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Running Quotes for Bruins vs. Rangers on 1/15

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
BOSTON BRUINS POSTGAME QUOTES

BOSTON BRUINS VS NEW YORK RANGERS
Thursday, January 15, 2015

BOSTON BRUINS HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE AT 9:50 P.M.
On Tuukka Rask playing as well as he did last season…
He was really good for us tonight. This team has a lot of speed, the Rangers, and we acknowledged that before the game. They certainly displayed it at times and when there was the odd breakdown and they had opportunities to score, Tuukka [Rask] was up to the task there and made some big saves for us. No doubt, in my mind, he was our best player tonight.

On the team’s quick start tonight…
Well, we talked about it. I think the last game we played, although it was a good game on our part, I thought our start could have been a little bit better, so we talked about it and making sure we had a better start tonight. If we want to improve and continue to get better, those are areas that we have to acknowledge and try and rectify here. So tonight was a better start for us and, no doubt, it helped us in this win tonight.

On getting through the last two games against tough teams with two wins…
Well, I mean, we’ve just showed that when we’re playing well, and with the group that we have here, I think we’re as good as any team in this league. That’s never been a doubt. I think the biggest thing, the biggest challenge was to find our game; it took us a while and now we’re starting to find it, so now it’s important for us to keep it and understand the importance of this second half here. It hasn’t been an easy first half, so it’s not going to be an easy second half either. We’ve got a lot of ground to make up for and I think playing like we did tonight certainly helps.

On what the biggest difference has been in this five-game win streak…
Well, again, I think there’s some stability in the lineup. And even though we had a lot of those injured guys back just before we started playing better, they’ve just been off for two months. I think a lot of people expected them to jump in and first game they were gonna be at their best, so I think it took us a while to get our team back to what we wanted to because of some of those players trying to find their games, getting our lines back together to what we’ve been mostly used to. I think the guys are now, I guess they’re finding their spot in the lineup and on the team and they understand their roles, everything’s clear. When you’ve got a bunch of injuries, you’re asking guys to play different roles and sometimes they have to step up and they can, but ask them to step up for a couple months is not an easy thing. We’ve had our fair share of challenges and right now you hope that the adversity that we faced is gonna help us here in the second half and make us a better team.

On how encouraging it is to see David Pastrnak earn a spot on the team long term…
Again, he’s a young player that certainly has improved from day one to now. He showcased his skill level, he showcased his speed. But as you saw tonight, too, there’s some heavy game where it’s a bit more of a challenge for a player. But he’s definitely a great player. I think we all want him here. The decision that was made was pretty unanimous as far as should we keep him past the 10-game mark. As far as I was concerned as a coach, I wanted him on my team. I think management felt the same way. They had to look at different situations, obviously the 10 games and what it does, everything else.  But at the end of the day, the consensus was this guy belongs here and it’s gonna be up to me to manage it the way I should manage it, help him continue to improve and grow and get some experience, and if he has some tough nights make sure I don’t expose him. That’s part of a young player who’s only 18 years old, that’s part of his development and us doing the right thing for him.

On if he was okay with Chris Kelly taking a penalty to protect his teammate…
Yeah, no doubt. I don’t think that we’ve ever had an issue with that. It was a dangerous hit and he just stood up for his teammate and went in there; you’ve seen that as of late on a lot of occasions, same thing with [Tanner] Glass going after [David] Pastrnak and slashing him behind the legs there and [Adam] McQuaid took exception to that. That’s what we’re going to do, we’re going to stick up for ourselves and do what needs to be done.

On how much the Carl Soderberg line has come together…
We had all those injuries and they were the line that was kind of, I guess, carrying us there for a while. They were doing all the scoring, or most of it anyways. You could rely on them on a nightly basis. It’s been a real good line for us and it continues to be a good line for us, reliable and also producing. You feel pretty good as a coach when you’ve got a so-called third line doing what they’re doing.

