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Running Quotes for Bruins vs. Panthers on 11/4

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
BOSTON BRUINS POSTGAME QUOTES

BOSTON BRUINS VS FLORIDA PANTHERS
Tuesday, November 4, 2014


BOSTON BRUINS HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE AT 9:45 P.M.
On if that was the kind of game he expected tonight…
Yeah, I think Florida gave us exactly what we knew they were gonna give us. They come out, they played hard, they’re very stingy, they take away a lot of space, they take away a lot of time. I think they’ve really embraced that defensive part of their game, which makes it hard to score against. They played the type of game that we expected them to play. From our end, I thought we really maybe – I’m not gonna use struggle – but I think we were challenged tonight with our puck movement. I thought the first pass, just puck management, was very average. We struggled in that area tonight, which made the game even harder for us. We showed a lot of character, just sticking with it and trying to find ways to get our game going and I appreciated that from our players. But I think the fact that we weren’t managing and moving the puck as well as we know we can made it a tough night for us.

On Brad Marchand being able to go on hot streaks…
I think it’s the same with a lot of players, they feel good about their game, and he started scoring now. I think the confidence part is certainly there. He missed a couple of real good opportunities before he even scored. I guess he was just feeling it and it was just a matter of time. It’s nice to see him not quit or get discouraged, and [he] found a way to find a nice winning goal for us. But his game’s really come along there in the last week.

On if tonight was some of the best hockey he’s seen from the Patrice Bergeron line this season…
I still think they can play even better. We’re talking about one guy here right now that’s really scoring goals, and that’s not to discredit the other two because Bergy [Patrice Bergeron] is arguably our best player on most nights. He still works hard and stuff like that. But I think, again, not the chemistry, but I think the puck movement between them still isn’t quite where we’ve seen it before. There’s still room for improvement and they just gotta keep working at it, because they’ve got one guy right now that’s really hot, and Bergy scores a big goal for us. It was pretty dead at that time and just tying the game up kind of gave us some life again. It was pretty discouraging at that point because we just couldn’t get anything going from moving the puck to having any kind of flow, so that goal gave us a little bit of life.

On if Reilly Smith is catching up to the rest of the team…
I’ll save that for inside the room. I don’t think we need to discuss every little thing here. That’s my job to deal with those players.

On if Smith threw more hits tonight…
That’s good. That’s a good sign. That’s a good sign, he’s trying to get himself going. And I don’t think he’s playing bad, I mean he’s just one of those guys with that line – I think that whole line, the three of them together, are starting to come around. Two goals from that line tonight, so you can’t complain.

On how important the forecheck was to get the puck moving better…
Well, it is. That’s how you create a lot of goals, right, is from turnovers. We had some chances tonight, mostly in the third, from good forechecking and pucks being turned over. Even in overtime, we did a good job and they were having a hard time getting out of their own end, so that was good from our end of it. I thought our forecheck was really good at that point. Those are the kind of things that our team, when it’s on top of its game, excels in.

On the mindset behind playing three forwards and one defenseman in overtime…
No, I’ve been doing that. Do you watch games, or what? I’ve been doing that the hole time. The only times I’ve started with two [forwards] and two [defensemen], just for one shift there in the last game because of the situation. But we’ve been going like that for now a year and a half. You guys gotta get NESN on your home TVs.

On Joe Morrow looking confident and aggressive…
Again, individual – I just thought as a group tonight, him included, we made some good plays but we also turned some pucks over. I didn’t think our puck movement tonight was as good as it had been lately, so that’s, again, that’s what made our night a little bit harder.

On having Morrow on the ice in overtime…
Yeah, he finished, I think we finished the last five minutes with four D, so it was maybe a little tough to throw a guy that’s been sitting for a while. But it was only our third rotation through, or fourth rotation, I think, through that we scored that winning goal, so the other guys never had a chance.

