"Yeah, I think we’ve got a tough week ahead of us and the teams that we’re playing, these guys here are pretty good and [have been] streaking at times," said Julien of the B's matchup with Columbus tonight, Thursday's game versus the Nashville Predators and Saturday's tilt with Toronto.
"Unfortunately for them, they haven’t gained the ground they should have with the way they played, so I think we’re in for a tough one," added Julien of the Blue Jackets. "And it won’t be any easier the next few games here.
"In Toronto, there is some hope there, so I think it’s going to be a big week ahead of us and sometimes you have to really kind of look at just going out there and playing.
"I think if you over think things it makes it worse and doesn’t make it better.
"We’ve shown in the past that we’re able to respond and I think we expect as a group that we should be doing that this week," he said.
Julien said that the one thing that the B's should be thinking about is their own game.
"Yeah, I think whenever a team is going well and you look at them play, it’s because they’re playing they’re playing their game -- they’re playing well, they’re executing well and everything seems to be going in the right direction," he said. "Goalie is making good saves, the transition game is going good, defensively you’re not giving much to the other team.
"At this stage in the year, I’ve often said that the teaching is usually done in the first half of the season.
"The second half is mostly about execution and I don’t think we’ve executed as well lately so that’s what we’ve got to get back to. Executing the way we know we can and that’s when you’re game is going to fall into place," said Julien.Blueline Update
Defenseman Steven Kampfer will return to the B's lineup tonight.
"Andrew is touch and go," added Julien of Andrew Ference
. "He’s very close and we’ll be making decision on him here in the next few days, but tonight he’ll sit this one out.
"But he’s very close to being ready to go as well."
Defenseman Shane Hnidy remains on injured reserve.
Julien talked about Kampfer's return to the ice, and was asked how he might manage the transition.
"Well, I ‘d say he’s no different than any other player," said Julien. "We’ll see how he does tonight.
"Obviously, he hasn’t played in a while. If we don’t see he’s as sharp as he should be, you don’t give him as much ice time. You kind of ease him into it and we know the [importance] of winning a hockey game here and what it means.
"If that means he gets less than more then so be it. If he plays well then we see no reason to hold him back," he said. Who else will sit?
|Ryder & Seguin |
Julien also talked about the B's healthy scratch on offense.
The decision will be between Michael Ryder and Tyler Seguin
"Yeah, probably we’ll make a decision there as far as who is going to go tonight," said Julien, who was asked if Ryder's dry spell was similar to Nathan Horton
's slow streak earlier this season.
"Yeah, I think Michael is a streaky player as well, and...he’s here to score goals, we know that, and he’s been known to score goals. But at the same time when those things don’t come players have to give an effort in other areas as well.
"That’s why we’re going to be making a decision on him tonight," he said.
The reasoning behind it is simple.
"At this point in the season we want some accountability from everybody, and I think the message has to be clear that everybody has to step their game up and that’s what we expect," he said. "If we’re going to be successful, when things aren’t going well you have to be able to bring something else to the table and effort is a big part of it.
"[If] it’s not scoring then you have to make sure you’re good in your own end, you have to make sure you do some other things that are going to help the hockey club," he said.