On bend but not break defense being a result of bearing down or something that the team works on…
Well I think it’s a little bit of everything here. When you look at our team, we talked about having some composure and making sure you make the right plays and then try not to panic in your own end. At the same time, especially in the second period, if you’re hemmed in there for a long time, just ice the puck; either we get a little bit of a break or you stop the flow that’s coming at you and, at the same time, you hope that I have a timeout that if I need to use I can utilize it. I think from our back end, I think it’s helped a lot. We’ve been better because we’re moving our feet now a little bit more and that helps when it comes time to making some decisions. A lot of times we’d be standing there looking at our options, and you’ve got to move your feet in this league and I think our D’s have gotten better at that.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD DAVID KREJCI
On David Pastrnak staying with the team...
It’s definitely good news.  He’s really excited but he also knows that he has to prove that he belongs here every day, in practice and in the games and he knows it.  It’s exciting, it’s exciting for me as well, and I have a Czech buddy so looking forward to finishing the season with him.

On if he is done wondering who is going to be on his line...
I mean it’s not set in stone that we are going to play together for the rest of the year but for now I thought the last couple of games were pretty strong games so as long as we keep working on things in practices and we’ll be working hard in games then there is a pretty good chance that we will stick together.

On David Pastrnak looking up to him as a fellow countrymen...
We take him as a normal guy.  Even though he is 18 years old, he is mature enough to be in this league and he gets around pretty good in the dressing room, all the guys like him.  He always comes in with a smile on his face so it’s really good to have him around.

On the pass from Torey Krug to set up his goal…
At the beginning, I wanted to go back door the whole time but there was a guy on me, no idea but for some reason when Torey faked the shot for some reason he got away from me and I was by myself so it was a perfect pass and a pretty easy tap in for me.

On how he feels about where the team is at this point...
We are climbing in the standings so that’s a positive thing, five in a row.  Even though before we lost some games in overtime, we were still in it so we are finding ways to win hockey games.  We had some tough games lately and we were able to get two points out of it so obviously the confidence is much better than it was a month ago but we know that we still gotta work at some things.  We got Columbus, we got beat up pretty bad in Columbus so we have to get ready for that and finish off.  We have three more games before the break so finish it off with as many points as we can, enjoy the break and make a push after that.

On how close the team is to where he wants it to be...
We are getting there but we have to show it on a nightly basis, not just one game or two games and then that’s it.  I feel like the last few games we have been playing pretty good hockey, all four lines, all sixty so it’s good to see.  We just have to go every day in the rink, work hard and try to be better every game.

On the fact that even when they were losing they were getting points...
Yeah but that was frustrating.  We felt like we had some teams that we should have won in regulation but we didn’t and it went into a shootout and at that time we didn’t have confidence.  I mean you saw our shooters, we were struggling to score goals in the shootout.  Now the confidence is finally coming back and we are making some nice plays out there so it’s good to see and hopefully we’ll keep doing that.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD PATRICE BERGERON
On the importance of taking an early lead…
It was important. It was important to have a strong effort, I thought for the whole game, but definitely our start was important. We talked about it, and facing a tough team, a team that has a lot of speed and we saw that, and scoring first was important.

On how much confidence the team gained from Tuukka Rask’s saves in the first period…
Yeah, definitely gave us a lot of confidence. He made some huge stops for us in the first period to keep us with the lead, and then I thought we calmed down. We regrouped, and we’ve done a lot of good things, and we were skating well. It was a fast-paced high-tempo game, and I thought we kept up with that. It was pretty good.

On the Bruins being able to play well after giving up scoring chances early…
Having the confidence that we’ve built from the last four games definitely helped us tonight, realizing that if we do stay and respect the system, and go back to that, we’ll be fine. We had to regroup on those few chances, but like I said, Tuuks [Tuukka Rask] definitely came up big for us, and getting the lead gives you also that cushion, the confidence to keep pushing and keep staying on your toes.

On if the Bruins’ five-game winning streak means they’re headed in the right direction…
Yeah, I think it is moving in the right direction. I don’t think we’re satisfied with it. We have a goal of finishing strong before the All-Star break, and we’re not there yet. There’s three games left. We talked also about our small home stretch here, that we’ve started on a good note with the first two games, but we’ve got to finish strong also against Columbus, and we know what happened against them last game. So it’s going to be a tough game again, so we’ve got to make sure we stay with it, and we keep getting better.

