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Running Quotes For Bruins Vs. Hurricanes On 4/5

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
BOSTON BRUINS PREGAME QUOTES

BOSTON BRUINS VS CAROLINA HURRICANES
TUESDAY, APRIL 5, 2016

BOSTON BRUINS HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN POSTGAME AT 10:00 PM
On if he could sense his team being a little tense in the first two periods…
No.  I think it was about sticking with it here and that’s what we did.  I mean we stuck with it and we managed to tie the game up.  I can answer 20 questions here or I can give you one thing, it’s an inability to finish and that’s the main thing here for tonight.  Nothing more.

On if he felt things were breaking the Bruins way when Loui Eriksson scored…
Well it got us a point I guess.  Again, we got to have a little bit of puck luck, there’s no doubt about that.  But we had some opportunities to score and we didn’t finish.

On if he would have liked to see more shots taken as opposed to passes on some plays…
Hindsight.  Probably when you see the pass, the one [David] Pastrnak gives, if it’s on the tape it’s an empty net goal for us, he sold everybody on it, goaltender included, so it looks bad because it ends up between the stick and the skate and ends up in the corner.  It’s the right play to do.  There are times that you can shoot but at the same time, like I said, it’s not the major issue.  The major issue is not scoring.

On the play of Tuukka Rask tonight…
He gave up one goal.

On if Brad Marchand was a consideration for the shootout…
Hindsight.

On how he chooses his shootout lineup…
A little bit of everything.  We do it in practice, it’s all taken care of.  With the tendencies of the goaltender, I’ve answered that question before, it’s all based on that.  So if people want to use hindsight, that’s all there is, but we make those decisions, again, I think the guys that went have scored in the shootout and done a great job before but because they didn’t score tonight, we can second guess all we want.

On if the chances the Bruins gave up tonight were better than against St. Louis and Chicago…
Yeah a little bit better obviously.  We gave up one goal, defensively we were much better and we obviously had more chances than they did, but I’m going to repeat myself again.

On what he attributes the lack of finish to…
If I knew I’d correct it.  Sometimes those things happen.  Whether it’s confidence, whether it’s a little bit of bad luck, a little bit of everything.  So you just got to work yourselves through it.

BOSTON BRUINS GOALTENDER TUUKKA RASK…
On if he was screened on the first goal…
Yeah. My mistake there was I was looking up high, not down low. And then I didn’t make the save so. [So you picked it up late?] Yeah. Probably didn’t go in if I stayed all the way.

On when Zdeno Chara saved the puck at the end of the game...
I thanked him after. I wasn’t sure if I had it or not, so I didn’t want to stop looking and turning and drop myself so quite a job by him. And you know it probably wasn’t going in unless the guy poked it, right? Because it looked like it was slowing down. But great save by him.

On if he thought something differently was going to happen with the game-winning goal…
Yeah he got it backhand and kind of off angle and got it up high pretty quickly. But you know it’s a shootout so I’m not going to…sometimes I save them and sometimes I don’t. I try to stop them all, you know?

On if they had better chances in the first period…
They had a couple in the first, yeah – real good chances. You know too bad we gave up that goal because you know it would’ve been nice to be tied. But it took us a while to battle back. And you know we created some chances, too. But it was a pretty even game overall.

On if the chances against were better than they were in St. Louis and Chicago…
Well I guess there wasn’t…St. Louis is a team that creates a lot of havoc around the net and gets second opportunities, and Chicago is great off the rush and against odd-man rushes. So they’re two different teams, so yeah today I thought defensively we played better. Obviously the other team is going to get some chances, but we minimized them pretty well tonight.

On if this will be tough to bounce back from…
Well you know we can’t start thinking about this loss too much. We have to get back to work tomorrow and you know it’s going to be a big game on Thursday. But this time in the season when you lose games they’re always tough and they’re pretty much all must-wins. So we have to get ready for Thursday and it’s going to be a pretty much do-or-die for us.