On what the team’s emotions were like during the tribute to Shawn Thornton…
I mean, everybody was happy to have him on our team. It’s nice that they paid tribute to him. He’s been a good part of our – a big part of our hockey club for years and doing what he did, on and off the ice. Off the ice is community, off the ice is in the dressing room. He’s been a real good soldier for us. I think the guys respect that and so do we as coaches. We’ve always liked Thorny, he’s an honest player and a hard-nosed player who understands his role and has always been very positive in everything he’s done. To me, he’s been a good asset to that Florida team. I’m sure that that dressing room presence, amongst a couple others veterans [Willie] Mitchell and those kind of guys, I think they’ve done a good job, I’m sure, of settling things down in there.

On if he was happy that the team was able to grind out a win even if the team didn’t play its best…
Yeah, again, guys it wasn’t a perfect night. We really struggled with that. But, you know, let’s understand one thing here is I’m really, really proud of the character that we showed to fight through that. From the start of the game, it was a real tough first, and even the second until we scored that goal, it was really a tough game for us. But the guys found a way to turn it around, tied the game, and we found a way to win it. A lot of character in this win tonight, even though it wasn’t pretty, it takes character sometimes throughout the season to win those kind of games. You’re right, they’re injured too and they showed a lot of character. It was a character battle tonight, in my mind.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD PATRICE BERGERON
On seeing Brad Marchand get the game-winning goal after missing chances early…
Yeah, it was nice. He had some great looks I thought all night, and we all stayed with it as a line. It was a great play by him on that overtime goal, and great finish.

On Reilly Smith and Brad Marchand helping to set up his goal…
Yeah for sure. It was a great play by both of them. I thought Reilly [Smith] hunted the puck and hunted their defenseman to turn it over, and Brad [Marchand] made a great pass to me. I was lucky enough to be at that spot, and to get the goal.

On how tonight’s win can give the Bruins more confidence…
I think it’s one of those nights where you’ve got to find a way, and I thought we did. You can build on that, and realizing it’s not always going to be easy, but as long as you get the result, at the end of the day, that’s all that matters.

On getting a personal lift from scoring his second goal of the season…
I mean it’s always nice to contribute like that, scoring goals. I thought the last few games, I’ve been a lot better, and I’ve just got to build on that.

On how his line was able to regroup after struggling…
I think we have the experience, and we know what makes us successful. We just have to go back to doing that. Sometimes it takes longer than you would want, but you’ve got to stay with it and I thought we did that.

On seeing Reilly Smith’s play coming along…
Yeah for sure. Especially all of us as a line, I think we all got better in the last few games. It certainly helps one another with our game, and Reilly [Smith] is no different. I think we all picked it up, and it helped him.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD REILLY SMITH
On the line playing better after coach juggled up the lines…
I wouldn’t say that’s just the reason because it was what, one period or something? I think we’re doing a good job right now. Created a little more opportunities, we’re having a little more patience with the puck. Last couple games it’s seemed to be beneficial.

On what you have been doing better…
Not forcing any pucks. Playing with a little bit more confidence and not forcing it as much. Kind of just being a little bit more patient and letting plays kind of happen before forcing them and making them happen myself.

On mucking it up a little more physically…
I don’t know about that. If that’s what you’re seeing then I’ll take it. No, I think it’s just a little bit more poise with the puck…

On the line shakeup affecting you at all…
You try and not let anything like that affect you. They’re minor details and I’ve been on other teams, pretty much every other team actually, lines get shuffled up much more than they do here so I’m used to it. I didn’t let it affect me too much I think.

On getting put back with Bergeron being a reward…
I try not to think of it too much. If you’re thinking about it too much like that then you’re second guessing yourself all the time. You try to be as even keel as I can just because you don’t want to be bouncing around all the time with your emotions.

On your play along the boards for Bergeron’s goal…
I saw the guy turn his back to the puck, or to the play and I just try to jump on him as quick as possible. Brad [Marchand] came over and helped me pretty quick. I don’t even know if Patrice [Bergeron] knew where the net is but it’s just kind of a Patrice play where somehow it goes in and he’s doing the right thing and he’s in the right spot at the right time.

