BOSTON, MA – While Head Coach Claude Julien addressed the media yesterday in regards to Brad Marchand’s hit on Sami Salo and the comments made by the Vancouver organization, he made it extremely clear that today’s focus was on the Winnipeg Jets.
|Peverley, Bruins ready for Winnipeg
After today’s morning skate, Julien talked about the strength of the Jets and what he expects in tonight’s contest.
“They’re a good team,” Julien said. “I think they’re a team that works hard and they compete hard, and I think [coach] Claude [Noel] got them playing really well and they seemed to bought in what he’s trying to do.
"But at the same time, they got some good players on that team.
“I don’t think we’ve ever take them lightly, and we certainly won’t tonight,” he said.
The last time the two teams met, the Bruins left Winnipeg on the wrong end of a 2-1 loss.
Tonight, the team will be without Marchand as he serves the first of a five-game suspension, and left wing Benoit Pouliot will step in for him, joining right wing Tyler Seguin on center Patrice Bergeron’s line.
When the season began, the ex-Hab admittedly had a hard time fitting in. But now, Julien said he is seeing nothing but great things from Pouliot.
“He’s improved a lot and fit in better,” Julien said. “He’s done exactly what we were anticipating at the beginning when we said, ‘Let’s be patient with this guy and give him a chance.’ Some guys fit in quicker than the others, but he’s done a great job.”
Julien was particularly excited in Pouliot’s play against Calgary, when he picked up three assists in a 9-0 victory.
“You look at the goal Peverley scored [against Calgary], he poke checks the puck away on the fore check and he does that a lot,” Julien added. “He has a good stick, he turns a lot of pucks over and he makes plays and he’s contributing now.”
Although the Bruins have displayed the versatility and depth that has helped them to a league-leading 3.63 goals per game, Julien acknowledged the depth for Winnipeg too.
The Jets will be without hard-hitting Dustin Byfuglien (lower body), who has six goals and 18 assists this year, but the B’s coach said that Winnipeg’s deep defense will make for a tough contest.
“I think any time you lose a key player, there’s something that’s going to happen after that,” Julien said. “At the same time, you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket and say because of one player – the team’s not the same.
They’ve got a lot of depth there. I coached Johnny Oduya – we know [Tobias] Enstrom and all those guys – [Zach] Bogosian. They’ve got a lot of players there that can win games for them.”
--- Anthony Gulizia