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Running Quotes for Bruins vs. Penguins on 12/7

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
BOSTON BRUINS PREGAME QUOTES

BOSTON BRUINS VS. PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
Saturday, December 7, 2013

BOSTON BRUINS HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE AT 10:10 P.M.
On the hit against Loui Eriksson…
I’m not going to give any opinions because you know what? Right now, what’s going on, I think the League has to look into that stuff and as much as I’d like to give my opinion, I don’t think it’s a wise thing to do right now; have to let the people take care of it. But I think that’s where it all started obviously and then it kind of escalated to the point where I don’t think anybody is proud of what’s happened in this first period; both sides I would hope. So it’s one of those games that unfortunately you get off to that start and it took a long time – to be honest with you it was a real weird feeling throughout that whole game – and obviously we’re real happy that we were able to score those late goals and win this hockey game but at the same time it kind of got tarnished a little bit. It’s a real unfortunate situation but you know what? The only thing I’m going to say is let’s not just look one way here. There’s a lot of blame to go around and we all have to take responsibility for that.

On the series where Brad Marchand and Brooks Orpik were injured…
It’s like I said; I’m not going to comment on that stuff. It’s just an unfortunate situation. As you know, Shawn [Thornton]’s got a hearing now with [Brendan] Shanahan so he won’t travel with us to Toronto tomorrow and I don’t know what’s going to happen from there. At the same time, Loui [Eriksson]’s not traveling with us either; he’s got a concussion. And same thing, the other guy that we just found out at the end of the game, [Chris] Kelly suffered an injury from a slash and he won’t be traveling with us either.

On if he was disappointed in how the team responded after Eriksson was taken out of the game…
Again, I think emotions happened there. Why did that happen? Maybe you should ask yourself that question. Why did all that stuff happen afterwards? There has to be a reason it happened.

On if the increasing physicality of the game was a concern…
Well yeah, like you said, there’s two teams here that have to be honest and say it’s not the kind of hockey you want to see in the first period. There were some people that are injured and we don’t want to see those kind of injuries; simple as that. And it takes two to tango, as you know. And if one team is saying, ‘It’s not my fault,’ then they obviously have to look in the mirror or look at the tape and see there’s two teams that are responsible for what happened tonight and we have to take responsibility and the League will deal with it and go from there. Those are unfortunate incidents when you see guys getting injured; that’s called Eriksson and it’s also called [Brooks] Orpik. Those are two injuries that you don’t like to see in our game.

On if there was emotional carryover from the Montreal game…
I don’t know. Right now, there’s a lot of stuff going on right now and I’m not going to answer it because I’m not sure of my answer to that question. My head is in a bunch of different directions right now; got three injuries, we have to replace players – three injuries, we have three guys missing – and we have to replace players. So right now, I’m not into answering the question of what happened although you guys would like those. I have to start thinking about what I need to do here after I’m done with you guys.

On if there is a distinction between coaching emotion and coaching X’s and O’s…
I would have to say there were two teams that were emotionally charged tonight and that was because – nobody asked me that this morning – but it was because we were playing for first place. And nobody’s asked me that tonight either so it’s unfortunate that you had a game for first place here and all we’re talking about is the other stuff. Yet I think that’s why both teams were emotionally charged is because it was for first place.

On if Chris Kelly’s injury was to his upper or lower body…
Lower body.

On getting the comeback win after all of the events before it…
Well it was a good win for us. We haven’t felt real good about our game because of the ups and downs and tonight it was kind of, like I said, a real weird game, it was a grinding type of game. Didn’t seem like a ton of stuff was happening and for us to kind of grind it out and get those two late goals and get the win in regulation, I think we have to build on that. The rest we have to park and we have a big game tomorrow again in Toronto and we have to somehow push this aside and focus on tomorrow’s game. And that’s why we need to move on here and let the people that are in charge deal with this.