On how Tuukka Rask has played over the last five games…
Yeah, he’s been great for us throughout that stretch, and tonight was definitely a perfect example of the way that he can steal games for us, and he definitely gave us confidence with his whole game, but his first period definitely set up the tone for all of us.

On if he’s happy to hear that David Pastrnak will be staying at the NHL level…
Yeah, it’s definitely great. I’m really happy for him. It’s well-deserved. Like I said before, he’s one of those kids that wants to learn, wants to get better, and he’s excited. He’s happy to be here, and I think we’re just seeing a shell of what he can be, and that’s definitely something very special, and we’re all here for him to help him and to teach him the way I guess. But so far he’s been doing great, and he doesn’t need much help.

On what it was like for him to be playing in the NHL at 18 years old…
I think it’s definitely one of those things where you want to soak everything in and be somewhat of a sponge, and try to learn from everything that’s happening on and off the ice. My first year, I recall that I learned a lot from veterans like Martin Lapointe, and Joe [Thornton], and Glen Murray, and all the other players that were willing to actually help me, and were really nice with me. It’s definitely a dream come true when you’re at that age, and you’re making it. So I’m sure he’s got a lot of different emotions going through his head right now, but he’s got to just keep playing like he’s been playing, and just having fun.

On if there’s been any catalyst that has helped the Bruins win five-in-a-row…
Well I think after a while we were just going to. It’s hard to establish the confidence and the consistency that, when you go back on the year, one game after another, you kind of take one step forward and you take two back. So I think everyone kind of told ourselves that we had to regroup, roll up our sleeves, and be better. I think, like I said, it is better, but we still need more, and if we look at the standings, we’re not where we want to be.

On the Bruins getting back to a ‘bend don’t break’ mentality…
I think we saw that tonight with that first period where they had some pretty good chances, pretty good looks. We just talked about what we needed to adjust on those plays, and we didn’t see it again in the second or third. And I think that’s definitely a good sign to see that confidence that we can still stay in a game even though we’re having a tough shift. We can just regroup and keep going forward.

BOSTON BRUINS GOALTENDER TUUKKA RASK
On getting some tough chances on him early...
Yeah, it gets you in the game quickly so it’s good.  I thought that we played a pretty decent game and didn’t give them a lot of chances.  They had a few power plays but we battled through those and never looked back really.

On if he was seeing the puck well from the start...
Yeah, you know you get a couple tough chances early on and it kind of gets you in the game.  The past few games actually we have been doing a good job of closing in quickly on their point shots and not giving those opportunities so that helps me when I see the puck and get those clear looks.

On if he goes into a game like this expecting to see those tough chances...
Yeah I mean when you look at their trends they are a quick counter team and they try to get on the rush quickly and get that defense joining and stuff like that so I gotta be aware of that.  But I thought for the most part that we eliminated their speed pretty well today.

On how important it was to get up early on this team…
We wanted to have a good start because we haven’t really had those good starts lately, we won some games but we wanted to jump on them quick and get that lead.  We got it and we never gave it up.

On if he is back to where he wants to be in net...
Yeah, I have played good but then again when the team plays good in front of you it makes it that much easier.  Having the scoring chances down a bit, you know earlier in the year it used to 15-20 scoring chances, the odds are you are going to give up two or three goals.  Now when it’s close to 10, or if it’s 9 or 11, it helps a lot.  I have felt pretty much the same all year but now I’m not getting stupid bounces and we are playing a really good team defense so that results in goals against going down.

On if he is ready to say that things are alright for the Bruins after five straight wins...
Yeah you know we have played some good games against some good teams, we just haven’t been playing the whole 60-minutes and there have been huge breakdowns and as of now we kind of calmed those down and we are playing within our strengths and building the defense and having layers and really not duplicating jobs that much.  It’s that simple and we feel that we are on the right track and we aren’t going to get comfortable because we know what the other end of the stick could be.

On what some of the challenges were in the second period with all the Ranger chances...
Yeah they had a few good looks, they are going to get some shots but we protected the house and took the second opportunities away and that’s it.

