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Running Quotes: Bruins vs. Calgary Flames 3/1/16

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
BOSTON BRUINS POSTGAME QUOTES

BOSTON BRUINS VS CALGARY FLAMES
Tuesday, March 1, 2016

BOSTON BRUINS HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN POSTGAME AT 9:50 PM
On the overall performance of the team tonight…
You know I thought that we could have competed a little harder.  I think the pace of our game wasn’t bad, you know the puck definitely moved better tonight from the back end there tonight.  You had another defenseman and it balances things out.  We had some chances there where we either missed the net or fanned on the shot so that kind of tilted things a little bit in the wrong direction but you know I thought we could have played harder.  For two periods they were grittier and we weren’t as involved in that area as I would have liked to and because of that, it just made it a 1-0 game.  So, thankfully our power play came through in the end and we were able to score a real important goal.

On if it was a relief to get that power play goal…
Well the goal itself, again we had some chances tonight and burying our opportunities is what seems to be a bit of the issue or probably the biggest issue of it all.  There were some power plays there, I think our first one wasn’t very good but we had some chances on the others and we couldn’t bury them.  You know part of the power play, I guess criteria, is that you have to bury your chances so that’s something we have to get better at.  It was nice to see them get that goal, more for me it was the fact that we got the lead again.  This was an important game for us to win, it’s not going to get any easier going forward, we know that, so we had to win this game tonight.

On what he thought of the new guys tonight…
They were good.  They were good.  You’ve seen the guys that we got in the trade but I thought Noel [Acciari] himself, I thought he handled himself real well, very responsible and gritty and you know seemed to be in the right place for the most part.  I thought he handled himself well for a guy in his first game.

On the teams’ improvement of allowing shots against tonight…
Well you know again, I think I look at the game as a whole that we didn’t give that many goals, I think we did a better job because if anything Calgary is a team that likes to attack with a 4 man attack all the time, their D’s are up the ice and they don’t back off, they go right to the net.  I thought we did a pretty good job of back checking and cutting off some of those small play around the net area, so that was better.  So as far as shots against, it was nice to see us keep that under 40 and obviously we’ll look at the chances, again I don’t know exactly how many chances they had, they definitely didn’t have that many, I don’t think we had that many ourselves.

On how much of the system he could install into the new guys before tonight…
Well that’s what we wanted them to do tonight, we kind of explained a little bit this morning what we do, I think it was an easy transition for Lee [Stempniak] because you know playing in New Jersey, they do a lot of the same things we do here, so I think he walked into a very similar situation.  John-Michael [Liles] has played for different teams as you know and he has played different systems so the way we play here, he has played before but this year in Carolina they were more of a man on man down low in their own end there so a bit of an adjustment but I thought he did a great job of adjusting.  I didn’t see any big issues there.

On what he thought of the play of the fourth line…
Well it didn’t take them long to get that first goal right?  They stepped on the ice and it was in the net.  So I think we got two guys there with some experience, you know Landon [Ferraro] has been here now for a while and Cons [Brett Connolly] and like I said Noels [Noel Acciari] was very reliable so I thought that line handled themselves well tonight.

On flipping Beleskey and Eriksson in the third period…
Yeah I didn’t think we were getting much out of [David] Krejci’s line for two periods so you know, put a little grit in there and Loui [Eriksson] has always done well with Spoons [Ryan Spooner] so it’s about making change for the right reasons and I thought as you saw, Loui [Eriksson] made a big play there in the battle to get the winning goal on Bergy’s [Patrice Bergeron] stick so you know a great effort.  I thought his third period was better and you know the grit that we put on [David] Krejci’s line helped that line a little bit as well.


BOSTON BRUINS CENTER PATRICE BERGERON
On if there is a sense of relief for him and the rest of the first power play unit after scoring tonight…
Yeah, definitely. I think tonight was one of those games where we needed to come up big, especially after what we said before that last one, we had to make a play at some point. It was late in the game and it was an important goal obviously and yeah I think we had a few good looks and chances but you know at the end of the day you got to bear down and put the puck in the back of the net.