On how frustrating it is to see Eriksson go down with another concussion…
Frustrating, yeah. You know how frustrating, it’s frustrating. It has to be frustrating for him too. We’re talking about health here too. Concussions are not just an injury; it’s a health issue and it’s unfortunate that that happened to him

On if he’s decided who will be called up to replace the injured Bruins…
No I have to get on the phone here and discuss with Peter [Chiarelli] and those guys I’ll probably release to you guys either tonight or tomorrow. I’ve got to get on the phone and I’ve got to get on the plane and we haven’t made that decision yet as we speak.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD SHAWN THORNTON
On what happened tonight…
I feel awful. It wasn’t my intention for that outcome. I know Brooksy [Brooks Orpik]. I’ve gotten to know him over the last seven years here. I skate with him in the summer, through the lockout. I’ve texted him a couple times. I feel awful. It definitely was not what I wanted to see or anybody wanted to see.

On whether he lost his composure or not…
Obviously I made a mistake. I’m aware of it. I’ve been told that I’ll be having a hearing and it’s hard for me to say much more than it was not my intention I feel awful. I felt sick all game so.

On seeing Johnny Boychuk and now Loui Eriksson hurt and whether it was his first instinct to protect his teammates…
That’s always my job I guess to defend my teammates but I’ve prided myself for a long time to stay within the lines and it’s hard for me to talk about it right now. I can’t say I’m sorry enough and I’m sure I’ll be criticized for saying it but it’s true and I just hope he’s doing alright. I heard that he’s conscious and talking. I’m happy to hear that.

On whether this will change the way he plays going forward…
I really don’t know how to answer that right now. To tell you the truth I really haven’t had enough time to think about it.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD BRAD MARCHAND
On if he’s seen the replay of the hit to his head...
No.

On if he has any opinion on what might have happened on that play…
No.

On if he thought the knee to the head was intentional…
I don’t know, it happened quick.

On if he was injured on that hit.
I can’t comment on this guys; I know you guys were already told, I can’t comment.  You know I want to, but I can’t.

On if he was tripped right before the hit…
I think I just tripped myself.  Yeah, tough skates today, two left feet.

On if it was a good win tonight…
Yeah it was a good win.  It was a very emotional game, obviously, and it was like playoff atmosphere.  We’re very happy that we got that win, especially playing with three lines.

On if it’s hard when the tone is set for the game with Loui Eriksson being injured and out of the game…
Yeah it was, I mean, any time you see a guy go down like that it kind of kills you a bit but I think we were obviously very worried about him and that’s in the back of your mind, but you’ve got to find a way to play through that.

On if the injuries of Johnny Boychuk and Loui Eriksson heightened the emotion level…
Yeah, I mean, you never want to see guys get hurt and go down, and you know, we’ve always stuck up for each other and it’s just how it goes.  We’re like a family in here and anytime someone gets hurt we’re very worried about them.

On if there’s two sides to retaliatory fighting…
I think there’s times when it’s warranted and times when it’s not and the biggest thing is you just don’t ever want to see anybody get hurt in any situation and I think that’s what everyone is more concerned about.

On if it speaks to the character of the team to go through a rough period and still bounce back…
Yeah, we’re very, very happy about that.  They’re a great team over there and they came at us very hard and especially with how quick we went down and by a couple guys early in the game; it was tough but those are the kind of games that you have to win to build character; it’s a big win for us.

On the Shawn Thornton and Brooks Orpik exchange…
I didn’t really see any of it; I wasn’t on the ice and saw but, like I said, you never want to see a guy get hurt and we’re definitely thinking about [Brooks Orpik].

On what happened when he left and came back after the hit from James Neal…
I had to use the washroom.

On if he was shaken up on that play…
I can’t really comment on that, I’m sorry.

BOSTON BRUINS DEFENSEMAN ZDENO CHARA
On winning tonight’s game…
Yeah it was very hard for me. Since the start of the game it was very physical. There was a lot of emotions involved and it was up and down hockey, a lot of scoring chances, very playoff kind of hockey. We were behind the whole game. We were just fighting for that tying goal and eventually we got it and then we carried that momentum into basically the end of the game and we were able to score a goal with very little time left in the game so it was a good game to win for us.

