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Running Quotes For Bruins vs. Blackhawks On 3/3

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
BOSTON BRUINS POSTGAME QUOTES
BOSTON BRUINS VS. CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS
Thursday, March 3, 2016

BOSTON BRUINS HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE 

On if there was a carryover from the Calgary game to protect home ice…

Well otherwise I thought again we did a great job against Calgary and you know it was important to build on that part of it, but there was much more I thought to tonight’s game. I thought we did a good job in the neutral zone. They are a team that really gets some pretty good speed through the neutral zone and usually that’s where they do a lot of damage, so we did a great job of minimizing that. I thought our forecheck and our checking game, whether it was forechecking and getting on them quick or coming back quickly and taking away their time and space, I thought our checking game was probably one of the best so far.

On if the team is maturing at this point in the season…

Well it is and you would expect your group to mature from the beginning of the year till now and again you look at David Pastrnak – he was there right till almost the very end there with about three minutes left because he was playing well enough. He’s really maturing into being a player that you can utilize for the most part late in games and when they had that last three minutes when they pulled their goalie you go with your experienced guys there that have done the job in the past.

On tying Art Ross for the all-time lead in regular season wins for a Bruins coach…

The thing that comes to mind is humbling. It really is humbling because this guy here – I said that before he’s an icon, he’s a legend. I don’t have a trophy named after me [laughs]. Those are all things that there’s a big difference between Art Ross and myself, and the fact that I’ve avoided being fired for the last nine years helps get that many wins here. So, just feel fortunate and most of all obviously humbled by that achievement.

On consistently rolling four lines due to Chicago’s play style…

Well it’s key because they play with four lines. I think this was a team that we really needed to hard-match tonight. When you have the [Jonathan] Toews, you have the [Patrick] Kanes, you know, [Artem] Panarin, those guys that are scoring for them on different lines. It’s important that we had a hard-match and they played their fourth line, and our fourth line, although they got scored on at the end of the second period, I thought they had played well. They did a great job of forechecking and all that stuff. Noel [Acciari] got a couple of hooking penalties, but we managed to kill the second, but other than that – I’m hoping to be able to use four lines more and more here as we progress further into this season for a lot of reasons. You want to keep your guys fresh. We had a real tough schedule, it’s important we don’t overtax certain players, so whenever those guys can give us that opportunity and others teams are playing that way, too, to a certain extent that helps as well.

On Lee Stempniak’s impact…

As you know this is a guy who has a lot of experience and it shows in those tight little areas he makes the right plays, he doesn’t panic. He’s a real smart player and I think he’s a real smart player on both sides of the puck – confident offensively, defensively he’s really given us good stability there. I think as he gets to know Marchy [Brad Marchand] and Bergy [Patrice Bergeron] a little more you’re going to see some output there from that line. Not just him but from those other guys, I think there’s some potential to have a real good line. I like his skating, he’s a quick skater so he’s been good and what that’s allowed us to do with Brett [Connolly], whether he’s on the fourth or we need to move him up a little bit, I think we’re really fortunate to have a guy like Brett Connolly on the fourth line as we speak.

On the importance of getting results at home against a good Western Conference team…

Well I think there’s a lot of things that come to mind when you look back at the Stanley Cup Finals, it was against them, so like we’ve talked about Vancouver for a long time there, build sort of a rivalry, and I think the Vancouver and the Chicago one was much different. I think there was a lot of respect between the two teams, but still two teams that like to beat each other, so I think that was part of it. I think the fact that they made some trades, they really geared up for another Stanley Cup run, it was a good test for us. There were a lot of reasons to really get excited about this game tonight and it showed in our play.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD PATRICE BERGERON

On if tonight’s game was almost mistake free…

Yeah, it was a great game. The execution was great. I thought from the first minute on, till the end of the game, we were on our toes, limiting their transition game and their speed and that’s what they want, and yeah, I thought it was a solid effort from everyone.

On what worked so well for him in tonight’s game…

You know, kind of the same thing as the rest of the team – I think being on our toes and trying to deny their options, I guess, and their transition game. When they get a lot of speed and a lot of space, they’re very dangerous, you know. They are great players, they’re going to make the plays, so I thought it was a great effort from the five guys on the ice to try and deny their options.