On differences when the line is streaking together opposed to separately…
You’ll take any confidence booster you can. Like you said last year we were kind of riding different people and Bergy [Patrice Bergeron] was hot at the end of the year, Marchy [Brad Marchand] was streaky, I’m streaky as well. It seems like it’s kind of going the same way this year. You know, I’ll try to help out a little more than I have, I guess in the goal scoring column. When they’re playing great it’s pretty easy to get them the puck because they seem to do something special with it.

On the team’s identity being finding ways to win…
We’re trying to get back to it. It’s a tough start. It seemed like last year, no matter any time we were in that situation we kind of always came out. It’s definitely a building block tonight and the last couple games for sure. We’ve gotta keep it going in the right direction because it’s still so early in the season and things can go south pretty quickly. We have to do a better job playing a full sixty minutes and I don’t think tonight was our best effort.

On Thornton’s tribute being emotional…
It’s good to see. He was a great guy and a great teammate. You love to see that. I’m pretty sure it was a pretty special moment for him and his family. It’s good to see that but I think we were all pretty focused on business tonight.

BOSTON BRUINS DEFENSEMAN DAVID WARSOFSKY
On taking hits today…
Sometimes you’ve got to take a hit to try and make a play.  It was one of those pucks that got stuck on the yellow, and I couldn’t really take a good angle, and he was right on me.  I mean I knew I was going to have to take a hit.  That’s how the game works out sometimes. 

On Florida’s style of play…
They didn’t give up a lot offensively, in their own d-zone, I thought.  They do a pretty good job of doing that.  It was good to get a win tonight. 

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD BRAD MARCHAND
On having plenty of room on his game-winning goal…
Yeah, there was a little more room, but they were kind of tired. They were in their zone for a bit there. I just wanted to try to regroup and get some speed, and Dougie [Hamilton] made a nice play. It was a little bit of a gap there, and I just wanted to try to get it to the net, and the puck went in.

On his missed scoring chances tonight…
On the first one, I had so much time, I didn’t really know what to do. I was going to cut back, but then I saw how much net I had, and I just tried to shoot it. Then the other one, Seids [Dennis Seidenberg] gave it to me, I just couldn’t get a handle on it. I was pretty frustrated that I didn’t score early on, but I mean it was nice that we got two points.

On the video tribute to Shawn Thornton and if he got a chance to talk to Thornton…
No, I mean guys don’t really talk a whole lot on the ice. But it was a good tribute. I think we all knew it was coming. Every time someone’s come back to town that has been on our team, they get one, and it’s been great. He was here for a long time, the city loves him, and he was a good teammate. It’s good to see, and it was fun to play against him.

On his line with Patrice Bergeron and Reilly Smith playing better…
I think tonight was a real big step forward for us. We played with a lot more confidence than we have in the past number of games, and it seems like were able to make plays now and hold on. I think that’s one thing we weren’t doing very well early on. We were throwing it away a lot, and weren’t supporting each other very well. But our legs seemed to be under us, we seemed to be more comfortable with the puck, and we felt really good tonight.

On the importance of playing well along the boards…
Yeah it was great. Bergy [Patrice Bergeron] did a great job of getting in there, and forcing it up the wall, and Smitty [Reilly Smith] did a great job of pinching it off, and it popped out to me, and I just tried to get it to Bergy. Those are the things we have to do to win. We have to do the dirty things. Play simple, play hard, play within the system, and it works. It shows, and that’s why we won tonight.

On what makes Roberto Luongo tough to play against…
Well he’s a big guy, and he fills a lot of the net. He seems to battle hard, and cuts his angles down well. I mean he’s one of the top goalies in the league. He has been for a long time. It’s always tough when you play him.

On if he has more confidence when facing a goalie he’s had success against…
Yeah, definitely. Anytime I go into a game and there’s a goalie that I score on more than others, I always feel confident in that situation. And tonight, I kind of felt the same way. You kind of hope at the same time that maybe luck will be on your side, but again, you want to try to be confident all the time, but it’s definitely something you can use to your advantage.

