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Postpractice Quotes on 4/25

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
BOSTON BRUINS PRACTICE QUOTES

Friday, April 25, 2014

BOSTON BRUINS HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN PRESS CONFERENCE AT 1:30 PM
On Tuukka Rask being named a Vezina finalist…
To me, it’s a now brainer, he’s had such a good year. He has been so good for us and he has had an unbelievable season. He did well at the Olympics for his team too but this is based on the NHL. I just think he has had a great year and would be really disappointed had he not been one of the three nominees.

On what the atmosphere is after a player misses an open net and the game is won…
There’s no doubt the guys are joking about it. He is even more relaxed about it today. Two open nets and those are the things that are going to happen. But at the end of the day, when you can win those games it makes it a lot easier. Had it been the other way around I’m sure a lot of people would have lacked some sleep last night. But we are able to laugh about it and it’s just part of the game. It happens and it’s not the first time that that has happened and it won’t be the last time.

On what he has learned about Jarome Iginla that he didn’t know about…
I think I’ve heard this exact same question already, no just thought I was having a déjà vu there. But the thing about Jarome [Iginla] is he’s just the ultimate team player. He’s all about team, he leads by example, he’s a hard worker, he’s a committed player. No matter what age he is at, people think he’s at, he continue to be a physical player, he continues to be a player that competes hard every night. I don’t think I can tell you honestly that there was a game this season that I’ve said Jarome [Iginla] just really isn’t there. Doesn’t mean that he had all the great games but his compete level is always there. And I’ve said that before, I think what he has done is made that line better this year just with his consistency. He has pushed the other two guys to be more consistent.

On what positivity he can take out of last year’s postseason…
We can learn a lot from last year. Obviously, you can look at whichever way you want. It doesn’t mean just because it’s happened before it has to be the same thing. There are different situations all the time. Right now, we have yet to lose respect for that team we are playing against. They have added some good players to their lineup last game. A guy like [Henrik] Zetterberg can only get better and his second game, better than he was in his first. So there’s a respect factor there that we have to be really good tomorrow if we want to end the series. If not, then we’re going back to their building and that’s something we would prefer not to do.

On if he senses an attitude change in the locker room now that they are one game away from ending the series…
Well, we can, I guess it depends on how you want to look at it. We look at it one game at a time, we know that tomorrow’s win is just as important as the first three. But there is meaning to tomorrow’s win and that is what is a little bit different. We can end it tomorrow but the urgency still has to be there and the focus still has to be there. I thought our first period of yesterday – it wasn’t that it was bad but we didn’t quite play our game and because of that, they were able to get some opportunities and some speed through the neutral zone. We didn’t have the numbers coming back, it wasn’t so much the stretch guy, it was more of the second wave that was coming through. Once we got that taken care of, our game kind of found its rhythm again and we started playing the way we wanted to.

On an update about Chris Kelly…
You can refer to Peter’s [Chiarelli] quote there before playoffs started. You don’t give up do you?

On how dominating the faceoff circle has contributed to their success…
I think, you know, the faceoff has always been a big part of our game and winning those draws and starting with the puck. Teams always talk about the puck possession; well winning those draws certainly helps that part of it. But at the same time, the second part of your – the second guy getting the puck is about making the right decision, whether it goes right to the D as you saw yesterday, it’s a quick goal at the end of a power play. But if not, it’s managing the puck well. If we’re going to win face-offs, we don’t want to just give it back to the other team. So, we try and manage the puck the best we can here and from our end it’s about breaking out cleanly. From the other end, it’s about creating some sort of a scoring chance or at least some offensive zone time.

On what he has seen from the young defenders and how some of them are handling the second time through…
I think the same thing as what we saw with them last year except with more experience. I think those guys are – I look at Dougie Hamilton, he’s had an unbelievable start to the playoffs. Not only is he really good in containing to make those great offensive plays, he’s also been physical, he’s also be strong defensively and that’s just a guy, again, getting more confidence and we know he is getting stronger as he gets older here. There is still a lot ahead for him but none the less, what we’re seeing right now has been really, really good. [Matt] Bartkowski is another young defenseman and [Torey] Krug is just – they’re just continuing to do what they did last year for us. They’re moving the puck well, they’re carrying it when they have the space, and to me the difference is probably just from the amount of experience they have gained throughout the year.

On how big a deal is a goalie’s forgiveness for young defenders mistakes…
Well, you now, again, I don’t think there was a ton of mistakes by those guys. I think the biggest thing with them was to teach them to battle well along the walls and that kind of stuff. But our goalies are there to make those kind of saves and bail your team out. A lot of times, it’s not just the Ds it could be a lazy forward coming back or a second wave coming through but Tuukka [Rask] has been up to the task and that’s probably why he has been nominated this year as a Vezina Trophy finalist.

