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Pregame Notebook 11.15

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
BOSTON -- Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien touched on a number of topics during today's pregame media availability, but first and foremost was the NHL's decision not to suspend Milan Lucic for his collision with Buffalo Sabres netminder Ryan Miller.

No Suspension for Lucic
Julien said he wasn't surprised that his forward wasn't given any supplemental discipline.

"I guess from our end of it, we were convinced it wasn't deliberate and we were hoping that that's the decision that was going to be [made] and it was," said Julien, who did not want to get into the comments coming in about the collision from Buffalo. "You know, people get frustrated, people talk and you don't hold those kind of things against people.

"They're entitled to their opinion and you just move along here. We can't react to everything that's being said out there. Everybody has their own opinion and we're just happy it was dealt with the way it is and we're ready to move on."

Julien's final thought on Lucic was about his play going into tonight's tilt with New Jersey.

"He's played really well," said Julien. "I mean, he had a slow start but it didn't take him long to find his stride and I thought that you know, he's been playing extremely well, going to the front of the net, and using his size to protect the puck.

"He's fore-checking well," continued the B's head coach. "He's doing a lot of things, he's playing extremely well and so his game is where it should be and hopefully it continues to be that way and nothing's going to change."

Seguin's Becoming a Star
Another player who is on top of his game is Tyler Seguin.

"And that's probably the most unfortunate part of [the media attention on the Lucic/Miller collision]," said Julien. "We have a young player also who was First Star of the Week and we seem to be wanting to talk about the other stuff instead of a guy who's done a lot for our team this year and that kind of got overshadowed

"I think he deserves a lot of credit for what he's done in the last week and I'm pretty proud of...the way he's played so far this year and that kind of unfortunately seems to be on the back burner right now."

Julien said that Tyler is proving hockey pundits right.

"I think the reason he was drafted and he was ranked first overall is because everybody seemed to see the potential that he had and I guess the scoop on him was that he may not have had the same experience as a Taylor Hall had in winning two Memorial Cups, playing for the World Junior team and that kind of stuff," said Julien. "So maybe he wasn't quite as advanced in that area but they all predicted he was going to be a great player and they were obviously right.

"How quick he was going to come around, I don't think anybody knew. But we saw his skill level last year, we saw everything else except that he was a young man coming and making a big leap, playing with men and he had to get stronger, he had to get more experience, he had to get braver and all that stuff and that's not a knock against him, it's more about understanding who you're playing against.

"This year he's come in and...[is] going into corners battling and battling hard to get the puck out and a totally different player and because he's like that and feeling very comfortable out there on the ice," he said.

And the B's bench boss believes that Seguin's experience, coupled with his skill set, has made him a very dangerous player.

"I think his skill level -- and the fact that he's grown and he's gotten stronger -- is just making him an even better player," said Julien. "So you know, are we surprised he is where he is in the league scoring? Absolutely. I think it's a great, great surprise for us.

"But did we ever think he would get there? Absolutely. Just didn't know when."

Military Appreciation Night
Julien also took a few moments to talk about tonight's Boston Bruins Military Appreciation Night.

"I mean, these are guys that put their lives on the line every day for us to be able to do what we're doing here today -- we're going to have a great hockey game tonight and everything else -- and we could never say thank you enough to those people," said Julien. "We are in fortunate positions to be able to do some things to help them, help their families and everybody else and the last game was certainly probably a good example of what you're saying."

Julien referenced the B's work to facilitate last week's center ice reunion between Pembroke's Daron and Lori Jacobs and their son Lt. Charlie Jacobs. The B's head coach said that there was a little extra motivation for his players after witnessing that puck drop, and indicated that events like Military Appreciation Night were important.

"They're always going to have our support," said Julien of the military members and their families. "I know that for a fact and the more we can do for them, the better."

Injury Report
Coach Julien said injured defenseman (lower body injury) skated on Tuesday.

"That's his first day of skating," he said. "He's come along so he started skating again today and hopefully he'll progress becomes a 'day-to-day' the minute he steps on the ice."

Julien said that Ference might skate on Wednesday.

"I might be able to tell you that tonight, but right now I haven't spoken to the trainers about him," said Julien.
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