On if there was any benefit to having time off the other day…
Maybe physically but…[You’d rather have it not happen of course, but…?] Yeah I don’t know, I feel good, so I don’t know if it’s going to have an effect on anything.

On if he thought they were going to end it in OT…
Well…hoping. Hoping they were going to get that bounce and that look for a goal. But then again, they had a couple of good looks, too. And as a goalie with three-on-three you just have to be on your toes at all times because there’s going to be shots against you. And they had a couple looks, a couple posts, but you know I was just hoping that we’d score.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD DAVID KREJCI…
On if he liked the chances they were getting in the beginning of the game…
I mean the start wasn’t bad at all. I mean like you said we got lots of shots, couple good looks on our power play especially the second one. We scored our 10 goals on the road against two really good teams and we just couldn’t bury any of those good chances, especially in the first two periods. So it was tough but we stuck with it and Loui [Eriksson] got a big goal. In the shootout or even in overtime it could have gone either way. So you know what right now, what are we going to do? We’re not going to hang our heads. We got a point. Watch the game tomorrow and get ready for Detroit on Thursday.

On the recent games and if there’s confusion over missed points…
No reason to kind of dig in the past. I mean we’ll see what’s going to happen, but right now like I said, we’ll watch the game tomorrow, stay positive, get two points on Thursday and go from there.

On if he thinks in a must-win game a contending team like the Bruins should be able to beat a team that’s out of the playoffs like Carolina…
Yeah I mean honestly there’s no doubt that we needed those two points and obviously we wanted them, but for some reason we just couldn’t put the puck in the net, like I said. Especially in the first two periods we had a few really good scoring chances so you know what, it is what it is. But like I said again, we got a point so what’re we going to do now? Just kind of regroup and get ready for Thursday.

On if it’s difficult to regroup now…
I mean yeah, but right now it’s right after the game so it’s obviously frustrating, but you know trying to have a good attitude and really enjoy tomorrow – tomorrow night just kind of sit by the TV, watch the game and you know see what happens, so that’s all we can do right now.

On if he feels like they’re getting enough pressure around the net…
You know it’s kind of tough to say. It’s right after the game so going to have to look at a video. But there was…hundred percent there was some chances that the puck could’ve gone in the net. But you know maybe even a little different decisions around the net. Shot is there, take a shot…you got a guy open, make a smart play, you know? So I feel like we have to play a little bit with more confidence, especially in the offensive zone and make something happen, you know? No one else is going to do it for us. So go out there and every single player needs to want to be the difference-maker, you know? So we need 20 guys; we can’t rely on the one, two, three guys so everybody needs to step up. This was a big game and you know we failed to get two points. So we got one and now move on.

On the challenge of playing a team that’s been eliminated versus a team that still is in the hunt for the playoffs…
Same as we play St. Louis and Chicago last game. So we didn’t really look at...how would I say…how to stop them more than anything? Just kind of focused on our game, play good defensively – we did that I thought. Tuukks [Tuukka Rask] played well today.

On if he felt Carolina played like a different team because the points didn’t matter to them…
I don’t know. It doesn't really matter how they played. We had to play a good, structured game – for the most part I thought we did that. We were just missing maybe a little bit more in the net area. We had to get a little bit dirtier and create our chances, so it was the difference today.

On how soon they move on from this game and focus on Thursday…
Yeah it is definitely frustrating right now. But you know, what are you going to do? Like I said earlier, we got one point. Kind of stay positive, watch the game tomorrow and get ready for Thursday.

On if he’ll do video scouting live while he watches Detroit play tomorrow…
One hundred percent.

On if this changes the mentality going into Thursday’s game…
Definitely. Desperation…it had to be there today as well. We worked on some defensive play. I thought we played a pretty decent, structured game today, but we just couldn’t bury our chances.

