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Running Quotes For Bruins Vs Penguins On 2/24

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins

BOSTON BRUINS PREGAME QUOTES

BOSTON BRUINS VS PITTSBURGH PENGUINS

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

BOSTON BRUINS HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE AT 10:10 P.M.

On if the third period was how he wants his team to play all the time…

Yeah, I think I really felt tonight, although we won by a fair margin there, I really felt we were tight in the first two periods. Although our guys were really trying to do the right things out there, as far as not giving them too many chances, that kind of stuff, they were skating and they were a lot quicker than we were for the first two periods. The first was a tough one, told the guys to loosen up a little bit, got a little bit better in the second; we looked more like ourselves in the third.

On the tightness early on being worried about attention to details…

Absolutely. The guys we talked about, you know, the things we’re not doing at home that we do on the road and those kinds of things. We need a better, I guess, approach, and to find details. I think there was a lot of focus on that and sometimes when you focus too much on those things you kind of carry a little bit of extra weight with you. Once we loosened up a little bit I thought, again, in the third period we were much better.

On if he felt that kind of a game from David Pastrnak was coming…

He’s been good for a while. I don’t think it’s tonight. I’ve liked his game now for probably the last three, four. Again, he’s come off a major injury and he’s had to catch up with the rest of the guys, and it takes time. At the beginning he really looked like he was having a tough time, but right now he’s certainly shown that he’s getting better and feeling more and more confident. To me, tonight he was the guy for all three periods that I thought skated really well for us.

On how it helps the team to have Adam McQuaid as an option to play alongside Zdeno Chara…

Well, you’re always looking for different options, I guess, especially in that first period. We had some guys that had some tough issues there with the puck management part. When you’re playing against [Sidney] Crosby, [Patric] Hornqvist, [Chris] Kunitz line, you can’t afford to have too much of that, so we had to move players around a little bit and then it seems, like I said, even as the game went on everybody kind of settled down a little bit and had better pairs.

On the penalty kill at the end of the second staying in the defensive zone for the entire two minutes…

Yeah, three of the four guys we started with ended up staying there for almost the whole penalty. Again, you could see at the end we were tired, and when you’re tired you’re better off just stay tight, let them move the puck on the outside. But we were able to kill that. They did a great job of jumping on those loose pucks and keeping the puck in our own end. We spent the whole power play in there.

On how Pastrnak is coming along in other parts of the game besides skating and offense…

Better, better. When you look at David last year, even the beginning of this year, every time he was in a battle along the walls you’d find him on his butt. So now he’s a little bit more – it’s not just about being stronger, it’s also about the experience. I think he’s getting a little bit lower versus standing up straight; the minute you stand up straight you’re off balance. He’s trying to avoid the hit and that was hurting him more than anything else. It’s really gotten better in there. He’s never been a guy to shy away. As you know, he was on his butt because he was going there. But he’s getting a lot better along the walls and his skating game. The fact that he’s been playing now for a while has made a big difference, too. Like I said, that injury set him back quite a bit there. So it’s nice, again, to see him find his game and he was really a good player for that line tonight.

On if it was nice to see Landon Ferraro score…

Yeah, well he just seemed more engaged in all areas, right? He got into a fight, he forechecked hard, he used his speed. Like I said before, I think he scored about 27 goals last year in the American League, so he’s certainly a guy that can score. We can certainly use that on our fourth line.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD DAVID PASTRNAK

It’s been a while (laughs).

On how he’s feeling about his game progressing lately…

Yeah I think it’s getting there, you know I had a couple good games – I felt good against Dallas for example. You know I’m just trying to follow up on that and just keep it going. 

On whether he’s feeling comfortable at this point…

Yeah, definitely. You know it can be – one game you can feel comfortable and the other game it doesn’t go your way. So today it went my way and gave me some confidence. So I just have to stick with it and play good and smart hockey.

On whether he knew what he wanted to do with the penalty shot…

Yeah it was my first in my mind right away to shoot five-hole because I had four earlier last season and didn’t score any of them. So I kind of was nervous and didn’t know what do, and I stick with the first thing on my mind. Happy it went in.

On whether he tried to get the goalie to open up…

No. All I tried to do was put the puck in the net. Then I had a little speed and I had to stop because I didn’t think I would be able to make the shot from all the speed, so I stopped and shot it five-hole and it went in.

