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Running quotes for Bruins vs. Blues on 11/21

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
BOSTON BRUINS POSTGAME QUOTES

BOSTON BRUINS VS ST. LOUIS BLUES
Thursday, November 21, 2013

BOSTON BRUINS HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE AT 10:20 P.M.
On if it was a good game and thoughts in general…
It doesn’t matter whether we win or lose in the shootout – we all have our opinions on that. I just find when a game is played so well like that, it’s a lot easier if both teams could have walked out of here and said, ‘You know what, hard fought game,’ and both teams would have been happy. And right now you come out of there more or less feeling like you lost the game and in my mind we played well enough to win. So those are tough – whatever, if you want to call it a loss – to take because I thought we deserved a lot better.

On if this was the most balanced offensive performance of the season…
I think so. It’s been a while I think since we played a good solid 60 minutes like that. I thought, again, with the circumstance, we had some young guys back there that played extremely well for us tonight. And you could see St. Louis trying to come at us hard to hopefully force our young guys to make mistakes but they were solid; they made some real good plays and I was really proud of our backend tonight. We had some great scoring chances and most of them we didn’t bury. You get some of those nights where a couple of unlucky bounces end up in your net and so we just had to work that much harder to keep ourselves in it.

On if it was good to see Gregory Campbell get his first goal of the season…
Well yeah but I think he’s been playing well the last little while – the last three games or so I really felt like he and his line have really been kind of turning the corner here a little bit and tonight, in my mind, they played like a top line. They were out there doing a great job and were bringing as much as the other lines were as far as spending time in the offensive zone and everything else. So it was good. Again, I thought we had a good solid effort from our whole team tonight, which allowed us to grab a point here at least.

On how Kevan Miller played…
Kevan Miller played extremely well. He’s a defensive defenseman who makes good strong plays; he did that tonight. He was strong, I really liked his game. I thought he was a poised player out there for his first real NHL game.

On if he planned to pair Miller and Matt Bartkowski together due to their time in Providence…
Yeah we didn’t have set pairs there except for maybe as much as we could, we had Zee [Zdeno Chara] and Dougie [Hamilton] there paired up against their top lines so we could balance the rest out. But we were willing to move some of those parts around on the backend.

On if St. Louis plays a similar style to the Bruins…
Yeah they’re very similar in a lot of ways. I don’t know what you guys thought about the game but I thought it was a real fun game to watch. There was a lot of opportunities and great plays and great body checks; everything that you wanted to see in this game was there. In overtime and some chances also in overtime. Everything from my end except for that extra point that I thought we should have had.

On Carl Söderberg taking more faceoffs and if he is earning more trust…
Well one of them is I think Kels [Chris Kelly] isn’t 100% to take faceoffs; nothing major but he’s been – the last couple of games have been a bit of a struggle. So Carl [Söderberg]’s gone out there in those kind of situations, but in our own end I kept putting another guy out there for that reason. But he’s very capable of taking face-offs; he’s played center for a long time. He’s always part of that group that works on face-offs on game day so we’re going to keep him going in that area so that if the first centerman gets kicked out, we know we’ve got another one there. I thought his game tonight was extremely good. He played really, a heavy game and besides his goal had some good chances and I thought that was one of his best efforts. So I see him getting better and better all the time. It’s nice to see that potential that everybody saw in him when we brought him over.

On if surrendering goals in the last minute of periods is a growing concern…
Well the only goal I would be disappointed with is the one in Ottawa; we turned the puck over. We had the numbers in Carolina; it was three against four and it kind of went off Bergy’s [Patrice Bergeron] stick and it kind of trickled in and same thing tonight right? So I don’t think they’ve been goals that we can look at ourselves and say we were awful on those. I think two of them were unlucky goals. So no I’m not worried about it, if that’s the main question.

On the play of Brad Marchand…
He played well. Like I said, everybody – I don’t think there’s anybody on our team tonight that didn’t bring their A-game. I thought we played well throughout our whole lineup and I was able to utilize all my lines. That’s why – this was our third game in four nights; with a young D. And from what I’m able to see, I saw guys do a really good job. We handled ourselves well against a real good team.

