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Running Quotes for Bruins vs. Blackhawks on 3/27

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
BOSTON BRUINS POSTGAME QUOTES

BOSTON BRUINS VS CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS
Thursday, March 27, 2014
   
BRUINS HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE
On strong play in the third period...
Well I think the biggest thing is, you never want to play on your heels. A lot of teams, and this team here in the past many years ago, was a team that kind of was always afraid to lose and would sit back and would let teams come at them in the third period. So, we’ve been encouraging our guys for years now to stay on their toes and when you’ve got a one-goal lead you want to extend it before you even think about protecting that lead, you want to extend those kinds of leads. So, we like to play on our toes versus on our heels and I think just going after teams and the fact that we seem to have lots of energy and seem to be fresh in the third period – it just seems to be working out well for us.

On the structure of the team’s play as they close out the regular season...
We’re good. I mean, we’re in the right position right now, as far as where you want to be at this time of year. Every, almost every game day morning, we spend time looking at an area where we feel might have slipped a little bit. So, we’re staying on top of things, too. Satisfied is not a word that exists in our dressing room. Happy is one thing but you continue to strive to get better and there’s always parts of your game, including tonight, that you want to get better at. So, we’re just, as a coaching staff, we just want to stay on top of those things and make sure we keep our guys sharp.

On Tuukka Rask recording a shutout tonight...
I think he’s played well for us. Every time they had, especially the first half of the first period, they really came out hard and they came out strong and had some early opportunities there. Until we kind of found our stride a little bit, he kept us in there in that moment and, again, made some big saves. We all know that sometimes when you don’t have to make a ton of big saves it’s always challenging to stay in the game. So, he’s been good at staying focused and he makes the saves when we need him and certainly, in our mind, he’s certainly deserving of that recognition [Vezina Trophy]. Same thing as [what] we talked this morning, we don’t decide those things, we just work with those guys.

On Patrice Bergeron’s play recently...
He scored one tonight when the net was off. So, he’s not that type of player and I think it’s pretty clear to everyone that’s watched him play that he values every part of his game. Whether it’s faceoff percentage, whether it’s plus/minus, whether he’s responsible for a goal against – he takes those things every seriously and he’s hard on himself when it comes to that. So, I think he’s proud of what he is. He’s comfortable in the role that he’s asked to play and at the same time, it’s always nice to see guys like that get rewarded with some decent stats, which he deserves.

On the Marchand-Bergeron-Smith line communicating well…
Yeah, it’s been good. Marchy [Brad Marchand] has been with him [Patrice Bergeron] for years. They read off each other so well, and you just have to look at that shorthanded goal there that they scored on that road trip, it was a highlight goal. But at the same time, the guy on the right, Smitty [Reilly Smith], has been good for them this year. I know he’s kind of had his fair share of struggles in the last month, but I thought tonight he really upped his game and the skating has started to come back again. He was hard on the puck, and that line was a good line for us.

On if Tuukka Rask has developed or improved this season…
Yeah, for him it’s just experience. It’s maturity. I think every year you’re in the league and you’re number one, I think he’s learned how to handle all these games, and we’ve been fortunate that we’ve been able to have another goaltender come in and give him some decent rest. But still, the focus and concentration that’s needed to condition for a goaltender like him, who went to the Olympics, I think he’s learned to handle it and understand his body extremely well, so he gets the decent rest and finds a way to stay sharp.

On getting off to a slow start and then taking over the game…
I think at first they played a lot with the puck and we didn’t in that first half. They had pucks going around the boards and their D [defense] was pinching all the time and we were a little slow getting there. I think the game was playing in their favor at that time. But once we started getting the puck and controlling it and hanging onto it, I thought we were a little bit light on our sticks there in that firs period, as far as when we had the puck we lost it and we didn’t hang onto it for very long. Probably an adjustment was made. I think we found our legs after that first half of the first. We started getting better by the end of the first. We were a better team. In the second period, I thought we started being a little heavier on our sticks and played a heavier game—stronger along the walls. Because of that we were able to move the puck a lot more.

