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Running Quotes for Bruins vs. Sabres on 12/26

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
BOSTON BRUINS POSTGAME QUOTES

BOSTON BRUINS VS BUFFALO SABRES
Saturday, December 26, 2015

BUFFALO SABRES FORWARD RYAN O’REILLY
On…
[Cut off] we weren’t phased by that goal you know, we still felt there was a lot of time left and we’ve got to focus on one, and once we got one we could just kind of feel them tighten up and get back on their heels, and from there we just continued to get pucks in the net and do what we were doing, and it worked out for us tonight.

On whether he thought he might get a good bounce off the back wall on his first goal, or whether it was a lucky bounce…
Well I think Webs [Mike Weber] made a good play. I turned up and as I came around I think he saw that I had speed, and anytime you put it near the net there with a bank pass you know I hope I get the bounce, and it was nice play by him, and lucky for me it went in.

On Jack Eichel’s flare for the dramatics…
It’s awesome. Hometown, to play like he did tonight, it’s great. He’s a huge piece of our team, and I’m sure he’s really happy with family being here and everything. So it’s awesome for him.

On whether he thought Eichel was pumped or nervous, or what…
You know him, he’s always – his emotions are always controlled, he’s just such a dynamic player that every time he gets the puck he’s trying to make something happen. And I don’t think he’s had any effect from anything. Tonight he made some huge plays for us that helped us win the game.

On what kind of statement it makes when they get five goals in the last period…
You know we were joking with coach saying we should get tomorrow off just considering how well rested we are, but you know yeah I guess we had rest, and in the third we had gas, and you know maybe it was hunger too, being off that long and coming back and having that hunger and the gas, and just playing the right way. It just works out.

On whether it’s difficult to play after having that much time off…
Not really. I think the first few shifts or the first period at times, I myself was fighting the puck a bit. But as a team I felt we had a good skate in the morning and we felt pretty good. You know when you come out there and you find a way to win a game like that, it’s definitely some big confidence going back.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD DAVID KREJCI
On how this game got away from them…
It’s kind of hard to say. Just…we had a 3-1 lead, so you have to play a little smarter, especially at home. So strong places, keep playing well defensively- that’s what paid off the first two and a half periods- and I guess we got away from that and it ended the way it did.

On if they took the win at that point for granted…
I don’t know, I don’t think we took it for granted. Obviously you have a 3-1 lead so that gets you a little more comfortable than a 2-1 lead but for some reason we got away from our game and didn’t pay attention to little details, didn’t make smart decisions with the puck and that’s what happened.

On what point he felt the game unraveling…
No I mean…good teams, when you get scored on, no matter what the score is you have to forget about it and get ready for the next shift. So I don’t think there was a turning point but…yeah, not much to say. Good teams shouldn’t do what we did tonight.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD BRAD MARCHAND

Yeah it was a very poor effort by us, especially in the third period. We had that game wrapped up. We should’ve played a lot tighter than we did when we got that 3-1 lead so we definitely blew it there, we know that but we have to learn from this and be better tomorrow.

On if they took the 3-1 lead too lightly…
Yeah I think a little bit. We didn’t respect the game plan like we said and we just kind of sat back, but we didn’t play on our toes, we didn’t play physical, we didn’t continue to go after it and couple mistakes ended up in a goal and they got the momentum and they just kind of rolled from there. So you know those are things that we have to better at. Especially these are big points we could have jumped ahead to first tonight I think so that would’ve been nice.

On if it’s a good lesson for the team that they can’t ease off the gas pedal when they have a lead…
Yeah I think lately we’ve been maybe a little comfortable and we have to get back to playing the way we did when we were playing well. And we just seem to be…we’re not as physical, we’re not on the forecheck as hard, we’re not shutting teams down as well as we did before. We’re giving them a little too much room, too much space, too many opportunities and we’re just not playing as good of hockey as we can so. We have to realize that we’re only good when we work hard and when we play within the system and when we deviate away from that then teams are able to beat us like they did tonight.