On if this loss was more frustrating after they came back and tied the game…
Yeah honestly we felt pretty good after Loui [Eriksson] scored a goal. The fans were awesome. There were definitely a couple chances we could have put the puck in the net, even in overtime. But we didn’t so like I said what’re we going to do? We’re not going to hang our heads. Just going to kind of regroup tomorrow and watch again tomorrow and get ready for Thursday.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD BRAD MARCHAND
On how disappointing it is that they no longer control their playoff destiny…
Yeah, it’s tough. I mean, we were so close, only a shot away. But all we can do now is focus on the next game, get prepared for that, and we’ll go from there.

On why the Bruins lacked finish tonight…
It’s how hockey goes. Sometimes they go in and sometimes they don’t. That’s hockey.

On if he was hoping to participate in the shootout…
I was kind of hoping it didn’t come to that. I was hoping that we’d get there, so I wasn’t even really thinking about it.

On if he feels underutilized on the power play and in the shootout…
No, I’m just happy to be on the power play at all, and I’m going to do whatever the team asks me to do, regardless of what that is. So, I’m just going to try and play my role.

On if the Bruins were too careful at the start of the game…
Well I mean they’re a good team. On any night, any team can win in this league, and I think some people might look at them and say it’s a definite win, but it’s not the case. It’s the NHL, and the best players in the world. So they came to play. They came out hard, and we had some opportunities. I missed on a partial breakaway there. So, we had our chances.

On if it’s hard to explain why offense has been an issue lately after not being an issue all year…
I think that around this time, teams tend to tighten up, and play a little better defensively. They really focus on that going down the stretch, and getting ready for the playoffs. So, I think that might have something to do with it.

On if it was frustrating to not turn third period momentum into a goal…
Yeah, but not every time you get momentum you’re going to score a goal, and they had a couple chances, too. So, again, that’s hockey.

On if it’s a challenge to keep morale up after losing a game they felt they needed to win…
No, I mean, we still have to go to the next game. It’s a do-or-die every game. We have two left here, and we still have to look at this next one and be extremely prepared for that. So we’ve got to let this one go and be ready for the next game.

On if there’s anything alarming about not scoring more than one goal against Carolina…
Not really. Again, it’s the NHL, and no one is going to run over anyone just because they expect to win a game in this league. Teams come prepared, and they play hard. So, again, that’s why we’re in the NHL. No one is going to, on command, dominate any team.

On if the Bruins’ offensive confidence has been shaken…
Not really. We had six goals in St. Louis before last game. I don’t think we’re feeling that much pressure offensively.

On if teams that are mathematically eliminated play differently…
Yeah, they tend to play well. You look at Toronto and Buffalo and Carolina, they’re beating some good teams. So you can’t look at any team that is lower in the standings and think that it’s an easy win or an easy game. They’re never easy games.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD JIMMY HAYES
On if his fight in the first period being attributed to frustration with the lack of playing time…
No, just a big game, just trying to get some momentum and it’s just part of hockey.  It’s part of the game.

On how frustrating the loss was…
I mean, yeah, it’s crunch time here so you obviously want to get two points and you know it’s nice to see our team battle back and put ourselves in a spot to get two points.  We just got to find a way to get a couple more goals and maybe get some momentum swinging our way.

On how they can bounce back from this loss moving forward…
Obviously we got the next game, it’s a big game, it’s a team we are fighting with, so it’s going to be obviously huge momentum and we are just going to have to find a way to play a full 60 minutes and get the results we want.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD LOUI ERIKSSON
On the game being bittersweet because he made a good play but the team lost…
Yeah, no it was definitely nice to get the one. We know how important the games are right now, too, so it’s a tough one. At least we find a way to get one point, so that was nice, but I think everyone wanted to win tonight so it was a tough one.

On whether it is hard to come up with a move in the shootout when you pull a move like he did during the game…
Yeah, maybe sometimes. I try to go that way and felt like I had him there in the shootout. I just kind of missed that open net to put it in there, but I wasn’t able to put it in, so it’s too bad.

On whether he had an idea that he could catch them on the change as he was going for the puck…
Yeah I was just coming in from my penalty there, and I tried to keep my speed and I saw they were in the middle of a change there, too, so I was able to pick the puck up there and went on the breakaway, so it was definitely nice.