On if he took issue with David Krejci getting kicked out of the face-off on St. Louis’ second goal…
Yeah I don’t know what happened there. I’m so far away from the ice, I don’t know why. And again, we lose that draw clean and then a hit, I thought it hit Johnny Boychuk’s stick, I guess they gave it to [David] Backes but it was going wide and it trickled in; those are the kind of things that happen. But I don’t know why he got kicked out. I know he was disappointed about it.

On if he was pleased to see the defense block more shots than against the Rangers…
They’re two different games. I don’t think our D’s didn’t do a good job at blocking shots last game, I think our whole team kind of wasn’t very good last game compared to tonight and I think that was the biggest difference.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD GREGORY CAMPBELL
On it being an even matchup…
Yeah you know, we talked about this before the game that it would probably be a pretty even matchup, and it would be the team that made a mistake first or the team that made more mistakes would be the team that didn’t come out on the winning end. So you know, I didn’t think we made many mistakes. You lose a game in a shootout it can go either way. They played hard, and hats off to them they have a really good team. But we’re a good team too and we pressed pretty hard.

On his goal…
It is nice to get on the board. It’s been a long time coming. And I guess yeah, it was a relief and it came at a good time for our team. Scoring goals and contributing offensively is one thing, but it’s also another thing if it’s when it’s needed. I think that’s what’s expected of our team is to have different lines, different individuals step up on different nights. And it was a good feeling to get that one out of the way.

On whether his line is improving…
Yeah I think we’re finding our rhythm again. Those guys have been working hard for me. And it’s not a matter of whether we have chemistry, it’s just a matter of finding it. It’s a long season and we’re only a quarter of the way through, so we’re in good shape.

On how he’s feeling…
I guess. I’ve honestly tried to move on, and whether it’s an issue or not it’s just about me feeling comfortable and getting back to my game and contributing all over the ice. So again, I’ve never looked at it as an excuse. It was an injury that I had to deal with and I’m trying to deal with it the best I can. But I’m feeling better lately.

On being able to play and wanting to play…
Absolutely. It’s no fun sitting out. I’ve never been through an injury like that before so I guess there’s an element of patience involved, but there’s also an element of hard work and I’m no stranger to hard work. But it’s hard work and smart work too. It’s really focusing and focusing on the areas that I need to be better at. And like you said, lately our line has been playing better.

On the way he scored being “lucky”…
To be honest with you, not many goals are pretty so you could say that was lucky, but there have been other chances that I’ve had that were unlucky so it all evens out in the end. Like I said, there’s very little pretty goals that are scored in the NHL nowadays so I’ll take that one.

On whether this was a good game both ways…
I thought it was an even match up. They obviously match up well against us and us them, and they’re built very similarly to the way we’re built. They’re a strong team. They’re doing well in that conference and that’s a tough conference to compete in. The game speaks for itself – it goes into a shootout, I don’t think it can get much closer than it was. There were chances on both sides. It’s tough to pick at things that we did wrong, obviously those mistakes made the game, but when you lose in a shootout it could go either way.

On whether the challenge of the match up got the best of them…
I think this team likes playing teams like that – teams that are contenders, teams that are going to potentially be in our way to achieving our goal. We’re often the team that’s used as a measuring stick. In this case I think both teams were feeling each other out and measuring ourselves against them, and I’m sure they were doing the same to us. So very evenly matched game. But like you said, one that could have gone either way.

On how their defense compared to the game against the Rangers…
Yeah we were structurally a little better. The Rangers game wasn’t our finest game. But it was important that against a strong team like St. Louis we had to be good – we had to be good, play within our system and make very little mistakes. But what can you say. I keep saying it, but the game was in a shootout so it’s tough to find fault. Of course there’s areas we could have been better at but it was a pretty close game.

BOSTON BRUINS GOALTENDER TUUKKA RASK
On if this is the best consistent effort that the team has had…
We played a great game I thought.  I gave up that worst goal of my career probably there, and it brought them back in the game, and we got back two-two, played a hell of a third too, and then we just couldn’t score that winning goal and then in the shootout I couldn’t stop their pucks.

On what happened on the St. Louis Blues’ first goal…
It was coming so slow, I saw it the whole time and then I figured if I’d go paddle down slowly the guy beside me would never get a whack at it and obviously I didn’t go paddle down and…went through my pads.