On the role that patience played in puck management…

A lot. I mean you’ve got to kind of stay patient, especially against a team like that. They’re – that’s what they want. They want you to kind of force them to go at them, I guess and then they’re going to take advantage of that. So sometimes being patient, especially in our zone, was beneficial.

On Claude Julien tying the record for all-time wins tonight…

I mean it’s definitely a great honor, I’m sure, for him. He’s one of those guys that always puts the team first, but it’s well-deserved. He’s an amazing coach; I’ve been very fortunate to be under him for a lot of years and learning and he’s been very successful – they’ve always been – so, well-deserved.

On the team being better equipped for big games versus earlier on in the season…

I think – well hopefully over the course of the year you learn from that, and at this time of year we’ve talked about the schedule being tough and it being a challenge and we have to step up as a team, and I think the playoffs are coming up fast and we talk about the standings – how tight it is – and these are going to be the type of games you have to play if you want to be in the playoffs. So, you know, you need to make sure you bring your game – not just for tonight, but for the rest of the season. We know it’s a big game again on Saturday and it starts all over again, but we’ve got to be happy with the way we showed up tonight.

On what the players see in Claude Julien as a coach that the fans might not see from the outside…

I think he just has a great feel of knowing how to handle every individual, I guess, and finding ways to get everyone going. He’s one of those guys that is always – let’s say with one guy you have to go hard at him and other guys you kind of have to take the long road – and he always has a great read for that and he’s always been fair with everyone and that’s why you want to play for a coach like him.

On Claude Julien’s fairness as a coach…

Yeah, it really is. I mean, it’s one of those things where you can get caught up in this league – especially as a coach – and you need to have the players on your side, obviously, and [have] them wanting to play for you, and I think he’s done a tremendous job of that. I think everyone wants to go on the ice and leave everything out there for Claude and it’s all in his honor. It’s one of those things where he does the right things and he says the right things at all times and makes us better players and persons. 

On Lee Stempniak’s play in tonight’s game…

Yeah, I think we just went out there, we played – we talked before the game that maybe we were thinking a little too much last game and communication is huge, but at the same time you have to go out there and play. Lee’s been in the league for a long time – he knows where to be, his position is great and he plays hard, he’s really strong on the puck, so for us it was just about going out there and being good on the forecheck and talking, especially against a line like [Artem] Anisimov and [Patrick] Kane and [Artemi] Panarin. They’re great players and obviously it was about really being on our toes.

BOSTON BRUINS DEFENSEMAN TOREY KRUG

On if tonight’s game was a statement win…

Yeah I mean a lot of people doubted what we could do against top teams and that’s a top team right there and I thought we played pretty well for the most part. Every game there is ups and downs and things that we can correct if you want to be nit-picky and things like that, but for the most part we played with pace and fast and I thought it’s probably an exciting game for the fans to watch.

On if it was nice to see the two new guys scoring early in the game…

Yeah I mean you can see what they do for our team. I think they stabilize a lot of things. I think having a puck mover back there to transport the puck to the forwards and let them play with it. Stemp [Lee Stempniak] is always in the right spot up front and so it’s nice to have those guys. The more we play with them, the more they will jell in this room and it’ll be beneficial for our team.

On if tonight’s defensive assignment was tough…

Yeah well I thought it was a collective effort. I thought our forwards did a great job in the back pressure. You know they have four guys joining the rush every single time so you know it was a group effort. For our forwards to go back and look over their shoulders and take away that space for them, they weren’t able to make plays. I think it started with our forwards and the back pressure and our D obviously did a great job and Tuukks [Tuukka Rask] was Tuukks tonight, so that obviously helps.

On what Coach Claude Julien’s achievement means to them…

Well he’s just so consistent in his approach and you know what he does for us. He gives us a game plan that if we follow it we are able to win a lot of games. Doesn’t matter who is in the lineup, who is out, if guys are injured – you can see that if we stick to our system you know we are able to win a lot of games.

On how Coach Julien has helped him develop…

He’s been huge. You know it’s the same thing. It’s about taking the right approach. With me it’s about growing as an individual and whether it’s defensively he’s given me more responsibility and trying to thrive in that role. He’s definitely given me a lot of advice along the way.

BOSTON BRUINS GOALTENDER TUUKKA RASK…

On how tonight is a good indication that the Bruins can beat a good team like Chicago…

Today was a great effort from everybody. And you know we always say that when we play as good as we can we can play against anybody and today was a great example of that – great job through the neutral zone and backchecking and coming back to our own zone – great job. 