On how much playing with Loui Eriksson and David Krejci helps him…

Yeah you know there was a great breakout by Loui and passed to Krejc and I just kept moving my feet because I know Krejc can make that pass, you know I knew he could get it behind those D. So he filled my expectation and I got it there you know, and the job was great by the whole line. Happy – happy we’re getting chemistry.

On how much confidence getting the penalty shot and going up 1-0 gave him going forward…

Yeah, I mean it definitely gives you something in the game, you start feeling better and that’s good for you. But you know as long as we get two points, it doesn’t really matter, because you know how the standings are tight and every point is important for us. I’m very happy we stick with our game plan and you know at the end of the game you can see it in the results. 

BOSTON BRUINS DEFENSEMAN DENNIS SEIDENBERG

On how good the team can be when they utilize their speed out of their own end…

Very good. I mean it all depends on us going back hard, getting ready for the pass and looking up ice making the first pass. Coming out of our zone it creates a lot of speed for our forwards, and a lot of speed creates a lot of trouble for the opposing team and today you saw that we created a lot off the rush and got decent shots with guys going to the net.

On finding the combination of staying within their system and being able to open up a bit…

Yeah, for sure. I mean you want to be focused. You want to play the game the right way but also have fun doing it and getting relaxed and just enjoying the game, and today, we kind of were trying too hard maybe a little bit and it kind of affected our passing game and just our execution, but again, we take the win and go from there.

On how important wins are when it comes to the current standings…

I mean, right now we’ve got … how many games have we got left, 20? Every game counts. I mean, you lose a game you’re in the wild card spot. You win a game, you’re in second or third, so it’s kind of every game counts and that’s why consistency is a big thing for us and every team right now. Every game matters and you have to play or try to play your best and put the best effort forward every game.

On what it is about Pittsburgh that brings out the best in their game…

I don’t know if… I don’t know. Maybe just we know they’re a good team and we’re focused when we play those guys and we have to be tight defensively because they have a lot of speed from a lot of guys with a scoring touch and it just makes us more aware maybe. I don’t know.

BOSTON BRUINS DEFENSEMAN ADAM MCQUAID 

On if this was one of the better home performances in recent memory…

Probably recently.  We still had our moments and Tuukka [Rask] was big for us at times but overall I think it was a better effort. 

On how they were able to limit the odd-man rushes tonight compared to Monday…

Well our forwards were doing a good job of coming back and supporting.  They were flipping a lot of pucks out and creating foot races and we were just trying to, kind of supporting one another because the ice was a little, as you could see the puck was kind of bouncing around a little out there, so we were just kind of giving a defense-first mentality I guess you could say and just supporting one another. 

On how key it was to take the lead first…

Well it was nice obviously, you would rather score first than not and to build on that I think especially to come out in the third and play a pretty solid simple game.  I mean you saw guys getting pucks deep, even right down to the last few minutes, guys were just getting pucks deep and that’s important and that’s going to be really important going forward.

On how helpful it can be if David Pastrnak really gets going…

Yeah he seemed liked he found his stride tonight.  I mean he can create things, he’s got that speed and quick hands.  He was pretty tenacious tonight I thought and even getting in on some battles, and he’s still a young guy so if he can continue to improve in those areas he is going to be pretty dangerous.

On how comfortable he is playing alongside Zdeno Chara…

Everyone will probably say that we get bounced around a little bit, so we have played with one another a little bit but it’s pretty easy to play with a guy like that and obviously it was a tough challenge tonight and something that we really needed to be focused every shift that we were out there. Z [Zdeno Chara] communicates well so that helps a lot.

On what was different in the third that helped them open the game up…

Again like I said, guys were, you saw right up until the end I mean guys were trying to make a focus to get pucks deep, right in, not just five feet inside the blue line where they can turn around and come back at us.  That’s an important part of the game, you can get your changes that way, you can get fresh bodies out and if you have fresh bodies you can get in on the forecheck.  So I think that helped a lot, and again Tuukka [Rask] made some big saves at times and we had some good layers at times, too.