On the season being on the line and how they can improve upon their lack of finish…
Just, I mean, play with more confidence. To maybe, when you have that extra chance or time, you have to find a way to score those goals, and I think we can do a little bit better there when we get the chances.

On how much it hurt to not have Dennis Seidenberg on the ice…
That’s always a tough man to not have in your lineup. You know how hard he works and how important he is for the team, so it’s definitely tough to see him not playing, so hopefully he can come back here soon.

On whether he feels they respected the system…
I didn’t think… we didn’t… I thought we had a pretty good game. We had some good chances, and it’s a good team we’re playing against. They’re playing really good hockey, and it’s tough to… they get the first goal, and I thought we were able to stick with it and were able to tie it up there in the third, so it was definitely nice to get back, but it would have been nice to get the win.

On having a great offensive finish against Chicago and why that didn’t happen tonight…
I mean, yeah, like you said, I thought we played real well in the third in Chicago. We should have maybe come out a little bit harder than we did. We were able to get some shots in the end there in the first at least. I thought we had some pretty good chances all around during the game, but maybe we should make it a little bit harder on the goalie. Sometimes we were just putting it in his belly and in his glove, so we have to just be better at putting pucks on the net and maybe shoot for that rebound or something just to get something going and maybe get the rebound goal or something.

BOSTON BRUINS DEFENSEMAN TOREY KRUG
On how frustrating it was to not finish scoring chances…
It’s tough. For the most part, goal scoring hasn’t been the issue this season. So when you see it not going in, in a time of need, it’s frustrating. But now we’ve just got to take care of our business and try to figure things out.

On the quick turnaround to play again on Thursday…
Yeah, especially, it’s a big game. We’ve got to win that one, and I think to be able to put this one behind us quick and move on and look at a bigger game right now is important. We’ve just got to stick with it and take care of our business, and we’ll look to do that.

On if the Bruins respected the system tonight…
Yeah, we did a good job. They obviously played hard. Going into it, we knew they were a good team. They’re fast. They like to play with the puck, and I thought for the most part, we did okay. We had good layers defensively. You can always improve. Our desperation level maybe needs to come up a little bit, but you could feel the energy in the third period, and the way we were playing. It was definitely good to see, but it would have been nice to get another one there and end the game. Tuuks [Tuukka Rask] did a heck of a job for us, coming up big throughout periods of the game and making saves in the shootout, and we’ve got to find a way to put one past their goalie.

CAROLINA HURRICANES HEAD COACH BILL PETERS
On how the game came together at the end...
Well all in all it was a good game, and you know obviously I thought we got good contributions throughout the lineup and we found a way to win the shootout, which is good.

On how if it’s instinct to throw them over the boards in the shootout...
Well we talked about it everyday, who we are going to use, what’s our rotation, and we beat it up quite a bit. You know we got a big project going on right now, trying to study it, trying to get a better handle on that in the overtime. I thought we had good looks in the third and in overtime and I thought it was Jake [Slavin] who hit both posts there kind of early, might have been from the first shift after OT and then some other good looks. I liked the way we played, I liked the way we competed, they had a little scratch earlier in the second, where they were the better team, but other than that we settled down and played well.

On how well their goalie, Cam Ward, played tonight...
Yeah, real good effort. You know it was really, really good. Solid, he played calm, very confident and poised in the net and it resonates throughout the line when he’s like that.

On how Sergey Tolchinsky hasn’t played on the three-on-three before, but he was thrown over the boards...
Well we got to find out right? We wanted to get him out earlier with three-on-three, and just the way with three-on-three went with the penalties from some D-zone draws was just a hard time to get them out there in the right situation. But I thought when he was out there he was very good and very dynamic. Very confident, young guy and likes hanging onto the puck and look to make plays.

On how some say this game is not meaningful much, in terms of the standings...
Well I think Detroit thinks it’s very meaningful. I think Philadelphia and Boston think it’s meaningful. I think its meaningful, so to me, a good game. So is game 81; so is game 82.

