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Running quotes for Bruins vs. Islanders on 12/31

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
BOSTON BRUINS PREGAME QUOTES

BOSTON BRUINS VS. NEW YORK ISLANDERS
Tuesday, December 31, 2013


BOSTON BRUINS HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE AT 10:05 P.M.
On how many problems were self-inflicted for the Bruins tonight…
A lot of it. I think when we took the 3-1 lead we kind of relaxed and they came back hard and they kind of got the momentum back and we couldn’t regain it. They made their own breaks and they made their breaks by getting some good bounces and got themselves back in the game but in the third period, they were the better team, again. We lost because I think it was, like you said, probably self-inflicted. We took a lot of ill-advised penalties that at one point caught up to us and I didn’t think our penalty kill obviously was very good tonight.

On how uncharacteristic of a game this was…
A lot. I just said, a lot of things I didn’t like tonight. Obviously our penalty kill wasn’t very good, some of the decision making, even again, we talked about our forecheck – we were late, we weren’t winning battles, they dominated the battle area – and when you start losing those kind of things, to our team it’s certainly not a good sign.

On how he evaluates Tuukka Rask the last couple of games…
I don’t evaluate players just to – you guys can evaluate him the way you want. All I know is that he’s been a real great goaltender for us and players sometimes have good games, they have so-so games, and I’m certainly not going to throw him under the bus with everything he’s done for us so I’ll leave it at that.

On how the penalty kill faltered…
Bad PK tonight. I’m not going to start analyzing the game here guys. You guys can do that. I have enough of that to do on my own.

On how long this loss should sting before moving on…
Well you’re going to have to want to do something about it. We have a game again on Thursday against Nashville and we’ve lost two in a row now. We don’t like being in that situation so hopefully we get a positive response from our team on Thursday.

On what caused the high amount penalties…
Well I mean if we’re going to talk penalties here you’re going to have to be specific. What I mean is that, some of them I thought were really bad penalties on our part. Other ones, I don’t agree with the [Milan] Lucic penalty at the end.

On the penalties when the game was still close like Matt Bartkowski’s penalty…
To me that’s a battle, to me that’s a battle and that’s what I mean. We can discuss that. To me, I don’t agree with those calls. They were made but there were some that, again, Lucic’s penalty at center ice and [Brad] Marchand’s, some of those penalties are penalties that ended up hurting us a lot on the road so we have to take ownership of that.

On what he saw from the PK that made it so ineffective…
Sloppiness. You guys got your answer.

BOSTON BRUINS GOALTENDER TUUKKA RASK
On the penalty kill…
Well it was part of it for sure. I can stop the puck when it mattered and then get those bounces so that’s the result. It feels like everything’s going in one way or another. We didn’t play too bad. We got the lead and then we had two goalie and then we kind of blew it. The penalty kill wasn’t on par today.

On whether he was in a slump or not…
Well I just had a shutout. Do you think it was my fault?

On getting pulled…
Yeah did you see those goals? Yeah I didn’t blame myself for that game, I wasn’t even supposed to play that game. Totally forgot about that game and then tried to regroup today so I wouldn’t say I’m in a slump. You think so? Sure.

On where he is seeing failure…
I don’t know. It was just a tough game. Hits Marchy [Brad Marchand] in the skate at 100 miles and hour and then Z [Zdeno Chara] had that pass cut, then somebody just pokes it, it goes in. We had some breakdowns but they didn’t score all of those. They’re good in front of a net, make those little plays so we really weren’t sharp cutting those passes away today but I don’t think we’re awful offensively, no.

On whether he will review this game or forget about it…
Yeah I don’t think you want to over analyze too much just because we didn’t play too bad. The penalty kill was obviously weak and we recognize that but then you’ve got to realize that they got a couple of bounces through, might have been a different game without those but I don’t think we want to overanalyze that. Start a new year tomorrow.

On Dennis Seidenberg being missed…
Yeah that comes with experience. Guys have to step up and learn how to play in front of a net and Seids [Dennis Seidenberg] is really good at it and today we missed him but we have full confidence to guys so that they—the younger guys can step up.

On this happening now rather than later in the season…
Yeah exactly we have time to grow into it and feel good about ourselves in the last part of this season so I don’t think we have to be worried.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD DAVID KREJCI
On what he thought about the team effort…
I thought we did a pretty good job to a point, we were up 3-1 and we kind of let up. I feel that we kind of gave them their second and third goals on their power play, it was kind of a bad bounce but it happened because we weren’t sure. And then in the third period, the first shift, another power play goal so our penalty kill didn’t do a very good job today but it’s not just them, it’s the whole team. We win as a team and we lose as a team. Obviously it’s a disappointing loss but we have to move on.

