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Head Coach Claude Julien Postpractice Transcript from 4/16

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
BOSTON BRUINS POSTPRACTICE QUOTES

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

BOSTON BRUINS HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN PRESS CONFERENCE AT 12:30 PM
On how he thinks Tuukka Rask benefitted from the Olympics…
I think anytime you get an opportunity to work in, or play in these kinds of competitions, that it gives you a pretty good idea about what you are going to see in the playoffs as far as intensity level and what’s at stake. So those kinds of things can never hurt the individual. If anything it just helps them deal with it better and we hope we have enough players on our team that went through it and can hopefully help the other guys in the dressing room. So, never a bad thing, never a bad thing when you have that in your room.

On how much more prepared he is to deal with Torey Krug now that he has played a full season…
Well, again, I don’t think we should – he was very good for us last year in the playoffs and there were a few growing pains there along the way but I think he was way more of a help than anything else and we really liked his game. So this year, he’s going in there with a little more experience. So whatever might have been a bit of a challenge for him, you hope he’s going to be coming in even better. I don’t foresee any issues with him. He has an opportunity to play back in his hometown as well, and I’m sure he will be motivated from that.

On how Tuukka Rask’s confidence has grown…
Yeah, I don’t think Tuukka [Rask] has ever lacked confidence. Even when he was here behind Tim [Thomas] he was always very confident in what he could do. He has always worked hard and had the right attitude and that is just growing in to the experience of the years. His stats certainly did improve a lot but at the same time he has been one of those goaltenders that continues to want to be better all the time. He was on the big stage, obviously, at the Olympics and was probably a big part of his team winning the Bronze. But again, he is capable of handling, I guess, that kind of a stage as well. And that goes back to what I just answered before, we’re going to need his leadership and his stability back there if we expect to do well.

On where that characteristic comes from for a goalie…
I think it comes from a little bit of all of those areas. You either have that personality that you're a confident individual but at the same time, he has played in the minors and he’s ridden those busses and he’s cutting through the grind, where he’s from, and everything else through his childhood I’m sure a lot of those things have helped him become the person that he is today. I’d say the big part of it is a person’s personality. You know, they have a strong personality, which he does, and you put some confidence on top of that then you have a pretty good goaltender at the end of it.

On if he likes Brad Marchand’s play going in to the playoffs…
Well, he didn’t play much on the power play this year and his points are still up there with some of our top leading scorers so I don’t see this year as a disappointment. Like you said, he had a little bit of a slow start and picked it up but I think he did it more quietly this year than maybe other years. Sometimes you get to a point where you expect that from a player every year, the first year he scored that many goals and scored that many afterwards, he didn’t say anything this year just went out and did it. I think he has had a decent year and you know, is it his best year? I don’t know if I can see it’s his best year but at the same time, he’s one of those guys who has always been good in the playoffs. So we’re counting on him to be the player that he always is and I’m sure he will be there.

On if Brad Marchand has helped Patrice Bergeron with his great year…
Always does. When you see those two together, I saw it again in practice today, you saw one of those goals they scored two on two, they had a shorthanded goal not too long ago. It’s amazing the chemistry and how they find each other. There’s no doubt that one’s success reflects on the other and vice versa.


On if Bergeron managed the line with Reilly Smith and Brad Marchand…
I think that’s a fair assessment. He is a pretty calm individual but he still has a strong personality when it comes to playing the game. So with March [Brad Marchand], if he need to you know, calm him down and be a little bit more stern or wanting more, he can do that, they have known each other for a long time. With Reilly [Smith] it was probably working with him and encouraging him because Reilly has a tendency to be hard on himself. So Bergy [Patrice Bergeron] is a good balance for both those guys and there is no doubt that he probably played a big role in the success with both those guys and the success of that line.

On managing the team’s mindset going into the playoffs…
Well, it’s a couple of things here. Let’s not kid ourselves — I don’t know if people are playing Detroit as, you know, the underdog because of where we are in the standings. They’ve had a tough year with injuries but let’s not kid ourselves — they’re a real good team. They’re well coached, they play hard every game, they’re going to be there, but at the same time, I think we need to understand if we’re willing to put the work in and play the way we think we can, there’s no doubt we’re giving ourselves a really good chance. But those things have to happen. They can’t just be talked about and right now, that’s what we got to do. We got to go out there and show that we’re going to be ready and going to be willing to do those things that are going to give us success. But we’re going to have a tough opposition going against us.