On how hard it was after the first period to keep emotions in check…
Yeah you’re going to have games like this where two teams really battle hard and it’s going to be very physical and nobody wants to give anybody an inch of the ice but that’s part of hockey, teams battle hard for points and yeah you just have to stay in control and focus on the task and try to win a hockey game.

On what he thought about Brooks Orpik’s injury…
Believe it or not, I didn’t see it. I was getting my skate fixed so—but nobody wants to see anybody getting hurt so, that’s all I have to say and hopefully Brooks [Orpik] going to be okay and nobody wants to see anybody being carried on a stretcher and being hurt.

On Loui Eriksson’s injury…
I didn’t see that one either. I just found out after the first that Loui was basically not with us, he was getting I guess treatments or what have you. Honestly I came off the bench—off the ice—I was on the bench and was getting my skate fixed and all of the sudden saw that something was happening.

BOSTON BRUINS GOALTENDER TUUKKA RASK
On the incident between Shawn Thornton and Brooks Orpik…
It’s a tough issue. I was getting to the bench so I didn’t see what happened, so it’s tough to comment on that. But, I know the guy and I know he’s not out there to hurt anybody. It’s just probably a freak accident, but it’s tough to comment at this time.

On how the incident and Loui Eriksson’s injury changed the team’s focus…
It was another long break when they were taking care of [Brooks Orpik] there. We had the same kind of thing happen in Montreal. You just have to stay focused. You have to focus on that next shift when it happens. I thought we responded well after that. We played pretty good, but it’s one of these games where stuff happens on both sides. It seems to be kind of—I can’t say [expletive] with these cameras—both ways, one of those games. But things settled down after that and it was a pretty good hockey game.

On the penalty called on James Neal for kneeing Brad Marchand…
I thought it was a slash, so that’s how much I’m paying attention out there. I guess the call was kneeing or something.

On Shawn Thornton going after Brooks Orpik…
Tough to comment on that. I didn’t see what happened. Obviously, a freak accident. Tough to see a guy go down like that, but I really didn’t see what happened so I can’t really comment on that. You know Shawn [Thornton] as well as I know him, and you know he’s not out there to hurt anybody.

On Sidney Crosby’s breakaway…
It was kind of a bouncing puck all the way from their zone. He caught it from midair and then it never really settled. And then he snapped it, I got my glove on it, and he batted the rebound on the side of the net. It was a save we needed. I was just happy to keep the game tight because you don’t want to lose a game like that because we had the momentum by then.

On if he was thinking poke check during Chris Kunitz’s breakaway in the second period…
He kind of fake it a little bit—a little shoulder drop and then tried to go around me. I don’t know if I hit his stick or something and then he kind of lost the puck. I lost my stick in that whole scene there. I just tried to stay with it and he was trying to go around me, but luckily I threw my stick at him.

On owing Dennis Seidenberg a beer after he prevented a goal…
No way. He’s scored so many goals on me by accident, so it’s about time he makes a save. No, it was a great save. I was out on the hash marks—way out there in left field and he covered me. It’s good, maybe I’ll buy him a Gatorade or something.

On the team bouncing back late and winning the game…
That’s Bruins hockey. I think that’s what we’re known for. When we play our best, we might be down by one goal but we stick with it and we believe that there’s a chance to come back. Today was a great example. We never gave up. We tightened up after the first period defensively, and then we waited for that chance and it came and we capitalized on it.


BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD REILLY SMITH
On scoring a goal in this game…
I was great to see it hit the back of the net. We were battling for probably the whole third period. It’s hard to get chances and it seemed like until the last minute we finally got one in. To see Krech’s [David Krejci] and then to have [Zdeno] Chara get that last one is huge.

On how he saw it set up on the ice…
I got the puck down the wing and took it down low. Bergy [Patrice Bergeron] and Marsh [Brad Marchand] came over to support in kind of a little bit of a scramble. Puck dots to me and I saw Zee open in the middle so I just gave him the puck.

On re-adjusting after an emotional first period…
There’s a lot of emotions in the first period so it probably didn’t go the way that we wanted it to. I think we were down probably ten or twelve shots. So even though we were playing hard we weren’t playing smart so that was the biggest thing we focused on coming into the second period.