On observing a moment of silence for the fallen firefighters before the game…
I think for us it was important. It’s been a sad day. It was a sad night last night and it’s a sad day today. We were trying to bring something very positive. We know that doesn’t make things any better, but to just try and do the best you can to help heal and again put some excitement into the people that were here tonight and our fans out there, that’s all you can do. Saying that, I thought the guys did a great job tonight. They really wanted to honor them the proper way, whether it was in the warm-up or by winning the game. I think their hearts were with those families.

On the young defensemen shutting down an offensive team like Chicago…
I think the adjustment we had to make tonight was pretty good because they always pull a forward out to back our D’s [defensemen] and we weren’t able to pinch as much as we could’ve because of that situation. I think our guys did a great job in the neutral zone of sitting on top of those guys and not letting them get a ton of chances. When we won those battles in the neutral zone where they tried to move it out there, we got our counter game going and attacked again. I think that was a big part of our success tonight.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD PATRICE BERGERON
On this game just being another game…
Yeah, I think it was. I think it was one of those games that we knew it was a great challenge but also we wanted to get back on track after the Montreal game and really keep playing the way we’ve been playing for that stretch. That was really the main goal.

On things going more smoothly after the first five minutes of the first period…
Yeah, I mean, we made some adjustments. They’re a great team, they’re a good team and we knew they were going to come out hard. They got a power play also so they had those shots. But that being said, I thought we stuck with it and we were right back in the game after that five minutes. I thought we stayed compact and we did the job.

On if he realized the Bruins have only given up nine goals in nine games…
No, it’s not something you really are always thinking about, that I knew. It is something that is part of our game as a team as a whole. We are a defense type of team and we get some offense with playing defensively sound and stuff like that. So I think we have to keep that going.

On if he knew his second goal was a goal the whole time…
Yeah, I knew it was in. I saw [Corey] Crawford push the net out a little bit so to me it was a good goal. Both posts didn’t move, it stayed there it was just the net that moved up a bit. So to me, it was a goal the whole time.

On if he knew the rule about the goal…
I didn’t know the rule but I knew it wasn’t one of our guys that moved the net so to me, it should have been a goal, and it was. And the call on the ice was a good goal so I thought it was going to be hard to change that.

On his goal scoring streak…
The puck’s going in I guess. There’s not much to say about it. It’s just you get those chances sometimes during the year and it doesn’t go in and now it is. Obviously it’s great any time I can chip in offensively and keep my two way game, I’m happy with it.

On if he felt Duncan Keith trying to be able to get a piece of his stick on his first goal…
Not really, actually. I was just trying to be there and get my stick open. And I saw Bart [Matt Bartkowski] kind of looked on the side of the net to be there for that tip. So I knew the puck was coming, I just wanted to have a strong stick and be ready for that and it was a perfect play by Bart.

On if he thinks he has to be perfect because the game is so fast against the Blackhawks…
Yeah, I mean, every shift is important. You can’t really sit back or take a breather because obviously they’re going to turn it up against you. There a team that relies a lot on speed I think and their transition as well. I thought once we played a little tighter in the neutral zone and also in our fore check, it gave us some success.

On if the games mean more against the elite teams now that it’s toward the end of the season…
Well, it’s definitely a great challenge, especially when you play teams like Chicago, they’re a tough team to beat. There is definitely some history also with them last year, so it was a fun game to be a part of. I thought it was a great series last year, again this year both games we played against them were hard fought games and lots of speed and very intense. So it’s always fun to be a part of those games but they all matter. Right now, it’s about getting better and getting ready for the playoffs.

On if his goal production is just a matter of the chemistry of his line…
Yeah, a lot. I’m definitely not going to take the credit for these goals. I mean, I’m getting set up perfectly by these guys.  We’re moving and creating plays by communicating and now knowing where the other guys are going to be and that is something that is very important for our line.

On if it took about half the season for his line to get where he wanted it to be…
Yeah, it’s one of those things that takes some time and you have to keep plugging at it, I guess, and talk. The more you play together, the better you're going to feel. Honestly, it felt pretty good with Smitty [Reilly Smith] right away as soon as we were put together but also, I mean, I’m used to playing with Brad [Marchand]. It’s just a matter of established that chemistry of three of us together.

On if he thought he could reach the types of numbers he has now again…
I never really thought about it, to be honest with you. It’s kind of one of those things that – like I said, I’m happy it’s going in but I just want to keep my same game, the same level of play, keep getting better. Obviously, that’s part of my game, also it’s to help out offensively and scoring goals and creating plays. I’m definitely happy it’s going in but that being said, I’m happy when I defend a goal as much as scoring them.