On if the end-of-the-period goals are getting frustrating…
It is, if they’re bad goals like that, if they’re turnovers or if they’re goals like that, so it’s obviously frustrating, but it happens and you’ve just got to move on.  I don’t think – you know, mistakes happen.  Unfortunately when I make a mistake it shows on the scoreboard right away so it’s frustrating as a goalie but you just kind of move on. 

On if he feels pretty good in the third game in four nights…
Yeah, okay.  There was not too much action tonight for me so it wasn’t too bad but it would have been nice to get that one because I thought we just had that. 

On if this game was a good example of a game that should be decided in overtime…
I thought both teams played pretty good hockey; pretty good systems and good players, doing what their coaches are asking them to and then you decide that in a shootout and obviously it feels good for them and sucks for me, personally.

On comparing tonight to the chances they got in the New York Rangers game…
We didn’t give any, or I don’t know any, but not too many odd man rushes, and boxed guys out pretty well today and didn’t give them second opportunities.  But I think, overall, very nice chipping pucks out, chipping pucks in, it was really good today.

On both teams playing well and then having the game decided in a shootout…
Well I’d probably be laughing right now if it weren’t right?  But it sucks when you lose it, I just hate it.  Especially when you can’t stop the puck, I think that’s the worst feeling.

On if he had the choice of whether or not shootouts should remain a part of the game…
I’d gas them right away.  Mid-season.  Take them away.  I don’t [  ] want it.

On how his mentality changes in a shootout…
You can’t be too hyped up.  You’ve got to try to get a read on the guy, and today I was there pretty much every shot except maybe that last one and when you’re there but they score it kind of sucks even more.  I think you just try to stay patient and not get too high, not too low and then try to move with the guy.

On possibly the most intense or playoff-type atmosphere game they’ve had this season ending in a shootout…
Both teams played good, and both teams had chances, and it’s a tie game so if it would be two-two I think both teams would be happy with that, because both teams played a good game.  And now, we got a point, but we could have had two, or both teams could have one and it’s just a pretty bad feeling when you’re on the losing side, that’s all. 

On how he would like to see the game decided instead of a shootout…
I don’t know, the changes in overtime you mean?  I don’t know, maybe play ten minutes?

On if the shootout should be changed to four-on-four, then three-on-three, five minutes of each…
Yeah, I mean, to get that goal right?  At least it would be a goal within the game, not just a shootout goal. 

On switching the ends for overtime so both teams have the long change…
Maybe, I’m sure they’re a lot smarter than I am, so I won’t say anything about that. 

On if that extension would be too long for a game…
I mean, maybe just gas the whole overtime, just end the game there. 

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD CARL SODERBERG
On a rise in his confidence level…
I feel sharp enough, both my shape and my time makes me way better, so I’m working on going up.

On feeling strongly about scoring against the team that drafted him… 
Not at all, that was a long time ago and I was there a really short time, so not really.

On a breakaway in overtime…
The D [defense] did a great job there, he slashed my stick a little right before, so I came too far out.

On being more involved in face-offs….
For sure, I play better and the coaches have seen me more now and trust me more. So of course I feel much more comfortable and they feel comfortable with me.

On one of the best games of the season thus far…
Yeah, we haven’t played that good the last couple of weeks, so I think we played really good today, but we lost. So that’s hockey.

BOSTON BRUINS DEFENSEMAN KEVAN MILLER
On if he felt comfortable in his first NHL game…
Yeah. I mean right away there was a pause in the beginning there, and it took me a little bit to get going, but I felt pretty comfortable through all three periods.

On his familiarity with Matt Bartkowski and getting to play with him tonight…
We’ve played together for a long time, and I played with [Torey] Krug as well. I found a little bit of comfort there, which seemed to work out pretty well.

On how many family and friends he had at tonight’s game…
From Los Angeles there were my mom and dad, and my older brother. My younger brother couldn’t make it. And I had an uncle and my girlfriend here.

On if his family had to scramble to get a flight from Los Angeles when he got called up…
Oh yeah, it was pretty quick. Actually my parents didn’t get to catch the red-eye, they caught the one this morning.