On coming back in a rivalry game and how that shows a never quit side of the team…
I think we have resilient group here. I’ve never really played on the team like this that never gives up so it’s great having this type of drive and this type of leadership on this team. They came back last time we played them and tied the game up late so I guess it was our turn.

On what he was thinking as everything went down in the first period…
I didn’t see it so just trying to stay calm and try focus your game on the things that matter. We weren’t playing our best hockey. We were playing hard, but we weren’t playing smart so the thing you got to try to do is calm your emotions and trying to focus on the game.

On the second game in a row seeing a guy taken out of the game for actions on the ice…
Stuff like that will happen, it’s just bad luck. You hope that stuff never happens, but at the same time you have to be able to regroup. Hopefully he’s doing great. It’s tough to see.

On that last play feeding Zee…
First option I was looking to strong side point. Their winger was kind of covering him and I saw Zee open up in the middle so I think if you can get the puck in that spot he’s going to score more times than not.

On shaking his head after missing that open net…
I was just trying to regroup from it, stuff like that will happen in hockey. The biggest thing is not letting it bother you for the next shift.

On contributing to the game winner afterwards…
In the past I probably would’ve got down on myself a little bit, but we needed a couple of more goals so it wouldn’t have helped if we had a negative emotion side, negative emotions about that.


BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD JAROME IGINLA
On what was said in the room between the first and second period to refocus some of the energy…
It was obviously; emotions were pretty high in the first period and you hate to see a couple of guys get injured and all that but after the first period our focus was to win the game.  It’s for first place and we had to get re-focused and it was one of those nights where emotions are high, there’s a lot of penalties, and both sides, you know you’re trying to keep it together and still focus on winning the game and I thought we were able to do that as it went on and we were able to find a way, to the last minute, to get an important win and a gutsy win.

On his thoughts on the exchange between Shawn Thornton and Brooks Orpik…
I didn’t really see it.  I didn’t see it and I don’t want to; you know, on the bench, it happened pretty fast, you’re looking one way, Marchy [Brad Marchand] was down and then over there, you know, you’re looking at that and then it happened.  I didn’t see it enough to make an honest comment on it, but you definitely don’t want to see that happen, the result happen, to anybody, and Loui [Eriksson] being out, and Brooks [Orpik] too, hopefully they’re alright and not out long and it’s not that serious.

On what he thought of Brooks Orpik’s hit on Loui Eriksson…
From our point of view, I don’t think it’s for us to necessarily say.  I don’t think it adds anything positive to say to it, but the result is we hate to see Lou [Loui Eriksson] down at that point; looked like he was – well we lost him for the game so it was, you know, you hate to see that result.  It’s not positive to add anything to it right now.

On if it’s a high-alert kind of mindset when you have two teammates taken out of the game early…
You definitely hate to see anybody leave the game and taken off in stretchers; it’s hard, you know, we want to play hard, everyone wants to play hard, and you want to battle and emotions run high and everything but nobody’s looking for that result.  Our last game with Johnny – it takes a lot of wind out of everybody and the crowd. And it’s something with [Brooks] Orpik tonight and you just hope that nobody is seriously hurt.  It’s an intense game, it’s a physical game, it’s an emotional game.  As players, the dislike that you have on the ice and the want to win, nobody wishes that on any player and doesn’t want those situations; you know they’re unfortunate and they don’t want them to happen and we wish the best for, thankfully Johnny is alright and getting better and I hope Loui [Eriksson] is too and [Brooks] Orpik, hope he’s alright, and it was mostly precautionary to take him off like that.