On getting a crucial two points tonight with the schedule getting tougher…
Yeah it’s big points that we need. I thought we didn’t generate enough shots early on and in the third it was way better. We could see and tell that we were more assertive with our plays and making better decisions and putting more pucks on net. But yeah, you’re right I mean the two points were really important for us and it was something that we talked about before the game. We know how hard the schedule is coming up and how important and how tight the standings are.

On his initial impressions of Lee Stempniak…
He’s a great player, he’s been around for awhile. He knows where to be on the ice, he’s got a great shot and good speed as well. Every time you have a new linemate it’s about communicating and talking and getting used to each other and I thought in the third period it was already a lot better.

On his game-winning goal…
It was just a great play by everyone to move the puck around and spread out their penalty kill and I knew the puck was coming from Ryan [Spooner] and I was trying to get a good shot on net.

On the importance of creating movement on the power play…
Yeah, it’s important to try to find ways or different – switch it up I guess and find ways to create something. Change the tendencies a bit for the other team and make it harder for them. I think they all have video and they all look at it, I tend to think that we were very good early on in the year – kind of take what was there from the penalty kill and we need to get back to that and just kind of read and create from what’s on the ice, what’s there and not worry too much about trying to make the same plays over again.

On the importance of getting results in the first game of a homestand…
Yeah it was important. We thought about how big the points are and after the trade deadline I think you know that this is the team and this is where we’re going - with who we are going with I mean. You have to find a way to gel quickly and I thought it was one of those steps forward where tonight was an important game for us and we know that it’s a tough schedule coming up and it was good for the new guys I think to have their first game under their belt right away at home they can now look forward.

On getting everyone on the same page before games against Chicago and Washington…
Yeah, really important. We talked about finding ways to be better at home, have a better record and you know I think it’s a step forward. We can be better, but you know we know this week is really important for us and that we got to gain some ground I guess and keep moving forward and take care of our destiny I guess. If we do that we won’t have to worry about the standings.

BOSTON BRUINS GOALTENDER TUUKKA RASK…
On how he thought tonight went in regards to shots against…
Well 25 shots so it went better. It felt like…it reminded me about, you know, a few years back when we used to give up 20 or 30 shots and not 20 scoring chances. We kept it tight. Obviously the other team is going to get some chances but for the most part we eliminated them pretty well and didn’t make too many mistakes in our end and it was a tight game…

On the backcheck and the forecheck…
Yeah just having your guys around. I remember one play in the first period Pasta [David Pastrnak] had his guy on the back door there and probably prevented a goal. And you need some plays like that and you know that was a great sign.

On what happened on the goal where he lost his stick…
I lost my stick and I had to stay down because I didn’t want to expose my five-hole and then I was too late covering and the one-timer went in.

On how important this win was because the road ahead will not be easier…
Yeah well every game is very important from here on in. And obviously we want to play well and keep improving and get the wins because it’s definitely not going to get any easier. So it was a good win today. And you know real tough games coming up this week and hopefully we can keep things tight and get some points.

On what his work schedule might be coming down the stretch…
We’ll see…probably a lot of games.

On both sides not having a lot of chances…
Yeah I think we’re still in a process of finding that balance, you know, of playing tight defense and still creating scoring chances. Because a lot of times when we create a lot of scoring chances then we also give up a lot. And today we didn’t create a lot and we didn’t give up a lot and ended up winning, which is a great sign. But once we find that good balance between having good offense and still having layers defensively I think we’re going to be in good shape.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD BRETT CONNOLLY

On whether it was gratifying to contribute to that goal early on after losing his regular spot on the third line…
Yeah, no, it was good. You know obviously to chip in you know any way I can tonight. Obviously I didn’t play a whole lot, but to get one early – Landon [Ferraro] made a huge shot and [Torey Krug] Kruger made a good pass, so it was good to see it go in.

On how much impact he thought his and Krug’s play along the boards had on that goal…
Yeah I think you know obviously [Torey Krug] Kruger made a good play to leave it to me and then you know he called for it right back, so I gave it back to him, and he made a good play to Landon [Ferraro] who was wide open coming off the bench. So you know it was a good start obviously for our line and it was good to see that one go in like I said before.