On Ryan Spooner saying this might be the best performance of the season…

Yeah we played a good game in Vancouver when the other team pretty much had nothing, but today was top three probably. 

On the challenge of continuing to play good teams well…

Yeah it’s getting to the zone where we have to get tougher and we play almost every other day, so it’ll be tough, but as long as we stay fresh and mentally sharp and just keep skating and battling it’s going to be good. It’s definitely not going to be easy, but the biggest thing is not to get comfortable right now. 

On seeing Claude Julien tie Art Ross on the all-time wins list…

Oh, he did? Oh, that’s great. Congrats to him. Yeah he’s reached a few milestones there in the past year or two, I guess, and you know it goes to say that you know he’s a great coach and when we execute his game we’re going to get wins. And he’s had quite a few of them. 

On if he thinks guys can keep limiting shots on goal through the rest of the season…

Yeah, we’ve done a great job the past couple at least in our own zone. And you know our defense can play breaking out and then just keeping their head up when the other team has the puck and taking the guy on the side of the net who’s usually the most dangerous guy. So you know we’ve been kind of taking a step back and kind of just taking it easy and really not doing too much so that’s been working for us. And you know also blocking a lot of shots, which has been great. So yeah we really tightened up on defense and you know obviously the result is wins. 

On what he thought worked well tonight…

Well we were managing the puck pretty well. And defense was, you know, we had the puck, we didn’t just throw it away. We made a play when it was there and sometimes we took an extra second to beat a guy or something like that to, you know, get an opening and then we tightened up in our defensive zone and we kept our heads up. We knew that when [Patrick] Kane and these guys get the puck they always look for that seam pass for one-timers and we didn’t get sucked in there – we stayed tight in the middle. And everything was working, you know. In the third period a couple times we maybe didn’t get the puck deep and they came out with four or five guys, but that was expected because they wanted to get back in the game, but really almost a mistake-free game for everybody.

BOSTON BRUINS DEFENSEMAN JOHN-MICHAEL LILES

On how it felt to play such a big role in a big win like tonight…

Yeah, I mean it felt good. I thought, top to bottom, I thought everybody played really well. You know, penalty kill after we gave up the first one, you know, a big kill in the second and power play, you know, one for one. Can’t ask for much more. It was, you know, some big goals, and yeah.

On the adjustment to the Bruins system…

Yeah, it’s an adjustment. I mean you play variations of it. I mean, obviously every team is a little bit different, and this is, you know, this is a bit of a change from Carolina, but I’m adjusting to it. You know, sometimes you make a read and realize halfway through the read that it’s the wrong read and go running back to where you’re supposed to be, and I did that a couple times tonight, but trying to learn on the fly and, you know, talk it out as much as I can with Quaider [Adam McQuaid] and go from there.

On his assist on Loui Eriksson’s goal and what he was trying to do once he got the puck from David Krejci…

Just I saw Loui driving the net and just trying to, you know, get a puck to him and he made a great play with a tip into the top corner. I mean, just trying to join the rush when, you know, the forwards up top made a great play causing a turnover and, you know, just trying to add to the rush.

On whether it was about activating because there was a teammate coming out of the box…

Yeah, exactly – yeah, yeah, exactly. Just trying to create some numbers, and Loui did a great job of driving the net, like I said, and so instead of looking for a guy trailing you want to try and put the puck for him to get a chance on net.

On whether he feels any pressure to produce…

I don’t know. I mean, I don’t know if you feel pressure, but you’d like to contribute and, you know, it’s a good group of guys, a really talented group, so for me it makes it easier. You know, you just try and make your reads and get the puck to the guys as quick as possible, and if there’s a chance to join you join, and that’s really my focus. I’m not trying to put too much pressure on myself. I mean, this is, like I said, a great group of guys in this room and I think we’ve got a really nice team.

On whether he got a good feel tonight for how good this team can be…

Yeah, for sure. I mean, we’ve got, you know, from top to bottom there’s a lot of talent. You know, from Tuukka [Rask] all the way out, and, you know, it just feels good to hopefully add a little bit, too.