On what Brooks Orpik is like as a teammate…
He’s a great guy, and he works hard, he’s a very intense competitor, he hits hard, and that’s the thing, you play against, you’re on the other side, and you try to compete and play as hard as you can against each other. And, like I said earlier, emotions do run high, it’s a fast game, and you’re not always – sometimes hit and things happen that the result after isn’t what you were looking for.  You want to play hard and compete hard against each other and battle, but ultimately nobody’s really trying to hurt anybody out there.  You don’t mind giving a guy a bruise or whatever, or making it hard on him, but you’re not looking for that or anybody leaving the game.  Loui, I know, he’s not trying to. It’s something that, he’s an honest competitor, just like Thorty [Shawn Thornton] is, and Johnny Boychuk, we’re all trying to play hard and nobody wants to see anybody get seriously hurt.

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS HEAD COACH DAN BYLSMA
An update on Brooks Orpik…
Brooks has returned from the hospital and evaluations. He will be traveling home with us.

On if Brooks Orpik has a concussion…
I think he was out on the ice for a period of time. So I think that means he’s got a concussion, for sure.

On if he has a prognosis on Brooks Orpik…
No, I don’t. He went through a battery of tests at the hospital for various things, and he will be returning home with us.

On Brooks Orpik’s hit on Loui Eriksson and Orpik not wanting to fight Shawn Thornton…
Well I think the hit by Orpik is a good hockey hit. Eriksson touches the puck, the puck’s coming around the wall there, it does take a strange bounce, he does touch the puck, and it’s a good hit. Clearly they took exception to it. They put people on the ice to take exception to it, and the events that ensued, you saw Thornton.

On how difficult it is to keep the team focused when a leader goes down…
I think there was a lot of emotion in the game, starting from the first shift, and it certainly ensued throughout the game, first period right to the end of the game in a lot of areas, from the players on the ice and the bantering back and forth.

On what happened in the final minutes of the game…
They had pulled the goalie for the tying goal there. They got a puck back into the corner after the defenseman put it back into the corner, and the extra guy, we left the front of the area, and exposed the front of the net. So [Zdeno] Chara was the guy with the puck was deep being passed to, and Marc-Andre [Fleury] made a stick deflection away from Chara, and that left the space behind. They got the scramble, and I’m not sure how the puck went in, but that’s the tying goal. And the last one was just five-on-five coming into the d-zone coverage, and really a bouncing puck, and it gets slapped out into the slot for Chara to get the game-winner.

On now potentially being down three of their top four defensemen…
I think the biggest factor in tonight’s game was just, you’re down a man very early into the contest, and that’s really the most difficult part about that. A lot more minutes for a lot more guys. I think we’re capable back there, we were very capable with the guys we had back there tonight. It’s just a lot more minutes and a lot more grind on those guys. It’s going to be a wait-and-see on the length, how long Brooks is going to be out, and what his situation is. But we’re still probably another two, two-and-a-half weeks before we get anybody back from injury.

On James Neal kneeing Brad Marchand…
It was a sequence there where I think Marchand and Sid [Sidney Crosby] were in it physically, and Marchand went down as Neal was skating by, and he didn’t really make an attempt to get out of the way on Marchand.

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS FORWARD BRANDON SUTTER
On the aggressive play by both teams tonight…
There were a couple of big hits early obviously, the one play with Brooks [Orpik]. Other than that I think it is just another game between the two teams.

On how the Penguins stayed focused after the first period…
Well, I mean we’ve just got to try and regroup. It’s hard to take one out, it’s never fun. It’s scary to be honest with you. We are glad he is doing alright. As far as we know he is talking and moving around and everything, he’s doing fine.  It’s a sigh of relief. And hopefully we will get a chance to see him tonight.

On the last two minutes of the game…
Totally from my perspective we out played them for 55 minutes and then obviously late in the game when they are down by a goal, you know they are going to come hard. We spend a little bit more time in our end than we wanted but we still have to find a way to close that out. That’s just one of those games on the road against a good team that you have to win. When you are up by a goal late like that you have to find a way to close it out. We had chances to score but we didn’t get them in. It sucks for sure but like I said, played really well for 55, 56 minutes. Take some positive out of it at least.

On Penguins play tonight …
I thought we went after them really pretty good. I thought that Orpik [Brooks] set the tempo. I am not sure what the big problem was with his hit…clean hit. He comes out and gets a big hit like that. It gets us going and I thought that we were playing well. They are a physical team and we expect big games against them. They play hard right til the end and we found that out. Like I said we need to find a way to close that one out.