On how tough it was to get the offense going tonight…
Yeah I think that we were – I don’t think we were playing bad, I just think we were maybe playing a little too much on the perimeter and not getting as many shots as we wanted. But I think that we were better in the third period obviously. You know we’re not obviously completely happy with the way we played, but you know again a win’s a win. And we know who’s coming in the next two games and we know we’ve got to be a little bit better to obviously give ourselves a chance to win against you know arguably two of the best teams in the league right now coming in two games in four nights. So we’ve got to be ready, we know that, and we’ll be ready.

On how you adjust to playing fewer minutes and keep your legs warm…
Yeah it’s different. You know you’ve got to kind of you know try and keep your legs going as much as you can. And when you’re playing a lot like I was in the past, you’re not really thinking, you’re just playing, your legs were in it all game. But when you’re sitting there a little bit longer you know your legs get a little heavy. But you’ve got to try and stay in the game. And I thought for the most part our line was pretty good tonight for the minutes that we did play, and I thought Noel [Acciari] had a good game for his first game, and obviously Landon [Ferraro] chipped in. So I thought we did our job, and you know we should be happy with the way we played.

On whether he expected the roster changes to impact him and his playing time…
Well they made a decision, and I’m not going to sit here and cry about it. I thought that, I thought the moves were good, and you know our team got better, and that’s a GM’s job is to make the team better. And you know, we’ll see what happens, things can change, and it’s all about getting wins right now. So you’ve got to be ready to play every night no matter where you are and help the team win. You know I thought we did that tonight.

On whether he sees the fourth line bringing a little more speed and skill with them and a little less “crash and bang”…
Yeah I thought we made some plays, like I said with the minutes that we had. So wherever I do slot in, you just want to try and do your best and help the team win, and like I said before, I thought we were good. And you know if we do stay together, we need to be good on both ends of the rink, obviously. You know you want to be put out there a little bit more, so you’ve got to show Claude [Julien] obviously that you can show through a little more and you know we’ll see what happens.

BOSTON BRUINS DEFENSEMAN TOREY KRUG
On grinding out the win in the third period…
Yeah it doesn’t matter at this point of the year obviously we’re trying to work on things in our game and improve but tonight we played a team [Calgary] on the second night of a back-to-back, we were thinking there as long as we keep playing our way we’ll eventually get one in the third period and our power play came through for us. That was definitely a bonus.

On how he felt Lee Stempniak and John-Michael Liles looked…
They looked good. Stempy [Lee Stempniak] looked good with Patty [Patrice Bergeron] and Brad [Marchand] so I think that will work out well. He’s finding the small areas of the ice and making plays for them. You saw with Johnny [John-Michael Liles] he has the ability to get the pucks to our forwards and make sure they’re playing with the puck. I thought first night they worked out well.

On what it’s like playing against ex-teammate Dougie Hamilton…
I don’t know, I don’t really notice out there. He’s just another player on another team. Obviously I have a past friendship with him, but you don’t think about it at all.

On improving the power plays confidence with a goal tonight…
It was huge for us. I thought lately we’ve been having the opportunities and the chances but part of a power play is making sure were bearing down and scoring those chances. I thought to finally get one tonight helped, I thought we had a couple different looks, guys in different spots. I thought at the end of the day it really benefitted. Obviously with Spoons [Ryan Spooner] making the play with Bergy [Patrice Bergeron].

On if scoring tonight was needed to change things up…
Yeah when things go stale, I think it’s about movement. I think early on we had a lot more movement than maybe we have been lately. We can’t be content with just getting the chances, tonight it was a big goal by Bergy.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD LANDON FERRARO
On his goal tonight…
I think it was big. We were sitting there for a while with everything going on and it was our first shift and to get that one out of the way was nice. I thought we had a lot of speed and we were playing pretty well. So we were happy with it.

On if he was picking a shot or just shot it…
Just shooting. I mean it’s almost one of those ones where you have too much time- you just have to kind of bury your head and go for it.

On getting the win tonight and playing hard in the third period…
Yeah I mean I don’t think we were as sharp as we needed to be, but you know it was big for us that we come through on the power play at the end there. And you know Bergy [Patrice Bergeron] picked a spot real well and it was big to get those two points and not have to try and work for the other one in overtime. I know there was…it’s big for us, especially dropping the last one.