On how Noah Hanifin has been for them this year on Carolina...
He’s outstanding. He's been outstanding right from day one. You know, we were excited when we got him from the draft and we are excited to have him right now. He's got a huge upside to him, he’s very good, he’s done a great job in a long season. This is his first time playing many games at this level with the travel and everything else. So, just the maturity of the player and the skill of the player is a nice combination at a young age.

On if being back here in Boston had anything to do with putting him in the shootout...
Nope, just the skill – skill (laughing). Bright lights don’t seem to bother him a whole bunch from what I can tell.

On what he thought on Jaccob Slavin...
Well I think Smitty [Jaccob Slavin] has been working on that one with the fellas in practice.

CAROLINA HURRICANES DEFENSEMAN JACCOB SLAVIN
On scoring the first goal of the game…
I think it just started with a good forecheck and then just some good movement up top. I just tried to get it to the net, to be honest, I wasn’t necessarily going for a goal, but I’ll take it.

On his impression of the team’s effort…
I thought we battled pretty hard from the drop of the puck. The third period we kind of weathered the storm a little bit, but we ended up getting the two points, so it was a big win for us.

On Noah Hanifin’s game winning shot…
I loved it. I mean we both went to the back end and I guess the back end never fails for us. I guess we got to keep trying that or figure something else out. But no, it was a good goal by him.

On playing spoiler to the Bruins and finishing the season on a high note…
I definitely think that we’re just trying to finish the season hard. I mean obviously it’s a bummer that we can’t make the playoffs this year. I think we worked really hard, but it’s definitely a big win for us.

On positives from the end of the season…
I mean you just look around the guys we got here and we’ve got a lot of character. We’ve got a very young group. I think we compete every single night and we definitely have a bright future here.

CAROLINA HURRICANES GOALTENDER CAM WARD
On if the game had a playoff-type feel…
Yeah we knew coming into the game how important it was for the Bruins and unfortunately we are in the situation we can’t make the playoffs, but we’re also in the situation where we can play spoiler and that was motivation for me to come in here and play a strong game and try to treat it as almost like a playoff game because of what we were trying to do.

On how the game looked to him…
Yeah I thought we competed real hard. I mean obviously they pushed in the second and the third but we had our opportunities, too. You know we look at the overtime we had two posts and we almost scored late in regulation. So we had the opportunities to finish the game and I’m proud of the guys for the effort that they put forth. It’s not easy when you’re eliminated and kudos to them for showing up.

On the shootout…
Yeah I joked to some of the players on the bench that we were slightly overdue for a shootout so why not tonight. You know I just kind of carried over my composure from the game and tried to stay big and was fortunate to make some saves. It’s always great when the hometown kid gets the opportunity like that and cashes in so I’m proud of him for that.

On slowing down the game tonight…
Well you know, just trying to control my rebounds. In this building you have got to be able to control the game and you know I felt really comfortable in there and took whistles when I could to help calm the players and tonight I was just seeing the puck very well.

On how the win affects the mood of the team…
Well I mean it’s a big lift. It’s a confidence booster. You know you say that and here we are eliminated from the playoffs but you look at the positives. You know you’ve got a lot of great players here that build in for the future and tonight despite not really having anything to play for they showed up and competed against a very good team.

On wanting to be a part of this locker room…
Well you know what? I’m really enjoying it. I’m having a lot of fun. It almost makes you feel young again and I’m excited. These guys are legit. You know they’re very good players. Not only skill-wise but maturity is something that really impresses me and it’s fun to play with them. I hope I can help them along the way.

On the importance of positive attitude with young players…
I mean at the end of the day this is the top league in the world. It’s the NHL and you’ve got to be professional about it. You’ve got to look at every game you put on the jersey and you’ve got to wear it proud and play for something. At the end of the day you’re getting paid to perform and it would obviously be nice to have something to play for, but proud of the guys that stepped up tonight.


CAROLINA HURRICANES DEFENSEMAN NOAH HANIFIN...
...It was a nice job on the bench, just to have a move read, whether get called or not. Just to be ready to go and like I said, Gerbes [Nathan Gerbe] is out there, kind of telling me that the blocker side is pretty good for him, so I mixed it up there.