On if there’s a greater sense of urgency with David Krejci out of the lineup…
Yeah definitely. With him being out, our best player, top scorer, it’s a huge hole to fill in. It definitely puts more responsibility on our line. We’ve got to step up and produce, especially when we weren’t as much earlier in the year. So that’s our job, we all feel confident we can do that, and hopefully we can continue to play well.

On if it frustrates him to go through scoring streaks and slumps…
That’s hockey. It happens to all the top guys every year, and it happens to every player every year. You just want to try to ride the waves, not get too low when you’re not scoring, and not get too high when you are scoring. Both situations are going to end at some point, and you just want to stay even-keeled.

BOSTON BRUINS DEFENSEMAN JOE MORROW
On how he feels playing…
Pretty good.  I feel like I progressively get a little better, a little more comfortable as the night goes on and each game, if that.  The main thing is just to keep progressing, keep getting better, day in and day out.  So, that’s what I’m trying to focus to do: keep it simple and live it day to day by now.

On playing more “simple” compared to his style in Providence…
I was never really known for simple play, but it seems to be benefiting this team — slightly.  I can’t say it’s been all me.  This team’s just so talented up front, and with all the players around you, you may as well give them the puck and let them do the work.  All I need to do is try and keep it out of my net.  Definitely the simple style of play is a little different for me, but it’s proved to work out pretty good. And these guys around here are playing really well, so, it helps out.

On his number of shots…
Yeah, I try and shoot the puck a lot, but tonight it was going off everything but the goaltender and the back of the net.  So, it’s got to be something I’ve got to work on in practice too to get the shot completely through, rather than around the perimeter of the net.  It’s definitely been an option for me to shoot the puck always, so I try to do that a lot.

BOSTON BRUINS GOALTENDER TUUKKA RASK
On still getting the two points after a below average performance…
Yeah it’s the sign of a good team when you grind those wins out. Obviously we didn’t play our best today. We didn’t have every line going and that’s when we’re kind of weak sometimes. We found a way, we stuck with it and didn’t give them much defensively. Blocked a lot of shots too which is great and found a way to win. Happy for Marchy [Brad Marchand], he’s been playing great lately.

On Marchand carrying the team when he gets on hot streaks…
Well he doesn’t think, he just goes and goes by his instinct. Sometimes when he starts overthinking then he starts overpassing and pulling the breaks and looking for that late guy coming in, making turnovers, then he gets yelled at and then he starts thinking—when he doesn’t think and when he’s really playing direct line, thinking shot and driving to the net it pays off for him and hopefully he keeps doing that.

On Thornton’s tribute…
It was great. I think it was the loudest this year by far in the building. It was kind of emotional there seeing all those moments we spent together and had together. I’m happy we won, he played a lot of minutes today and I’m happy he didn’t get that goal.

On chirping Thornton for not scoring…
No, no, no he had a couple shots there and a couple shots he didn’t take. You can’t score if you don’t shoot.

On being emotional for you watching the tribute video…
Oh for sure. We’ve been together my whole career and a lot of guys here too. Same with Johnny [Boychuk]. But it’s good to see that the Bruins recognize that and the fans recognize it and gave him a really good welcome. It’s good to see that.

On getting the mojo back in finding a way to win…
Yeah for sure. Those are always tough games when you can’t get anything going there. But today I liked it because we didn’t give up too many chances. We didn’t create a lot but we still played a tight defense for the most part. Blocked a lot of shots and even though the breakout wasn’t as clean as we wanted we stuck with it and went on as five man units and at the end of the day we won. Those are really good things to see.

On playing conservatively when undermanned being effective…
Absolutely, were known to be a team who never wants to give up a lot of chances. Last year and this year especially we really got away from that and we lose games four to three and stuff like that its unlike us. It’s something we want to fix and we’re in the process of fixing it and lately the past couple of games its paid off.

FLORIDA PANTHERS HEAD COACH GERARD GALLANT
On the panthers being involved in another low scoring game...
We had a good game.  We come into this building against a tough team and I thought we battled real well for sixty minutes.  In overtime we got a little bit in trouble in our own zone and it cost us at the end.  Overall a real good game and I thought our guys battled hard.

