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Julien, Bergeron, Rask Postpractice Transcript from 4/21

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
BOSTON BRUINS POSTPRACTICE QUOTES

Monday, April 21, 2014
BOSTON BRUINS HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN PRESS CONFERENCE AT 11:30 AM
On Dennis Seidenberg’s recovery…
Well you know, I guess, according to our trainers and our doctors, that’s the protocol that — they figured he’d be going through that process and at one point he’d be skating before next season. So I think he’s on track right now, probably maybe even a little ahead of the curve because of his conditioning and how strong he was even before that injury. He’s, I guess, he’s a well-trained individual and those guys have a tendency — athletes have a tendency to recover a little quicker than the normal person, and he’s, I guess he’s on that track right now.

On guarding against getting excited about Seidenberg’s recovery…
Nobody’s told me anything that would get me excited, that’s why. He’s out there and I went to our trainers and asked for him and [Adam] McQuaid to skate today with the rest of the team because there’s no contact, there’s nothing. It’s just simple drills, so it’s the same drills they did before we went on the ice with that group. They were on earlier and they stayed on with that group. A lot of it’s for, probably for encouragement reasons — like just those two on the ice together all the time gets tough after a while. But being out there with more players and being able to do a little bit more is a little bit more exciting for them. So I thought mentally it would be a good opportunity for them to be with the rest of the guys today because of the type of practice we were having, and our trainers agreed.

On if he was satisfied with his team’s engagement and physicality in Game 2…
Well I think it’s pretty clear our team has to be physically engaged, but again, within the rules. When we’re not, we’re in the penalty box and I said that after yesterday’s game. We have to find a way to stay out of the box a little bit more. To me, we’re in the box for too many penalties and down the road that can hurt you. So playing within the rules and being physical is part of our, I guess, part of our strength. So we have to be that team, and the after-whistle scrums is certainly not pre-planned — it’s just two teams that are intense and ready to battle for their space and it’s as simple as that.

On whether forwards Chris Kelly and Daniel Paille will need to practice with the team before they get back into games…
Absolutely. I think there’s, again, a certain route you have to take and it’s no different than — we talked about Matt Bartkowski being out for that long and being sick. We have to allow him to skate a little bit and get himself back into, I guess, into the groove of things before you allow him to — throw him into a game. So I don’t see those guys being much, much different. So again, it’s a day to day process and I’m just waiting to hear when those guys — Dan Paille’s out there right now skating, so that’s the right direction, but we’ll have to go about our injuries just like we normally would: in a safe and proper manner.

On whether he gets distracted by the new playoff format and knowing who his next opponent might be…
That’s their series. We’re worried about ours right now. Our players shouldn’t worry about that. As coaches, you worry about your team but you also are allowed to watch and prepare in a certain way by watching the other series as well. So I don’t think it’s a big issue. I know that there was times in the past where we were done and we had to watch a couple of different series because we didn’t know, depending on who would win, who we’d play, so there’s no doubt it’s a lot clearer now. We don’t have to look too far to find out who our next opponents could be, but at the same time, it’s about getting out of this one here, and right now it’s a 1-1 tied series that, to me, has the potential to go a long ways.

On how much time he spends thinking about the opponent’s strategy at this stage of the series…
Well, you have to. First and foremost, you look at your team and you look at the things you did well and things you have to be better at. You also have to kind of look and say, well, obviously, these guys will probably try and do this next game — we have to be prepared for that. But you don’t overload your players with information. So that’s something that we have to keep in mind as coaches, and if you see those things happening, you got to be prepared to let your team know and make sure you have the right adjustments to go along with it.

On Loui Eriksson’s performance on the power play…
Just positions himself well. He finds pucks well, he tips them well, he just — he’s been good in that area for a long time and we had seen him do that before. We had the guys from the units that we felt could play those different types of roles, and on his power play, it’s a different type of setup. So in his case, he doesn’t always have to be there, although him and Carl [Soderberg] do switch and he does that job, but on the 5-on-3, he’s one of those guys that we feel very comfortable with him being in front because he will stand and do a good job, and has a good eye for the puck as far as finding it with his stick. So he does a good job tipping those pucks in, so that’s why he’s there.