On if the pace of this game the way he wants to play…
I think so, I thought the pace was great on both sides. I thought we kept up really well against them. We have to keep that going there. It’s going to be like that in the playoffs. We’ve seen that in the past few years so we have to expect that.

On what it means to be able to win on the night after the firefighter tragedy…
Yeah, a lot. It was very sad what happened yesterday. We feel like we are part of the community now as a whole and it was an important game, we thought, for us to win for all of them. They put their lives at risk and obviously with what happened, our thoughts and prayers are with their families. Like I said, you never want to hear that. They are the heroes and we’re just here to – it puts things in perspective, I guess, if I want to put it that way. Tonight was well-deserved first star.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD CARL SODERBERG
On having a solid 60-minute effort against a physical team…
A good 40-minute effort, the first period wasn’t that good. But we still had the lead after the first period and usually we win in those games.

On the importance of net-front presence against a team like this, and whether that helped out on the first few goals…
Yeah that and [having a] third man high. They are really good on the rushes, so we always want to keep a third man high and increase our scoring chances from there.

On what makes the Bruins a strong third period team…
I don’t know a good answer on that. We just keep working, 60 minutes in all games, and if you don’t want to play in the third period you shouldn’t play.

On the Bruins controlling the pace of the game and playing strong on both ends of the ice…
We pushed. We wanted to come back with a win when Montreal broke our winning streak. But I still think we played a pretty good game last game. So we just keep going the way we have, and we are strong right now.

BOSTON BRUINS GOALTENDER TUUKKA RASK
On if tonight was a full 60-minute effort…
Yeah that was best one in a while I think for 60 minutes. From my standpoint, I don’t think they got too many chances.  What they got, then the guys collected the rebound or I saw the shot. It was a great effort from everybody.

On the neutral zone pressure building in terms of puck management …
Yeah it was kind of a weird game from that point.  A lot of it was played in the neutral zone I think, not too many scoring chances on either end.  So, we managed it better than they did I think and it paid off for us.

On if the time in the neutral zone is the difference between this game and the Cup finals…
Yeah probably, I mean yeah the emotions aren’t that high as it would be in the Stanley Cup finals, that’s a different scenario.  So, it was a totally different game out there than the finals, but we played a solid game today and I thought we deserved to win at the end of the day.

On if it feels better to win against an elite team like Chicago…
Yeah you know you always feel better about yourself when you play good against good teams like that.  It doesn’t really matter where the wins come against, but you try to evaluate your team’s performance and how you play – playing Chicago or last place team that doesn’t matter, but we got to be happy where we are ending.  I think in these upcoming weeks we are playing teams who are definitely battling for playoff spots and they are going to give us the best effort so we have to be able to match that.

On if he feel he’s been playing better this last month…
No it’s always – you try to feel good out there everyday and every game and try to keep that going, but I think our teams definitely played better even though there’s been some games and periods that you need the goalie to step up, but that’s why we’re there.  Overall, I think that our teams game have helped me a lot to improve mine too.
   
On being able to get a shutout while honoring the Boston firefighters tonight…
Yeah I mean shutouts are always fun it shows you played a good defensive game.  Definitely a night like tonight, there’s a lot of firefighters in the stands and we try to honor them and win a game for them so we’re just happy we could do a little thing like that.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD CHRIS KELLY
On the Bruins performance tonight…
I thought we played well. I thought as the game went on we got better and better, and our feet were moving. Tuukka [Rask] made some big saves for us early on to get our feet under us. We were able to pull away in the third there.

On whether beating the “elite” teams like Chicago means more to them…
I think every game is so important. I think the worst thing you can do is overlook teams. Obviously, Chicago is an easy team to get up for, especially with what happened last year. But I think we’re doing a good job of focusing on ourselves and not really our opponent. Because if you take anyone lightly in this league and you think it’s a for sure thing, it’s going to come back to bite you.

On whether Tuukka Rask is getting even stronger as the season goes on…
I guess, but he’s been our best player all year. I think Tuukka [Rask] has been there all year long to make those big saves for us and give us the confidence that if we don’t play our best hockey we still have a chance to win. And if we can get some goals and help him out, those chances get even higher.