On if he feels that the Bruins are back to being a hard team to play against...
It is.  You know I think when we play with that edge and we are on top of teams and skating hard, that creates those battles and that leads to those little scrums there.  Earlier in the year you’re just kind of going through the motions and nothing is really happening so you aren’t going to create something out of nothing obviously.  It’s a good sign when everything is kind of falling into place and it looks like we are feeling comfortable out there and standing up for each other is a part of it.

On David Pastrnak staying up with the team…
He brings a lot of good energy out there, I’m sure you can see that.  He wants the puck a lot and has been making really good decisions with it and it looks like he is getting more comfortable using his own skills and stuff like that.  The past couple of games he has been rewarded with goals and I’m glad for him and he’s a great guy and it’s good to see him sticking around for the rest of the year.

On not having any funny bounces go in on him in the past few games…
Well yeah post in post out you know.  First part of the season it was post in, and now it’s post out so hopefully that keeps going.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD DAVID PASTRNAK
On when management told him he would be sticking around...
This afternoon.

On what message was sent to him from management about this decision…
Just that right now I am going to be with the team but I have to just keep working hard, you know, and I want to stick with the team for the season but obviously I have to keep working hard and I have to still fight for a spot on the team, so yeah, keep working hard.

On how much this last stint of games has boosted his confidence level…
I don’t know, I just try to play my best and don’t think about anything else, you know, try to do it for the team and just play hockey.

On whether his recent goals had an impact on his mindset given the team’s previous lack of scoring…
No, how I said, the goals, I had teammates which helped me score and that I scored two games in a row doesn’t mean anything. Every game can score the other players and that’s how the team works and we have to keep going as one.

On how he has improved as a player now, in comparison to his previous games earlier on this season…
I don’t know. That’s not a question for me.

On what it feels like and means to him playing on a line with David Krejci…
Yeah I know. I love to play with Krech [David Krejci], and it’s good. He’s been helping me out and giving me… helping me, so I really… I don’t know how to say the word, but it’s really nice and I enjoy playing with these guys, and like I said a million times I try to do my best.

On now that he is going to stay with the team, does he feel a sense of relief about the whole situation…
No, like I said I’m just going to keep working hard, and it doesn’t mean anything that I am going to stay with the team all season now, so I am just going to keep working hard and play for the team.

On how this decision may motivate him to perform well for the team now that they have showed some confidence in him…
Yeah, absolutely. I’m going to stay here for the whole season so I have to keep working hard and everyday leave 100% for the team.

On how he has adjusted from European hockey to the American Hockey League, and then from the American Hockey League to the National Hockey League…
It was a little harder when I came from the AHL because I had been used to bigger ice, you know, like European hockey so it was a little bit harder, tougher, but when I got the NHL everything was faster, quicker in the NHL and I had to just… just had to do everything quicker, you know, and try to get used to this hockey.
 
On expecting to have the kind of impact that he has had so soon this season only despite only being drafted last year…
Since I’ve been drafted, I try to do the best that I can to show they picked the right player and just kind of motivation to show to everybody, even the 2014, front of…which picked another guy… so it’s kind of motivating to work hard and show the mistake to everybody, just trying to do, like, my best.

BOSTON BRUINS DEFENSEMAN TOREY KRUG
On Kelly standing up for Soderberg…
Yeah I think that, you know, part of the identity of this team is taking care of each other, having each other’s backs and I think everyone in this locker room is comfortable going on the ice because they know people are going to stick up for each other. Maybe it’s something that earlier in the year wasn’t there as much and right now guys are coming together nice as a team but we still have a lot of work to do.

On Pastrnak staying up here buying the team time to try this lineup for a while to assess things…
I don’t know if buying us time is the right term to use but right now we’re treating every game as a must win and we’re trying to claw our way back so I don’t think anyone here is trying to buy time. I just don’t think that’s a good term but I definitely think the consistency of a lineup is definitely helping and letting guys get comfortable in certain situations and know that you’re coming to the rink playing every single day, it’s definitely beneficial for the team.

On seeing your goal with Krejci translate from practice to a game…
Yeah it’s nice. I don’t even know how the hell I had so much time up there but that’s how you score goals. You go to the dirty areas and obviously he was untouched back door but that’s what makes him a good goal scorer is he finds the right lanes and I was just able to put the pass on his tape.