On Noel Acciari making his debut and what he had to do as his linemate to make him more comfortable…
Just told him to just play, you know. He did really well tonight. You know he skates well, he was good on the face-offs, and he knows where to be in the defensive zone. I didn’t feel like we had to try and make up for anything. He played extremely well and it was a nice little boost for us.

On making a difference on the ice despite not having too many minutes on the ice…
Yeah I mean that’s what you’re going to need out of the fourth line. Whether it’s going to be five minutes or 10 to 12, you just need to be able to do as much as you can with what you’re given. When you can make a difference on a positive side it’s when you know you’re going to be generally in a good spot as a team if you can chip in. I thought we did a pretty good job with what we were given tonight.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD NOEL ACCIARI

On his NHL debut…
It’s just a dream come true. And you know going into it I just tried to play my game and do anything I could to help the team out.

On establishing chemistry with his linemates…
Well those guys were great early on just talking to me, and making me feel comfortable out there, and just telling me to play my game. And you know our first shift out there together we – just something happened, I went to the net and [Landon] Ferraro just put it top shelf. It was a good feeling, first shift with them and first plus, which is really nice.

On what it’s like to play with Patrice Bergeron after growing up watching him…
Yeah he’s an unbelievable player, and just quick release, and you know he’s got an unbelievable shot. It’s great to see him, being able to play with him, and watching him live now on the bench. But yeah it’s just great playing overall. 

On how it feels to go from playing for the National Championship with Providence College only a year ago and playing in the NHL now…
You know everything kind of went by really fast actually. It’s just kind of a bit of a whirlwind. But you know, just take one day at a time and try and get better out here, and playing with these guys will definitely do that. Just keep working hard.

On what he wants to build on going into Thursday…
You know I just want to get a little more comfortable out there. I thought as the game went on I started to feel a lot more comfortable and just get used to the guys, my linemates. And I think with a couple more days I’ll feel a lot more comfortable and I think we can produce more out there.

On whether he had some nerves going into the game…
Oh definitely. I mean, going into it was a little nerve-wracking. I mean, I had to put my phone on airplane mode, just because I wanted to block out the distractions and try to focus on what I could do to help out the team best. You know, we got a win and that was huge for the team.

On coming into the league this late in the season with the playoff pressure building…
I think you’ve just got to take it one game at a time, one shift at a time, and you know work hard in practice. And I think we’ll be OK. I mean, we’ve just got to get some more shots to the net, but I think overall we’ll do a lot better.

On how he personally to prepares for that pressure…
For me, it’s more just kind of when I get my chance out there to just play hard, be hard to play against, throw my body around, get to the net when I can, and just be tough to play against.

On how he was a physical player with Providence College and whether it’s going to take some time to adjust to that level of physicality in this league…
Definitely. I mean, every guy out here is very shifty, and I can’t just go throw my body around and then I’ll be out of position. So it’s got to be timed kind of pretty perfectly. But I’ll definitely throw my body around when I can, and hopefully I’ll get some turnovers with that and help out the guys go score a goal.

On whether he’s taken his phone off airplane mode yet…
Nope, nope. I’ve got a little bike ride now, and I don’t know if I will for a little bit, just kind of let everything calm down.

On what he can learn from Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci as the centers ahead of him…
They’re very poised players, they’re smart with the puck, they see plays that are happening two steps in advance. It’s just great to see I mean them do that, and ask some questions and just kind of learn from them.

On whether it’s easier to be new knowing that there are a few other new faces in the locker room too…
Oh definitely. I mean, every guy in here was very welcoming though, and you know made it very easy for me to go out there and play my game, and I couldn’t ask for a better group.

On whether he expected to get called up or if it was a surprise…
No I mean I just – down in Providence I was just trying to play my game, work hard, and just crack away and wait until I got my shot. And you know it was a great surprise getting the call and I was excited for it, but then I knew I just had to continue my game up here, and work hard, and just continue to do what I did that got me here.

On his line coming together and scoring that goal…
I thought we were really well. I thought that we played well together for it being the first time skating together. I think it’ll get better from here on out. And they were great on the bench just talking, letting me know what’s going on, just kind of make sure that I know what to do out there, and just like play your game. It made me feel really comfortable. You know they were great to be with.