On if playing tomorrow will help them not dwell on this loss…
Yeah I mean with a game tomorrow we definitely have to park this and learn from it, but get ready for tomorrow. We can’t dwell on this and drag the energy into tomorrow. We have to make sure that we park it and just get prepared to play a better game tomorrow.

On after they got the second goal…
They just seemed to feed off of it and it happens when teams get a little bit of life then it’s enough to hang on and come back with. I think that we just let them have way too much life, especially after that first goal or second goal I guess they really came at us hard. And we didn’t respond well enough, we didn’t play the right way and go in deep and keep it simple. You know we tried to make a few too many plays and like I said before we weren’t on our toes enough there in the third. So it happens, but it’s not acceptable.

On giving up chances to pass the Montreal Canadiens in the standings…
Yeah it is. We did have a couple great opportunities there and you know kind of shot ourselves in the foot so we just have to make sure we play a lot better tomorrow and go after those two points. 

BUFFALO SABRES FORWARD JACK EICHEL
On how he feels about tonight’s game…
You know I was a little bit nervous jumping on the ice for warm-ups, but just an exciting game throughout. Made some mistakes, but at the end of the day it’s a huge win and it’s a super nice way to start this next segment for us. You know just exciting to get a win and do it in the fashion that we did in front of so many friends and family.

On what he saw on his first goal…
I just saw Kaner [Evander Kane] on the back door and I saw the goalie kind of over commit to me on the side, so I tried to go back across the crease to him, and good bounce.

On how they mentally broke through after David Krejci’s goal to start the third…
Yeah I mean when you go down two goals in the third period, and Boston’s a real good team and they protect their leads well, so it’s a huge goal for us by Snook [Ryan O’Reilly] there. And then you know we’re able to get another one and tie it up, and then Jamie [McGinn] gets a huge goal on the forecheck, and that’s something that you know we’ve worked a lot on, so it’s nice to see it pay off and it’s nice to see us you know be able to get over the hump. And that’s what good teams do, so we’re going to need to do that down the stretch.

On how it feels to score after a while…
It’s nice, it’s nice to score, and it’s nice to get a win in the fashion that we did. You know I got some fortunate bounces tonight, and you know I’ll take those.

On whether he was feeling the hat trick…
Oh absolutely (laughs).

On whether was feeling better in this game than the last time he was in this building (with Boston University)…
Yeah absolutely. That’s not the best memory, for me. You know that was the last time I ever put a BU jersey on, and that was a special team, but – I have a lot of really good memories in here too. So I think those ones overtake that one bad memory, and this is another great memory that I’ll never forget.

On whether having a flare for the dramatics is something that’s engrained in him…
Yeah, I guess our team likes to make it interesting. But you know a win’s a win and we’ll take what we can get. It’s great to come into Boston, it’s a great team that we just played and they’ve been pretty hot lately, so for us to come back in the third, it’s a great win.

On whether going home for Christmas re-energized him…
Yeah it was nice to see some family and friends, just kind of unwind a little bit. It’s been pretty busy for me the last few months, a little overwhelming at times, and just to go home and see the people that I’ve always been around – my mom, my dad, my sister, you know my whole family. So it’s nice to spend some time at home and kind of mentally regain yourself.

On this being his first four-point game and whether there’s a sense of comfort on this ice…
I mean, I don’t know, I think there’s times this year where I could have had points in games and I didn’t, and today I think I just got the bounces, and sometimes the bounces come to you and you get that luck. And it’s nice to get it in this building.

On whether he had to give a locker room speech as player of the game…
Did I have to? Yeah I did.

On what he said…
That’s locker room stuff, right (laughs)? Just it was a great win by us, it’s great to come back in the third period, and let’s keep it going.

On how well Ryan O’Reilly has been playing…
I mean, I think Snook [O’Reilly] is one of the most underrated players in the NHL, and to be in a locker room and see him on a day-to-day basis and how hard he works, it’s somebody that I can look up to and try to model myself after. I think the way he plays 200 feet, and he’s good in every aspect of the game. You know, he’s our MVP right now and he’s been the absolutely catalyst of this team. So he just continues to make plays for us.

