Despite calls from some media and fans for a new face on defense, defenseman Tomas Kaberle will play versus Tampa Bay.
"I think people are a little hard on this guy and I’m one of those guys that’s going to support him, and I’m one of those guys that’s going to keep him in the lineup in case you want to know," said Julien. "He’s going to be a good part of our hockey team.
"We got him because we believe in him, and we’re going to, and, until the last game, he played really good games.
"So, that’s how we see Kaberle," he said.
Those people waiting and wondering whether right wing Shawn Thornton
will make an appearance or whether another player might have a night in the press box will have to wait.
"I think, right now, I’m going to dress twenty-three for the warm-up and that’s basically what it’s going to stay at for now," said Julien. "And if there are changes we will make them after the warm-up."
But it didn't sound like Julien had any sweeping changes in mind.
"Some people wanted certain players out of the lineup earlier on, and our patience paid off," said Julien. "And I don’t know why we decide that we should be taking [Kaberle] out of the lineup when there’s other players too that have struggled.
"I don’t know that we haven’t talked about that and that’s because we have patience.
"And we believe in those guys," he said.
Along those lines, Julien was asked, with Tampa Bay goaltender Dwayne Roloson having a very similar series to Tim Thomas
, why Thomas hadn't been pulled in favor of Tuukka Rask
in the manner of Roloson being spelled by Mike Smith.
Julien cited Thomas' own resiliance.
"The one thing we have to recognize from Tim is when you look back at some of the games that we’ve played...Montreal was a good example of that -- we’re up three-nothing and two really weak goals go in on him -- he stood on his head at the end of the game and helped us win those games," said Julien. "And we’ve seen that same thing in that 6-5 win here where we let them back into the game. He stood on his head.
"So for me it’s, I had a lot of confidence in Tim being able to bounce back from giving up bad goals.
"And that’s why we haven’t pulled him yet," he said.
As far as the making the proper adjustments based on Tampa Bay's play, Julien said he was more concerned with the play of his own team.
"I don’t think there’s anything when they change that puts us on our heels because the forecheck that they’re using is forechecks that we’ve faced all year...and we’ve been able to handle that," said Julien. "If anything, our team has committed more mistakes in this series than we’re used to and we have to cut down on those.
"I would prefer taking the responsibility on our team and saying what do we have to do better more than look at them, and what are they doing to us to cause those things.
"I think it’s really about our execution and we’ve been able to handle that in the past, so I don’t see why we can’t handle it now."