On how high his nerve-level was at the start…
You know warm-ups was a little nerve-wracking, and then after the first shift I settled down, and just got back to what got me here, and playing my game, and I felt better out there as the game went on.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD RYAN SPOONER
On getting the game winner on a power play…
Yeah it seems like it’s been two or three weeks since we scored a goal and we’ve been around the net and had some looks but just didn’t really get the actual bounces so it was nice to get one there.

On what changed from the second to third period to create more of those chances…
We just talked about it. I think we had 13 shots or something like that, which is not enough. So just tried to shoot a bit more and it seemed to work.

On if they changed anything about the power play…
I’ve been playing on my strong side a little bit; I was on my backside there. And on face-offs on the left side I’ve been trying to stay over there a little bit just to get a little bit of a different look. Not sure if we’re going to keep doing that but it definitely helped tonight.

On if they thought it was getting too predictable…
Yeah I mean we were trying to go into the middle of the ice a lot, which we actually scored on tonight. But at the beginning of the year I think we scoring on that a lot and I think teams were trying to close that off. So in the beginning of the year too we were just trying to get the puck to the top and teams I guess started to take that too so we just tried to change it up.

On how the team builds off this third period and continues to generate chances…
Yeah we play against the Caps and the Hawks- they’re two of the best teams in the league. They have a lot of speed and skill. So I think the approach for us is just try to keep to the outside and I guess just try to build off of the win tonight.

CALGARY FLAMES HEAD COACH BOB HARTLEY
On the first penalty of the night…
Yeah, we had too many men, it was the right call. We had a player that jumped on the ice too quick and the puck got in that area, so I thought that our penalty killing has been – was good all night, but on that one they got us.

On the spirits being up and playing well but still not getting the break…
Well, it’s just going to keep going and it’s going say a lot about the character on this hockey club, like we have a lot, and guys like [Jyrki] Jokipakka and [Garnet] Hathaway and all those guys. They’re coming in and they want to make a name for themselves. Plus, we have some players that – they need to put some money in the bank. So, there’s no reason to quit and obviously we’re not going to accept anyone quitting.

On his analysis of Jyrki Jokipakka first game…
I really liked his game, like very calm. Made a great play on [Jakub] Nakladal’s first NHL goal. I felt he was good; played tough, was very assertive in our defense zone, for no practice, thirty minute video session this morning kind of telling him what needed to be done and what to be expected. I give him my high marks because he played a pretty solid game.

On if he’s pleased with Garnet Hathaway’s effort…
Yeah, he comes as advertised, like talking with Ryan Huska? And Stockton? Like, this is the game that he plays up and down, goes at the net hard and makes things happen. So, pretty happy with his game also.

On if he was happy with Joni Ortio’s effort tonight…
Yeah, no, like Joni was very solid, like was very solid, in good control, and got beat by two great shots. So, I think to fault, you know what, I can’t fault the effort all night. You know, just a bad break at the end and that costed us the game.

On Joni Ortio deserving a win especially with the performance in the All-Star game…
Yeah, I know. He’s still looking for his first win of the season, and right now it’s tough because he plays much better than his win-loss record shows, but everyone is trying their best. I give our guys credit, like they kept battling all night. We were down one-zip [zero] and we got the equalizer, but it’s too bad they got that one.

On pestering Jakub Nakladal to shoot more often…
Yeah, he has a great shot probably one of the hardest shots on the team, and I’ve been telling him to shoot, shoot, shoot. I feel that he’s passing on too many shots and I was so glad. Like, here’s a great guy, he’s made a nice adjustment from the American Hockey League, which is totally new for him, but he’s a great young man to work with and we’re pushing for him.

CALGARY FLAMES JAKUB NAKLADAL
On how his goal played out…
Yeah, I was ready one shift before already and I yelled to him to pass to me, and fortunately he passed to me after that and we had a great shift there. We had a couple good chances there and spent one minute in their zone, so it was good shift. After that I try to just focus for my one timer and finally it was a goal.