On if he found himself with the puck in good spots…
Yeah, sometimes a game goes your way, sometimes it doesn’t. Tonight, I think pucks were bouncing a little bit my way. Like I said, I’m not here to score too many goals, just get the puck down deep, do my job, when I can provide some offense, do that as well.

On the penalty kill…
Yeah that’s something I pride myself in. I like to be good on the PK and they instilled a little trust in me with that so, it was nice to get that opportunity.

On the number 86…
It was assigned to me but I’m slowly learning to love it. It’s good.

On being born in Los Angeles…
Yeah, North Los Angeles—my whole life.

On being a product of California hockey…
Yeah, yeah. I moved out east for prep school when I was 16. All the way through then I was a product of Los Angeles.

On starting with roller hockey…
I actually started roller but it wasn’t—it didn’t last too long so my neighbor down the street got me going with it, with ice that is.


On his injury…
No right when I got sent down, my first game in St. John’s I got hurt.

On being sent down after coming so close to making the team…
Like I said it’s—to be an eighth defenseman is all good and dandy I just I know the organization felt it was best for me to continue to play games and develop down there and I completely agree with that. I think that’s helped me a long way.

On how he played tonight…
I think overall I handled the puck pretty well. I tried to be physical when I could and just do the single plays so I’m happy with it.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD CHRIS KELLY
On how the game went…
They’re a good hockey team. They play the game the way it should be played. They all work hard and move the puck and skate well. That being said, I thought we played well. I thought we were—we had a lot of great scoring chances and our D moved the puck extremely well. We were in our end a whole lot and our feet were moving.

On keeping even with the Blues…
Yeah I think a lot of times we’re the team that people are trying to scale their game at and tonight it was kind of the tables were turned. We know how well they’ve been playing and we wanted to come out and show what we had. I thought we did that.

On the frustrations of a shootout…
Shootouts are always frustrating when you lose them. They’re fine when you win them. I think the game maybe could have went on all night if they didn’t have a shootout. It was a good hockey team by two good teams or a good hockey game by two good teams and we were just on the short end of it.

On being at an almost equal level with the Blues…
Yeah I think that the ultimate compliment for both sides is when teams get up to play and it’s nice that they said that and obviously we felt that as well.

On putting layers in front of the Blues better than the Rangers…
Definitely. I think Tuukka [Rask] in New York won that game for us and we didn’t really give him a whole lot of help in New York and today I felt that we did a better job. Tuukka [Rask] was still huge for us when we needed him and it’s unfortunate that we didn’t get the two points.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD PATRICE BERGERON
On tonight being a hard-fought game…
We were expecting that, a physical game and a team that’s hard to play against. I thought we played that same kind of game. It was pretty even, I thought. They had some chances, we had some chances, and we played pretty solid. Unfortunately we didn’t get the extra point.

On the Bruins having a well-rounded game offensively…
Yeah, for sure. We needed that. They’re a good team, they have a deep lineup, and so do we. I thought it was an even game, and we did have our share of chances and pucks laying around the net. We’ve got to try to maybe do a little better job of finding the back of the net. That being said, we stuck with it, and we didn’t give them too many chances in our end as well. I thought it was a good effort.

On if the Bruins and Blues are as similar as everyone says…
Yeah, I think we were expecting the same kind of game that we try to play — hard to play against, solid defensively, and deep offensively with four lines. And that’s what we got.

On Loui Eriksson’s confidence increasing…
I think so. I think it’s been going for quite a few games, to be honest with you. We’ve just got to keep on playing the way we’re playing, and we’ve got to try to find the back of the net a little bit more and help our team. That being said, I thought we had some really good looks and really good chances.

On if the Bruins’ forwards improved from their performance in New York…
Yeah, for sure. New York was the type of game that you want to put in the past and look forward. I thought tonight, yeah, we did what we needed to do, as far as respecting the system and helping out on back pressure. Our D’s [defensemen] did a great job of moving the puck quick.

On if getting a point is a good result against St. Louis with a depleted defense…
To be honest, I thought everyone stepped up and played their game. They didn’t try to do more than they were supposed to, and it showed. They were making the quick first pass, and we were out of our zone quickly. I thought the forwards helped out with the back pressure, and I thought we did a good job.