On what Zdeno Chara has worked on to improve his power play…
Just, again, being able to get better at tipping pucks and finding those loose pucks around the net. As you saw yesterday on that goal, he tipped it and found it and banged it back in. He’s been practicing that quite a bit, he’s taken the time to get better at that and that’s been a big help for him. His size was obviously a really important part of why we put him there but he had to have the rest of the components I guess to be successful to work on. And he did, he worked on those things and has gotten better over the course of the year.

On how influential it was being able to play their north/south game in game 2…
It was a big part of it. I think that’s what we didn’t do well enough in the first game. We didn’t have enough speed through the neutral zone and without speed or your feet moving in the neutral zone it’s hard to get on the fore check so that was probably a big part of our game that improved yesterday. That’s got to be existent in the next games if we are going to give ourselves a chance.

On David Krejci’s improvement from game 1 to game 2…
Well, again I don’t think that line had a lot of success, and I say that line in the first game. They had better success in the second game and just because he wasn’t on the scoreboard doesn’t mean he wasn’t a good player. I think that Looch goal [Milan Lucic] from Iggy [Jarome Iginla] – I think Iggy had a couple of points yesterday. So that line, or the players on that line, were productive. So it doesn’t matter, at the end of the day it’s about winning hockey games and I’m certainly not going to sit here and say he’s in a slump because he hasn’t got a point in two games. Because that’s not David [Krejci], he was good in the faceoff circle, much better, he was much better in a lot of areas, his battles, physicality and his competitiveness was really good. So again, it’s just a matter of time probably before you see him on the score sheet.

On how many guys are fighting through the virus that are able to play…
Well, without getting into too many details, I think it’s just a matter of do those guys have the energy that is required to be at 100 percent. You know, some of those guys had it and it’s kind of going away but it doesn’t mean that they are at 100 percent. That’s part of playoff hockey, you have to play through those things, you expect the players to work hard through it and our doctors and trainers are doing the best they can to help these guys get better. So, again, it’s just part of the process that you have to overcome at this time of the year because there is no looking back.

On David Krejci looking like Brad Marchand after the whistle in terms of physicality…
Well, guys, I think I see that from everybody in every series. [Pavel] Datsyuk took on [Brad] Marchand yesterday. Everyone brings their game up a notch, it’s not David Krejci, it’s everybody. I think everybody gets their nose dirty. I’ve other games in the other series and the guys that don’t normally hit that much are putting themselves in positions to finish their checks and I think that’s what excites people about playoffs. Guys, for some reason, are able to bring their game up to another level and they get out of their comfort zone of 82 games of doing the same thing and say, in order for us to win, I have to do a little bit more of just what I did in those 82 games. And that is why teams succeed in the playoffs, when you have players doing that. You have guys that will normally flamingo during the regular season then they will slide and block a shot in the playoffs, how many times have you seen that? That’s just the way it is.

On Torey Krug’s performance…
Well, again, we never go in to games, I said this other day, saying this guy is going to get this much ice time, that guy is going to get that much. It depends on the situation of those guys. The ice time depends on circumstance, it depends on a lot of things. So as long as a player isn’t really hurting your team, he is going to get some ice time obviously. And if we see that he is really on top of his game, we’ll give him a little bit more. We see him struggling, he’s going to get a little bit less. Again, there is no hidden agendas behind those types of things, that’s just how the game goes. That’s the discussions we have between coaches of who’s going well, who’s maybe having a tough night and what do we do with those players.

On Kevan Miller impacting game 2…
I thought he was pretty good. Again, for what he’s gone through and to come back yesterday and again he was a physical presence out there. He is a strong individual, we’ve said that. He likes to finish his checks, we say that part of his game. He kept his game simple but effective and too me that was a really good showing from a player who didn’t practice much and gone through a pretty serious virus and then battle with that flu bug that was going around. So I was really happy with his game yesterday.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD PATRICE BERGERON
On Boston’s special teams this postseason…
Yeah, I feel pretty good. Obviously we got to keep getting better and adjusting to some of the stuff that we see on the ice. That’s the nature of playing a best-of-seven. I mean, you got to adjust after every game and I think we like the way we played their power play last night — yesterday afternoon— but we still got to make sure we keep playing well, keep adjusting and keep getting better because they’re going to do the same thing.

On the power play this season…
Yeah, it’s been a while since we’ve been consistent and successful like that, scoring some big goals, so we got to keep that going.

