Halifax, NS –
After Thursday night’s Boston Bruins 4-3 loss to the Detroit Red Wings, Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien said, “Those are what preseason games are all about – trying to fine tune yourself.”
But the Black & Gold’s second year bench boss' comments indicated he was not troubled by the team’s effort.
“We competed pretty hard,” he said. “They are a pretty good team and they might not have had their whole roster and neither did we, but I thought we had some pretty good chances.
“They are a team that puts a lot of pressure on some of our guys who were having trouble with the pressure they were (applying) and it took awhile to adjust.
“But that’s part of learning to play at this level,” he said.
During the regular season, Julien feels confident that his club will be better able to roll with the punches.
“There are teams that are a lot more aggressive than others,” said Julien. “And we can certainly make the right adjustments to counter (that) better than we did tonight.”
Coach Julien pointed to the play of his third and fourth lines as nice stories, and singled out the Blake Wheeler – Martin St. Pierre – Martins Karsums combination.
“I thought those lines were playing extremely well,” he said. “St. Pierre, in his first game with us…handled himself extremely well.
“Wheeler, who we put on the left side, and hasn’t played there, did a really good job as well.
“And Karsums had some really good speed and good hands, so that was a good combination for us tonight,” said Julien.
The Bruins head coach is pleased with the team’s progress, thus far.
“Without looking at the record right now – we’ve got an overtime loss, a tight game tonight and a win the other day against Montreal – we’re much further ahead than we were at this time last year," he said. “Guys understand what they need to do and it will be very interesting to see our team as we get closer to the end of this training camp and we put everybody together and see how we fare from there.”
Julien was asked about playing three games in Maritime Canada.
“I thought it was a great move,” he said. “We’ve enjoyed it here.
“It’s been a great situation for our players. There’s been lots of things to do, as far as restaurants and downtown, so it’s been great.
“I think it’s been a very successful four days that we spent here,” said the coach.Notes:
- Coach Julien was asked several questions about the play of starting goalie Tim Thomas. Julien said, “It was his first game and we all know that it wasn’t one of his better games…but I know Timmy Thomas and I don’t think it’s a matter of proving himself now. It's just a matter of fine tuning himself and finding his game again. And we have to allow him to play to do that.”
- The Bruins practice this morning in Cole Harbour before flying to Detroit to face the Red Wings in Joe Louis Arena at 7:30 p.m. The B’s return home to Boston to face the Washington Capitals on Saturday. Game time is 4:00 p.m.
- Julien also spoke about the defensive play of center Patrice Bergeron: “I hope he is not (just) a defensive player. I hope he is an all around player who can play against top players and still contribute offensively. He handled himself well (tonight). He’s a good two-way player and you trust those top players to be able to play against top lines. And with Sturm, and Kessel tonight, I thought they did a good job in that regard.”
- No word on the Boston lineup for Friday night as of yet. Look for updates throughout the day on Friday.