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Julien Previews Round 2

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins -- Head Coach Claude Julien talked about the differences between Round 1 and Round 2 prior to the Bruins departure for Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal match-up with the Flyers on Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia.

"Well as far as comparisons, I think the one thing that I can tell you about our team is that we don’t need to change a lot of things," began Julien. "We obviously have to get better in certain areas, but I don’t think as a whole our team has to change a lot.

"Obviously, they’re a little bit of a bigger team and they do have some skill up front. Montreal had some skill up front. Everybody is questioning their goaltending, but their goaltending has always seemed to do the job.

"So it’s one of those situations where I think a lot what has to be done here will be about us more than it will be about their hockey club and what we need to change from our point of view," he said.

Yesterday, Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli spoke about the B's struggles with a man advantage and said, "This is a topic that we have addressed all year, every day."

And today Julien addressed those concerns, as well.

"We still see a lot of things that we can continue to utilize in order to give us success," said Julien. "We’re confident that we’re going to get our power play going and we need to find solutions.

"We need our guys to step it up and we all need to be part of the solution. And that’s what we’re trying to do here right now.

"I think it’s going to be important for our hockey club here moving forward that that area of our game does get better," he said.

Comparisons between the current Black & Gold and the Bruins club that fell so dramatically to Philadelphia last season are inevitable, and, also like Chiraelli on Thursday, Julien fielded those questions as well.

The B's bench boss said that having a healthy defense corps, including Dennis Seidenberg and Andrew Ference, will certainly help the Bruins cause going into this season's second round.

"Those are two experienced guys that you get into your lineup. And that’s certainly going to help," said Julien. "And I know Seides has played there in Philly and always seems to play well against them and he’s had a pretty good start to the playoffs here

"So you hope that that continues."

Having a healthy David Krejci, who was lost to injury during last season's Philadelphia series, will be an obvious bonus, but Julien said that Krejci also emphasizes the B's improved offensive strength down the middle.

"I think this year we’ve got enough depth that I think the [offensive] responsibility is shared," said Julien. "Last year, obviously, when he went down, I felt it really created a big hole...[and] we really felt we got thin there and we didn’t have the type of centermen we needed to win. 

"Krejci’s presence, or lack of presence, really hurt us once he went down and we lost [Marco Sturm] before too. So you lose two guys from your top two lines and our scoring was a little thin last year, so it really affected our team a lot. And David  Krejci was having a tremendous playoffs.

"I think this year is a different situation, because when you look at [Patrice Bergeron] and you look at Krejci and you look at [Rich] Peverley and even [Chris] Kelly can play there, you still have a good centermen and [Gregory] Campbell as well and let’s not forget [Tyler] Seguin. So there is some depth there and we feel a lot better about that this year and hopefully we are able to overcome the challenges we had last year.

"But obviously we’re going in there this time probably with a healthier squad so we hope that that’s going to help our hockey club," he said.

However, Julien reitterated that "last year is last year and this year is this year" and believes that too much is made of the similarities.

"A lot of people are going to want to bring up the past and if anything, it’s like Montreal. All the stats are probably against us with the odds and how the Bruins had fared against them in the past," he said. "Down two-nothing...the odds were against us and we overcame.

"So it’s always a new situation, it’s a new opportunity, and that’s how we’re looking at it. Just a new opportunity for us to get past these guys and hopefully win this series."

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