On forward Loui Eriksson as a net-front presence on the power play…
Yeah, it’s huge. The goal is to let him see the puck, so especially when you’re on the one-man advantage, you got to take care of that and make sure you do have some net-front presence and move the puck well and take what’s there. But I think bringing the puck on net is something we’ve improved.

On Zdeno Chara as a net-front presence compared with Loui Eriksson as a net-front presence…
I think Loui [Eriksson] is really good at finding the puck and turning and getting the rebounds, and Zee [Zdeno Chara], it takes so much room, so much space to move out of the way, and I think it’s really hard for goalies to see the puck.

On limiting the Red Wings to 2 goals through the first two games of this series…
They’re a great team offensively. They have great lines and lots of smarts. They have lots of speed also, so I think it’s about not taking a shift off. I think that’s going to be the key for the rest of the series, and it’s going to be no different, definitely in Detroit. So they’re going to try to bounce back and we’re going to have to make sure we match that.

On going up against the Pavel Datsyuk line…
I mean, obviously, yeah, it’s about minimizing what they’re doing, but at the same time, we’ve got to create some offense. So we’d like to keep improving in that manner, but that being said, you need to be aware every time of who’s on the ice, and when that whole line is on the ice, they’re pretty dangerous. So there’s also that in the back of your mind. You have to make sure you respect that.

On Reilly Smith’s power play goal in Game 2…
Yeah, no, it was great. It was great to see Reilly [Smith] score that goal. He was he went right to the net — that’s where he needs to go on plays like that. And Loui [Eriksson] made a great play just to get that puck through his legs, and it was good, the way that we found the puck around the net last night.

On Loui Eriksson’s performance this year…
Yeah, I think he’s kept improving. Even after the break — well, not after the break for him, after the Olympics for him — I thought he really got better and really picked up his game and it was tough year for him, with the injuries. It’s tough to get going when that happens, and I think he’s a terrific player. He’s always in a great spot, he’s got a great hockey IQ, I guess, and he’s making some great plays that are often going unnoticed. But for us as teammates, we see them and it goes a long way.

On Loui Eriksson’s two-way game…
Yeah, that’s what I mean by all the little details that go unnoticed, but not by us. It’s — I think we saw them and we keep seeing them and right now, he’s skating well and he’s making some great plays offensively, but I think he’s keeping with that — those great plays defensively.

On the penalty kill in Game 2…
We definitely got to keep that going. I think we’ve made some good adjustments. Doug [Houda] has been pretty good to tell us, I guess, what to do, and right now it’s about getting used to the new guys who are killing, but it’s been going well.

On the Bruins’ struggles at Joe Louis Arena…
I think right now, we shouldn’t think about that. It’s about making sure we turn that around tomorrow. Like I said, it’s going to be a tight series and a tough series, and we’re expecting them to bounce back tomorrow, so we have to — we can’t really start thinking about the building we’re playing in. Obviously it’s about just playing our game and bringing what we did yesterday afternoon to tomorrow’s game.

On playing in hostile environments…
It shouldn’t be something that rattles us or bothers us at all because we’ve been there before. We’ve seen it all, almost, and it’s going to be the same thing we’re expecting tomorrow. So it’s going to be fun to be a part of it, and we’re just going to enjoy it and play our game.

On how well he’d do in marathon…
Not very well. It’s so long. I just can’t run for that long. It’s too long. 

BOSTON BRUINS POSTPRACTICE QUOTES
Monday, April 21, 2014

BOSTON BRUINS GOALTENDER TUUKKA RASK
On his presence in the community and with Maddie from Make a Wish Rhode Island and Massachusetts…
Well, we do that a lot as a team and I try to do it outside the spotlight too. I just set up my foundation this year and started doing more. It’s something I like to do so it’s not a problem for me.

On how consistence was the defense over the past two games…
Yeah, yeah, it’s been really good the past two games. Yesterday, in the third period we kind of slipped away from that a little bit. But overall, we’ve been really committed to our defense and that has been the recipe for our success in the past year. So we try to keep that going…

On success with the north/south game…
Well we’re a big group and we try to put pucks in deep, grind it out and get it back. You see us chipping and chasing and getting that support for the puck. It works. They’re a good team, they make those passes, those cross ice passes, they get a lot of speed so it is a challenge for us defensively to be ready for that. But when it comes to offense I think it has been coming out, looking better and better period by period.

