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Media Day Press Conference Transcript

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
BOSTON BRUINS MEDIA DAY QUOTES

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

PRESS CONFERENCE WITH BOSTON BRUINS OWNER JEREMY JACOBS, PRINCIPAL CHARLIE JACOBS, PRESIDENT CAM NEELY, GENERAL MANAGER PETER CHIARELLI, AND HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN AT 12:00PM

On expectations heading into the season…
JEREMY JACOBS: I guess the key note is to say we’re really not going to play for second place. We’re here to win and I think that the organization is in a good place to do that. I think we’ve got the right combination. I think it’s an extremely strong team, should compete, should be able to win.

On stressing rest and good health habits for the players…
CLAUDE JULIEN: Well I think rest is always important when it comes to the long season like we’re about to embark on. At the same time, I think a few years ago, guys spent a lot of time celebrating the accomplishment, rightly so, but this year it wasn’t about celebrating it was about getting back on their horses and getting to training and preparation for this year. I think it kind of left, obviously, a sour taste in our mouths the way it ended. And it created, obviously, a situation where guys are excited to get another opportunity at it. So you have a different approach to the start of this season; instead of putting up a banner and celebrating, we’re wanting to get back into action and try and get an opportunity again at that Stanley Cup and I think that’s where the focus is right now. That’s what I like about our team; from what I’ve seen from the starting camp to this day.

On expectations of the team and the roster…
PETER CHIARELLI: Well, globally it’s what Mr. [Jeremy] Jacobs talked about where we build, we’re trying to build a winner and those are where our expectations are. We’ve added some new bodies, we’ve incorporated some youth. The new bodies, they’re finding their way with their lines. On the right side, the top three right wingers. Chemistry takes some time to develop and I’ve seen, over the course of the camp, I’m seeing it develop but it still takes time, it takes them being worked into the room and them getting adjusted to or familiar with our coaches. Then you’ve got your younger D that I think all have had good camps. And each has their own strengths and each has their own weaknesses. So there’s still questions for me that have to be answered but I like what I’m seeing so far. Whenever you can bring in new faces and young faces it helps the outlook of the room and on the team and I feel it energizes them. So I see that happening. I heard some comments from Claude [Julien] this morning in a conversation about the couple days in Vermont and he said it was different than they’ve ever been when they’ve been up to these team-building things, in a good way. So to me that’s another step in integrating the young faces and the new faces. I’m anxious to see us get going. I think we’re going to generate some heat from the back end with our guys. We’ve got some good real competitive guys that we’ve added on the right side so I expect good things.

On how expectations has changed over his tenure with the Bruins…
JEREMY JACOBS: I’m probably better equipped to talk about current. I think the way the organization is established now; we’re always looking to win and we always go in with that idea. I’m more comfortable then I have been, historically, about the players and the organization we have. That’s more a product of the last decade so to speak of team building and of having the right organization put together. And I think they’ve come together very well this year and I think we have every reason to be encouraged that we can move forward. This is the 90th anniversary of the Bruins. This will be my 39th year of ownership, which has been great; it’s been a great 39 years. But I think the most important thing is the heritage of this organization. We’re the first hockey team in the US, first national hockey league team in the United States. That in some ways speaks volumes to the culture of the city and the culture of the game here; how much it is part of the fabric of this community. I’m wandering away a little bit from the question but it sort of leads one into the other when it comes to our expectations. I think this community has a high expectation of this hockey team and I think it has every reason to be confident that this hockey team is in good hands moving forward.

On if he watched the Blackhawks banner-raising and opening ceremony…
CAM NEELY: I did not watch it. I would prefer to watch our own. You have a hard time watching someone else lift the Cup and raise a banner so I didn’t watch it, hopefully we’ll be watching one in the near future here.