On whether this feels like a Vezina Trophy season for Rask…
It’s pretty impressive. He’s got my vote, I know I’m biased. But like I said, he’s been our best player all year long. And the team is having success so I don’t know what else you can ask for.

On this being a “Tim Thomas-type” season in for Rask, in the sense that he has been dominant…
Who? [laughs] I think when we had Timmy [Tim Thomas] in net we had that confidence that he was going to make the big saves when we needed him to, and that’s exactly like what Tuukka [Rask] is doing. Like I said, I’m a little biased, but I think even more so. I was in the penalty box so I got a good view, but I think [Brent] Seabrook walked right down – it was kind of a broken play – but he comes over and just makes an unbelievable save, which kind of takes the life out of other teams when it can easily go the other way.

On how satisfying it was to get a victory for the Boston Fire Department, and to award them the first-star of the game…
Oh that’s awesome, I didn’t know that. Obviously it’s a sad, sad day when two brave men lose their lives like that. If we can do a little thing to honor them, we’re more than happy to do that. Like I said before, we’re part of this community, we feel the pain that the entire city and the state feels. That was pretty classy that they got the first star.

On how aware he was of Carl Soderberg on his goal…
Carl [Soderberg]? I don’t see Carl [Soderberg] ever. [laughs] I think when you see the puck at the point, your first reaction is to try to get to the front of the net and cause some havoc. I think Carl did a great job crashing the net too. We’re lucky it went off me and right to him, and he was able to score.


On Chicago being the highest scoring team in the league, and what it means to have shut them out…
I think we want to be known as a defensive team that can score. I think our mindset [is that] goals will come if you do the right things in the D-zone, and manage the puck, and work hard coming back. I think we did a good job of kind of taking their time and space away.

On whether this is the pace they will have to play in order to have success in the playoffs…
I think so. I think you know it was a pretty good paced game, and everyone was moving their feet. Maybe it wasn’t as physical as maybe the playoffs are, but I thought we did a good job managing the puck and retrieving those pucks.

On how the D-core has evolved over the years, and how they handled a game like tonight…
Yeah they have been a rock for us all year long, regardless of who has played and who has stepped in. They’ve bought into our system and it’s really shown.

BOSTON BRUINS DEFENSEMAN ZDENO CHARA
On the team’s effort tonight…
I think that for the most part, I think if we move our feet and we are ahead of the puck, I think we do make good decisions. We just got to do all those three things in the game—moving our feet and being above the puck and always communicating and being aware of what’s going, and kind of react and support each other. If we do that, then I think we are on the right track.

On his satisfaction with the team’s defensive effort…
I would say it was a closer game than maybe the score showed, but we really tried to focus on our defense and not to give them much. Obviously, a team like that with the personnel they have, they got to get some chances. But for the most part I thought we did a good job playing really tight defensively and not giving them too many, let’s say on power plays and things like that, or outnumbered situations.

On giving up nine goals in the last nine games…
Again, it’s a number, but we go by results and by our play on the ice. We don’t necessarily always follow statistics. I think that would be kind of a raw thing to do at this time of the year, just to look at the stats. We try to really focus on our game on the ice and taking care of the business over there. We don’t really necessarily try the numbers. We just more importantly try to establish our game and be really solid.

On potentially winning the President’s Trophy…
I think that, again, it’s something that we don’t look at. It’s not something that we have to or it’s something that it’s our goal. Like I said, our goal is to play and play our game every game until the end of the season. Being strong. When we do that, then obviously the business will take care of itself, but I don’t think that it’s on our minds that, ‘Okay, we want to go for that.’ Like I said, if we play well and we play good enough, then it will happen. At this point, we just try to focus on our game on the ice.

On how he reacts to people saying he needs rest before the playoffs…
It’s been like that for a few years now. I’m trying to play as hard as I can every game and do my job while I’m out there. If I get less or more ice time, I don’t really care. It’s just one of those things that I want to play well. When you go over minutes, I’m all good and I’ll do my best. As far as the rest, we have off days in the schedule to rest. If there’s anything extra or on top of that, then it’s got to be obviously coaching or management decision. At this point, I have to say I’m trying to really take care of my body and be always ready to play and do my best.