On Kelly dropping the gloves more recently firing the team up…
Yeah it does. He’s not a guy that’s obviously going to go out there and fight the biggest guy in the world. I mean he’s not scared to do such a thing but he sticks up for his teammates and that’s been a characteristic of his and that’s why he’s such a great leader for our team and guys follow that. Guys get excited about that so it’s nice to have on our side and obviously games like that, it might not have been that important in the game, but like I said, we’re still sticking up for our teammates.

On the difference that turned the team around…
Well we’re getting back to doing the things that make us the Boston Bruins and that’s playing with that edge and making sure that we’re taking away time and space when we have those layers defensively. I think our defensive outings have been a lot better as of late and that’s important for our team.

On the better players playing better…
Well it definitely is, I think your team is a reflection of how your best players play but it’s also a reflection of how maybe the guys that don’t play the big minutes but are role players, it’s also a reflection of them. I think it’s a total team effort. Obviously you got to give credit to the big names that step up every single night but then this little winning streak we’ve had, everybody’s been pulling on the same rope. Been good to have everybody on that side.

On there being less panic now than there was a few weeks ago…
It is. I mean, like I said before, if you’re coming to the rink every day, you know you’re going to play it helps. Guys are working on certain plays and that chemistry is starting to click a little bit more and just have the confidence to come to the rink every single day and understand what each guy has to do individually his role and what each line has to do to contribute. It definitely is a benefit for sure.


BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD CHRIS KELLY
On fighting Chris Kreider after Kreider’s hit on Carl Soderberg…
Yeah, it’s just a reaction I guess. It’s part of the game. It’s just, like I said, part of the game I guess.

On if fights like that are an important part of the game…
Yeah, you want to stick up for your teammates, and I like Carl [Soderberg]. [Laughs]

On if he thought Chris Kreider’s boarding penalty was a bad hit…
I didn’t like the way Carl [Soderberg] kind of went in. I just saw him kind of go in awkwardly, and I happened to be right there.

On the importance of the Bruins picking up their physical play…
Well I think our identity is playing hard, and playing a north-south type of game, grinding it out. It’s one of our huge strengths, so we’ve got to try to use it as much as we can.

On Tuukka Rask making key saves in the first period…
I thought Tuukka [Rask] played unbelievable tonight. Not only in the first period, but that breakaway by [Rick] Nash in the second. It’s a different game if he doesn’t make a big save there. He was our best player tonight, and he’s been our best player for a while, so it’s good to see.

On if he thinks everything has turned around with the Bruins’ five-game winning streak…
No.

On the Bruins’ confidence level after beating the Lightning and the Rangers…
Those are two good hockey teams that we played, and they play a high-tempo, high-speed game, and they have a lot of offensive threats. I thought we did a good job keeping the pace the way we wanted to play the game, as opposed to having them keep the pace.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD LOUI ERIKSSON
On having patience with your goal…
Yeah it was kind of bouncing a little bit so I had to settle it down a little bit. It was nice to get some time at least and it was good to see it go in.

On getting the goaltender to freeze and commit…
Yeah but it was kind of coming to me and bouncing in the beginning so I had to settle it down a little bit and no one came at me so I had time to pick a corner and it was nice to get that.

On being surprised you had that much time…
Yeah a little bit but at the same time they did a good job in front. It was nice to score that one.

On the importance of the offense getting pucks on the net…
Yeah it’s definitely important. Carl [Soderberg] was in front, there were two, there was him and—usually that’s how you score goals in this league by putting pucks on net and finding those rebounds so it was nice.

On why the team is clicking the past five games…
We’re finding ways to win games. We’re playing a much better team game I think. Of course Tuukka [Rask] was great for us tonight in net. It’s nice to be on a winning streak and just keep playing like we’ve been doing and hopefully we can get more wins.

On the confidence of the team…
We’re getting there. Still a few things we can do a little bit better. At the same time we’re winning games and when you do that your confidence goes up. The players are making more plays out there so it’s a nice feeling.

On the steadiness of your line…
I think we’re finding ways to find each other out there on the ice. We play with a good tight game with each other. If we do that we get the puck and really on the for check, if we get a good for check we usually get the puck in their zone and making plays. It’s been good playing with Carl [Soderberg] and Kells [Chris Kelly] there.