On the new division alignments and if it adds new challenges…
PETER CHIARELLI: Numerically, probability, yes. The addition of Detroit and Columbus, they’re good teams; Detroit more with their history and their past performance. So yeah, I think it’s going to be more difficult. I feel we’re in a good spot. The three and three and then the crossover I still haven’t really closely looked at it enough to have an opinion on it but there’s a chance that we’ll win that first round and we could play teams from the other divisions. So it’s new, I like the idea of playing within your division. I think we’re good in our division, I think a lot of teams are good but I think we play well within our division.
CLAUDE JULIEN: I think Peter [Chiarelli] explained it probably better than I would because as far as I’m concerned as a coach, my first goal, and I tell the players that every year, is you have to make the playoffs. We’re sitting here, we’re talking about what we expect from our team and we do expect that. But my job can’t be to go in the dressing room and say, “Hey guys, we have to win this year.” We have to make the playoffs. And after you make the playoffs you play whoever you have to play but you have to go through all the teams. So I guess in my role it’s more about minimizing the big goal into smaller portions, and we talk about having good starts to season, like by Thanksgiving we need to make sure we’re in a playoff spot and we’re working to getting into the best spot possible and so on so forth. After that, whatever they’ve decided, I just have to kind of abide by that and kind of worry about making sure my team is in the right place.  

On if the interest level in the Bruins and the NHL in exceptionally high this year…
CAM NEELY: I really do. I think it goes to being an organization here for 90 years and there’s such deep roots in hockey and obviously the Bruins. I think the success that we’ve had as an organization in the past five or six years, and not just winning but putting competitive teams on the ice and giving our fans a really good team to watch, I think that’s renewed a lot of interest with some old fans and it’s brought in a lot of new fans. I love the buzz that our fans have created for us. They do push us as a management group, they push us as players to play better and to do a better job, and any time you get a full house as a player it’s a great place to play in.

On where the team is chemistry-wise for the first game…
CLAUDE JULIEN: I think we’re in a good place right now. I liked what I saw in the last few days. At practice today, guys were sharp, they were excited. I think we’re ready to go here, and even though we’ve had have some new faces, what I saw in the preseason I really liked. Those guys have adjusted well, quickly, and if anything they’re only going to get better. So I’m pretty happy with where we are right now knowing that they’ll only get better. 
On the practice facility…
CAM NEELY: I unfortunately don’t really have any updates on the practice facility. We’re still in conversations with a number of groups. It’s an important project for us, we’re continuing to work on it and Charlie [Jacobs] can speak to the front lot. As far as the practice facility goes, it’s something that we’re trying to nail down a location and partner.
CHARLIE JACOBS: Regarding our real property out front, we have explored the possibility of incorporating the practice facility on our lot in addition to the development if you will. The idea would be that you would enter North Station and the TD Garden right off of Causeway Street rather than walking to the back as you do now. And I think it would benefit us greatly if we were to have our own practice facility right here.

On if anything less than a Stanley Cup would be a huge disappointment…
CAM NEELY: Well you need a lot of breaks along the way and you need to stay healthy. Asides from that, we have a team for the Cup. You don’t want to sit here today and say that anything less would be a disappointment because you have to stay healthy. And we got pretty banged up at the end of the year last year, and as for ’11 we stayed fairly healthy. So like I said you need luck. There are a lot of great teams in this league and we feel we are one of the elite teams but a lot of things have to go your way.

On if Carl Söderberg is listed as retroactive…
PETER CHIARELLI: Retroactive. Seven days from the date of injury.

On when the seven days begun…
PETER CHIARELLI: When he got injured. Were you in Saskatoon?

On if Soderberg is not eligible for Thursday’s game but is for Saturday’s game…
PETER CHIARELLI: If he is healthy, yes and if we take him off RIR [Retroactive Injured Reserve]

On if they are interested to see what they can get out of Milan Lucic…
CLAUDE JULIEN: I don’t have any worries about Looch [Milan Lucic]. I think it’s a whole different situation. Last year when he came in he probably wasn’t in the best shape and it really was a struggle through the regular season but he found his game at the right time. And as coaches we’ll often see that they play the best hockey at the most important time of the year and he was able to do that. He was extremely good in the playoffs for us and this year there’s no doubt he came in in good shape. He’s got a good focus, here’s a guy that throughout his career he’s been a leader on every team he’s been on and as Mr. Jacobs alluded to him earlier, he’s been with us now for his seventh year. And there is no doubt he wants to be a good leader for our hockey club so he is going to be a guy hats going to certainly be good for us this year, I’m very confident about that and he’s shown that already in preseason that he’s ready to go. So my expectations are the same for everybody, not just for Looch. But I expect everybody to be at their best and they have different roles and they have different, I guess, levels of skills. But you have to play to your highest level and that’s the expectation of the twenty players in the dressing room.