On how Carl Soderberg has responded to Chris Kelly not being in the lineup…
He continues to be good. His face-offs were good for the most part there yesterday. He had a really good start to it and I think that line was really good for us yesterday. Carl [Soderberg], to me, was probably one of our better players yesterday, the way he skated, the plays he made, he was on the puck all the time. He is an unbelievable player and we are fortunate to have him. You know, we have a guy like him and Loui [Eriksson] on your third line, I guess, as a team you find yourself as a pretty spoiled team because there are not too many teams who can have that kind of quality on their third line.

On Milan Lucic staying on the ice after his shift…
Yeah, well I think he saw the opportunity and, the thing I liked about him, he drove right to the net. He stopped, a lot of times you see guys go hard to the net and they curl away but he stopped and as you saw, Carl [Soderberg] but the puck right no his stick. That to me was a big goal. It just gave us – you could see our whole bench get some life out of that goal and again, it was a matter of trying to get that first goal and he was able to produce us with that.  That’s the kind of player Looch [Milan Lucic] is, he loves this time of year and he takes it seriously. He gets pretty emotional before every game as far as being ready to go and we need that from him.

On if Carl Soderberg had to break habits in order to figure out the Bruins system…
Yeah, I don’t think it was habits he had to get out of. I think it was more about of understanding what we needed him to do as a centerman. I guess every team you play for, every league you play in, have different systems and views on how to do things. For him, it was just about adjusting. Until it becomes second nature, you’re always thinking out there and when you’re thinking, you’re slowing yourself down. I think right now he’s just getting more comfortable. He’s playing, reading the situation more easily and because of that, he’s becoming a better player. There is no hesitation ion his defensive zone coverage now and that has really helped a lot because he always had Chris Kelly to lean on for the longest time and now the pressure is on him to do the job. He doesn’t have Chris [Kelly] so it is probably a good thing for him and he’s done a great job of being the better player down low.

BOSTON BRUINS GOALTENDER TUUKKA RASK
On being nominated for the Vezina Trophy…
It’s a great honor to be nominated. Obviously it’s something you don’t necessarily — you dream about these individual awards when you’re a kid, too. It’s great recognition, but everybody knows were a team-first team and it’s something that comes after the biggest trophy.

On being snubbed last year…
As I said, it’s something that comes after the Stanley Cup. That’s your main goal. If you get nominated, it’s great. If not, then it doesn’t matter. But I feel honored to be nominated and happy to go to Vegas for the first time in my life.

On playing so well after signing his contract extension last summer…
You know, I feel good. I feel like I wasn’t a disappointment. I guess it’s something — you just try to be as good as people think you are and you think you are. So I accomplished that in the regular season and there’s still a lot to prove in the playoffs.

On the team’s defense…
It’s great. You don’t get these nominations or wins for those trophies without your teammates, obviously, and if you look at our team, it’s built — our defense is great, and we have such good depth on offense and guys score a lot of goals, but they still take pride in their defensive game, too. So from a goalie standpoint, that’s a huge help.

On the young defensemen on this team…
I mean, I guess it’s always a learning curve, especially in the start of the season when the guys haven’t played together that much and they’re still trying to learn each others’ habits out there. But for me, I always try to be the last guy on the defense and give us a chance to win. But I think as a team, we got just better and better as the season went on and guys proved a lot.

On Saturday’s Game 5…
We accomplished something on the road we really wanted to do. We have a chance to close the series at home. It’s an opportunity we really have to use and won’t be easy, but seeing how our game has improved during this series, it’s a good sign, and I think coming home tomorrow, we just have to really focus on our start and try to get that lead and protect it.

On what he learned from last year’s first-round series…
You get these opportunities, and sometimes, it’s more of a mental challenge than a physical challenge. You kind of start thinking about the end score of the game before the game even starts, and you kind of feel and hope that you get to do that. But I think we’ve learned over the years that it doesn’t help us. We just have to focus on our job and the game itself and then the results will take care of themselves. I hope we learned from the past years and are ready for tomorrow.

On Jimmy Howard missing Game 4…
I think he had the flu or something. I don’t know.

On carrying over his strong play at the Olympics into the second stretch of the season…
Yeah, I think it was a confidence booster, for sure — getting a medal and playing good hockey there helped a lot. It’s not so much the physical rest, obviously, but it’s a change of scenery, and then when you play that good there, you kind of feel like you want to keep that going. I guess for myself and for the other guys, too, it was really a confidence booster, and I just tried to hold on to that feeling and play good.

On the point at which he new he could succeed at this level…
I don’t know — I guess I felt that all along. But when you play more, and you get consecutive starts, and you kind of feel like you’ve proved yourself in the league, and you feel that you can play a lot of games in a row at a good level, then you just try to build on that and keep working hard. But I’ve always felt like as long as I get my chances, I’ll be able to play. So then it’s not so much to get there, but then the toughest part of things is just to maintain that level and stay at the top. 
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