On how he continues to find the consistency in his game…
Of course in this situation if you score or if you do some good things you have better confidence. So in my situation that’s the most important for me because I know I can still be so much better and today was a good game, I enjoyed the game with Joki [Jyrki Jokipakka], so I hope we continue with this play and I hope we win next game. 

On what he noticed about the two of them playing together…
Uh, absolutely nothing [laughter]. No, I saw him for the first time today and we just told each other, uh, let’s play simple. And, I knew that he was more, like a defensive guy so – and for me especially it is most important to play the best defense, and offensively it’s, like something more. So, I think today we – I hope we did a good job and hope we get to continue with this.

On how if that first goal lived up to be on how he hoped it would feel…
Like I say, it’s a great feeling and the coach is telling me every game that I have to shoot every puck because it’s my shot. And, I know if focus for a long time I have a hard shot. So, today I just tried to focus, like I said and it’s a great feeling and I have to keep working with it.

CALGARY FLAMES DEFENSEMAN DOUGIE HAMILTON …
On how he feels being back at the Garden…
A lot of time spent here, a lot of memories and stuff, so it brings back a lot of good memories and stuff so it was pretty cool, but yeah I guess a lot of fun.

On what he thought of the crowd booing him…
I don’t know I kind of liked it so… it kept me going.

On why he liked the crowd booing him…
I don’t know I just did. They are obviously watching me out there… it means something to them so it’s just motivation for me.

On why he thought they were booing him…
It doesn’t matter to me, I don’t really care.

On if he had any exchange of words with his former teammates on the ice…
Yeah a little bit, I think I’ll probably see some now and I’ve been talking to some in the last couple of days, too. So it’s nice to I guess come back here and see them. It’s unfortunate that we didn’t have a day here yesterday to go for a dinner with some guys, it was a quick little trip, but just kinda cool to play against them again.

On if he ran into any fans in Boston that wished him luck…
Yeah I mean, a lot of support tonight I think. Just went and saw some right now in the stands and heard a lot of positive… saw a lot of jerseys and stuff. I think you’ve got to think about that kind of stuff and those fans instead of the ones that are booing you and stuff like that.

On how he saw a lot of people wearing his old Bruins jersey…
Yeah, I thought it was pretty cool. It shows that a lot of people here liked me and I love the support from them so it’s kind of… it’s a good feeling.

On how he thinks his team has been playing and where they want to be…
Yeah I mean it’s... we’re a young team and developing for the future and stuff so, if you look at our core players, we are young players and we are only getting better. We’ve got to just keep developing as a team and keep improving and hopefully we can win a cup one day.

On what he thinks of the Bruins as a team…
Yeah I thought they were pretty good. I mean I think I liked our teams in the past better when I was there and I think they made a lot of changes and stuff, too. So there are a lot of faces you don’t really know, it’s not quite the same as before, but at the same time they play a really good system and didn’t really give us many opportunities.

On if he has any regrets for leaving the Bruins…
No.

On if he regrets putting the organization in a tough spot…
I enjoyed my time here and  thankful for all the opportunities and stuff. I developed a lot as a player in I guess the three years I was here, I learned a lot and everything, so I’m just thankful for them and the opportunities they game me and everything. You’ve just got to think of that stuff and move on, it’s a… I think I’m happy being a Flame now and it feels so far removed already, I think it doesn’t really feel the same as earlier on in the seasons where it was kind of fresher. I feel like I’m more part of the Flames now and I’m enjoying myself.

On if he was surprised on what some of his teammates might have been saying about him…
No I think I’ve only heard positives from all of them. I think when you ask any of the guys, I think they’ll tell you what I’m really like and I think that’s the important thing.

CALGARY FLAMES FORWARD JOHNNY GAUDREAU…
On why he thinks they couldn’t find what they were looking for…
I think it was a pretty good defensive game but you know both teams and we were caught in the middle, getting pucks in deep and you know we were trying to grind defensemen down and it’s a good defensive game, but you know they found a way to score on the power play there in the end.

On how difficult it has been with the past two games and not being where they want to be…
Yeah, it’s extremely difficult. You know, no one likes losing. So it’s been happening here lately and we’ve got to change it here. You know I think four or five games could have been the opposite way around you know we are losing by one or two goals here every single game. You know we’ve got to get a couple good bounces here and you know get a couple good wins.