On if he feels for Tuukka Rask…
Yeah, a couple bad calls. Even a goalie like that has a bad game but it wasn’t just him. We didn’t help him too much on those goals. It is what it is but the good thing is we have 40 games left and we still can do something about it.

On when players “lose their cool”…
I don’t know, obviously guys were frustrated. We felt that there could have been a couple more power plays but it happens, no ones perfect even refs make mistakes once in a while and that’s the game.

On his 100th goal…
It’s just a number. It’s nice to get 100 goals, hopefully there will be 100 more in my career but it’s just a number.

On if tonight was just about discipline…
Yeah, it just wasn’t there today. I don’t know what happened but a couple bad penalties, a couple questionable calls and before you know it, you're losing. So we have to learn from that and be more disciplined next game.

On if the bad vibe carried into the last period…
I don’t think so. It’s just a bad break on that fourth goal on the first shift. He’s behind the goal line and that’s just an example of how the night went for us today. We felt like we could have scored a couple more goals, we felt like we could have defended a little better and we also felt like we could have had a couple more power plays. So it was just a tough night for us. Obviously it’s disappointing but we have to regroup and move on and we have our next game in a couple days so we have to be better.

On if he can expect this game to be forgotten…
It has to, we have no other choice. We have to have a good practice tomorrow and come out from first to the last minute on Thursday.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD PATRICE BERGERON
On what went wrong for the Bruins tonight…
Obviously you’ve got to give credit for the good game but a lot of it is our own doing; not playing the way we should and taking too many penalties.  We knew they had a good power play and we didn’t do a good job on the PK [penalty kill] and, like I said, we can give them credit but still, we could’ve played a lot better.

On the breakdowns on the penalty kill…
They were moving the puck well but we weren’t really taking the passing lane; we were worse sticks, but also we weren’t clearing the puck out of our zone enough and they were standing in our zone and we were getting tired by doing that and they took advantage of that.

On if there’s anything you can do to tighten up and stay focused during a game…
Obviously there’s lots of things that are being said during a game so…

On their performance tonight…
It’s obviously not us and we could be a lot better, everyone, on the ice and we all take a lot of pride in our PK and we have to look at videos, and like I said, compete and be a lot better.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD MILAN LUCIC
On the loss…
Yeah well it’s frustrating obviously when you have two leads and ends up going the way it does. They get two goals behind the goal line and everything else that went on but at the end of the day we lost a game and it sucks losing that way.

On the calls that were made changing the players’ attitudes…
A little bit. I mean, you try not to let it effect you and you try not to get frustrated but at the end of the day they capitalized on their chances on the power play and almost—well it does feel like that New Jersey loss earlier in the season.

On why they lost…
I say it’s a little bit of both. I’d say we did get comfortable after we had the two-goal lead. They capitalized on their chances and got their breaks and say what you want at the end of the day you make your breaks so like I said, it sucks to end of the year of 2013 this way. Opportunity to bounce back on Thursday.

On the hit and the penalty that was called against him…
Well I hit him from the side so I mean, it is what it is. Obviously I didn’t feel like it was a penalty, I saw the video of it, it’s not a penalty so. My comments don’t really matter right now. It’s not going to change that he called the penalty so that’s all it is.

On Krejci’s 100th career goal…
Yeah it’s a big accomplishment. It would have been nice to have got the win with a hundredth goal. He’s been playing really well as of late he’s been real consistent throughout this year and hopefully he can keep it up.

BOSTON BRUINS DEFENSEMAN ZDENO CHARA
On if discipline was the biggest problem…
I don’t think that we took more – maybe toward the end, yeah—but I don’t think we took more penalties than some other more games that we were probably more penalized. For sure, we could be better in that area but I don’t think it was out of hand. We took probably the same number of penalties a number of games before but we were just able to kill those power plays and we just didn’t have the bounces or luck on our side but we can't be making excuses because of that.

On if the effort level changed after being up 3-1…
No, I don’t think it changed. Again, you're going to score right away on the power play, another one on the power play and all of a sudden it was an even game. So, we still had the final 20 ahead of use and then they got the bounce off Tuukka [Rask] and then we fell behind right away and then they capitalized on another one, on that power play. So yeah we had to push more and take some chances and we pretty much opened up a little bit of the game but we didn’t get that goal we needed to make it a one goal game so then we could possibly put a goal in there at the end and try to even out the game.