On the team having no penalties in the game...
Yeah that’s great.  Like I said it wasn’t a very physical game, there was lots of skating and there was some bumping.  I think we only had one power play and they had none so I think it was one of those games that was a well-played game by both teams and we worked hard.

On the minutes that Vincent Trocheck and Rocco Grimaldi were able to give him...
Well they were good and put Colby Robak on that line, they played real well.  That’s two games that they have played excellent and they had some great scoring chances so I’m real happy with that line and like I said they were probably our best line tonight again.

On if tonight’s game was a positive step in the right direction for his team...
Yeah definitely.  Coming into this building like I said it’s not easy to play in Boston but I thought when we are getting points on the road against a good team.  We wanted the win tonight, we didn’t get it.  We got one point and we’re not satisfied with it because the guys are pretty disappointed.  Overall I like the way we are playing. 

On Aleksander Barkov not being able to go tonight...
Yeah he wasn’t ready to go.  He’s close but he wasn’t ready tonight.

On the team getting points on every road game this year...
Yeah we have talked about it.  Like I said, the guys take pride, you go on the road, you know it’s going to be tough and when we are keeping scores like the way we are, the low scoring games, we get a chance to win.  Getting the first goal tonight was big and like I said we had a couple of goal posts in the game. I think there was an open net there that we missed a great chance on.  So the chances are coming and hopefully the goals will start to come a little more but we are playing great hockey.

FLORIDA PANTHERS GOALTENDER ROBERTO LUONGO
On playing seven out of eight games where the team gave up two goals or less…
It was a hard fought battle. It’s a tough building to play in. We battled hard again. We were very disciplined. We didn’t take any penalties tonight, which was really good. It came down to overtime. Their guy made a hell of a play on the goal. Maybe I was a little too deep, but hell of a play and hell of a shot there. It’s a good point for us, but obviously we want more than that.

On Florida showing the team can play with the Bruins…
Right now, we feel good about our team and our game. We know that we can play against anybody. I think we showed that tonight coming into a tough building. We played them pretty much straight up, and it came down to a play in overtime. We could be proud about the way we played but at the same time we can’t get satisfied with just collecting points. Obviously, we want wins as well to climb up these standings.

On missing five forwards due to injury…
There have been a lot of good you players that can step into the lineup. Guys also that have played here last year. We have a lot of depth in that regard. We know injuries are part of the game and every team goes through them. We got guys who can step in and do the job for us.

On playing with Shawn Thornton…
He’s been great since he’s got here. He has showed a lot of leadership and character, something that this team has needed. He has been a good influence on our young guys and a big part of our team.

On the Boston crowd’s reaction…
I didn’t think it was that bad. That’s a long time ago. I’m not worried about that anymore. I’ve moved on. It’s a fun building to play in so I always look forward to coming here.

On the deflected first goal…
It was a quick shot. Soupy [Brian Campbell] tried to get a deflection on it, which was a good play by him. Unfortunately, it just deflected and I couldn’t get a shoulder on it. It was coming towards my chest and deflected in the corner and I didn’t have enough time to react.

FLORIDA PANTHERS FORWARD SHAWN THORNTON
On getting a little emotional during the tribute...
It’s pretty touching you know.  Very, very kind, very gentle.  Gentle? That’s not the word I was looking for.  To get a standing ovation in a visiting arena is pretty special and I appreciate it.  The fans have always been great to me here and again tonight.  It’s pretty nice.

On seeing Brad Marchand score a goal like that when he was here...
He’s a good player man.  One-on-one, he’s one of the best in the league.  You give him a little time and space and he can make things happen.  That wasn’t the first time tonight that he made plays with the puck, from what I hear he has been playing better and better as the season goes on.  It was a nice shot by him.

On getting a point out of this game...
Obviously we wanted the win.  I really wanted the win [laughs].  Seven or eight games straight that we have gotten a point I think?  They are a pretty good team over there obviously.  I liked the way we battled.  There are parts of that game that maybe we could have been a little bit better, a little bit stronger.  But like I said, they are a good team over there and they are going to battle too.

