Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Boston Bruins

Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien Practice Quotes 9/21

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
BOSTON BRUINS PRACTICE QUOTES

Saturday, September 21, 2013

BOSTON BRUINS HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN
On making decisions based on the evaluations at this point…
Closer, but there’s still a few guys we want to see more because they’ve probably done well in this camp and we’ll say well, let’s have a closer look at this guy.  There’s some that obviously - we made some cuts and that kind of stuff, but heading into the last three games, basically, we’re kind of looking at six lines and whatever it may be, eight or nine D’s.  And we’ll just finish off with those last three games, utilizing that.  The thing right now that I’m aiming for, Joe, is probably, if everything works well, is having close to our team by the time we play the last game in Saskatoon.  So getting closer to that, that’ll give us a pretty good indication, but in those next three games it’s about running those six lines for rotation where they’ll all play two out of three games. 

On any players who have surprised or impressed him since the beginning of camp…
Well, everybody keeps talking about [Nick] Johnson and how he’s done up front.  Nick’s come in as not an unknown, but we didn’t know much about him, he’d been signed as a free agent and he’s had a good camp so far; it doesn’t take away anything from Reilly Smith and [Matt] Fraser because I had a pretty good idea of what both players were, so maybe not as much of a surprise there, but when it comes to him [Nick Johnson] I think that was a bit of an unknown there.  But there’s guys that have really improved over the year, or years, in Providence; I thought [Ryan] Spooner played his best game against Detroit last game; [Kevan] Miller, who’s going to be in our lineup tonight, he’s gotten stronger, and like I said, he’s kind of like a McQuaid type of defense – we want to make sure we get a better feel of where he is in his development and where he stands as far as that next step is concerned.  Without forgetting anybody, there’s some guys, like [Matt] Lindblad is a new player that when he went to Providence last year played extremely well and then went back to school, and I feel in his case that he’s been better with our group than he even was with the rookie camp, and whether that’s just getting used to playing within the system, or whether, you know, some guys, when you surround them with maybe more experienced players, you get that out of guys like him, but those were the kind of things I’m seeing right now as I’m evaluating.

On Matt Fraser getting in a fight in the Detroit Red Wings game…
I think the one thing is you don’t want the guy to get out of his element; I don’t want to make a guy who’s not a fighter a real physical player into a fighter or a physical player.  There’s no doubt he’s trying to prove himself, and I was hoping, and I asked him that question ‘did he [Red Wings player Jakub Kindl] do something for you to react, and I know he was holding onto his stick, and he wasn’t going to take it, and he just pushed back.  At the same time there’s guys that are trying to show that they belong with our group, but the message I’m giving them is ‘you’ve got to play your game.’  Not everybody is going to be a physical player, let’s not kid ourselves, there are guys with high end skills that are not physical, like guys who maybe don’t have that high end skill but have to compensate in other ways, and the only thing we ask those guys to do is to come in and be gritty as far as battling for a puck.  You don’t have to run a guy, you don’t have to hit him hard, you’ve just got to get into the battle and win it in another way, and as long as you come out on the puck, more often than not, that’s all I need from my end of it.

On players that are vying for spots playing tonight…
Again it kind of gives you an indication, we’re really looking at those guys and making sure we have a clear read on what they can bring to our hockey club. As we get closer to the end we’re going to have to start making decisions so it’s important that we have all those guys in there and give them a chance to showcase what they can bring to our hockey club. You want to give them that opportunity because they’ve earned it and they deserve it and for our sake, we need to make the right decisions. And the only way to make the right decisions is by watching them play more.

On Patrice Bergeron being ready to play…
I think right from the first day he was involved in all the training camp drills including contact and everything else. So it was not an issue of him not being able to take it, it was an issue of him getting through the little bit he had left, you know he kept saying “I’m 95% ready” well I think the 5% was probably his mind making sure he really felt good and he could take hits and everything else. And I think he’s at that stage now where he feels he’s ready to play. We did the same thing with Gregory [Campbell]; both those guys at the beginning of camp, we seemed to be looking at them maybe playing the last few games before the season started but they’re ahead of schedule and our medical staff doesn’t feel any need to hold them back.

On if Bergeron’s touch and skills are back to where they normally are…
I guess the games will help him, there’s no doubt about that. He might not be in game condition but that’s why we have those exhibition games. I think in practice he looks good, he’s skating shooting the puck well and everything else. It’s a matter now of him finding his game in the game itself and with his teammates. 

On Chad Johnson getting a full game and being able to evaluate him…
Oh absolutely. This is what training camp is for. As much as Malcolm [Subban] was really good in Montreal, he was actually not bad, he had some weak goals the other night but that’s what happens in camp. So just because he may not have been at his best in Montreal doesn’t mean he’s not going to be really good tonight. So we have to have a look at those guys as well because we’ll have a decision to make when it comes to our backup here. Obviously there’s a young goaltender that probably needs to play, we know that, but there’s two other guys there that are really battling hard to earn that second spot.

On expectations of Bergeron centering his line with Loui Eriksson and Brad Marchand for the first time…
Just to kind of let them play and kind of find that chemistry. If there’s anything I’ve kind of told them at times I found them trying to over-pass, like they’re always trying to make that extra pass, and they have to get over that, I think they’re all trying to be nice to each other right now but at the same time they want to get a feel of each other so I get that part of it but right now they have to be efficient. And when it’s time to shoot they have to shoot. And that chemistry will come with playing games. So tonight will be the first opportunity for them to do that.

On Matt Bartkowski leading the Bruins in points for the preseason…
It’s been good. I think you can tell this year he’s a lot more confident. Last year there wasn’t a camp with the big club, and he came into the camp in Providence and obviously wasn’t in the best of shape. He’s obviously matured as far as getting himself ready for training camps and as a professional. Came into camp in good shape but also came into camp with more confidence and last year in the playoffs definitely helped him with that.

View More