On if he has any positive thoughts on Jakub Nakladal’s first NHL goal…
Yeah it was a great shot, it as a nice play. It was a good shift all around, I think they’re cycling it pretty well down low and got it up to the point and D-to-D and got a quick shot on net. You know, congrats on him for his first goal. 

On what the difference was on their first power play…
Yeah we weren’t good enough. We’ve been struggling all year and it’s what it comes down to. They get a power play goal and we don’t, and they get the win.

On how difficult it was against the Bruins defense...
Yeah they played good defensively, you know they clogged the middle. The only way we score was getting up top and trying to find a screen, but we couldn’t find one.


BOSTON BRUINS HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN PREGAME PRESS CONFERENCE AT 10:40 A.M.
On what the message is that he takes from what Don Sweeney did at yesterday’s trade deadline…

I think we’re always trying to get better here, and he’s added players to our team so that we can be even more competitive. So we should look at that as a sign of a general manager who believes in us and thinks we can get better here.

On the younger players maybe not getting the opportunity they had before…

Well, I don’t think that’s necessarily accurate, as far as are they’re not going to get a chance? We’ve got some veterans in here, but players have had a chance to grow all year long here and they’re going to continue to grow, whether they get the same amount of ice time or playing time or whatever the case is. At one point, you build a team in order to be able to compete and to try and be the best. When less people, your fans want to see you go through growing pains versus see you win, we’re trying to balance both here. I think that’s what we’ve done well this year. We’ve had a lot of young guys play a lot and they still are, there’s still some young players here, but there are some veterans here stepping into our lineup to help us down the stretch run.

On how he will balance having Lee Stempniak fit the Bruins system and keep playing the way he has to be so successful this year…

Talking about Lee Stempniak? I don’t think he has to adjust to anything because the Devils played a very, very similar style to ours, although people think they’re still defensive minded and all that stuff. I know that when we watched the play, a coach that’s spent a lot of years here definitely had an influence on their approach to their game, they do a lot of things very similar to ours. So I don’t think it’s going to be a big adjustment for him, I think he’s going to fit right in.

On what kind of challenges he will have with three new pieces in the lineup…

None. None, there’s no challenges there. It’s adding new faces and moving forward with what we have here. I don’t see it as a challenge, I see it as an opportunity for those guys. I also see it as an opportunity for our team to be better, so it’s opportunity versus challenges.

On if John-Michael Liles is an option to play either side on defense…

He can play both sides.

On if he can give a hint as to where Stempniak will play in the lineup…

Yeah, he’s going to play the wing tonight.

With who?

Well, haven’t decided that yet. I like the suspense that you guys have on those. I like to get your suggestions, you know, then I can bounce those off and then make a decision. Then you guys can see who the winner is.

On what the scouting report is for Noel Acciari

No, I haven’t except for training camp. But I like what I saw from training camp, a real strong, gritty guy, good hockey sense, skates, forechecks hard. Will go to the dirty areas and so on, so forth. We’re going to have a real good look at him here, it’s a great opportunity for him, but it’s certainly coming in at this time of the season, for him to have that opportunity is pretty special. We’ll have a good look at him tonight, we’ll see how well he does. I suspect he’ll do well, from what I hear I’ve had nothing but great reports on him. So we’ll see where he is when it comes to playing at this level.

On if Stempniak and Liles are coming from man-to-man defenses…

Nope. Liles maybe a little bit more, but he’s played both. I talked to him, he’s played both systems there. Stempniak, with New Jersey, like I said, they play a very similar style to ours.

On if teams generally have a sense of relief following the trade deadline…

Yeah, it does. You see that, just like yesterday I was honest in saying that you could see the guys a little bit tense. It’s always a tense moment the day of the final trade deadline and then the next day it’s the complete opposite, guys are happy they’re here. Given Loui’s [Eriksson] situation, to know that he’s here makes a big difference for him. I could sense the last couple of games he wasn’t as comfortable as I’d seen him, which is totally natural. So it’s nice to see him relaxed and saying, ‘OK, I know I’m here for the rest of the year.’ And we’re hoping for maybe longer, so we’ll see where that goes.

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