On expecting a game off before the end of the regular season…
I’m not sure, honestly. I don’t know. I’m expecting to get ready for next game and play next game, and then after that, next game. We’ll see.

On getting worn down toward the end of last year’s playoffs…
Again, everything plays a little role. Some playoff rounds, you’re able to get more rest if you win, let’s say in four or five. Then, you might have later rounds where you go into seven games and you have multiple overtimes against teams that play more physical and teams that play more of a skating game. Everything plays in. Also, you have to be lucky, too. It’s just one of those things that sometimes you are banged up and sometimes you get through the whole playoffs without a scratch. It’s just one of those things.

On the benefit of staying behind for one of the team’s final road trips…
I’m not sure. I love the game. I love to play every game and I enjoy competing. I’ve said it many times, it’s an honor to be in this league and I want to play every game I can. If there’s going to be some decision to make, I have to respect that. I have to obviously take a seat. At this point, I’m expecting to play every game.

On where he is physically compared to last year…
Like I said, we’ve been managing the days off pretty well. We get some extra ones. We try to make sure when there was a really heavy schedule in March that we got some overnights. We tried to save some of the heavy traveling right after the games. We got some extra days off. As well, you have to be really smart, like I said, individually. You have to take care of yourself. You can’t be doing things that’s going to make you tired—long walks, things like that. You’ve just got to really rest up and be smart about it nutrition wise as well.

On if relaxing is difficult because he’s so active…
Not as much because the weather has been so bad. But yeah, for me, it’s not basically spending energy when I ride [my bike] from my house to the Garden. It’s more being a little bit outside and clearing my head and doing something different. It’s just a change of scenery a little bit. It’s a big kind of difference sometimes. Little things like that you are not maybe able to do over the course of the season. I don’t think you spend that much energy when you ride maybe five, 10 minutes or something like that. It’s more of changing the things that you do everyday for almost the whole season.

On the team’s success giving him the opportunity to rest…
That’s maybe a little bit of the plus side of it. When you play well and you get that little bit lead in the standings, then you can maybe afford to rest some guys. At the same time, we don’t want to be kind of too relaxed or kind of send the message that, ‘hey, we are okay, we should take it easy now.’ I think that would be a big mistake. I don’t think that will happen with this team. We just kind of keep it always intense and sharp and always emotionally, we have to be in that hunt as we would be in the push for the playoffs. That’s something that as players, as leaders on this team, we have to make sure that doesn’t happen. That kind of approach doesn’t cause on our mentality.

On not working out as much as he used to in his younger days…
With the schedule you are not able to do as much because of the season with the Olympics and obviously the amount of games we’ve been playing every month. But I’m still enjoying the workouts. I really love the extra work. It’s one of those things that I will always do no matter what. Like I said, I’m enjoying every day and every minute that I’m at the rink. I’m trying to be obviously the best I can. Doing the extra work off the ice or on the ice, it’s part of it. You have to love it, and I really do love hard work and competing. I just love to maintain my physical balance with kind of a mental rest, too. I just enjoy it.

BOSTON BRUINS DEFENSEMAN JOHNNY BOYCHUK
On getting off to a slow start...
Well the first ten minutes, it was alright for us, but we could be better and we knew that. Then we started to click again and we did good things.

On changes in the team’s defensive corps since the last time they played Chicago...
I think we’re just more comfortable with playing with different partners in every different situation. So, that could be a key. We did a good job.

On playing a big time opponent like Chicago...
I mean, we knew it was against them obviously and we wanted to come out and play great. We wanted to put that last one behind us [Montreal] even though we played well, just keep doing the same things that we have been doing and we did. We started to get pucks deep, we limited turnovers at times, and when we had chances we put it them in the back of the net.

On feeling the team out at the start of the game...
Well, the first ten minutes they kind of took a little bit of an advantage, but once we got into it we did a good job by doing simple things and trying not to give them too many opportunities.

On Tuukka Rask’s play...
He was pretty good. I mean, we could have helped him out back then [earlier in the season] but we’re all playing for each other and we don’t even have to worry about what happened before. We have to worry about what’s going on now.