On the next Penguins game in 48 hours…
Well, we have been playing a lot of hockey lately. There have been a lot a games and it has been a busy month. Obviously, it has been a though way to lose. We can say we played a hard game. We played well top to bottom. I didn’t’ think there were any weakness in our game, there was nothing we did wrong. At the end they got a couple bounces in front of the net and got a couple goals. We just have to take that effort and try to keep it going. Like I said it was a tough way to lose, but there are positives to take from it.

On the intensity of tonight’s game…
I think it is always a rivalry and always intense. I think that any team you play in the playoffs there is a little bit of bitterness next year. Every time we have played them this year we have come ready to play. We play tight games. Last time we played we tied it with a second left, lost in overtime. And this time, we thought that we played really well for a long time and didn’t manage to come back that’s what we expect in tight games and we have try and find a way to close those ones out.


PITTSBURGH PENGUINS FORWARD SIDNEY CROSBY
On staying focused after Brooks Orpik left the game…
Yeah, I think it took a little wind out of our sails. Everyone was kind of worried, and it’s hard to think about hockey when you see someone get hurt like that, especially a teammate and friend. We heard that he’s okay, doing pretty good, but that was definitely tough.

On where the game got away from them tonight…
Yeah I mean we did a pretty good job until the end. They pull their goalie, put on some pressure, and then score on that chance. And then, pretty frustrating to give up that last one there, with thirteen seconds left. I don’t feel like we really thought the game was out of hand at any point. I think we made a couple mistakes that hurt us.

On the tension rising early on in tonight’s game…
I think Orps’ [Brooks Orpik] hit on [Loui] Eriksson probably led to what happened with [Shawn] Thornton and all the things prior to that. So, yeah, I think that’s a big reason why.

On the mood of the team after Brooks Orpik left with an injury…
Pretty quiet. Like I said, it’s hard to focus on hockey when you see a teammate and a friend just laying there, and he’s motionless. You don’t know what’s wrong with him. We hear he’s doing okay, but it’s definitely kind of a different scenario when you’re sitting there and it’s quiet. The whole building was pretty quiet. I think they realized it was pretty vicious.

On Brooks Orpik not wanting to fight Shawn Thornton…
I understand sometimes guys try to stick up for a teammate after a big hit. I think that’s something that has been in hockey for a long time. But it was obvious he [Orpik] didn’t want to. He’s our top defenseman. He can’t be in the box for five minutes and fighting. From what I saw, I thought the hit was pretty clean. If they want to make it a point to go after him, and finish their hits and play tough on him because he did that, I think Orps is more than willing to take care of himself. But I don’t think there’s any room for that. I think [Milan] Lucic ended up getting in a fight with Eggo [Derek Engelland] shortly before that, so I think they sent the message to their team that they were going to stick up for each other. But that kind of took it a little far.

On if he expects the league to discipline Shawn Thornton…
I mean, your guess is as good as mine. I would expect they’re going to take a pretty good look at it.

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS FORWARD JAMES NEAL
On what happened on the Marchand hit…
I was skating by him, I haven’t like seen the replay or anything so I mean I hit him in the head with my leg or my foot or my knee or shin area I don’t know. But I mean he’s already going down and I guess I need to try to avoid him, but I have to look at it again. I haven’t gotten a chance to look at it.

On whether there was intent to hit him with his leg…
I mean, what do you want me to say? That I was trying to hit him? No I’m going by him, I don’t get out of the way like I said. I need to be more careful and I guess get my knee out of the way, but I’m not trying to hit him in the head or injure him or anything like that.

On his reaction on what happened to Brooks…
I’m not going to comment on that obviously, never like to see anything like that. Thought the confrontation was over after you know he asked him to fight a few times and kept going after him so it’s.