On what makes the first round difficult…
I don’t know. I mean, it could be a bunch of things. When you look at — I think I heard that stat yesterday, 40 percent of the underdog teams have won the first round. That’s a pretty high number, you know, in the first round. So that means there’s a lot of upsets going on, so it’s not just us. It just means that when you get into the playoffs, you’ve got sometimes one of the top teams playing against a team that has nothing to lose, and it just goes to show you what pressure does versus, we have nothing to lose and everything to gain — let’s just go out there and play. And that mindset can have a real good effect on your team, whether it’s favorable or non-favorable. So I think we’ve had our fair share of tough first rounds — I think one of the things that I said to our team is that when we’ve clinched, we’ve kind of put our guard down a little bit in the last few games, so we’ve kind of, instead of going into the playoffs on a high note, we’ve had to limp our way through the first round a little bit and it’s taken us some time to find our game. Look at the Montreal series — we had lost the first two games at home before we went back there. Look at Toronto — again, we had a good lead, got back into it, took Game 7, and same thing when we lost Game 7 to Washington. Those kind of things are what you see that happened in the past. I think this year, we just kept our team going and going, and whether that Presidents’ Trophy was something that kept us going, I think it was important for us to keep playing fairly well, and just because we had a couple of iffy games there at the end in Minnesota, Winnipeg, doesn’t mean we feel like we’re limping into the playoffs, or maybe not going at full tilt and let our guard down. I think this year, we’ve played pretty consistent and we hope that that’s going to be helpful for us there in that first round.

On Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard…
We’ll see. I mean, he’s a good goaltender. He was on the Olympic team. Again, I’m not going to go into details on him, but you know, he’s one of the good goaltenders in the league, and we feel we’ve got the same thing on our side. So I think it’ll be a good duel and I think you’re going to see two teams really working hard to get to the front of that net and either screen or jump on those loose pucks because I don’t know how many clean shots are going to get through those goaltenders. So that’s basically what I’d tell you about Howard, and then basically the goaltending in this series.

On the play of forward Justin Florek…
Well, we don’t have a choice right now — we’ve got this, is what we have — a situation. I’ve liked the way he’s played when he was with us. I remember in Winnipeg, he did a great job of working hard down low, got to the front of the net and we scored a goal from a great shot from the point with a good screen. And he was a big body against Jersey. Again, you can tell he can battle along the walls, he’s a decent skater, a decent playmaker, I guess 20 goals or somewhere around that vicinity this year in Providence. I haven’t seen him as much as the people above me have, but they feel that he’s, right now, the guy that can be here to help us if we don’t have some of our guys back.

On learning to work with young players…
Well, that’s a coach’s job. You know, nowadays, it’s — you’re micromanaging in a way, where you’re not dealing so much with always a group, but a lot of individuals, and that’s where every day, I’m meeting with a player or two, or even if it’s just small chats. You learn to deal with players, and some players really need that extra pat while other guys need maybe a little kick in the rear, and whatever is needed, you just got to do. So it’s a pretty simple — to me, simple situation that all coaches nowadays understand. And our group here is no different. You learn to deal with individuals depending on their personalities and what you seem to find makes them go or what makes them nervous. So those are things that I think we’ve, or I’ve, been doing for quite a long time now.

On whether it’s similar to coaching in juniors or in the AHL…
Yeah, I think — you know, again, the biggest mistake coaches can do is to assume. Just because you’re in the NHL, they’re different than they were when they were in the American League and even junior hockey — obviously, they’re a little bit more mature, they’re a little more polished as pros, but you’re still dealing with — whether it’s a different situation or another, you’re still dealing with them.

On whether the presence of Jarome Iginla has inspired this team heading into the playoffs…
I think so. I mean, it’s a normal thing. We all remember Ray Bourque here, and when he went to Colorado and they really wanted to win it. But you know, in order to do that for him, you really got to focus on your game. Focus on what you need to do there. At the end, you hope that that’s what it takes to get him a Cup, but I don’t want our team just to focus on Iggy [Jarome Iginla] because I don’t think our focus is going to be the right place. Let’s focus on what we need to do here to get the goal that we want because we’d like to get it for Iggy, but we’d like to get it for our fans as well, and the rest of the team. So it’s a little bit more than that, but he’s certainly one of those people that I think everybody’s going to be cheering for.

On whether it’s similar to having Mark Recchi on the team…
Yeah, Rex [Mark Recchi] already had a few, but the guys are really hoping that they could give him a good farewell — let’s put it that way. And that was a little bit a piece of what kept the guys determined. And again, I say one of the pieces, because it wasn’t the only one.
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