On seeing Kelly defending Soderberg…
Yeah it was definitely nice to see that. It’s awesome to see actually. He did the same when Looch [Milan Lucic] got hit a couple weeks ago too. He plays with that kind of temper in him and it’s always nice to see him step up like that.

On the team getting back in stride after recovering from injuries…
Yeah for sure. It’s always tough to come back after an injury. I think they are definitely back and playing really well for us. It’s nice to have them back and playing. That makes our team a much better team when they’re healthy and playing. So it’s a good thing to have them there.

NEW YORK RANGERS FORWARD DERICK BRASSARD
On describing the hit by Brad Marchand…
Well yeah it’s just like you go to the corner with them and you go shoulder to shoulder, but he brings his leg in the back and I felt like I had a slew foot there. I don’t want to find any excuses about it, I don’t want to be crybaby or anything, but it could’ve been dangerous and it could be a game changer.  It could’ve been a 5-on-3 and probably could be back in the game, but the referees said it was a clean hit I guess.

On the referees saying it was a clean hit…
Yeah four guys, clean hit, shoulder-to-shoulder, the way I fell on the ice I maybe could’ve missed the rest of the season if I hurt my knee there, but luckily enough there.  Like I said, Marchand’s a pretty good player, he’s feisty, competes hard, but those kind of things we don’t want that in our game.

On if tonight was a better game for them…
Yeah we had better looks tonight. I thought we competed hard. We tried to get some offense.  They’re a pretty tight D they don’t give you too much in the neutral zone and defensive zone. So it’s not easy you have to work for your goals. Even in front of the net, they have pretty big D-men.  They push you; they push you off really fast. We just try to have a better game than we did against the Islanders. I thought our effort was better tonight, but at the end of the day we need the two points and it was not good enough.

On how surprised and frustrated they are by two straight shutouts…
Yeah, but whatever happened in the past, whatever our record is in the past 15 games we can’t look back we just have to look forward.  Every game we have to have a different mindset, we’re facing different teams.  We’re playing a lot of games in a short period of time here.  We need everyone; we need our four lines rolling, try and get the energy high.  Our bread and butter is our speed so if the energy is low you know we can’t play with our strength and that’s what we try and do play four lines, try to roll that short shifts and it’s not going to be any easier tomorrow.

NEW YORK RANGERS FORWARD RICK NASH
On his breakaway…
Yeah it missed the net. I was towards the end of the shift and couldn’t decide what I wanted to do and before I knew it I was in too tight and missed the net.

On if they feel like they should’ve had a better outcome with their amount of chances…
Yeah, but I think we were outworked by their goalie. You know playing against a guy like that, one of the top guy’s in the league, you got to work him if you want to score goals and put them in the back of net.

On losing two games in a row to a shutout…
Yeah I think anytime it goes two games no matter what the score might be... I think we ought to get back to the basic, back to simple hockey, the way we were playing when we were winning.

NEW YORK RANGERS FORWARD MARTIN ST. LOUIS
On tonight’s loss…
… I thought tonight was… it wasn’t a three, nothing game. I thought we had chances. We just didn’t capitalize on them, and, you know, a better team. They’re a tough team to play when they’ve got the lead just like we are. They’ve got it going right now, so disappointing result. We have a little time to digest this game but we’ve got to turn the page and play a good Columbus team tomorrow.

On whether the defensive breakdown stands out to him about tonight…
I mean, you know, these good teams you… a couple missed assignments and they’re creating a scoring chance, and our goaltending has been unbelievable for us this year and again tonight. It was good, but when you give them looks like that it’s tough for them, so it’s a fine line between winning and losing sometimes, just a couple of bounces here and there. We hit the post the first period. Last game we hit the post twice in the first period. We’re a different team playing with the lead for sure like they are. They’re tough to play when they’ve got the lead, and Tuukka Rask made some good saves, but all in all this did not feel like a three nothing game.

On whether their level of confidence changes at all when you get shutout in two games…
I mean you can’t overthink it. We got it going pretty good, but by no means are we thinking that, hey, you know, let’s lay off a little bit. No, we’re trying to win games. We’re playing some tough teams in tough buildings and we’re going to bite, scratch, claw, whatever trying to get some wins here heading into the break.