BOSTON BRUINS HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN PREGAME PRESS CONFERENCE AT 11:20 A.M.
On Johnny Boychuk…
Johnny [Boychuk]’s doing better. I think we dodged a pretty good bullet there personally. Those kind of injuries could have serious consequences. We feared the worst and I think we got as good of news as we could get. When he was down he couldn’t breathe, I guess he couldn’t move either. So obviously on the medical side of it, our trainers and the Montreal doctors did the right thing. They took him off on a stretcher, took him to the hospital and they got him checked out. After the MRI yesterday which we did, they found no fractures. So a lot of it has been based on him locking up from going into the boards; muscle spasm and everything else. So we hope that it’ll be a quicker recovery; kind of sooner than later kind of thing. So it’s hard to tell how long he’s going to be out. Still stiff this morning, still walking around. But with those kind of injuries, there’s always that opportunity that the spasm and the stiffness can go away quickly; you never know. Our plan right now is to bring him on the road with us. Certainly not playing tonight, not playing tomorrow; it’s not one of those things. But it’s a situation that we’ll see how it goes from there. I think his diagnosis was maybe three to seven days and stuff like that. Like I say, we’re lucky, and those kind of injuries, as you know, back injuries can have real serious consequences on the player’s future. Like I said, we dodged a bullet and we’re happy about the fact that it’s a lot less severe than initially expected.

On what he said to the players while Boychuk was being worked on during the game…
You don’t say much more than, ‘We have to stay the course here.’ Those are tough situations. We’ve been through it here with Bergy [Patrice Bergeron] years ago and I still remember that as if it happened yesterday. You always fear the worst and it almost ended up being a career-ending injury. So when you see those things, it’s tough, it’s tough for players and again, I’m going to say that. I’m also going to say that doesn’t excuse our second period from last game. Somebody that wants to use that excuse is, I think is giving you a lot of BS. You have to be able to regroup and do your job. So I think we’re all a little sensitive to those kind of injuries though, and you always worry, and all I said was, ‘Let’s stay the course here guys.’ And at the end of the day, if you can win the game for a guy who’s been injured, it feels a lot better than getting injured and finding out that your team lost as well. So it’s always better to go out there and keep competing.

On if the team made the decision to not go after Max Pacioretty since it wasn’t a dirty hit…
Well that’s the biggest thing in hockey today. We’re all guilty of that stuff. We’re suspending guys for illegal hits and then we’re punishing guys for good, clean hits. So where does a guy have the opportunity to go out and play a physical game if there’s a good hit, he knows he’s going to be punished. So I guess there’s that fine line there that becomes important to look at. You want to stick up for your teammate, but at the same time we don’t want to take the good physicality out of the game. And every team is guilty of that; including us. We’ve made a reputation of that by saying we’re going to stick together; and that’s great. So you’re treading a fine line there when it comes to that. But if you go to that case, it was a two-minute penalty and I think everybody saw the same thing. That hit wasn’t meant in a malicious way and when we looked at the hit whether on the jumbo-tron or I looked at it on my computer after the period, it was more about how Johnny [Boychuk] went into the boards. So should we have gotten after him? I think we’re a team – there’s no questions there – that we’re a team that sticks together and when something needs to be dealt with, we deal with it. There’s no way in the world there should even be a question of nobody went and dealt with that situation. To me it wasn’t worthy of it, and if we want to hypocrites we can talk from the other side of our mouth and say, ‘I can’t believe he’s not suspended.’ Or if we want to clean up the game, we want to be honest with both sides when it happens to us or against us, let’s call a spade a spade.