On being out on the ice for almost two minutes during one penalty kill…

Well you get to a certain point where you kind of have to be smart and I don’t want to say conserve your energy but you got to wait for the opportunities to jump on pucks.  If they have full control you may be holding your position a little bit more and it’s just, like I said, being focused on your assignment and just doing whatever you can to get the job done when it comes down to it.  It’s pretty exhausting by the end of it and that’s when you have to bear down and get the job done.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD LANDON FERRARO

On the energy he had tonight and the fourth line performance…

It was big, you know, when we can take a bit of the load off the big guys’ shoulders and we can actually stay in the rotation and shifts and carry it in their end and hold it and try and work it a bit, it just adds to it. And you know I think that was a big part of our game tonight, was that every line bought into keeping pucks in and chipping pucks to the net and we didn’t turn over too many pucks trying to force it in. So it made the game a lot easier for us. 

On having such a big lead in the third period at home because they’re usually a one-goal team and they rarely have games like this…

Not at home so you know it was a bit of a change and you know I think it was big for us. It was a big step, especially after last game where, yeah we were coming off the road but we still weren’t happy with you know how we executed everything. And you know it was … we really emphasized on it before the game to make sure that we tried to play as close to a road game as possible here at home and not try to be too fancy and get as many pucks to the net and I think did a pretty good job of it. 

On if having yesterday to reset was important…

Yeah I think so, you know we were on the road for a long time and we get back and we had a day but we didn’t get in until four o’clock and guys have kids and things like that. So it was big to get some rest and I think it showed tonight. 

On if the fight was his idea…

Well I mean he asked. But I knew it was something that was probably a pretty good idea and you know, anything to kind of … when you’re in the slump that I was in you know and trying to get out of it, anything is going to help. So you know it kind of got me into the game a little bit more and it was pretty good; it was pretty evenly matched so it worked out well.  

On what it felt like when the puck finally went in…

Honestly I didn’t even see it go in I heard everyone else get excited then I got a little too excited again. So you know it was nice to see; it was a big relief. 

On what he was thinking when he has a breakaway…

That’s what I was going to do the whole way. That’s kind of my go-to; I’m not someone that’s going to completely undress the goalie. I try to keep it simple, you know. If you just shoot it it’s pretty hard to mishandle a puck. Especially when you’re in a slump you just want to get it on net and give yourself a chance. 

On Penguins Head Coach Mike Sullivan saying that the Bruins identity is that they stick to their structure…

Yeah I think we stick to it really well on the road and we’re trying to get back to that at home. Tonight was a big step for us and you know we weren’t doing it for a while. We don’t have a very good home record and we’re trying to change that, especially going into playoffs down the stretch here. So it was a big step tonight. 

On being more defensive…

Yeah I mean you always want to be good defensively. You know all the offense comes from the defensive zone. If you’re clean and you get out quick then you’re back on the forecheck quicker, you know. And if the D are moving it quick and clean to us we can get some odd-man rushes and some chances like we had tonight. So I mean it just makes the game a whole lot easier when you’re good defensively. 

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD RYAN SPOONER

On what happened in the third period when they started getting more shots on goal…

I think for the most part for the entire game I thought we played well. They had 41 shots but a lot of them were from the outside from the point. So I thought as a whole I thought it was one of our best games that we’ve played in a long time and it was good to see for sure. 

On Penguins Head Coach Mike Sullivan saying that the Bruins were taking away their neutral zone…

Yeah they have a lot of guys that have a lot of speed and skill so playing against a team like that they thrive I guess on the open ice. So they have some guys that come down deep and you have to swing down with them and we tried to do that as much as we can. 

On if he felt better later in the game…

Yeah I think it was kind of just that I was a little bit conservative in the first period and stuff like that. I usually play my best when I just go out there and skate and attack so I was trying to do that. 

On if he gets a lift when they press harder in the third but they don’t convert…

Yeah I mean a lot of the games here in the past some pucks have gone in and we’ve been a little bit deflated you could say. So I thought we responded well to that and the second period here has been a bit of an issue for us and I thought today it was good. 

On Adam McQuaid saying that the ice caused bouncing pucks tonight and if it will be important moving forward to focus on defense because of that…

Yeah I mean the ice here, it doesn’t seem to be as good as on the road, I don’t know for what reason. But I guess that both teams have to play on it so it’s even and when that’s the case you have to get pucks in and can’t be trying to stick handle through people at the red lines and blue lines. And again I think that’s been a problem for us; I think we’ve been trying to do that a little too much here and some turnovers and stuff, which have come back and ended up in the back of our net. So I thought that we played the right way tonight for sure. 