On if things got undisciplined…
I don’t think we took that many more penalties than some other games. Some games you're going to get called for things that you might not get called for in previous games but for sure we have to be better in that area.

On if it was more about bad bounces tonight…
Well for sure some of those goals when you look at them –the fourth goal went off of Tuuks [Tuukka Rask], the third or second off Marchy [Brad Marchand], and then off my skate right to them. Again, I'm not making excuses, sometimes that’s the way it goes. You're going to get some goals scored that are hard to prevent; when they go off the skates or bodies, et cetera.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD BRAD MARCHAND
On the penalty with New York Islanders player Colin McDonald…
He came at me good, I don’t know why he didn’t get a penalty on the play too.  I dropped the gloves, but he still should have got something.

On what the problem with the penalty kill was tonight…
A little bit of everything.  We had a couple of unlucky bounces.  They have a really good power play; we just made a few mistakes, and they capitalize on those kind of things.  It’s frustrating because I think if our PK [penalty kill] would have stepped up then we would have won that game.

On if he feels the Islanders outworked the Bruins tonight…
I wouldn’t say they outworked us; we had a decent game, we had a few opportunities that would have been nice to get back and capitalize on.  They capitalized when they did, it’s just how it goes sometimes.  I don’t think we had a bad game though. 


NEW YORK ISLANDERS HEAD COACH JACK CAPUANO
On how the team could’ve hung their heads after not getting the replay and going down in the game…
Yeah, especially in this building against a good team we just tried to stay the course and stay with it and we got that first one was a big one and our power play came through for us tonight and I think we fed off that and good emotion on the bench and the guys never quit. They were relentless and I think we made some good surges there.

On whether staying aggressive is the key to the team’s winning…
Yeah, you know we want to be aggressive especially against that team, but we didn’t manage the puck very well. We had two or three really bad decisions with under three minutes to go and those are things we need to clean up. When we’re throwing pucks in the middle of the ice and they’re coming the other way, I mean the game is not over at that time against that team so there was a little bit of concern on discipline and decision making with the puck, but we want to continue to play fast, we want to continue playing on our toes. That’s the style that we have to play to be successful.

On John Tavares saying the saw the puck went over the line on replay and how the team responded to that…
Yeah I do and we’re going to face adversity like that and you’re not always going to get the calls that you want. We haven’t gotten a lot of calls to be honest with you, but they stuck with it and it just showed that goal we got pucks to the net, we got bodies to the net and we’re crashing and banging and that’s what we had to get back to. I thought we made it easy on Rask obviously in the first period a lot of times and we learned from it and got the two points.

On the explanation from the official, whether he blew the whistle or whether he intended to blow the whistle…
A little bit of both, but he was coming up with his hand at that particular time and you know they got a tough job to do. You know we obviously have the video here so he gets the explanation from Mike Murphy and those guys in Toronto and it is what it is. But we overcame that and we started the play. We drew some penalties and it was a function of us. We got to move our feet, we’re sitting around watching a little bit and once we started playing, good things started to happen for us.

On this being the seventh time in the last four or five years when the Bruins lost with a two goal lead and knowing that beating the Bruins like this is a tough chore…
Coming in there they way they play and the way they track the puck, they way that especially in the faceoff circle they’re a dominant team and that is huge obviously to get offensive zone time. But we just stuck with it and we started to have to get pucks behind their D and play behind the goal line and once our guys started doing that and believing on how we play it gives them confidence.

On having the mentality last year of winning 1-0 games and hopefully this sparking a more consistent effort…
Yeah you hope so. Right now where we’re at, whatever it takes to spark. I mean we’ve done a lot of good things and even the couple of goals we gave up. Obviously you correct that, but if we have to win them like this we will. The way the NHL is with the new rules and you look around the league every night there’s not that many 1-0 games or 2-1 games, but obviously we’d like to be we’re a defense first mentality, but if we got to get a couple like tonight then so be it. But we have to have better starts, that’s the main thing for our team right now.

NEW YORK ISLANDERS FORWARD FRANS NEILSEN
On going down 3-1 and how it could’ve been a moment where the team could’ve hung their heads a little bit…
Yeah, and I think we definitely have been doing that earlier, but I don’t know, but I like the way we responded the last couple of games like we haven’t played well in the beginning, but we got out legs going and we’ve been behind 3-1 today and three nothing last game and we keep believe, get a couple of bounces there. We just, you know, it’s a good feeling right now.