On his career high time on ice in tonight’s game...
Well Turk [Gerard Gallant] rolls four lines so I think he has had confidence in our line all year.  Again tonight was another case of that.  I think it’s nice to have two guys in Mack [Derek MacKenzie] and Kopy [Tomas Kopecky] that I’m playing with, it makes life a little easier for me.  It’s nice to have the trust in us to put us out there.

On how it felt to see his former teammates on the other side of the ice...
Once the game got going it didn’t matter.  I was out there to win and out there to play hard and it doesn’t matter who you’re playing against.  The weird part was over by the time the puck dropped to be completely honest.

On if he is glad that this first game back is over…
I enjoyed it, I embraced it.  Listen, I’m really appreciative of the way I was treated when I came in here.  I had a great seven years and tonight was very nice of them to give me that tribute and get that standing ovation.  They didn’t have to do that.  I just wish we would have won but as far as getting it over with, I enjoyed it, I was looking forward to it and it was everything and more.

FLORIDA PANTHERS FORWARD ROCCO GRIMALDI
On Bruins’ goalie Tuukka Rask’s performance…
He’s a good goalie obviously. We had some good chances, he made some good saves, we missed some nets, it’s just how the game goes sometimes, but we just got to bare down on some shots. I thought I had a few shots in the slot that either need to hit the net or get a better rebound out there and not put it in his glove. I had a couple good chances and I thought we played a good game overall. We didn’t take any penalties, we did a good job, just didn’t score. That’s how it goes sometimes.

On the defense’s play…
Our defense is doing a great job. That starts from our forechecking, getting on teams, and obviously in the neutral zone and stuff. I think we are doing a good job of closing the gap on teams and making it hard for them to get in the prime scoring areas. Obviously that’s great because we got a great goaltender out there to help us when we let them get some good ice.

On playing tight defense…
We have to. Boston’s a heck of a team, especially their top two lines are really skilled. They can make great plays so we have to be hard on them and clog up the neutral zone, clog up the middle, get some good chances and we’ll be fine.
BOSTON BRUINS HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN PREGAME PRESS CONFERENCE
On update for Krejci …
Yeah, he’s not going to play tonight. He’s gonna be out tonight but we don’t think it’s a real major issue. He should be back soon.

On more definitive timetable for Miller’s return…
No, just the one we gave you guys. That hasn’t changed. I guess he’s on track.

On Miller being out indefinitely…
Well I don’t know. Was Zdeno [Chara], what, four to six [weeks]? Ok sorry my bad here. I thought they gave you the update. I don’t know when he’s going to be back to be honest with you. He’s skating, so we know it’s an injury that’s unpredictable. Skating is a good sign, right?

On Chara doing stick work in the hallway…
He’s having fun. The best way he can. His situation hasn’t changed. It is four to six weeks. So, that hasn’t changed. I really don’t know guys. Those are fairly fresh injuries. I can’t tell you more than what we see.

On how Chara is handling his recovery…
I’m sure if you ask him that question at some point he’ll probably tell you that. I think it drives any player crazy that you’re not able to go out there and help your team, just like it drives players crazy to sit out and watch games when they’re healthy. Everybody that’s here wants to play. I know we consider, you know, him more than others. I would like to think that everybody wants to play badly. It’s tough when you’re not used to it. As of right now, in my opinion, he’s handling it as well as he can under the circumstances. Like I said, he’s shooting pucks against the wall trying to make the best of the situation and have a little bit of fun.

On similarities between Griffith and undersized defensemen…
Yeah, Matt, he is. The perfect example we can see is those two goals he scored in that game where he’s driving the net. Sometimes, maybe you’re not big, but you’re speedy. If you’re not speedy you’re tricky. There’s different ways of getting to the net. Tricky, shifty whatever you want to call it but there’s ways to get there. You look at the small players, the Marty St. Louis’, they’re around the net quite a bit, they find ways. As much as we say strength is what you need, I think sometimes you need a lot more than that. You can be strong but if you have absolutely no speed they’ll keep you on the outside. I think Griff [Seth Griffith] has learned that. Same thing along the wall in our own end, he’s getting better just with not trying to over muscle everybody but by being smart and making the right decisions.