On if there was pressure or a challenge in having a good home game…

Yeah we talked about it. We’ve been talking about it for about a month now and we seem to have some problems here. I think it’s just a mental thing for us. A lot of people were kind of asking why on the road, not sure what the record is, but why we’re a lot better than we are here and it was kind of hard to pinpoint exactly what it was. But I think it’s just the focus and again we’ve had some games at home that we played well that we haven’t won. But I think as a whole we played the entire 60 tonight and that was the important thing for us.  

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD DAVID KREJCI 

On how David Pastrnak is coming along as a player…

Well the biggest thing is that he’s willing to learn and he’s working on stuff every day, he’s being professional off the ice as well.  Tonight he had some legs and he had big two goals for us. 

On if he’s learning to become an all-around player instead of one dimensional…

Obviously he wants to be a complete player.  It’s never easy to come into the league as an 18-year-old so he’s done such a big stride so far in those last two years.  He is just getting better every day. 

On if this win felt even more important since it was at home…

It was a big win.  It was a full 60 minutes, all 20 guys chipped in, so it was a great win by our team.

On what David Pastrnak is going through at such a young age…

Like I said he is learning how to be a complete player and even off the ice he’s got a good group of guys around him, they help him out.  So he’s come a long way and it’s fun to see him be that way on the ice as well.

On how much having a guy like Loui Eriksson on his line helps…

Yeah, he’s another experienced player and we kind of let him do his things and kind of talk to him a little bit on how we want him to play defensively, but offensively you don’t need to tell him much. He is a really gifted player and he is working hard, so it’s good to see him have a great game tonight.

On the game feeling like a playoff atmosphere tonight…

Yeah we came out hard, strong, we kept the shifts short, you know we were jumping all over the pucks and that’s how we have to play every single night, but mostly we played a full 60 minutes which is important in this league.

On how the team played defensively tonight…

Well you always want to have a good back check but back check with a purpose, kind of look behind your shoulder and see who is coming behind you, but at the same time in our defensive zone, I thought we did a good job of blocking shots and boxing their forwards out of the crease.

On how important it was to get the first goal of the game…

In this building we are kind of having a tough time this year, so it was really big for our confidence to get the first goal and after it we kind of started playing the way we want to, the way we play on the road.  Like I said again, just a good 60 minutes.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD BRAD MARCHAND

On it being a playoff-style game and getting stronger as the game went on…

Yeah, we did. They came out hard, but we were able to limit that and Pasta [David Pastrnak] did a great job getting that first couple goals and gave us the lead, and, you know, we just held on after that. We played really well. We kept getting better and that’s what we have to learn how to do here at home and it’s definitely a big game for us.

On creating the offense from defense…

Yeah, no, for sure. You know, anytime you’re up by a goal the team’s going to press and take chances and you want to kind of make sure you play really good D and kind of take advantage of that, and that’s what we did tonight. We played a really sound defensive game there towards the end and we were able to take advantage of the mistakes.

On how important David Pastrnak is…

Oh, for sure. I mean I think early on when Pasta came back it was, it’s tough. Any time you miss a bunch of games and you’re out for a bit with an injury, it’s tough to get back. I mean, guys, they’re working so hard every day. They’re constantly getting better and moving past you, so he’s done a great job working hard and coming back and he’s playing phenomenal right now and that’s what we need from him. You know, he did a great job stepping up tonight, and when he plays like that it’s exciting, you know, with his speed and skill, and yeah, the opportunities he created, so it’s great to have him playing like that.

On whether anyone gave him advice before the penalty shot…

No, he’s a good enough goal scorer. He knows what to do.

On how important it was to get the early lead…

Yeah, it’s always big, I mean especially after a tough loss last game, to come in and have a good start tonight.  Get that lead, and like you said, get the momentum from the crowd and, you know, kind of get our confidence under us. It was big and definitely helped us through the game.

On whether having a day off yesterday had a big role in their performance today…

I think it was big. We just had such a tough schedule, and every day off is huge right now with guys being able to recuperate and get their rest. With the travel that we had it’s definitely hard, so it definitely helped.