On David Krejci earning the “A” and his leadership…
PETER CHIARELLI: The same way Claude [Julien] talked about Milan applies to David [Krejci]. These guys are entering the second half of their twenties, they’ve been here a long time, they see how we operate, they see what we expect and while Krech [David Krejci] has the “A”, we could give it to two or three guys. With Krech specifically, to me, he’s a quiet leader. He demands a lot from himself and he demands a lot from his teammates and he can lead by example. There’s three of four guys that can do the same thing. Krech is a proud leader too so it was good to see that “A” be put on Krech and when talking about playing your best hockey at the right time of the year, he certainly has done that and that’s how me and everyone else saw it. It’s the strength of our group that allows these guys to grow into their leadership roles and that’s partially how we build the team.

On how much he is looking forward to Behind the B playing out…
CHARLIE JACOBS: I think it’s been – I watched last night’s show after I watched a little bit of the Stanley Cup ceremony in Chicago.
CAM NEELY: Really?
CHARLIE JACOBS: Yeah. They kept me a little bit off of the show on purpose because I think they were afraid I was going to steal the camera from these two over here [Cam Neely and Peter Chiarelli] but I do think it’s been great to engage our fan base. I looked at the numbers and the ratings from last night, the first showing of our second episode and I personally as a fan we’re showing scenes of what’s really happening behind the scenes, so to speak, regarding player personnel decisions that you really want to know. And that peaks interest and we all spoke to it and we’ve heard a few times since it was said up here, it just raises the awareness in market of just how popular hockey is and the Bruins and what it means to this community.

On lessening Zdeno Chara’s minutes…
PETER CHIARELLI: That’s probably a question better suited for Claude [Julien]. I’ll start, Claude, you can finish.
CLAUDE JULIEN: It’s all yours.
PETER CHIARELLI: Unfortunately, I'm not behind the bench there but he plays a heavy game and he is in the second half of his thirties. I don’t know if there is a guy in the NHL who is in as good of shape as Zee [Zdeno Chara]. There will be a – again Claude you can speak to that – but there will be some effort here and there to scale it back but it’s how he plays, he is a smart player. I think you’ve already seen with him in front of the net on the power play. He doesn’t have to go back and lug the puck up and then over the course of the game that can expend energy. And again, I haven’t seen any signs and you see the type of person he is and the condition he is in so let me know when you see signs.

On what he is seeing on the second line with Loui Eriksson…
CLAUDE JULIEN: Well I think, again, those guys didn’t have a ton of chances to play together. [Patrice] Bergeron missed the first few games because we are obviously cautious from last year’s injury. But they seem to be getting better every time you see them practice. The chemistry is building there, I think you have a smart player in [Loui] Eriksson that understands the two way game. And we’re talking about that, Bergeron being such a good two-way player. He’s certainly going to compliment that but let’s not kid ourselves, he is a highly skilled player who has a really good vision and shoots the puck well. He finds the holes and I think it’s just a matter of time before you see those guys really be a force. Game in and game out I find that Loui is a lot like Bergy [Patrice Bergeron] as far as his focus to the game. He is a very focused individual, he pays attention to details and Marshy [Brad Marchand] is one of those guys who is determined to have a good year again this year and I think he’s had an average camp but just chatting with him and talking about the start of the season he knows there are certain things he has to get better at. So that whole line I think is going to be a real good line for us. Again, Loui being a really good experienced player on that line will help the line do better.

On how much he is going to use Tuukka this year…
CLAUDE JULIEN: Probably more of the latter, as needed based. I think, I was telling those guys just a few, or whatever, a few days ago, I’m not a coach that will take a schedule and start marking the days where the goaltender is going to play. I think a lot of things come in to play when it comes to making those decisions. That could be whether he’s hot, whether he’s struggling, whether he’s tired, whether he’s injured. So for me to go through a whole season and mark those things would be a waste of time in my book. So, there’s no doubt he’s our number one and is going to play a good portion of the games. But last year was a half season and he handled it extremely well. I have no doubt he’ll handle an 82 game schedule just as well but I think I'm going to gage it as we go along. We have a sixteen day break there in February so is he going to be with the Finnish team? Or is he not? Those kind of things all come in to play so you don’t want to look too far ahead. But my decisions are, most of the time are made almost week by week and kind of give them an idea of what we’re looking at and it’s never carved in stone so you can change your mind. But that’s basically how I operate with my goaltenders since the first day I got here.
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