On projecting Griffith to be a St. Louis type player…
Well I think he’s a little taller. I think so, I’m not sure. It’s a question that—yeah five, nine [five feet, nine inches]? Well, they all say they’re five, nine, right? It’s one of those things where, I think you have to give him time. The one thing I know is he’s really shifty, he’s smart, makes great plays and can shoot the puck. He has a lot of Marty St. Louis qualities but comparisons aren’t always the best thing to do with players because then people expect the exact same thing. Everybody has their own identity. I like to think Griff [Seth Griffith] has his and so far, what I’ve seen from Griff is really encouraging and getting better all the time in handling those lines—or those shifts, sorry, and big lines extremely well.

On thoughts on Fraser after last game…
Well, he’s been playing one game and he’s played well. I liked the way he played and that’s the ability that he has to bring. He wasn’t bringing it at the beginning of the year and that’s how he ended up in the stands. If he can bring that on a more consistent basis, his chances of succeeding and playing more are definitely there. I like his game. He’s big, strong and can shoot the puck but he’s young. When we say he sits out, sometimes young players have to pay their dues and understand if they don’t bring it on a consistent basis, this is what they get. It’s all part of the learning curve, but definitely his game is what we expect from him and probably even a little bit more for a first game back.

On Kelly’s stability with team injuries…
It’s a pretty good. Again, a guy that has a lot of great qualities from the inside we recognize probably a little more than from the outside. We talk about his demeanor in the room with players and what he brings. I think people that watch him play now understand the dimensions he can bring. For a guy like him to just be told ten minutes before the game, you’re playing in [David] Krejci’s spot, and going out there and playing the way he did-- he played hard, he was responsible, made some good plays, passes and that line was good-- I think speaks volumes. He was there last game, he’s been on the wing, he’s been a center man before, he’s been bumped everywhere and still he responds with solid performances. Those guys are not easy to find.

On salary caps making player’s salaries more transparent…
I don’t know if they have a tough time dealing with that. I think some players try to, I guess when you make a certain amount of money they think they need to justify it and my take on it is they got that money because of what they did before. In my book they just have to continue doing those things. To try to do more is not exactly what we want. We gave you that because we liked what you brought. I think that’s what has to happen here with plays and sometimes players do put pressure on themselves if they’re making good money and they’re not producing, yeah its normal to put pressure on themselves but I guess it’s an issue throughout the whole league.

On the dynamic of the room after Thornton left…
It hasn’t changed that much, Joe. I think it’s not the fact that it’s changed, I think it’s the matter of it coming together again. I think personalities in there are great and I can see it from week to week if you want. We’re getting closer and closer and I think you can see by our play it’s picking up a little bit. What you have to understand is it’s a normal thing when you lose a guy like Shawn [Thornton], you lose a guy that has a great presence—Johnny Boychuk, they name those guys that we lost that were veteran players, you don’t just turn the page and all of a sudden and everything’s ok again. It takes a little while to get that team to gel together and get comfortable again and I think we got those dimensions in the room and it’s happening as we speak.

On the team settling in and playing better the past two weeks despite injuries…
Well it has settled. I think a lot of it is our veteran players have really taken charge of the situation. You just have to look at Marsh [Brad Marchand] for example who’s got three goals in the last two games. He’s up to four now, he’s picked up his game. I think certain guys have gotten a lot better and a lot of guys that have come in have filled in really well. When you look at three guys from our back end are guys from Providence, the way they’re handling themselves is pretty impressive. It’s not like you’ve inserted one guy with five veterans, you’ve inserted three young guys with three guys and arguably one of them is a pretty young player in Dougie Hamilton. I think our back end has done a pretty good job of handling the situation of moving the puck and I think that’s made a big difference.
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