BOSTON BRUINS GENERAL MANAGER PETER CHIARELLI 1ST INTERMISSION MEDIA AVAILABILITY
On David Pastrnak…
So we’ve decided that David Pastrnak’s going to stay with us for a while and he’s going to play passed his ninth game. We’re going to commit to him to play up here. I feel that he’s done very well in his apprenticeship in Providence, which I think has been the most important progressive step in his development. He went down there and he did what we told him to do, which was play without the puck, play heavier, play on the wall, the defensive wall, offensive battles and then he came up here and played in the West coast trip and I think he got his feet wet a little bit, went back down and dominated down there again. So I think in all this in making this decision, we really scrutinized his play in Providence and we felt that he was able to play and excel at that level with the proper physicality for him and against the proper physicality. He’s going to be up here and we’re happy to make that decision and we’re going to continue to look at it as a development piece, which means that, as we’ve done before with some of the younger players, it doesn’t mean you’re in the lineup all the time. There may be points in time when his play dips a little bit and we may sit him down for a game or two here or there, but I think the important thing to take away from this is that he’s going to be up with the big team, practice with the team, and hopefully play on a regular basis.

On if there is a concern about the safety of him in relation to his size and defensemen in the league…
Uh, 172 now… no, but he has actually gained weight. He’s a strong, wiry kid, but yeah for sure, that’s one of the concerns, but he’s a smart player. One of the things we told him when we first sent him down to Providence was this is one of the reasons why you’re going to down is that we don’t want you to put yourself in vulnerable positions because he tends to do that a little bit the way he makes play. You know what, nobody’s perfect so there may be instances where he exposes himself, but he went down there with that being one of the things to work on and he worked on it.

On how much a factor his two goals in two games were in making the decision…
Yeah no obviously those games were important and influential in us making the decision. You know it bounces on some lines, you know I don’t want to hang our hat on David because you don’t want to put due pressure on him. What I explained to him is what I just mentioned to you is that this is the next step in a development piece and it doesn’t mean that you’ve got a lock. Nothing’s guaranteed in life but you’ve earned it, you went down and did what we told you to do, but certainly those games up here... his first couple games up, his first time up you could see what he’s all about. But then he kind of tailed off a bit and that was to me understood especially on the road. He went back down and he thoroughly dominated down there with and without the puck.  So while those two games where he scored two goals, and he was explosive and was very good, we really looked closely at that time in Providence because that’s the time where you build a foundation.  He had done everything we asked him and more and he was a dynamic player.  It’s a tough decision because these are young players and you have to be careful with them.

On if the rules regarding free agency in the CBA came into play…
So the milestones are the 9th game, which is tonight, really the 10th game once you pass the 9th game and the 40 games on the roster.  For those of you that don’t know what that means, it means he would be a year closer to free agency if he surpasses the 40 games.  Those are the two CBA milestones that we take into account when we make a decision but if his development or his play or something is waning to the extent that we have to look at that again, we might.  We feel pretty confident in him taking that next step developmentally and I think the first stint up here really helped him and then going back and really doing what he did.  That stuff, you don’t ignore that stuff.  You keep an eye on it but we are prepared to commit to him up at this level and continue to develop him properly.

On David Pastrnak lasting until the 25th pick overall in the 2014 draft…
Yeah, you know sometimes guys like that drop.  He had a couple of injuries at the U-18’s and that kind of stuff gets around and I think some people get cold feet when that happens.  The injury wasn’t significant, he had a terrific interview with us and it was a guy we wanted, we had him pretty high and it was a guy we wanted.  It’s nice to get a really good player at that pick and he’s still got work to do and stuff but he’s a real good kid, a conscientious kid, very respectful, very humble and at the same time he can be infectious with his personality so he’s got a lot going for him.

On what else he would like to add to the team…
Again, I’m always trying to improve our team and this helps in the sense that he’s showing some chemistry with that line.  What also helps is that you’ve seen [Daniel] Paille move up and down the lineup which has been very helpful too.  In fact I think that helped spark some of the energy on this team, you’ve got him skating at a different level and you see confidence in his game now.  So you take it, you reassess, our needs may not be completely what they were a month ago and you just continue to march forward and try to improve the team.