On Patrice Bergeron’s play recently...
I think, not just him, everybody’s been raising it. You can’t just single out one guy; everyone’s been playing good and if you win twelve in a row, I don’t even know if it was twelve but whatever it may be, everybody has to be on the same page and we have been. It’s not just one guy; it’s everybody raising their game.

On the first star award being given to the Boston Fire Department...
It’s great. They do a lot for the city and just to give them such a welcome, it was well deserved.

On Chicago having a unique transition team...
It’s different. They always have a guy behind you and when the puck is bouncing, it’s always bouncing no matter what, if they get a bounce it could be one-nothing or one-one, two-one. You just have to play it safe because any kind of bounce could happen and they can change the game.

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS FORWARD PATRICK SHARP
On how disappointing tonight’s loss was…
Yeah, I don’t know what the shot totals were, I know we got a few shots on net, but didn’t really generate a whole lot of good scoring chances. I thought our power play didn’t do much, didn’t get set up and helping out the team, but just not a very good game altogether.

On if the loss tonight was because Chicago ran into a hot team…
They’re a good team. They play well in all zones, and they’ve got a good goalie in there, so that helps their cause. I think we can do a lot better job of creating some kind of offense, whether it’s using our speed, taking a few chances, getting to the net, anything. I wasn’t very happy.

On if he was surprised by the Blackhawks’ sloppiness…
It’s a little disappointing, especially the way we played in a couple games lately. I thought we played really well a few times in the last couple weeks. Today, I thought we could’ve been a lot better in a lot of areas.

On the difficulty of losing games while keeping pace with St. Louis and Colorado…
Yeah, everyone seems to be tightening up, tuning up their teams and lineups, and playing good hockey down the stretch. I think we need to put this one behind us and get ready to play a game tomorrow. That’s the good thing about playing 24 hours later. We can forget this, and do our best to apply all the things that didn’t happen today tomorrow in Ottawa.

On having a different feeling than the last time the Blackhawks were in Boston…
Yeah, definitely. Coming back brought some memories. It feels like it was a long time ago. That’s behind us now. We’re happy with what we’ve accomplished, but that’s in the past, and we’re ready to try and do it again.

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS FORWARD KRIS VERSTEEG
On what changed for them after the first period…
Um, well we had our chances at the start of the game to take the lead and like I said they found a way to get one there.  I’ve play against them a lot over the last few years.  So, they’re a tough team to come back on once they get one.  Especially in this building, they get really energized and we just couldn’t find much out there they did a great job.

On the importance of playing well during the last stretch of the regular season…
Yeah I thought before this we’d been playing really good, even the Nashville game, but tonight obviously we ran into a team that’s been playing really well lately.  Like I said, I thought we had our chances – Tuukka held them.  They’re a tough team to come back on that’s why they’re also one of the top teams in the league.

On fighting for home ice advantage against Colorado in the playoffs…
Yeah it’s tough to lose any games at this time in the season. Colorado’s been playing well as of late too.  So, we’re just going to have to keep finding ways to get four points in these next two games to finish up this road trip.

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS GOALTENDER COREY CRAWFORD
On if the Blackhawks ran into a red-hot team or if there wasn’t enough effort…
I think that was a pretty close game, up until the third goal. I think that kind of just took the wind out of us. Who knows, we could’ve gotten one after that and made it a game. We had some chances. We skated well, but I think we need a little bit better effort by everyone to beat a team like that in their building. It was a good game, but obviously not good enough, so we’re just going to forget about that one, and move on to the next one tomorrow.

On if it’s good to play again the following day to get over a loss like tonight’s…
Yeah, I think so, to jump back into it. But we definitely did some good things tonight.  We created some good chances and they came up with strong defensive plays to shut us down, but we were still creating things, and it’s not like we were totally shut down, where we were getting frustrated all game. We had some chances, and it’s just one of those games, I guess, where they just got the better of us.

On how this year’s Bruins team compares to last year’s…
To be honest, I don’t really care about that team. That has nothing to do with us. We were looking to have a strong game today, and we focused on what we’re doing. So, maybe some tendencies that they do, but other than that, I don’t really care about them.

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS HEAD COACH JOEL QUENNEVILLE
On the team getting off to a solid start...
Yeah, it was a perfect start. Then it slowed down to a crawl, the way we saw it, that we’re easy to play against and didn’t really press enough. [We] had some chances later in the third, but I thought we were not very good tonight.