On what was going through his mind before the opening puck drop…
I don’t know, let’s try to snap this one back.

BUFFALO SABRES COACH DAN BYLSMA
On how they managed to score five straight goals after being down three to one...
Three to one I think we had just under ten to go.. I think the, you know, just getting the goal from [Ryan] O’Reilly gets us back to the one goal. We felt like we could, we were going to get an opportunity in the third period. To get the tying goal and we get down by three to one and looks a little daunting, but to get it, it’s a huge goal by Ryan [O’Reilly] to get that goal for us to get us to one and you know I think there’s a little bit of a barrage at the end with the two empty netters to make it six but, I really liked the game winning goal, the forecheck goal, [Ryan] O’Reilly wins the puck for us goes east-west with it and brings it out to [Jamie] McGinn and gets us a huge goal.

On how Jack Eichel was able to turn the game around for them...
Yeah I think there, with the breakdown in the third there in the defensive zone, we lose a stick and we go to pick up a stick and it becomes a two-on-one with the net real quick because of it. Jack [Eichel] and his line is out there and again for another minus, you’re looking at the downside of it and we answered right back. Ryan’s [O’Reilly] line got a big goal and then I think probably Jack’s most inspired play there in the third period and he gets a fortunate break I think, but he’s getting a fortunate break by Vander [Evander Kane] going to the net and him bringing the puck there.

On how it was the best case scenario with Jack Eichel’s game...
I would think so, we haven't... I haven't seen Jack [Eichel] skate that fast yet this year, the one for the empty net there, the sixth goal that then turns up being O’Reilly’s goal. I haven't seen the smile on his face either that we saw with the positive result in the third period.

On how they were able to linger their performance with Detroit to this game...
I don’t… our team doesn’t get uncomfortable, we don’t get down, we don't put our heads down. You know, even with the goal going in with the third goal. There wasn’t a drop in our team, there wasn’t a time where you don’t immediately get back to push them back and, you know we’ve seen almost from day one with this group, and I don’t think we are necessarily an offensive group or an explosive group that thinks we can score a goal at any given time but we are a group that will keep fighting, will keep scratching and clawing for that goal and we’ve had an knack for coming up with it right now.

On where he sees Jack Eichel’s game is in this point of the season...
I think he’s gone through some ups and downs, we’ve seen him play some great games, and we’ve seen some tough stretches of playing a lot of hockey and you know through the first 35 games, 34 games, we’ve had this break this six day break and I think we’ve seen him come back from that break energized and with a little more jump in his step. You know he’s an excellent, dynamic player and that’s where he’s got to be night in and night out for us.

BOSTON BRUINS GOALTENDER JONAS GUSTAVSSON
On giving up the lead in the second half of the third period...
I mean, I don’t know. I guess they scored two quick goals there. Maybe we were on our heels a little bit but I can just go to myself and you want to help the team when they need you. So, I don’t know so much about what we did wrong but I just feel like maybe I should try to get one more save there.

On the disappointment of having the lead and losing it...
Yeah I mean, you’re up a couple goals at home, you want to find a way to lock it down, you know. But, the only thing we can do is learn from this and make sure we adjust next time we’re in the same situation so we can win that game. But once again, I just want to be there for the team when they need me and maybe get another save and at least we get to overtime and we win it there, but that’s the way it is sometimes. You’ve just got to go through it and come back strong.

On if there was one goal in particular that bothers him from tonight...
I guess, I feel like three out of four goals were weird. You can’t really practice those – a lot of bounces and screens and I don’t know. Maybe I thought I saved the second one when it bounced behind the net there. I thought I managed to get a good seal there but I guess I was a split second too late. So maybe if I get a better push there, maybe I can get that one. But other than that, I felt like I probably would have played the same way if I faced those situations again, it’s just that sometimes those pucks find its way into the back of the net and other nights they’re not. But, like I said, no matter what, you can always go to yourself and I wanted to try to make one more save there when it’s needed.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD PATRICE BERGERON
On Claude Julien’s comment that the team disrespected the game of hockey and whether he is as disappointed…
Yeah, I mean it’s definitely unacceptable going into the third with a lead and then extending it and just… stop playing the way we want to play, stop playing hockey, just kind of very careless and tried being cute and we got the result that we… that we deserved I guess.