On how he has evolved as a defenseman…

Yeah, you know, I think as you play longer in this league I think you, obviously, you lose a little jump. You know, I’m not the, not quite as quick as I was when I was younger and my first few years in the league, but I still think I can contribute in certain ways, and I think it’s more about reads now and knowing exactly when to jump and when maybe to save your energy. You know, and the game has changed, too. You know, it’s a different game now than it was when I came in 13 years ago. It’s just, it’s more of a, I don’t want to say a shut-down league, but everybody in this league skates so well now, and when I came in in 2003, 2004, you know, I don’t think that the skating was quite as good as it is now from top to bottom. You look at every guy on every line really can skate really well, and so now it’s more trying to find those little holes I think rather than just trying to blow by guys, you know, because it just doesn’t really happen as much. I mean, there’s some guys in the league, I mean, you know, Torey [Krug] can do it. I just don’t have that jump like I did, but, you know, I still, you know, I’m still, my skating is still a strength for me. I just… not like that.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD LEE STEMPNIAK

On if it was gratifying to record a point in his second game with the Bruins…

Yeah, I mean it was a big game. I thought we had a good start. I thought our line had a good start, and we did a pretty good job. You know, they had some chances later in the game, but I thought for the most part, we were able to keep them at bay, and it was a good effort by everyone.

On if he’s feeling comfortable with linemates Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand…

Yeah, I felt a lot more comfortable today than the other day. I guess the last game I felt like I was thinking a little too much and not moving my feet. Today I was able to handle the puck a little bit more, make some plays, and I’d like to get a few more shots, but when they’re going in for the linemates, it’s great. So, I thought we did a better job in the offensive zone, everyone, and I’m sure me being better is a part of that.

On what they did to play well against Chicago’s top line…

Yeah, I guess the easiest one is just try and play in their end, not force plays through the middle, get pucks in, and not give them easy transition. If they’re going to get a chance, make them come 200 feet, and then I thought we did a good job backtracking. It seemed like we were able to push the rush into our D a little bit more and close the gap, rather than let them come across the ice and find the wide guy. And when you cut the ice in half, it tends to make it a little bit easier to defend.

On if he feels pressure to produce…

No not really. There’s a lot of great players here. For me, it’s just trying to fit in and play my game. I think that typically, points tend not to fall if you’re doing things well, but we’ve been matched up against other teams’ top line the last couple games, or one of their top lines, and you have to take a lot of pride in playing well both sides of the puck, and we’ve done that so far.

On if the Bruins can keep momentum going against Washington…

Yeah, for us it’s a big test. It’s a very good team, very similar to this team, a lot of mobile defensemen, dynamic players up front, and you have to play in their end. A lot of the same things that brought us success today, we had timely goals today, but I thought we shot the puck a lot more than the last game, and that’s a key. When you can spend time in the offensive zone, get shots, get those second and third chances, by the time they’re able to break out, a lot of times those guys have to change rather than being able to fire up the ice in transition.

On playing teams down the stretch that force the Bruins to see how good they can be…

Yeah, it is. We talked about it being a measuring stick to see where we are. That’s one of the best teams in hockey over the last six, seven, eight years, and we played them well. They had their chances, but we got good goaltending when we needed it, limited their chances for the most part, and scored timely goals. So you have to be happy with that, but you need to follow it up with a good effort against Washington, too.

On experience having the defensive assignments that playing on the Bergeron line comes with…

Yeah, in Calgary, Bob Hartley sort of put me in that situation quite a bit with Matt Stajan and Curtis Glencross, who took a lot of defensive zone faceoffs matched up against the other teams’ top line a lot, and I sort of did the same thing in New Jersey a little bit, whether it was the [Adam] Henrique line or [Travis] Zajac’s line. So I’ve done it. I take a lot of pride in it. You want to be a complete player. I think that’s the biggest compliment you can have, is to be someone that can play against anyone and be out there in tight games, and I take a lot of pride in that aspect.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD RYAN SPOONER

On the game tonight being a strongly-coached game…

Yeah, we just talked about it, they said that their top two lines do the majority of their scoring so if we can shut them down and keep them to the outside – which I thought that we did a great job at – so that was definitely good to see and as far as Coach goes, yeah, I think he’s got – I think we just saw it in there – I think he’s got 387 wins or something like that. So, play on Saturday, we’re going to try and get the win for him.