On how it was special to do it here in Boston...
Yeah, it was pretty cool. I don’t know how many of my buddies are going to be happy about it but no it was definitely special.

On what this game meant for their team, what with them not making it to the playoffs...
Yeah, yeah, I mean I think we want to show off fighting. You know, I think just because we are not going to make the playoffs doesn’t mean we can’t show character. But we did that tonight and you know one of our goals is to finish the season strong and we don’t want to go into the offseason down at all. So I think that was a good win for us.

On what he thought of Cam Ward’s performance tonight...
Oh unbelievable, I mean both goalies have been great all year and I am definitely very comfortable being back there with Cam and [Eddie] Lack and once again we had an unbelievable game.

On coming back to Boston and scoring the winning goal...
Yeah I don't know, I mean it’s just kind of all opportunity, I guess. You know Coach [Bill Peters] threw me out there both times and you know it ended up working out. So I guess you just got to capitalize on those opportunities you get.

On what he was thinking throughout that shootout goal...
Yeah I mean I was telling him that Gerbe is on the bench, he’s trying to tell me that [Tuukka] Rask is really going to block your side in the shootout. So I’m going to try to come down on the right side and fake a shot so that it hits his blockers, thinking he would expect that, and just go to my back hand and it was there.

On how it is important to still put it out on the line, knowing that you didn’t make the playoffs...
Yeah it’s huge I think. You know this is a job for us now, and you know just because we are out of the playoffs doesn’t mean we can take nights off. You know we got to show character and I think we’ve been doing that, we’ve been playing hard and you know we have a lot of young guys in this room who are definitely showing a lot of heart I think.

On how he thinks his first season has been as a whole...
Yeah it’s been great. It’s been a big learning lesson I would say. You know, from the beginning of camp to September, to now, I think I’ve learned a lot as a player and you know the coaching staff here has been great. You know, all the players, all the older guys have helped me out so much along the way so you know, I just want to learn from it and use it all this summer, and my training and come back a better player.

On if he has a Frozen Four prediction...
BC, all the way. I am hoping they win it. I think all of my buddies, they went down there today, so I am wishing them the best.

HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN PREGAME PRESS CONFERENCE AT 10:50 AM
On which defensemen are playing tonight...
Well obviously we recalled Colin [Miller] so he’s in for sure. And then obviously the normal guys are in. So we’ll make the decisions on a couple guys there. Colin [Miller], sorry, the other Miller is in – Millsy [Kevan Miller] is in the morning skate, so we’re hoping that he can play tonight so we’ll probably decide a little later.

On Dennis Seidenberg…
Dennis is out. Seidenberg is out.

On Colin Miller’s recall…
Yes it’s a regular recall.

On if Dennis Seidenberg had a setback yesterday…
Not really, he was just testing it out. Not good enough to play, so… 

On what he didn’t like offensively against this team the last time they played them…
Don’t remember – it’s been too long. I know we lost 3-2 in overtime so it’s…to be honest with you I don't really remember a ton of things there.

On if he gets the sense that the offense is performing better…
The offense is there right now again. We just have to tighten up a little bit defensively, which we’ve gone through a couple of times this year. And we’ve gotten loose a little bit and then we’ve tightened it up and when we’ve tightened it up we’ve been able to have success. So if we can tighten it up tonight and continue to I guess take advantage of our opportunities to score that should help our chances quite a bit.

On if Colin Miller might have taken any strides in Providence while he was down there…
I think one of the good things for him, being a young player, is that he got to play regularly. He got some of those kinks out of his game. You know again, a guy that can move the puck well, a guy that can shoot the puck well, skates well, and just at times had to…was a little erratic in our own end. And so he had an opportunity to go down there, play a lot more and try and work on that part of his game. So he’s been good and I think right now he’s a guy where we have a choice of putting in our lineup tonight and looking at a little bit more of where we have some question marks with players that are banged up a little bit with injuries and so on and so forth.