On whether tonight’s game is a sign of what this team could be in the second half…
Sure. We are definitely not in the position we wanted to be and expected. We believe we have a good team here. For some reason we’re in a hole, we put ourselves in a hole there and we got some work to do. But yeah, we are really hoping these last couple of weeks here that showed us how good we are and we get some confidence now and hopefully we have to put a big streak together to get back in it then hopefully that’s the start.

On what about the power play in particular clicked tonight…
I think we kept it really simple. Got shots and worked hard to get the puck back after we shot the puck. Yeah, like I said we just kept it simple and I think that’s what we got to do. That’s when we’re best. We don’t really have the guys to go seam and make the nice goals. We got a hard working PP and that’s what got our success the last two seasons and that’s what we got to get back to.

NEW YORK ISLANDERS FORWARD JOHN TAVARES
On the Isles playing differently in the last two games compared to the rest of the year…
I think this game, even though we didn’t have a great start, we just stuck with it. Being down by a goal on the road isn’t always the worst thing in the world, you just have to turn the page. We did a better job in the second period, we seemed to get our legs going. It was a long day for us with the way the situation was with the basketball game beforehand and not being able to come to the rink. It seemed like we started to get our legs going, and obviously the power play, it’s good to see it come through in a big way. Yeah for sure, we’re doing a bunch of better things I think over the last couple weeks. We’ve just got to stay with it and know what’s bringing us success.

On the referees’ no-goal call on Cal Clutterbuck in the first period…
The coaches came in here and told us. They just wanted to get us going and know that they missed one, and we’re going to have to go out there and earn them. We’re going to have to get an extra one tonight. It was just a great job by everyone turning the page and staying focused, and battling it out. Everyone competed hard. It really took us a while to get some forecheck and some pressure, but we started to find a way and made it difficult on them.

On the Islanders taking advantage of Boston’s lack of discipline…
You try to. Obviously we had four power play goals, I mean for sure you want to take advantage of those opportunities. Whether they’re undisciplined or not, or you get the calls, you go out there and play as hard as you can, and try to put the puck in the net. So it was a good job by our power play to finally capitalize.

On the Islanders finding their legs late in the second period…
We just seemed to be skating better, we had a better forecheck, moved the puck a little quicker up the ice from our own end. And then obviously with the power play, you want to take advantage, and we were able to do that.

On what has been working with the power play…
We seem to be up and down. We started off the year really well and it’s been kind of up and down ever since. Today was the first game that we really got a lot done and really were able to capitalize on a lot of our chances. It’s about simplifying and taking what’s given to you, and that’s what we did, and put some pucks on net and take advantage of winning some battles, and sometimes that’s what it is. It’s all about the hard work, it’s not always about the skill that’s on the ice.

NEW YORK ISLANDERS FORWARD KYLE OKPOSO
On what went well for the power play…
I thought we just kind of made good plays. We got back to two-on-one-ing guys, and we moved it around. We didn’t force anything, and then when they were tired, I thought we capitalized on making some opportunities. On that last one there, we had some good chances because we worked around the zone for a while and they got tired. But we got back to shooting pucks, too, Johnny [Tavares] getting that fifth goal, that’s just a good shot, and that’s what we need to do more of.

On turning their four-game road winning streak into home success…
We’ve just got to come out and play a similar game to what we do on the road. We can’t try and be too fancy, can’t be too cute, we’ve just got to get pucks in and keep trusting out game. I think that we’re starting to grow as a team. We’ve got a little homestand here, and we’re going to take advantage of those three games.

NEW YORK ISLANDERS GOALTENDER EVGENI NABOKOV
On if the Isles’ defensive zone coverage was to his liking…
When you’re working hard as a unit of five, you’re blocking shots like Matty [Martin] blocked that shot in the third period, it’s always good. So I thought it was pretty good.

On not hanging their heads when the Bruins led 3-1…
Yeah, that’s hockey. I thought they scored that third goal a little bit too quick for my liking, and I thought they grabbed the momentum, but we didn’t put our heads down and we found a way back in the same period. I thought it was huge. Yeah we caught a little bit of a bounce there, but the bounce would not happen if Kyle [Okposo] did not put the puck towards the net. It was just like we were talking about against New Jersey. It’s the same thing. Coaches will tell you over time, throw the puck at the net and good things are going to happen. Fortunately for us, we got a couple of good bounces to go our way, and we found a way to win.