On Claude Julien’s coaching preparing the team to play in big games like tonight…

He usually just kind of teaches, you have to be good on the defensive side and I thought that we were great tonight with that, I guess, as a whole and in terms of me – my first season here, I could tell that’s kind of what he wanted and took me some time to kind of, I guess, learn that and I’m still trying to learn it, too, but he’s a great coach and he definitely knows what he’s doing, so I’ve just got to listen to him.

On if this was a particularly good matching game tonight…

Yeah, I think most of the time when you play at home you try to get some line matches, I guess, but in a game like this their top line’s got 190 points or even more than that, so it was important tonight that we kept them off of the score sheet and I think we did that.

On what the players see in Coach Julien that makes him such an effective coach…

I think for me, I’ve had some coaches that get really mad and stuff like that. If you’re not playing well they can be very negative, I guess you can say, and sometimes when we’re not playing well he tries to stay as positive as he can and that’s good for us. He kind of calls it like he sees it in terms of I guess the game that I play. I’ve had some ups and some downs here and if I’m not playing well he’ll tell me and if I am playing well then he tells me. So, I think that’s definitely a good thing, for sure.

On the team’s attention to details tonight…

I think tonight was probably, I’d say, one of our best games of the season in terms of that. The turnovers and stuff like that, we didn’t have a lot of them – maybe less than five which was great to see – and as a whole I don’t think we got hemmed in our end, maybe a couple of times, but I thought it was a good game.

On the difference between tonight and some of the other big games against Western Conference teams…

It’s a bit of a different team here; I’d say they’re more skilled here. But, again, I think they’re second in the NHL in points, so they’re skilled and they’re fast. I thought that we did – I guess I thought we handled that well and in terms of the teams like the Kings and stuff like that, if we try to play the exact same way we should be fine.

On the team being more equipped to play top teams at this point in the season…

Yeah, I think we’ve learned what we kind of need to do. There’s a lot of new faces here and stuff like that and we just talk about – when we play against the top teams in the league, we can’t be too cute – you’ve got to get pucks in deep and the game that we lost there, we had a lot of turnovers at the blue line that kind of came back the other way, so I thought tonight that we did an extremely good job at that.

On the power play unit clicking tonight…

I mean, the power play, we were at like 34 percent or something like that – it’s not going to stay up at that, so the power play is very up and down, at the end of the day though if you just try to get some pucks on net, which we did tonight, they are eventually going to go in.

On the emphasis the team put on patience with the puck…

Yeah, I mean we didn’t want to just give them the puck back. If they have the puck the whole game it’s definitely not going to be a good thing. They’ve got probably five or six guys that are extremely skilled and stuff like that, so I thought that we did a very good job tonight – not just, I guess, giving them the puck back and stuff like that. It was good to see. 

On if he has time to reflect on how the team is playing in the game or if he waits until later to see the video…

I mean, I think during the course of the game you don’t really think about that stuff, you just try to focus on the job you have as a player and when the game is done you can kind of look back and say that was a good 60-minute effort, and I think that’s what we had tonight. 

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD PATRICE BERGERON

On if tonight’s game was almost mistake free…

Yeah, it was a great game. The execution was great. I thought from the first minute on, till the end of the game, we were on our toes, limiting their transition game and their speed and that’s what they want, and yeah, I thought it was a solid effort from everyone.

On what worked so well for him in tonight’s game…

You know, kind of the same thing as the rest of the team – I think being on our toes and trying to deny their options, I guess, and their transition game. When they get a lot of speed and a lot of space, they’re very dangerous, you know. They are great players, they’re going to make the plays, so I thought it was a great effort from the five guys on the ice to try and deny their options.

On the role that patience played in puck management…

A lot. I mean you’ve got to kind of stay patient, especially against a team like that. They’re – that’s what they want. They want you to kind of force them to go at them, I guess and then they’re going to take advantage of that. So sometimes being patient, especially in our zone, was beneficial.

On Claude Julien tying the record for all-time wins tonight…

I mean it’s definitely a great honor, I’m sure, for him. He’s one of those guys that always puts the team first, but it’s well-deserved. He’s an amazing coach; I’ve been very fortunate to be under him for a lot of years and learning and he’s been very successful – they’ve always been – so, well-deserved.

