids [Dennis Seidenberg], him and I were going through the process together this year, so that helped, and we were able to kind of push each other a little bit. And the training staff is great with me. My relationship has grown quite a bit with them, so not only that, I mean my family and friends and everybody has been very supportive, and that kind of goes a long way…

#05/16/14#
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