On Seth Griffith going back to Providence and who will come in for him tonight…
Well, we’ve got two choices. We’ve obviously got [Jimmy] Hayes and [Tyler] Randell as forwards.

On what Tuukka Rask brings to the team as a leader…
Well he’s just a competitor. I think goaltenders in a certain way get in their own bubbles, but you know when they’re at their best they really focus on their game and all that stuff. So he’s just a competitor. He just leads I think by example. There’s no doubt he’s got a temper, you know, when a game is over and it didn’t go his way, which is not a bad thing. He cares, so I think just his demeanor is one of a leader.

On the defensive core and the way the group has developed…
Well I mean you know you still see some ups and downs here, and we expected that. You know when you bring in a bunch of new players and as you know some of those guys are all in their first years with the hockey club, and they’ve been in and out as well at times so its hard to just … When you just got one player and five veterans that surround him, it’s easy. But we had more than one – we had three. And so I think they’ve all progressed, and again, you’re seeing one coming back tonight for that reason. We still feel that he’s a good defenseman and sometimes you have to do the right thing for the player and for the team in order to get better and you hope that that was the case with Colin [Miller]. So the other two guys, you know, they would’ve had to be exposed to waivers, so it was a little tougher. So you just make decisions based on what you have. But I think those young defensemen have improved and that kind of stuff. You’re going to hear from Torey Krug – I think he’s played well this year – but I think you’re going to hear from him and the fact that he hasn’t been able to find the back of the net as much as he did the past years. Those things happen; those kinds of seasons happen and it doesn't matter. Sometimes you feel like you’re snake bitten like that, but you know we’ve managed to get to where we are right now, and where we are right now is in the position to get into the playoffs. So we have to be happy with your group.

On how Kevan Miller has progressed into the type of player he is now…
I think a lot of it with him is his personality. He’s such a determined individual, you know. So where he started off to where he is right now … He’s just worked his way into the NHL number one. He was not a superstar in the American League in Providence; he was a steady defenseman, but we all know that we can use those kinds of guys here just as much as we can use guys that are, I guess, electrifying in that league. So he’s come in here, he’s worked hard – believe it or not he’s probably one of the guys that produces some decent offense in the offensive zone from, you know, pinching and coming in there and making plays to his shots and all that kind of stuff. So he’s actually been a real – I’m not going to say a surprise, but a pleasant addition for us where he’s given us probably even more than we expected from him. But you know it doesn't matter, you can’t hold that guy down. He was extremely disappointed that he was injured in St. Louis and he’s worked really hard to try and make it back. And that’s the kind of player you have right there. So I think his commitment, his personality, his approach … I would definitely put him in the old-time players kind of category. You can’t hold him down.

On Frank Vatrano and if he sees any improvement from his time in Providence…
Yeah he still has, you know again, we want him to get better along the walls and all that stuff. But you know Frankie is going to be one of those players that if you set him up for a good shot you’re going to get some goal production out of him. And that’s the thing with Frankie. When you give him one opportunity, some games you may not see a lot out of him and think that he’s not doing much, but all he needs is one opportunity. So he can skate well. I said he’s got a great shot. He’s working on other parts of his game and that’s, you know, being better in his own end and along the walls and that’s all you can ask for from a guy like that. But he’s got such a potent shot and can be such a good sniper that he becomes a valuable asset for us.

On Ryan Spooner’s line…
Well we’d like to see more, no doubt, out of that line. We’d like to see more and you know obviously we’re changing guys. But I think in a certain way Ryan’s got to take things over here with his skating and his ability to make plays. I think if he can bring that part to that line I think it’s going to make a big difference because we know that when Spoons decides to skate and make plays it makes a big difference. So he’s had a tough month and I think hopefully he can find his game here, especially this week, which is obviously a big week for us.

On if there’s any progress with Brett Connolly…
He’s progressing. I don’t know if he skated this morning or he might have been scheduled to skate before. I’m not quite sure. But that’s the progression he’s making right now.

#04/05/16#
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