ST LOUIS BLUES FORWARD DEREK ROY
On a tough win…
I mean at the end of our road trip, grinding it out against a good hard fought team and we know they place real strong at home, they like to come out real physical. And we weathered that storm right away, then responded on their goal. I thought all around we did a good job.

On overtime…
Yeah, I was talking to Bernie [Federko] and we do video on the other goalie, and that was my move on him, just coming in with speed, go high glove, and try to surprise him. I surprised him, but it hit the crossbar, so I wanted to redeem myself in the shootout, and coach put me out there.

On the shootout…
It shows that he’s got confidence in me going out in the shootout, and I just wanted to help my team win the game, and I’m happy to do that and be put in that position to do that.

On his ‘strange’ goal….
I didn’t even know I scored it, so I just tried to pull it to my forehand and shoot it and get it towards the net cause I knew there were a couple of guys there, and it happened to go in. My linemates battled to get to the net. So it was a great job by our line tonight, we did a good job. We didn’t spend a lot of time in our own end and we did a good job in the offensive zone.

On the style of the game…
Yeah, I think we were fighting for every inch out there. Guys were jumping off face offs, pucks were getting chipped in, there was a lot of physicality out there, so I thought we held our own, we did a good job. All of our D [defense] did a good job. Jaro [Jaroslav Halak] as well, he played well for us.

On a missed shot…
It seems to even themselves out. I knew I could get him on that shot and I thought I picked it perfect, and I hit cross bar and those things happen and then you get those lucky bounce goals, so you’ve just got to keep working, when it’s not going your way just keep working at it.

On knowing the Bruins’ playing style…
Yeah, I mean I told some guys what they do, tendencies on face-offs and what they like to do in their D zone and how they break the puck out, and I’ve played them a lot of times and I seem to know what they do, so I just like to help my team out.

ST. LOUIS BLUES FORWARD DAVID BACKES
On people thinking the Blues and the Bruins are mirror images of each other…
There’s a lot of similarities. I don’t know if we quite have a 6’9” defenseman, but there’s tough to play against forwards and teams that are disciplined and stick to the game plan. You saw a couple of breakdowns tonight and they all ended up in the back of the net and a hard fought third period, which was a great period of hockey.

On how enjoyable it is to play in a game with the two best teams in hockey facing each other…
Well, we’ve been sloppy and kind of up and down over the last week or two and knew we needed a concerted effort and twenty guys playing the right way and got some great contributions from a lot of guys up and down the lineup. Two points any way you do it, especially against on the road against really, really good teams we’re going to need to build on this sort of win.

On what stands out to him about the way the Bruins approach the game…
They’re a consistent team, I think we’ve played up to their level like we did tonight, but we know every single night the Boston Bruins are going to be on their game. We have lapses still where we’re not quite on our game and we’re working on the consistency night in night out, week to week, month to month, year to year and they’ve been able to do that for four or five years straight now and that’s the sort of competitive attitude and consistency we’re looking for.

On whether going to the shootout is anti-climatic…
It’d be anti-climatic to go to tie and go home. I think the shootouts it’s a skill thing, but there’s some guys that are really good at it and Jaro’s [Jaroslav Halak] been really good in nets for us and go to five shooters that’s always fun for the fans and I think the guys on the bench enjoy it, too.

ST. LOUIS BLUES DEFENSEMAN KEVIN SHATTENKIRK
On the similarity of both teams…
It felt that way. I think that they pride themselves on a lot of the same things we do, hard checking and strong forecheck. They did a great job with that tonight. They forced a lot of turnovers that way and got a lot of offense from it.

On the Blues’ success with shootouts this season…
We have some strong guys in the shootout. T.J. Oshie – obviously doesn’t get one tonight but he has been our go to guy there, getting us the first goal and kind of setting the stage for the rest of the guys. We have a lot of weapons that we can use in that situation. We know that our goalies are going to make some big saves for us as well.

On how tonight’s game went…
It was a lot like a playoff game. It was very tight, maybe a few too many chances that we gave up that we were not too happy about. You know that’s what happens in these games, they are emotional and sometimes it’s back-and-forth for a little bit.

On one thing that Shattenkirk would have changed about his performance tonight…
That’s tough. I don’t know. I think just early on keeping it simple in a tough building like this. Kind of getting yourself into the game, not easing into the game but making smart plays and allowing yourself to kind of get your game going that way and not try and force into it.