On having a big lead at the end of the game…

Yeah, no, any time you win a game like that and you’re up by a few goals it’s nice. I mean, especially with a team like that where, you know, they can get a couple goals in a minute or two, and, you know, you’re really… it’s a nail-biter down to the end, so it was a big game for us to win and definitely have to be happy with it.

BOSTON BRUINS GOALTENDER TUUKKA RASK

On whether it felt like a 42-shot night, or if it felt like the Bruins were in a good rhythm despite being outshot …

Yeah it did. I mean they had a lot of chances, but we took their rebound chances away. And we knew they were going to look for those backdoor plays a lot, we took care of those, and you know it resulted as a pretty good defensive effort. 

On whether it felt like this was a win he and the team needed given their home record…

Yeah, obviously we wanted to improve our home record and stop giving up a lot of goals in general. You know we still gave up a lot of shots, but I thought it was a great defensive effort, and we battled hard, and kept the goals-against down and got the win.  

On whether he got an explanation about the review of the Penguins’ goal…

No, I mean I knew it was going to be a goal, but it’s kind of a bad rule from a goaltending perspective, because you know a guy doesn’t have his stick in play and he just hits the brakes and you know doesn’t even try to make a play with his stick. So it’s a goal, but a tough one. 

On having David Pastrnak’s speed on their side…

Yeah he’s fast, you know whenever he gets to use it. He gets that speed and when he gets the puck in full speed he’s a tough guy to defend, and today he showed it. When he uses that speed to attack the net, too, it’s really dangerous. He’s a young guy and he’s really going to get even better. So it’s good for us.

On Pastrnak being only 19 years old…

I know, right. It’s his second year. 

On how the team talked about simplifying their game coming into tonight and whether he thinks they executed…

Yeah it was, you know in the beginning we were kind of tight a little bit. We were trying but we were just not making plays, we were kind of nervous I guess would be the right word. But in the third period especially I thought we managed the situation well, and even though they had a couple chances we never panicked. We just capitalized on our own chances and that resulted in five goals, which is great. 

On the message in the locker room going into the third period…

Just play to win and work hard. That’s pretty much it. 

On it being nice to finish a game with a multiple-point lead, as opposed to going into overtime, and how they haven’t had many games like that…

No, no, but you know it’s a thing that when we keep playing within our game plan, so to say I guess, you know good things will happen. And today was a great example – we had the lead 2-1, make it 3-1, and we never change anything, and you know the other team has to take chances, and then they make mistakes and we capitalize on that. It’s very simple, but it hasn’t always been the case. Today it paid off again, so it’s great. 

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS HEAD COACH MIKE SULLIVAN POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE

On what point did the game start to get away from them…

Well, we’re pressing, you know, we had a lot of momentum I thought for the most part for a lot of the game we played pretty good hockey. But, you know, this game comes down to critical moments where we’ve got to control better the things that we can control. I don’t think we made them work as hard for their goals that they needed to work. I thought our goalie exchanges were not as crisp tonight. I thought our defensemen sometimes on the breakouts were forcing plays coming out of the corner, and, you know, when you make the plays and they’re not there to be made, you leave – you know, sometimes the best play is no play. And, the safest area in the rink is in the corner. I just didn’t think we were as diligent with our decision making at critical times in the game. 

On how much of the inability to score was their team and how much of it was Tuukka Rask…

It was a combination of both. You know we had some quality chances, it’s not that we didn’t generate the chances or the, you know, we had a fair amount of shots on goal. I thought we had opportunities to get to rebounds. So I thought we had a fair amount of chances we don’t score, but for me, I think – my takeaway is not so much about not scoring, it’s about playing the game the right way. And, we can do a better job at controlling our own end zone with the decision making with the puck, that gives ourselves a better chance to win. 

On why the team hasn’t been consistent with their wins…

Because it’s a hard league and everybody’s trying to win. The standings are close. There’s a lot of parity in the league, it’s a hard league. 

On the upgrades he would like to see before the deadline…

I don’t know, we’re going to coach the guys we have – that’s the way I look at it. We’ve got a good team her. We believe in this group. We’ve played a lot of good hockey here and we’re climbing in the standings. We didn’t get the results tonight, but we’ll learn from it and we’ll get better. 