On the team not stepping up in a big game...
No, we started the right way. Then we started getting behind and they’re [Bruins] good in that area. So, it was a – I didn’t like the push from behind. It wasn’t hard enough or sustained enough.

On getting shutout for the second time this week...
Every game is different. You miss Kaner [Patrick Kane] you’re trying some things and we’re seeing what it can look like. But, a good defensive team, Boston is as stingy as there is anyway, so we’ll see. One more game tomorrow night; we’ll get back at it.

On missing the chance to clinch a playoff berth...
It’s one game at a time. I think we’re not looking too far ahead. We’re looking to get one more win, and that’s the next game, and go from there.

BOSTON BRUINS HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN PREGAME PRESS CONFERENCE 11:15 AM
On what this game means to him and how much he reflected on game six coming in to tonight…
I don’t know that I reflect a lot on game six but I do understand and realize that this is a good team we’re playing and we seem to match up really well. It seems to be really good games every time we play each other. The one thing I look at as far as this game is concerned is that we’re lucky in a lot of ways right now. We’ve clinched a playoff spot already but where we’re lucky is that we have an opportunity to still play some games that have meanings and for reasons. A lot of teams will clinch a playoff spot later and then just basically try and stay where they are and give some players some rest. But at the same time, we’re battling for more than just a playoff spot right now. We have an opportunity to be at the top of the league, we also have an opportunity to make ourselves better because we play games that have meaning and this one is one that should have a meaning because of where we were last year with these guys in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. And like I said, we seem to match up really well and seem to play well against each other so I anticipate a really exciting game tonight.

On if he saw a different side of the Canadian Olympians from the Blackhawks team while coaching…
Well I think, what I said to most people, was that it was great to get to know guys on a personal note – a personal level as well. And just the fact that – you can understand why that teams had success. Just those guys – great leadership, you know, Duncan Keith, which you forgot by the way, those guys are all great leaders in their own way. They come to play every game and you can understand why that team is having success. But, again, why we won with Team Canada is because we had great people and they were part of that group of great people. And that’s the fun part, I guess, of being part of these experiences. Is that you get to know these great players around the league on a different level and it’s great to get that opportunity.

On if he would rest players or go for the top spot if given the choice…
We’re going to do both, we’re going to do both. And that’s the right answer. The real answer is that absolutely we want to finish as high as we can but we’re not going to jeopardize the players that probably need rest. And we’ve done it before, Zdeno [Chara] went to the Olympics early and we lost one game in a shootout against St. Louis, a pretty good team, and won the next one. So we got three out of four points without a guy like that, for example. So just because we rest players doesn’t mean we don’t want to finish as high as we can. So we’re going to go for both.

On who he would like to rest…
None of your business. How’s that for an answer? You’ll see it as we go along but I think you guys understand. There are guys who have been at the Olympics and guys who have played a lot of hockey. We’re going to do that but for me but we don’t want to start too early because if you give them rest now, by the time you get to the end, they’ll be right back to where they were. So we’re kind of going to ease into it as we move forward.

On if guys don’t fight about rest days anymore…
Not really, but at the same time, what I think you have to understand is that we’re going to give some guys some rest, but we’ve been giving them a lot of rest on not game days too. When, you know, guys go to Colorado and have two days off without going on the ice, I would like to think that works as giving them some rest. And everyone is looking at games and games, and I know games are taxing, but two days off can easily be countered by a game I guess – or be equivalent I should say to a game. So we’re giving lots of days off, they had a day off yesterday as well. We’ve been managing that for a lot of the guys but at the same time, like I said earlier, they’re probably going to get a rest and that could mean a game closer to the end.

On how it would be to still get the President’s Trophy even with the resting players mentality…
Yeah, I mean, to us I think that’s great that we could get that opportunity but there is some pretty stiff competition there. We know that. So at the end of the day, no matter what it boils down to, we’re going to do what’s best for our team. If that means jeopardizing players for the playoffs for the sake of that, we’re not going to do that. But if we can manage to get the right people in, get the right people to get some time off and still compete for that, that’d be great.