ST. LOUIS BLUES HEAD COACH KEN HITCHCOCK
On whether this game helped him learn anything about the team…
Well I think if that’s the level, that’s a pretty high level. I thought Boston played really well in the first and third, and we played very well in the second. I think we know there’s another level out there, and I think going home and getting ready for it is going to help us. So we got the information we needed. I thought both teams put a lot of pressure on each team’s defense. I don’t think either team had a fun time in their own end, because we were either forechecking them or they were forechecking the heck out of us. So it was a very intense, hard hockey game.

On whether the level of play was a playoff-type game…
Yeah it was a playoff game, exactly. It was very disciplined. I think both teams really respected each other, but it was really a hard game. It was physical in a way – not running over each other – but it was physical in a way where there was a lot of weight and heavy play out there. I think for a lot of guys this was very demanding.

On Jaroslav Halak’s performance…
He was our best player tonight. You need to do that. Especially on a road trip, you know we’ve had a pretty good go here on the road trip. We really needed him today and he stepped up big time.

On how they practice controlling the play off a faceoff…
Yeah especially on the power play, we’ve scored a lot of power play goals that way. I think it was a hard game for a lot of guys today, so it was very demanding. I thought, like I said, I thought they were better than we were in the first and third, and I thought we were better than they were in the second.

On Derek Roy scoring to answer the Bruins goal in the first…
Yeah, getting back on it. You know we made a big error and we needed to get back. And I think we’ve done that a lot this year. I think that’s one of the best qualities we’ve had is answering the bell right away and to get back on the horse right away.

On whether he planned to have Derek Roy in the shootout, or if it was a result of him hitting the crossbar in regulation…
You know, we have five guys that we kind of rotate and go through. But I usually look at body language on the bench and [Derek Roy] Roysie was up perked up he wanted to go. So we had him go.

On whether he wanted to make up for the crossbar…
Yeah he felt – He told guys on the bench that he was going to do the move, and did it and got away with it.

BOSTON BRUINS HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN PREGAME PRESS CONFERENCE AT 11:35 A.M.
On an update for Seidenberg…
As far as tonight, he’s not in. He’s day-to-day, he’s working out. So probably one of those situations that I would probably put it more or less seven days, could be less; from the time of the injury.

On what prompted him to call up Kevan Miller…
Just that he was a big, strong, solid defenseman. Moved the puck fairly well; simple play. Again, probably his strength, his battle along the walls and in front of the net he’s a big strong individual. So I thought he played a steady game, I thought he got better as camp went on; more confident from playing some games at this level. So he’s got an opportunity tonight to step in and show that he can play against one of the best teams in the league actually.

On if Adam McQuaid is an option tonight…
No, not because he hasn’t practiced. That’s one of the reasons, but he’s not quite 100% yet. So, a possibility maybe for next game but not tonight.

On if Carl Soderberg has exceeded his expectations…
I think he’s come along well. I’m not sure that right now I’m going to say he exceeded but I like what I’m seeing from him. One of those guys on our team that is really gritty and heavy around the net area and he battles hard; he’s not afraid to go there, he’s got a heavy stick in those areas. And I think he’s getting used to playing the wing. A guy who’s played center a good portion of his life, there’s a bit of an adjustment at staying on the wing and playing that role so I think he’s getting more and more comfortable. I like the direction he’s going in. He seems to be getting better, more comfortable and obviously seems to make something happen every game.

On what he’s seen from Matt Barkowski…
Yeah he’s – obviously the more you play, the better you get and I think he’s skated better, he seems more confident now. He got banged up a little bit last game and sucked it up and kept playing so there’s a lot of good things that have come out of Bart [Matt Bartkowski]. Grown as an athlete with experience and his knowledge of the expectations and everything else. So he’s definitely a guy that I think is playing better all the time and we’re starting to rely on him a little bit more now with some of these injuries.