On when the team is doing well, if the smart decisions he’s been talking about are underappreciated toward what they’re doing…

I do. I think when you play the game the right way, and especially with our team we have the talent that we can act on our instincts and we can score. And, you know I’ve had a lot of conversations with our group this year about not trying to outscore teams but outplay teams. And sometimes when we get into the mode where we try to outscore teams we force the issue, and we become a high-risk team. And, when we’re at our best, I think we have an element of discipline to us as far as how we manage the puck and the decisions that we make, so that we don’t become a high-risk team. 

On if those decisions are complicated when facing a team like Boston that’s backing up in the neutral zone and taking away those lanes…

No, I don’t think so. For me, it’s a matter of taking what the game gives you. You know, they’re a hard team to play against, they always have their numbers back, and they rely on their structure; that’s their identity. You’ve got to play a patient game when you play against them, and a lot of it starts with how you manage the puck. And, so, you know I told our guys before the game I thought the neutral zone was going to be an important zone for us, which it is, but I don’t think we did as good of a job in our own zone, as far as managing the puck and coming out. Our team has been much better with our breakouts, both on the initial breakout and right out of our transitioning out of our coverage a lot more effectively as we were tonight. We weren’t quite as effective or quite as diligent I think with the puck, and as a result I think that the quality of the chances that we gave up went up. 

On the energy of the players during their time of struggle…

No, I thought we had plenty of energy. I thought we were pushing, you know, we had a lot of energy on the bench, we were pushing hard, we felt like we were right in the game. You know a lot of the game we were playing pretty strong hockey, so I don’t think the energy was the issue. I think it’s just, you know, down the stretch we were pressing. 

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS FORWARD SIDNEY CROSBY

On whether there is anything about TD Garden that has caused the team problems in recent years…

Yeah, I mean I don’t have a great explanation for you. We’ve got to score. I mean we had a ton of shots, a ton of chances, and, you know, we’ve got to find a way to put the puck in the net and give ourselves a chance.

On whether it was more what Tuukka Rask was doing against them or what they were doing as a team…

I thought we had some good chances. I mean, you know, they’re definitely good defensively, but we had 40 shots. I mean we had some really good scoring chances, so I think the fact that you get those you’re happy to get them. You’ve got to find a way to put them in. It was probably more Rask on a bunch of them, yeah.

On the areas he would like the team to improve upon at the trade deadline…

I’m not worried about that. I think as players we’ve got to go out there and play. We’ve shown some really good things here, especially the last couple of months, so whatever happens we’ve got to find a way to continue to get better and play our best, you know, when it means the most.

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS FORWARD CONOR SHEARY

On what the transition to the NHL has been like…

It was a little bit tougher at first. I think once I found my role and what I need to do to be successful, I think I’ve become a little bit more comfortable obviously. The points aren’t going up as much as they were in Wilkes-Barre but that comes with just ice time and stuff like that. I’m comfortable with my linemates and I’m comfortable with my game right now.

On if he grew up a Bruins fan…

I did, yes.

On what it was like making his debut against the Bruins…

It was a pretty cool experience. We lost that one, too, which was unfortunate, but to have friends and family around for the first one was pretty cool.

On scoring his first goal against the Bruins…

Same thing. That was awesome. It was nice that I got to do it in front of our own fans. That was a good feeling.

On if he had a lot of friends and family in the building tonight…

Yeah, again, same thing.

On how many family members were here…

Twenty or 30. I don’t really know. Not everyone texted me, but I know there was quite a few so I appreciate that.

On how special it was to play in Boston…

Yeah, absolutely.

On what it is about the Bruins that has given them trouble this year…

They’re really a good structured team. They play well in the neutral zone, so it’s hard to get the puck in their end. And then they defend their net really well. Once you get pucks into their zone, it’s hard to get it to Tuukka [Rask] and create space.

On if he knew former Celtics player Phil Pressey when they were both at Cushing Academy…

Yeah, he was. He lived in my dorm. We were just kind of acquaintances – I never really hung out with him. But him being on the basketball team and I was on the hockey team, we kind of hung out a little bit here and there.

On if he ever thought back then that he’d make the NHL and Pressey would make the NBA…

I mean we’re both undersized guys, so it’s pretty special. And coming from the same spot is pretty cool. You like to see guys you grew up with or went to high school with be successful and kind of know those guys is pretty cool.

