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Julien: "We have to play better..."

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
VANCOUVER -- The consensus: Boston can play better.


Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien answers questions during a news conference after an optional team hockey practice, Thursday, June 2, 2011, in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Bruins and Vancouver Canucks play Game 2 of the NHL's Stanley Cup final game series on Saturday in Vancouver. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darryl Dyck)
And that was what head coach Claude Julien was telling the press on Thursday afternoon at the University of British Columbia's Thunderbird Arena.

"I would say that our team...will play better, is capable of playing better, and will definitely play better next game," said Julien. "That’s a thing that we believe in, but we also have to understand that we have to play better if we intend on winning some games here."

Julien acknowleged that that nerves at the start of the Stanley Cup Final could have played a role in the team's slow start on Wednesday, but could have accounted for mistakes from both benches.

"I don’t think there’s a team there that seemed more nervous," said the B's bench boss, who broke the B's defeat down to simple mathmatics.

"I think they beat us at the five-on-five game last night," said Julien. "And I thought our special teams were as good, if not better than theirs to be honest with you.

"We had more scoring chances on our power play than they did and our penalty kill did a great job against a pretty potent power play, so special teams I don’t think was an issue last night.

"But the five-on-five, they were no doubt the better team," he said.

Asked again about the B's struggling power play, Julien said, "Well, its amazing how...just because of how it’s been before, its still being kind of questioned today.

"I think our power play was very good [Wednesday] night in moving the puck and creating some chances and was even better than Vancouver’s, in my mind.

"We had more scoring chances than Vancouver did on the power play so if we’re going to criticize ours we should criticize theirs at this stage of the playoffs."

For now, Julien has given his power play a clean slate.

"The way I’ve looked at it is that our power plays on both teams start from scratch in this series and then we’ll gauge...how the teams do in the special teams department," he said. "Right now were dead even. So it hasn’t been an issue.

"I thought we had some scoring chances, I thought we moved the puck well. I thought Zdeno [Chara] did a great job in front of the net.

"I thought our penalty kill did a great job against a power play that is supposedly so potent."

Julien has seen the B's fight through adversity and believes his team can and will bounce back.

"That’s the way we approached it all year," said Julien. "I think throughout the season you get your ups-and-downs, and when we had our downs, we knew that a lot of people were disappointed and we were criticized.

"But inside that dressing room, we knew it was a long year, and that we could right the ship, with time, and we did that. We got into the playoffs.

"So having done that all year, you don’t change your approach, and you lose a game and we know how important that loss becomes," added Julien. "But right now, what’s more important is not [Wednesday's] loss but how we’re going to react to it on Saturday."

No Disciplinary Action for Burrows' Bite
Coach Julien didn't have much reaction to the NHL's decision not to enforce any supplementary discipline on the Vancouver Canucks Alexandre Burrows for biting Patrice Bergeron's finger during a scrum at the end of the first period of Game 1.

"As far as I’m concerned the league has made a decision and we move on," said Julien. "I think what’s more important for us is to prepare for next game, more than put our attention on something that’s already been ruled.

"So let’s move on here," added Julien. "We’re not the type of team that whines and cries about things like that.

"We just move on, and that’s what we’re going to do."

Hub, Hockey Fans Paying Attention to Spoked-B
Coach Julien also spoke about the outstanding ratings drawn by the Canucks and Bruins (NBC's best Stanley Cup hockey viewership in 12 years) and the Red Sox switching the time of their Saturday showdown with the Oakland Raiders from a 7:10 p.m. to a 1:10 p.m. start to accomdate fans who would like to watch both games. 

"Well that’s the respect there is in Boston as far as...the Red Sox are concerned," said Julien. "They’re big fans of ours and we’re big fans of theirs. And that’s certainly something that has been going on for a long time now.

"That is what Boston is all about," explained Julien. "They’re supportive of all their teams and get that opportunity. And obviously hockey, for the longest of time, was something so big in Boston and it kind of lost its luster...with difficult times.

"But I think, right now, what we’re seeing is its coming back in the right direction and its been a lot of fun being part of it."
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