On what he can take from game 2…
It was a great start. We were ready to start and kept it going. It doesn’t really matter where we play, we have to play that way in order to win. It’s not the greatest building in the league but I don’t think they are the toughest home team in the league either. So we just have to go in there and have the same kind of start as we did yesterday and just try and build on that momentum.

On what adjustment the team has to make to get ready for the “lively boards”…
Well there is nothing you can really do except be ready for it, be ready for those bounces. They are used to it and they for sure know how to take advantage of those boards so we have to be ready for it. Maybe we will try and use it for our advantage too.

On if he feels like he is getting bumped and jabbed this series…
No, I don’t think I’ve ever felt that way. Obviously people are going to try and crash the net, especially in this series both teams are playing pretty good defense, so you have to, you have to get in front of the net and try and find those loose pucks. But I don’t think it’s anything out of control.

On if players have crashed the net more than usual…
No, I don’t think so.

On if it is unusual to not get bumped more in this series…
No, I don’t think so. Our defense is pretty big for the most part so I don’t have to worry about it. If it becomes a problem, I’m sure our guys will take care of it, I don’t have to. I can just focus on stopping the pucks.

On what Kevan Miller brings to the lineup…
Yeah, well he’s like a football player out there is looks like. It looks like he’s running on the ice almost and just hitting everybody. He is a really physical guy, he’s pretty good with the puck too so he is a great add for our D. Missing Seids [Dennis Seidenberg] and then Quader [Adam McQuaid] back there, definitely a lot of people thought it might hurt us but we had some guys stepping up and Millsy [Kevan Miller] played in that group for sure.

BOSTON BRUINS GOALTENDER TUUKKA RASK
On his presence in the community and with Maddie from Make a Wish Rhode Island and Massachusetts…
Well, we do that a lot as a team and I try to do it outside the spotlight too. I just set up my foundation this year and started doing more. It’s something I like to do so it’s not a problem for me.

On how consistence was the defense over the past two games…
Yeah, yeah, it’s been really good the past two games. Yesterday, in the third period we kind of slipped away from that a little bit. But overall, we’ve been really committed to our defense and that has been the recipe for our success in the past year. So we try to keep that going…

On success with the north/south game…
Well we’re a big group and we try to put pucks in deep, grind it out and get it back. You see us chipping and chasing and getting that support for the puck. It works. They’re a good team, they make those passes, those cross ice passes, they get a lot of speed so it is a challenge for us defensively to be ready for that. But when it comes to offense I think it has been coming out, looking better and better period by period.

On what he can take from game 2…
It was a great start. We were ready to start and kept it going. It doesn’t really matter where we play, we have to play that way in order to win. It’s not the greatest building in the league but I don’t think they are the toughest home team in the league either. So we just have to go in there and have the same kind of start as we did yesterday and just try and build on that momentum.

On what adjustment the team has to make to get ready for the “lively boards”…
Well there is nothing you can really do except be ready for it, be ready for those bounces. They are used to it and they for sure know how to take advantage of those boards so we have to be ready for it. Maybe we will try and use it for our advantage too.

On if he feels like he is getting bumped and jabbed this series…
No, I don’t think I’ve ever felt that way. Obviously people are going to try and crash the net, especially in this series both teams are playing pretty good defense, so you have to, you have to get in front of the net and try and find those loose pucks. But I don’t think it’s anything out of control.

On if players have crashed the net more than usual…
No, I don’t think so.

On if it is unusual to not get bumped more in this series…
No, I don’t think so. Our defense is pretty big for the most part so I don’t have to worry about it. If it becomes a problem, I’m sure our guys will take care of it, I don’t have to. I can just focus on stopping the pucks.

On what Kevan Miller brings to the lineup…
Yeah, well he’s like a football player out there is looks like. It looks like he’s running on the ice almost and just hitting everybody. He is a really physical guy, he’s pretty good with the puck too so he is a great add for our D. Missing Seids [Dennis Seidenberg] and then Quader [Adam McQuaid] back there, definitely a lot of people thought it might hurt us but we had some guys stepping up and Millsy [Kevan Miller] played in that group for sure.
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