On if anything can be done to prevent that type of hit in the game or if it’s just a dangerous area…
I think it is what it is; the old saying. That used to happen before too. The only way it can be prevented, in my mind anyways, is that we also educate the guys that are going to get hit. I still have a hard time personally understanding why you would want to turn your back to a hit near the boards. We always used to say ‘Listen, when I’m going to take that hit, I’m going to take it sideways. I’m going to lean on the boards and my other shoulder can absorb it.’ And you protected yourself. Again, we could speak about this for hours but it’s one of those things. We put a stop sign on the back of sweaters for kids and everything else; and that’s great. I support that 100%, but at the same time does that create a situation where the guy that has a stop on his back says, ‘I’m going to turn my back on him because he’s not allowed to hit me.’ So I think we have to now – it’s a great thing that we’ve done – but now we have to educate the guy that’s going to get hit. Has to say, ‘Do I really want to jeopardize my body and maybe be out for a month? Just so that the guy can get a five minute in the game or a suspension? Or do I just want to protect myself and let’s keep this game going and continue to play instead of being out for a month?’ That’s the part that, I guess, I and probably a lot of ex-players will tell you about. We talk about the [Eric] Lindros hit from [Scott] Stevens people say he should have had his head up. Today we’re going after the guy who shouldn’t have hit him; he had his head down. So if we’re going to clean up this game, it can’t just be one-sided in my mind. It has to be – and I’ve been a proponent of that for years now – saying how about we educate our guys? And we’re trying to do that here with our players and say, ‘Listen guys, don’t just put the blame on the guy hitting but protect yourselves.’

On how the team can generate emotion…
Well I think that’s where we’re at right now is that we show some emotion sometimes in certain games and other games, not so much. Sometimes it’s in part of the game and one of the periods – which was last game – we totally lost that; we were inconsistent in that. I don’t know if I’m understanding your question but that’s where the emotion – I think right now that’s where our challenge is. Is we’re trying to create some emotion for 60 minutes and consistency in our game and hopefully that last game kind of gave us a wakeup call in regards to that because we played a good first, we played a really good third, but we let that second slip away and that cost us the game. So I guess it reinforces the fact that – you hear that all the time, we need to play 60 minute hockey games – and that’s what you have to do especially if you want to be a top team and you want to stay up there.

On if retaliation fights are the type of fights he would like to see removed…
Well like I said, I’m not going to answer that the way you probably want to because as I said earlier, I’m not crazy about that but at the same time I understand the other side of it; do we stick together as a team or not? And that’s where the players right now, when they do that, they say, ‘Listen my guy just got nailed and I’m going to stick up for my teammate.’ And that’s good for a team to know that they have each other’s backs. So it’s a hard thing to clean out. It’s a hard thing because I respect that part of the thinking but also I want to see a hockey game where you’re allowed to give good hits and not have to be punished. So I don’t know if I have the right answer or the right solution for that.

On if more physical players like Zdeno Chara and Milan Lucic would have the same intimidation factor if fighting were removed from the game…
You guys spend your days thinking about these questions and I really haven’t spent ten seconds thinking about my answer because my head is somewhere else.  I get what you’re saying but it’s just one of those things when you fear – and we’ve talked about that – you fear if you take fighting out, what’s your next answer? Is it using your stick in spearing or is that what’s going to happen to our game because it is fast, it is a contact game, it can be violent, and will it get more violent if we take fighting out?  At least it’s fists – and I know there’s damage with fists too with concussions – so again, I’m one person amongst many that should be debating that whole situation but I know there’s times when certain players can say ‘You know what, you want to hack me and slash me, that puck’s going in your corner and I’m coming after you,’ and if it’s Milan Lucic you’re going to get the message.  If that’s Brad Marchand at five foot eight maybe not.
 
On if there’s any update on Adam McQuaid’s injury…
Again, I’m going to say, ‘day-to-day’ is a term we use. He’s not in tonight, not in tomorrow night, but he’s coming on the trip.
 
On if Adam McQuaid has been doing any physical activity…
Yes, he’s been working out now and he should be on the ice we’re hoping early this coming week.
 
On what has made Kevan Miller stand out…
I think he’s played really well for us here, and again, I don’t watch him play every game but I’m told he’s been pretty steady down there too.  First of all he’s a big strong individual; he handles the physicality and the battles really well along the walls.  He’s also a guy that I think has made some really good first passes, not fancy but effective, and I like that from a defenseman, that can make that good first pass because, again, it’s like football, you make that good first pass, you’ve got some offense going.  So he’s been good that way as well. He’s been reliable, I haven’t seen him make a lot, if any, major mistakes. So I like the fact that he’s a young player at the NHL level playing with lots of confidence and has all the tools that’s provided to him to be successful here.
#12/7/13#

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