On the team being better equipped for big games versus earlier on in the season…

I think – well hopefully over the course of the year you learn from that, and at this time of year we’ve talked about the schedule being tough and it being a challenge and we have to step up as a team, and I think the playoffs are coming up fast and we talk about the standings – how tight it is – and these are going to be the type of games you have to play if you want to be in the playoffs. So, you know, you need to make sure you bring your game – not just for tonight, but for the rest of the season. We know it’s a big game again on Saturday and it starts all over again, but we’ve got to be happy with the way we showed up tonight.

On what the players see in Claude Julien as a coach that the fans might not see from the outside…

I think he just has a great feel of knowing how to handle every individual, I guess, and finding ways to get everyone going. He’s one of those guys that is always – let’s say with one guy you have to go hard at him and other guys you kind of have to take the long road – and he always has a great read for that and he’s always been fair with everyone and that’s why you want to play for a coach like him.

On Claude Julien’s fairness as a coach…

Yeah, it really is. I mean, it’s one of those things where you can get caught up in this league – especially as a coach – and you need to have the players on your side, obviously, and [have] them wanting to play for you, and I think he’s done a tremendous job of that. I think everyone wants to go on the ice and leave everything out there for Claude and it’s all in his honor. It’s one of those things where he does the right things and he says the right things at all times and makes us better players and persons. 

On Lee Stempniak’s play in tonight’s game…

Yeah, I think we just went out there, we played – we talked before the game that maybe we were thinking a little too much last game and communication is huge, but at the same time you have to go out there and play. Lee’s been in the league for a long time – he knows where to be, his position is great and he plays hard, he’s really strong on the puck, so for us it was just about going out there and being good on the forecheck and talking, especially against a line like [Artem] Anisimov and [Patrick] Kane and [Artemi] Panarin. They’re great players and obviously it was about really being on our toes.

BOSTON BRUINS DEFENSEMAN ZDENO CHARA…

On how he would evaluate the overall performance as a group…

Yeah I thought that it’s obviously a big game for us playing a team like Chicago, so deep and such an obviously dominant team. You know it was a big game for us to challenge ourselves and we took 20 minutes at a time. After the first 20 we were really focused on the next 20 and after that just finishing strong, and I thought we had some strong plays throughout the whole 60-minute game. And you know we made some big saves – Tuukka [Rask] made them. We made some big kills. We had those guys block some big shots towards the end. We were able to score some goals and play strong in all three zones. So I thought it was a good performance, you know. We have another big one in two days. 

On why he thinks the team was more prepared to play this team as opposed to LA Kings or Anaheim Ducks…

I think we prepare for each game the same way. We obviously do our pre-scout meetings but not every game you’re going to have obviously performances that you saw tonight. It’s not always perfect, and you know we would like to have performances like this on every night, but yeah it’s hard to explain why we don’t have them. But for sure we would like to continue to build on games like we had tonight.

On if it’s encouraging that things are coming along after seeing a performance like tonight…

It is. We have to stay humble about it and continue to improve and I think that’s what you want to have going into the last quarter of the season, to have those kinds of graduating performances. And ideally you want to play your best hockey right before the playoffs. So like I said, we have to continue to build on games like we had tonight and keep preparing for the next opponent. 

On Claude Julien tying Art Ross for the most wins in Bruins history tonight…

You know if you probably ask him he’s going to probably not even know about it. Probably he’s just going to be saying that tonight was a big win. And obviously congratulations to him, but I think that he’s probably more happy about the win tonight than about tying the record. 

On how much John-Michael Liles has helped with breakouts from the blue line…

You know he’s a very steady guy. He’s very smart with the puck. You saw towards the end he made a big block so he’s willing to sacrifice himself. You know just a really reliable guy in all situations. So just brings us much needed depth and experience. 

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS HEAD COACH JOEL QUENNEVILLE

On starting off so well last night against Detroit and whether this was the exact opposite…

Yeah, they scored early. Tough one and tough at the end of the period there, so we got ourselves behind. Tried to get a couple looks in the third, maybe get it to one… that was basically it.

On whether it is tough for Scott Darling when he is coming in and out…

Yeah, I don’t know. He wasn’t very good tonight, but, you know, we expect more than that.

On every team battling down the stretch…

I think that we’ve got a real tough stretch – at least 10 games that we’ve got here, all playoff teams, all teams that are dangerous. Good teams as well, especially in this building on a back-to-back night. We really needed to keep ourselves in the game early and we didn’t.