On if the goals Zdeno Chara picked up on the power play will help with the Norris Trophy…
Well, as you know, I don’t have control of that and you have to kind of live with it. But I can tell you one thing, there are some people who have won the Norris Trophy with lots of good stats, I still wouldn’t trade him for Zdeno Chara and I’ve told him that. I think it‘s important for him to know that, that he means that much to our team. And whether he wins it or not, there is some value in the player we have. And we like the player that we have right now and sometimes we can trade that for stats and you’ll end up paying it at the other end. So I think he is a great two way defenseman, very reliable, plays against top lines every yea, every game and you look at his plus/minus they’re always up there. So I think he’s certainly one of those guys that is deserving of consideration every year when it comes to that.

On if David Krejci has struck a perfect balance this year…
I think he’s getting better. To me, I still think he is capable of scoring more, and that’s not in a negative way. I just feel he has that talent but he’s coming around. But at the same time, he’s got two guys that can score pretty good on each side so he’s a smart enough player to know where to dish the puck to get results too. So he’s got a good balance right now with those guys and I think he’s done a pretty good job of it. And including himself, I think even from the point, you’re seeing him shoot more on the power play. He’s got a good shot as far as being able to get that shot on net and getting it tipped or rebound so I think he’s got a lot more confidence and he does have a good shot.

On if he has taken a step forward in his own end…
Yeah, I think, again, you look at their plus/minuses, that indicates a lot sometimes as far as how responsible they are as a line. You see a lot of guys in the league who have a lot of points but are still in the minuses. So they’ve got a lot of points and their plus/minus is pretty good so that says a lot for me anyways. 


On if he thinks the players were a little rusty on the early power plays last game…
Oh, you’re talking about our power play itself. Well I think it’s pretty normal, the power play isn’t going to be great if it doesn’t have the chance to use it. We try to practice it as much as we can but it’s not game situations. It wasn’t the greatest, we still had a lot of zone-time, we didn’t get the results. So, that’s something, like I said, we try and control the best we can. But when you don’t get a ton you have to deal with the consequences as well.

On how he is managing the new defensemen…
Well, just by moving them in and out. I think we haven’t had really anybody who’s been a bad defenseman for us. So when you have those numbers and those kinds of players, you just move them in and out and you keep them sharp. So when playoff time comes, whether you do the same thing or whether you come down to pick six out of the eight Ds, I guess we’ll cross that road when we get to it. But right now, I don’t see an issue. Everyone wants to play every game and there’s no doubt it’s not fun to be the guy sitting out but we were clear with our message to these guys that we needed to see everybody. And we were hoping that it would create a good competition, which it has.

On why there is more respect than animosity toward the Blackhawks…
Well, I said it yesterday. I think, again, respect is one of those things. I’m one of those guys that believes they played the game the right way. There’s no embellishment, no crap, none of that stuff. It’s just hard fought hockey from both sides. They have a lot of guys that will go to the front of the net and get their noses dirty and we like to do the same thing. Physical, puck moving team and I think we match up really well. But I think there’s – sometimes when teams play the right way, they end up respecting each other. It doesn’t mean there aren’t good hits, it doesn’t meant here isn’t pushing and shoving but at the end of the day there is a lot of respect. And there still is after that final, it was a hard fought final and for all different reasons things happen. At the end of the day, they were the better team and they won ad I don’t think there is any reason for us to sit here and say they stole it or it wasn’t fair or it was bad refereeing or anything like that. It was a hard fought series and the better team in that series won it.

On playing after a tragedy for the second year…
Well, I’m like everybody else, I’m watching it on TV and it’s unfolding. Those kinds of things, it’s just it’s sad to see those kinds of things happen, especially when people are trying to save other people’s lives. And we all know that when they take those jobs on there’s that risk but it really touches the city. This city is pretty sensitive when it comes to that stuff and very supportive of all those situations. We’re no different in here, you know, we come in this morning and guys are talking to other guys and some of the players didn’t live too far from that area as well. But certainly a sad tragedy to have happen. I was watching TV last night and my heart goes out to the families. You know, you try to put yourself in their shoes and see how they have to react to that kind of news and if it happened to you how would you react, etc. So not a fun thing to be part of but certainly, like I said, we’re a group here that really rallies around this city and we’re going to try and make this city feel as good as we can with our play and let them know that our thoughts and prayers are with the families.
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