On if he is still committed to acquiring a veteran right shot…
I thought I covered that with Joe [McDonald] [laughs].  Again, we’ll see how this group continues to evolve and I don’t really want to, it’s not as pressing as before.  How’s that?

On how he evaluates the talent that the team has down in Providence…
I feel pretty good.  We’ve seen some real good play from Seth Griffith.  We’ve seen [Craig] Cunningham really solidify his spot, good two way play, good faceoff guy, energetic.  You’ve seen obviously David Pastrnak. Are you just asking about forward?  We still have some players there, [Alexander] Khokhlachev and [Ryan] Spooner, that we still expect a little more from.  So, going into the season, we went in with some empty spots and hoped that some of these guys would grab these spots, and they did and they didn’t to a certain degree. But sometimes these kids develop at a little slower pace than you would like.  Then you have David Pastrnak who is developing a little more quickly than you would have thought.  So imperfect science but I feel pretty good about our depth down there.

On the chemistry that David Pastrnak brings to the locker room…
Well I think when you get, and it’s kind of a slow progression, but when you get young guys that contribute in general, it energizes a group.  In a short, small sample size, it looks like it has done that with David.

BOSTON BRUINS HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN PREGAME PRESS CONFERENCE 11:00 AM
On the evaluation continuing with Pastrnak…
I think we’re going to stay on course here. Over a week ago we talked about evaluating ourselves every day and every game but I don’t think that’s changed. We evaluate every player so whether that weighs in on the decision or not, I’m not saying that but is he being a evaluated? Yeah like all the other players are.

On comparing this evaluation process to previous years with Dougie Hamilton, etc…
They’re good conversations. You weigh the pros and cons, you talk about all the different things, you know. Whether you can sustain it, if not what’s our plan. Again, we’ve seen the really exciting part of David [Pastrnak]. I think he’s really excited us all and then we should be from watching him play, it’s encouraging. Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves here. Knowing there may be bumps along the way so we weigh those things and at the same time we project him staying here or not staying here, where’s he going to be, those are all conversations we have. You try and use your knowledge, your experience, whether people in the past or other players from other teams and how it worked out and make decisions. There’s a lot of things that you discuss before you make that final decision and we’ve already started the process. It’s not going to be done necessarily after tonight, we’ve already started talking about that stuff. It’s only a natural thing.

On if it comes down to what is best for his development…
Both, his development and for the team. More importantly, this player is going to be an important player to our organization, I think we all feel that way. So you just have to make sure that whatever decision is made, whenever it’s made, you hope it’s going to be the right one. I can stand here and tell you that he’s made unbelievable strides since the beginning of the year. Offensively we’ve seen what he can bring, the skillset, the speed that he’s got. We’ve also seen how good he’s become at playing without the puck. Coming back to positions and really playing the North American style of game. He’s really learned this game real quickly and you’ve got to give him credit for that. I think right now, I said it the other night, he’s certainly made as strong case for himself but I’m not the one who’s going to stand here and give you the answer whether he’s here or not, that’s not my job.

On conversations with Peter Chiarelli this year about the team…
Oh absolutely. We’ve had to work harder, we’ve had to talk more. You’re trying to find—don’t get me wrong here, it’s not that we didn’t know where we were going but we’ve had so many different setbacks that it hasn’t made it easy. We feel like we’re starting to see a team that we felt we had before the season started. Right now it’s a matter of seeing your team continue to play as well as it has lately and not only that but continue to grow because I still think there’s a lot of improvement we can make to be better.

On playing better defensive hockey lately…
Well I don’t think it’s by accident either. You look at Zdeno [Chara] coming back and finding his game. We talked about [Adam] McQuaid yesterday, two veteran players that you put in your lineup that are big, strong and are extremely good defensively, so that certainly helps. Tuukka [Rask] has really been good the past couple weeks here. Tuukka is playing the way we’ve gotten used to seeing him play, so there’s a lot of reasons for that. Obviously the rest of the team is playing better as well. Not just offensively but the layers are better and everything else, so there’s a lot to talk about as far as why have we gotten better defensively.

#01/15/15#
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