On playing with former UMass-Lowell player Scott Wilson…

Yeah, it’s been awesome. He obviously got his first one a few nights ago and got on a little run there. He’s obviously been playing with me all year down in Wilkes-Barre and then we end up here. I feel really comfortable with him and I’m glad to see him doing well.

HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN PREGAME PRESS CONFERENCE AT 11:10 AM

On if there’s any reason why the team is struggling at home…

He asked me that last game. Definitely we have to play better, there’s no doubt there. Our game has been better on the road than it has been at home, so this is something that we have to correct here. And I told Matt here when he asked me last game, we can discuss hopefully it after this game tonight and hopefully we respond better. 

On how important these two points are given the position in the standings…

To me honestly two points are important no matter if they’re two points behind us or four or five. Every point is important and we have to keep looking at it that way. We can’t just turn around and say this point is more important than this one because at the end it doesn’t matter who you beat, the points accumulate in the standings when you win. So this doesn’t change tonight. 

On not being able to get big space between teams in the standings this year…

It is, you know like I look at last year when we failed to make the playoffs with 96 points and I’m not even sure it’s going to take that much this year to get into the playoffs. You know the way things are going the points are spread out a lot more than last year between teams. So I’m suspecting it’s going to be one of those tight races right to the end right now. 

On what he’s liked from Joe Morrow…

Nothing’s changed with him when he skates and moves the puck. He’s a good defenseman. I think he’s got, you know again, he’s got the ability to skate the puck out and to carry the puck, even move the puck when you put him on the power play, he’s done a decent job there as well. And with him it’s always been, you know, keep the consistency in his game and if we could ever get close to the same thing from him on a daily basis or on a game-to-game basis that would help his game tremendously. 

On if Ryan Spooner not being part of the power play on Tuesday evening was because that’s what worked in Dallas against the Stars…

It’s a little bit of everything. He had been sick and didn’t skate until that morning and the reason that you gave as well. 

On if it was always the plan to give the team yesterday off…

Well we kept that open because the fact is, like I said, we got in at four in the morning on Sunday and that doesn’t really give you much of a day off as far as getting some rest there. So I really felt also our team looked tired, you know, in the execution there last game and you know losing races, stuff like that. So I felt it was better to give yesterday the day off so we could get our rest and get some energy here because it’s not only for tonight but a second night here again, so three games in five nights, so we have to get ready for that stretch as well. 

On if he’ll approach this game any differently than the last two games they played against Pittsburgh…

No, I think obviously the team is playing better and that’s why they’ve been winning games and they might have needed a little bit of time I guess to put his [Coach Mike Sullivan] stuff in place and what he expected from those guys, but he’s done a good job. You know, he’s got that team going right now and mostly the same players, but just obviously they seem to have more energy, they’re playing hard and they’re winning hockey games. So I’m not going to sit here and give you my game plan, but I know we’re playing against a better Pittsburgh team. 

On if he thinks there is any way to make the coach’s challenge process smoother…

Yeah there’s been a little bit of that going in the last little while and…couple things. I think, you know, maybe coaches need a better understanding of what the referees are looking at, how they’re calling it. The other part is, you know, if it’s one of those things where we feel it’s inconsistent from referees to referees then maybe we take it out of their hands and take the pressure off them as well. You know they’re having to tell everybody I was wrong or missed it, which for some might not be a big deal, for others a bigger one. And the other part that I said is that any time that it’s inconclusive, you know especially offside in that area there but even in other areas as well, I don’t think we should lose our timeout because of that fact because we could be right after all. Inconclusive doesn’t mean we were wrong. So that is something that they should look at as well. 

On if he has confidence that he knows what the outcome will be when he challenges…

Ask every coach the same question. You know it’s like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re going to get. 

On if he hesitates to use timeouts because of the coach’s challenge…

Well we’ve had that situation where we challenged a call that we thought we were going to win for sure and it was wrong. And yet, later on the team scored on a real obvious offside and we didn’t have our challenge. So that’s one of the frustrating parts there when you have that. Some coaches say just take the challenge out, then more of us when you have an offside would bark at the referee when there’s nothing you can do about it. But now we know we can, but lose your timeout when you maybe shouldn’t have it’s even more frustrating. So there are a lot of things here that, you know, after a year of experience I’m sure everybody’s going to look at it and try and to modify it or fix it or make it better. 

#02/24/16#

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