BOSTON BRUINS HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN PREGAME MEDIA AVAILABILITY AT 11:45 FROM RISTUCCIA ARENA IN WILMINGTON, MA
On Thornton…
You respect that, it’s his decision and you have to respect it. I think at the end of the day, I don’t know what his thoughts are but when it’s all said and done, it’s just a matter of going on and for me, I think it might not be a bad thing for him to just focus on his return versus the process of going through it.

On what he’s learned about Thornton and his presence…
Well his presence is always good because we know what he brings to our team and we also know now the players feel with him in the lineup. At the same time, I don’t want to diminish his presence but I think we’ve handled it well. Our guys have done a good job, some guys have stepped up and we continue to be team tough. We always say we’re team tough and this is just a matter of when one guy goes down, the rest of the guys just kind of stick up for each other and I think we’ve handled it well. So I think it’s a matter of having that asset when you don’t have it and you adjust and I think we’ve done that.

On if there’s a timetable for Loui Eriksson yet…
No. There’s never a timetable for guys coming off those kind of injuries so it’s always day-to-day and depending on how they continue to progress. He just did line rushes today, there was no contact, there was nothing else out there. So just seeing him on the ice is a good sign and skating and so we’ll continue to evaluate him as we go along here.

On a timetable for Soderberg…
Again, as long as there’s no setbacks we keep moving forward with them. So I can’t tell you that he’s going to be in next game or the game after that because I don’t know. When it comes to that, doctors have to tell us that they’re ready to go and then we make decisions from there.

On possibly lessening Chara’s ice time…
To be honest with you, I think we made a mistake by saying that. Because that’s all people are looking at right now. We didn’t say he couldn’t handle it, we said we wanted to minimize it; and we do minimize it when we have everybody healthy and everything else. But he’s a great athlete, he’s still in good shape, he can still handle all those minutes. That’s not an issue. So I think we’re making a real big deal out of that and I think at the end of the day you want to make sure that by the time we get to the end of the year he’s not knocked out – and he never has been. Maybe last year in the Finals he was but I don’t think that was because of the season. I think it was the long playoff series and the ice time we gave him through that eventual caught up to him. But it wasn’t a matter of during the season ice time. And he’s going to be going to the Olympics this year, and so are a lot of other players on our team and other teams. So it’s just a matter of managing his situation and sometimes it can be practices – you saw him get off early yesterday – and that kind of stuff; we do manage that, that’s not an issue. Like I said, we kind of said that at the end of the year that we wanted to manage his ice time, and we have. Lately it’s been up because of the situation, which is a normal thing.

On if the presence of Svedberg is good for Chad Johnson…
Yeah I don’t know if it’s just pushing or sometimes it’s a matter too of – if there’s injuries during the season – a goaltender could get called up. You saw that in Carolina for example, you’ve seen it in LA; I think it’s just a normal thing. There’s nothing more than hoping to have three and maybe even four goaltenders that you can rely on. And I think we have that in Providence right now with a young guy in [Malcolm] Subban that we anticipate good things from and is improving all the time and Sveddy [Niklas Svedberg] who has been a good goaltender there for a year and a half. So that’s all it is, it’s a matter of managing that part of the goaltending situation and go from there. And I think you’re going to see Sveddy here again. He’s definitely going to get some games. It’s important for those guys to get some games and to evaluate and to see where everybody is when they’ve deserved it and they’ve earned it.

On if the team has to be careful not overworking Chara in the absence of Seidenberg…
We don’t have to be careful. Again, I don’t think it’s even worth answering. We’ve got six D’s in our lineup, we just have to use them properly. You got guys, [Adam] McQuaid is back, [Dougie] Hamilton is going to be back hopefully soon and we’ll be back to normal here; we’ll just have [Dennis] Seidenberg out of the lineup. We’ve been through that before like I said with other players and we’ve always managed. You miss [Patrice] Bergeron for a whole year, you lost [Marc] Savard and I know those guys are forwards but those guys are top forwards and we still managed without those guys so we’ll do the same without Seids [Dennis Seidenberg].

On what he expects from the Islanders…
I think the biggest thing for me right now is our forecheck and our neutral zone forecheck as well. When you look back at the last game, I thought Ottawa came out of their own end too easily, got some speed through the neutral zone and had some scoring chances off the rush. We just can’t do that against the Islanders. I think we have to be better in that area tonight because they do have speed and they have skill up front. So we have to respect that part of it and I think that part of our game is going to be important for us tonight.
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