On there being talk during the season that the team is a work in progress and whether this game is a reminder of that…
Yeah, definitely. I think it’s definitely, hopefully an eye opener for a lot of guys that we’re not even close to being where we want to be and we’ve got to be a lot better and, you know, we’ve got to be consistent and by doing that it’s about being professional and playing for 60 minutes.

On whether first place was on their minds knowing how the Montreal Canadiens are doing…
I wasn’t really thinking about it. I was trying to play the game and hopefully it’s not something that we’re… we thought about or we got, you know, away from our game because of.

On whether having another game tomorrow helps them to not dwell on today’s loss…
Of course, and it’s not going to get any easier tomorrow. You know, they’re a great team and it’s going to be a tough game so we definitely have to get back on track and back to playing the way we want to play for the whole game.

On whether he saw five hole on his goal…
Yeah. I mean… I got hooked a bit too, so I kind of had to go quick on that play and I felt like I was opening up the five hole when I hold onto it for half a second longer.


BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD MATT BELESKEY
On if he was stunned by how quickly the game turned…
Yeah, it’s a few mistakes, and they capitalized on them. That’s something we’ve got to tidy up. That’s not the third we wanted obviously, but move on to tomorrow.

On missing out on another chance to pass Montreal in the standings…
I think we’ve just got to focus on the way we played in the third period over getting first halfway through the season. So, that’s something on our minds, but we’ve got to figure out how to play with a lead and close out games like that.

On if the Bruins backed off after going up 3-1…
I don’t know. We had an icing, they capitalized on that off the faceoff. Our line comes up with the turnover and they capitalized there, and that’s the way it went. I don’t know if we were letting off. I think we just made a couple mental errors, and they capitalized.

On if they want to forget about tonight and start fresh or look at the tape…
I’m sure we’ll look at some, and you’ve got to correct the mistakes you made, but luckily we play tomorrow at five o’clock, so it’s a quick turnaround. You’ve got to forget it and move on.

BOSTON BRUINS HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE AT 9:50 PM
On whether he felt the team relaxed after the second period…
That was our team not respecting I guess the game of hockey. When you take a lead like that and you make some of those plays that we made, you’ve got, you know, you’ve got yourselves to blame.

On whether he saw any indication that that was going to come…
Well an unforced error and an icing, you know, should have never been icing and then, you know, blind back pass there just inside the blue line with a 3-2 lead, you know, you’re shooting yourselves in the foot so that’s what we did tonight.

BOSTON BRUINS GENERAL MANAGER DON SWEENEY FIRST INTERMISSION MEDIA AVAILABILITY AT 7:50 PM
I just wanted to give an update on David Pastrnak. People had been asking me whether or not he was going to be made available to the World Junior. The roster freeze will be over on the 28th – we are going to make him available at that particular time unless we have injuries that would dictate otherwise. David’s played two games since being out for seven weeks. Obviously the injury took longer; it was in his best interest to make sure that he was fully healthy. He is fully healthy and now we need to get him back to where he can impact our lineup and if indeed he does join the team on the 28th over in Finland, we think that based on last year, his experience there and rolling out of that tournament with the confidence that he had, that he’ll come back to the full level that he had really had gotten to last year in impacting our lineup.

On if the hope is that he’ll return to NHL lineup after the tournament...
Yeah, that would be our hope, that he would return with the confidence. Again, being off for seven weeks, that’s a long time for any player – let alone a 19-year-old player – to jump back into midstream at the National Hockey League level and I think this will give him a real shot in the arm from a confidence standpoint.

On if David Pastrnak has said he wants to participate in the World Juniors...
I mean the rules dictate we have to make him available if he’s not on an NHL lineup and I think at this point in time David was open to anything and everything to get him back up to the level that he wants to be at and again, he came out of the tournament last year with a real high level of confidence as to what he had done there and we expect him to return to that same level when he does come back.