On whether he liked the team’s play aside from the goaltending…

I thought we got better as the game went on. It wasn’t… some guys were better than others tonight, but it wasn’t like, I didn’t, I’m not complaining because we didn’t give up much.

On whether Darling is a concern…

He’s had some real good games for us, and it’s one game. I can’t remember the last one he had where he was…

On whether it is frustrating when they felt they were building some momentum…

It’s one game. Like I said, we’ve got some tough games. Back to back games in a tough building, so we didn’t help ourselves in certain areas, but at the end of the day let’s build on.

On whether he likes what he’s been getting from Teuvo Tervainen the last few games...

Yeah, I think he’s been his best that he’s been in the middle here. His recent stretch here he’s played his best stretch of games, game-in, game-out. Made some nice plays tonight, won some faceoffs. I thought he was good.

On whether only having one more back-to-back is good because Corey Crawford will be playing in both…

We’ll see how [it] goes here as we go along here. I thought maybe we throw him in there, but I said he’s getting the night off. I don’t want to look too far ahead. I know there’s a lot to be decided and sorted out in our division here, so that’s… not forecasting what’s going to happen.

On whether he considered putting Crawford in tonight…

No, that was… no. That was a no-brainer. 

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS FORWARD JONATHAN TOEWS

On tonight being an off night for the Blackhawks…

Well I think we got better and better as the game went along, but obviously we just had some breakdowns tonight. They were playing with speed and they were playing physically and we couldn’t quite keep possession of the puck long enough to get anything going. They checked us well and you know we didn’t use our bodies. We didn’t keep plays alive and I think if we let them dictate the game physically like that they’ll get more chances. They obviously got a lead on us and it’s a tough one to come back from, especially when they’re working really well.

On the difficulty to get to the net…

Well like I said they were doing all the little things that were hanging on us and getting in our way and interfering. They were making it hard to play against and sometimes when you don’t match their speed and match their work ethic, it’s hard to play through that traffic, and so I think that’s probably the reason why we couldn’t get to the net. We couldn’t get the second chances and we couldn’t sustain our puck possession the way I was talking about earlier.

On if the player turnover affects the team…

There is no doubt we have had situations like this in the past, but I think this year especially, sometimes it’s been challenging to have different guys in and out of our lineup every single night. So now I think it’s nice to finally have some consistency in the personnel that we’re going to see in the locker room every night. So we’re happy about that and I think we’re happy about the group that we have. We have the right amount of skill and size and grit and type of character guys that we’re going to need down the stretch and make our team better on the ice and in the locker room as well, so we’re excited about that. I think the guys that come here are always excited for the opportunity to play for this organization as well. I think everyone knows that this team wants to compete and believes it can win a championship every year. So it’s nice to have guys kind of with that predisposition if you will. They’re ready to jump on board and be a part of it. We had one new guy tonight and so it’s still going to be an adjustment in the next week or so for some of these new guys to learn the system and be comfortable around the group. Tonight wasn’t good enough as a group, but we’ll be better this weekend.

On if this game ruined their momentum…

Well at the same time give them credit for the way they played tonight, so it’s a little bit of both. I think we made an effort to come back late in the game. The second goal was big – kept us close at the end of the second there. We just couldn’t quite get any bounces around the net in the third, so I think that kind of, it’s tough to play from behind when you put yourself in that position there early in the game. We didn’t play well enough to keep it tight and see what happens at the end. We’ll have to play better in the next one.

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS DEFENSEMAN NIKLAS HJALMARSSON

On building something and finding momentum…

I don’t know. It’s just one of those games that we got behind early. It seems like it’s tough to get back in games when you’re down, but we’ve got to find a way to get a better effort. Today I know it’s a back to back, but you can’t really make up any excuses. It was, just wasn’t good enough today, and they were better than we were.

On not having a bad schedule for the remainder of the season…

No, not at all. We have a really good schedule for the rest of the season so we can’t really blame it on that we were tired or anything like that. I think there’s more teams that have a much worse schedule than we have for the rest of the season, so we definitely have to try to take advantage of it here down the road.