On what he remembers about being called up to the NHL and how it felt…
First of all, I didn’t get called up that much. Second of all, it’s a long time ago so I don’t have much to go back on to be honest with you. It’s normal that you’re a little nervous but once the game starts, you’re in it and that’s it. The more you play, obviously the more you get into it. But I think in Millsy’s [Kevan Miller] case, he got enough exhibition games and I think he feels fairly comfortable here. Just watching him this morning in practice, he knew our drills and seemed to be comfortable in execution and stuff like that. He’s a pretty confident guy I think he’ll be fine.


On the personality of the defense with the young players…
Well we’ll see tonight how good it is but we had an opportunity to see this situation last year against New York in the playoffs. We had a young D and they handled themselves well. It’s about, I keep repeating myself, it’s about giving them the confidence to just go out there and play. If you make them nervous, if you put restrictions on them, they go out there and they play on their heels. You just have to let them go out there and play their game and you can adjust it as you go along. But these are guys that I think a lot of them – like Dougie [Hamilton], and [Torey] Krug and [Matt] Bartkowski – have been in much more, or bigger pressure situations than what it is tonight. So they just have to go out there and play. They’re good players, so there’s no reason why they can’t handle it.

On if there are concerns about how much time Zdeno Chara is playing to account for injuries…
I think sometimes we have a tendency to maybe make too much out of it. We talked about reducing his ice time, not because he can’t take it, because we think in the long run over the course of a season. But for him to play some big minutes every once and a while, not an issue at all.  Like that game in New York, he felt great. He even said afterwards, ‘I had no issues with that, I felt great.’ We know that. But we’re thinking further than the moment when we talked about that. But he can certainly log a lot of minutes and he’s in great shape, he’s not at a point where it affects him. So he’s very capable of getting those kind of minutes and if he needs those minutes tonight, he’s going to get them again.

On Zdeno Chara as a captain…
Pretty good. I think when I got here, just coaching against him and seeing what he was doing, you could see a guy who really cared. But at the same time, I thought he was a guy that cared so much he was trying to do everybody’s job. That’s what I told him when I first got here; if you play well, then I don’t have to worry about you, I can work with the other guys. But if you’re trying to do everybody else’s job, then I have to worry about you too. So it was about him – and I just found that he was going from one corner to the other corner that year where he was trying to cover so much – and I think he understood that. So that was part of his game, and when you play it better, it’s a lot easier to show some leadership than when you’re struggling like everybody else. So that was part of it. I think over the years he grew to understand that, just like coaches, I’m as good as the people that surround me and I can cover a lot more by trusting the people around me. And he started doing the same thing as well; utilizing the leaders around him and that kind of stuff and he’s just gotten better and better at it. So when he does have to make a stand, it’s not something he does every day because he doesn’t have to; he has other people helping him out.

On Chara stressing a no-nonsense locker room…
I think that’s where we get along well, when it comes to that kind of stuff. I’m of the same belief – you’re not a rookie, you’re a first year player – and you should be treated with the same kind of respect as everybody else. But I think a first year player should, on his own, understand that there’s guys that have been around for a while and there’s that respect factor that can’t disappear; but that’s where it stops. It’s not about the hazing, it’s not about anything else. Same thing, if we’re going to be successful, we all have to be on the same page. So that’s where his no-nonsense is; he won’t allow guys in that dressing room to be on different agendas.

On if good captaincy is more important in hockey than other sports…
That’s a hard question for me to answer because I don’t know enough about the other sports; I don’t know how it works. And you know that the dressing rooms are different in other sports whether it’s football with a lot more players; and that’s why they have more than one captain. Baseball, I’m not quite sure either; I don’t know enough about the inside of that. But I know that a captain and its leadership - the core group of your team – is really important when it comes to success and being on the same page.

On Loui Eriksson making a difference…
Yeah I think when you look at Loui [Eriksson], you just have to look at a good player here. He’s got points in most of his games lately, he’s created things in a lot of those games. His penalty killing – and I don’t know if people are realizing how good of a penalty killer he is – but he brings a lot of different things to the table and I think right now I see him starting to be more of an effective player and more of a difference maker in our lineup as he gets more and more comfortable. I think he’s been a solid player since he’s come back. I saw him getting much better just before he got hurt and then he’s taken off right where he left off and continues to get more and more comfortable. But I like his game. When you look for players to be difference makers, they have to be consistent; and I think he’s pretty consistent. And even so, I think he’s getting better with that as well.
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