On the injury risks associated with sending him over for a tournament...
Well, there’s going to be a risk at any level of playing. You could argue that you’ve got a lot of bigger, stronger guys out here that would take advantage of a similar situation. Hockey is hockey; injuries are going to happen. He’s obviously coming off an extended injury himself, so you’re going to run that risk every time you step on the ice regardless of where you’re playing.

On the World Juniors as a rehab option compared to Providence...
Well again, we would not have the option of him playing in Providence after the 28th until the World Juniors is over. I think the opportunity for him to go and play really heavy minutes in all situations at a very, very high level and a competitive level against his peers, I think is a unique situation – the timing is such that the freeze and his injury and things all collided at once and I think it’s a great opportunity for him, as I said, to go and return to the level we expect him to come back and be able to impact our own lineup here.

HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN PREGAME PRESS CONFERENCE AT 11:05 AM
On what he expects to see from the Buffalo Sabres tonight…
They’re a good team. I think, you know, their team is getting healthier…they were missing some guys. And I think they’re getting some bodies back and when you look at their lineup and their depth it’s certainly not a bad one, you know. They’ve got lots of depth up front, even on the back end they may have one really young defenseman I think and they’ve got some experience back there as well. You know [Rasmus] Ristolainen is having an unbelievable year, you could see that coming. So they’re you know, they’re a pretty good team. I think, you know, when you see their record from the start of their season to now, just getting better all the time. They’re a team that’s improving so we expect a tough game tonight.

On what he hopes to see from his team after their three day break…
Same thing the other coach would expect from his team that’s been off for six, you know. It is what it is so you just have to go out there and play, Joe, and not make a big deal of it and that’s what we’re trying to do.

On what he’s thought of David Krejci’s consistency this year…
It’s been good. I mean, you know, David’s [Krejci] been a good player for us. Obviously he was on fire there for the longest time and a player doesn’t stay on fire the way he was, but he’s still a good player and he still makes things happen out there. So you know I think when you compare it to last year I think we’re real happy with what he’s done for us because we can rely on him this year where last year we couldn’t.

On if he has liked Colin Miller’s play lately…
I think just…young guys go in and out. I don’t think it’s gauged necessarily on just that. So you know [Zach] Trotman was good and had a few bad games. And some other guys come in and, you know, Joe Morrow I don’t think has been a bad player for us when he’s been in the lineup. We’re carrying eight Ds so you know some of those young kids and kind of being put aside for a little bit while others are playing and we just - we know it’s a long year so things could change.

On if carrying eight defensemen has gone the way he thought it would…
Yeah I think, you know, it’s been fine; it creates competition, I’ve said that before. And you know guys don’t want to have too many bad guys because there’s somebody waiting there to take their spot so it’s been good.

On what he thinks about seeing Jack Eichel tonight…
I mean we’ve seen him here in Boston when he played here so we’ve seen a lot of him. I mean I’ve seen a lot of him even in Washington in World Junior’s last year - how good he was. I’ve seen him play for Buffalo [Sabres]. So you know we get to see him I guess first hand against the Boston Bruins, but I don’t think we have to think too much about how good this guy is and the impact that he will have and has had on this team already and will have even more down the road. He’s a gifted player. I think he sees the ice well; I love his hockey sense, you know. He’s one of those guys that’s strong on the puck, you know. For his age I think, you know, his maturity level not just, you know, intellectually but also physically is pretty good for a guy his age. 

On if he’s had a chance to watch any of the World Junior games...
Yeah, they’re on TV right now and I’ve been watching some of it when I can.

On if there was anything good in his stocking yesterday…
Nothing, Joe. Nothing I’d tell you about. 

On Ryan Spooner’s development this year…
Well just with time and experience he’s just getting better. He’s becoming a little bit more consistent and you know his involvement in all aspects of the game is getting better. And that’s just giving a young player some time to grow, I mean at this level here. You know from the American League to the NHL for some it’s a tougher transition than others and in his case he’s such a gifted player that, you know, we’ve stayed patient with him and tried to put him in positions where he can succeed.
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