On having a handful of new guys and whether there is any value in today’s game in terms of trying new lines and playing with them…

Yeah, definitely. I think it’s good. We have got pretty much everyone here now except Hoss [Marian Hossa]. We’ll see when he gets back, but that’s obviously a player that adds a lot to our team, and so, you know, it’ll be fun when he comes back, too. But yeah, it was kind of nice to have that trading deadline done and we know that this is the group that’s going to try to do something special. First of all, we’ve got to focus on just making the playoffs and get us as good of a spot as possible going into it.

On the fight for a playoff spot amongst teams…

Yeah, it’s that time of year that it’s tough to win games, but that’s a good way to prepare, too, for hopefully what’s to come. We’re not in the playoffs yet. We have to focus on making that first, and, as I said before, have to get as good of a position as possible going into it if we get there.

On what was discussed during the second intermission about turning the play around…

Yeah, we’ve come back in a lot of games before, so we have a lot of confidence in our group and we knew that we had a chance to come back, but they did a good job and shut us down pretty well and played simple hockey and we didn’t truly get too many great chances – just a well played period of them.

BOSTON BRUINS HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN PREGAME PRESS CONFERENCE

On after a game like the one against Calgary, what they do as a coaching staff to help get the players to finish on their chances…

Well, that was just one game. Again, I think we’ve done a pretty good job of scoring goals this year so it’s not necessarily a big issue. For me, it was the other night, we missed the net a lot, so you move and it’s game to game, so hopefully that’s not the case tonight.

On the defensive effort last game and how beneficial it is to have a game like that before Chicago comes in…

Definitely a good thing for our hockey club, because we’ll need that tonight and probably even more. This is a team that creates a lot and you obviously have great management skills and they don’t make that many mistakes. They can certainly move the puck around and they have some dangerous players out there that can make things happen out of very little, so defensively, there’s no doubt we’ve got to minimize our mistakes and really pay attention to details there.

On what it means to have so many players (seven) named to World Cup rosters…

You’re definitely proud of those players, because to be named, it’s certainly an honor. It bodes well for them individually and I’m pretty proud of those guys – they’ve earned it. I think through their work and through their statistics and the way they’ve played overall, to be recognized by your country or those teams is something pretty special, so no doubt they’re happy and we’re happy for them. So I think there possibly could be more down the road and we don’t look at that as a negative at all, because of training camp. We look at it as an honor and probably pride for our organization to have that many players picked so far.

On how training camp will be affected with so many gone at the World Cup…

I don’t know. I mean, you see at the beginning of training camp, we always use a lot of young players to give them some experience at the NHL level and stuff like that. You don’t see a ton of veterans playing in the early stages. You see them playing more and more near the end of training camp, which, we’ll all be back by that time.

On if he would like to see Brad Marchand get a nod on Team Canada…

We’ll see with time. There’s a lot of – obviously a lot of names out there. As you often hear, Canada can probably make a couple of teams and still be pretty competitive, so he’s definitely a guy that’s on the radar, but you know, top 16 have been named and there’s a lot of guys that could have been named, too, on that top 16 and we’ll see how the rest of the season goes here, but a lot of players still on the radar.

On what challenges a player like Patrick Kane poses…

Well, he’s one of those guys that you’ve got to keep an eye on all the time. You know, he’s got that knack to kind of disappears and you lose sight of him, and the first thing you know, he appears in a real good scoring area. When he does have the puck, he’s got great vision, he makes plays, he makes things happen, so real exceptional player for this league – probably one of the better ones, if not the best one right now. Again, you know, I think it’s really about paying attention to where he is on the ice. You hear teams and players and coaches say take his time and space away, and you’ve got to do that, but you’ve also got to have awareness of who’s around him, because he’ll make things happen all the time.

On what he is usually looking for when he chooses someone to play with Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron, and if there’s a common thread among the players who have played in that spot…

No, I think you just want somebody who can complement them and I think Brett Connolly’s still a guy that can play there. He was starting to produce there a little bit near the end. I think Lee [Stempniak] steps in there, a leading scorer and a veteran player in New Jersey. This is certainly something that we’re looking at and I thought the other night, for his first game, he played well and made some good plays. On the other hand, it just gives us more depth. When you’ve got Brett playing where he is right now, that’s a pretty good situation to be in as a hockey club, so it’s about having the right players play with the right players. You saw the other night, had to make a switch there with certain players, just because those lines needed to be better and that’s what’s kind of paid off for us, so sometimes, it’s not always about what you start with, but what you have to do in the moment.

#3/3/16#

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