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Running Quotes for Bruins vs. Sabres on 4/12

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
BOSTON BRUINS POSTGAME QUOTES

BOSTON BRUINS VS BUFFALO SABRES
Saturday, April 12, 2014

BOSTON BRUINS HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE AT 3:15 PM
On the status of Patrice Bergeron and Daniel Paille…
With Bergy [Patrice Bergeron] it’s very minor. With Paizy [Daniel Paille], I haven’t had a chance to talk yet to my trainers or to the doctors, so I’ll probably see later on here.

On Patrice Bergeron hitting the 30-goal mark…
I think we’re really proud of what he’s accomplished this year. Thirty goals is quite a feat, and for a guy who excels at both ends of the ice even more so. It takes a heck of a player to be able to score 30 and be so reliable defensively and be as strong at both ends of the ice. That’s an incredible player in my mind.

On handling the confrontation between John Scott and Zdeno Chara…
I think it was one of those situations where we know that certain players have roles to play and obviously he took exception to Looch [Milan Lucic] going after one of his guys. But at the end, I think it was just probably a referee assuming that there was more than there was because I know for a fact when the goaltender got hurt there was a lot of chat about, ‘let’s not turn this into a bad scene here.’ Both teams were willing to keep it clean from here on in. So, I think at the end it was just talk and the referee played it safe and made the safe call.

On Patrice Bergeron’s status…
Bergy [Patrice Bergeron] is minor.

On the hit Daniel Paille took in the third period…
I haven’t seen it yet. I really haven’t. It happened right in front of their bench in an area where I can’t see very well, so I asked one of my coaches. I guess he cut to the middle. I don’t know if it was late or what it was, but I can’t comment on it because I didn’t really see it.

On Tuukka Rask’s performance…
I thought we had a pretty good start but we gave up a couple of two-on-ones there in the first period that were extremely dangerous. He made some big saves and obviously kept us in a zero-zero hockey game until we got that first goal.

On winning the President’s Trophy…
I think that’s what it’s all about. The President’s Trophy identifies a team who’s been good for the regular season. The other thing is, it also guarantees home ice as long as you’re in the playoffs. So, those are two things we’re really proud of, but that’s where it stops. The next step is we still got to do some work here in order to get the trophy that we all really want here.

On accomplishing everything he wanted to this season…
I think overall we’ve done a lot of good things. Power play has been better this year, our goals-against is still one of the better ones in the league, goals-for same thing. We’ve been pretty good in a lot of areas this year. That’s been a great regular season, but we’ve got one more game left and then we all know that what everybody calls the real season is right around the corner. I’m going to tell you that I’m really happy with the way we handled these 81 games and hopefully these 82 by tomorrow. But that’s all going to be pushed aside starting Monday.

On what the team’s lineup will look like tomorrow in New Jersey…
Don’t know yet. After I’m done with you guys I’ve got to sit down with my general manager and look at the situation. Obviously, our health issues and also maybe giving some guys some rest. I can tell you right now, we’re going to try to bring some guys up. I don’t know yet who because of what’s happened today. I don’t know who is going to be left behind or who will not play tomorrow, but we’ll have a different lineup.

On what Patrice Bergeron means to the team…
To me, a player who scores 30 and who is so good defensively—to me, a player that excels at both ends of the ice—those guys are far and few in between. To me, to have that kind of player and see what he’s accomplished this year, unbelievable year for Bergy. He’s been outstanding with us. He was outstanding with Team Canada—anybody who watched him at the Olympics. He’s been a great player this year. Probably one of his better years so far.

On Bergeron scoring 30 goals in the team’s system…
I guess scoring 30, as I mentioned before, we always seem to be at least in the top six for goals scored. I guess our scoring is spread out more than it’s been. Maybe the fact that some players that normally on other teams would play 22, 24 minutes a game are playing 17 to 19. Give them those extra five minutes—maybe they get those goals, too. But as we mentioned before, we’re team oriented. We focus on the big goal and what it takes to get there, and our guys have bought into that. They don’t really care. I think 30 is exceptional and we’ve got two of those this year. Nonetheless, those guys are, as Bergy [Patrice Bergeron] even said to me, he didn’t care at one point whether he got 30 or not. If he went and got it today, he wouldn’t have cared about staying behind for tomorrow’s game. That didn’t matter to him. His words to me were the big picture is what I’m worried about right now.

BOSTON BRUINS DEFENSEMAN ZDENO CHARA
On if they were able to get back to Bruins hockey today…
I thought so. Even though, as always, there are always things we can improve and be better but for the most part I thought we played more like us. We need to continue to play that way, obviously, tomorrow and get ready for the playoffs. We realize that the last few games were not quite the game that we like to see and like to play so we wanted to make sure that today we played a much better game.

On why he got a misconduct at the end…
I think it was more a precaution. It’s something that the referee decided to do, maybe send a message, maybe prevent any unnecessary things from happening but it’s alright.

On it being automatic that he would step in to fight for Lucic…
Yeah, I mean, it’s something that we all do for each other and that the way this team has always played. I don’t think that’s going to change, it’s just one of those things that is a reaction and you move on.

On if John Scott understood why you didn’t want to fight the first time…
Well I mean, I don’t know exactly what happened over there, I just saw gloves off and Looch [Milan Lucic] kind of standing there so I kind of wanted to move in and jump in.

On seeing physicality in a game that doesn’t really mean a lot…
Well, you can say that it doesn’t mean something, but I think that every game means a lot. Even, if it’s game one or game 82 or 81. We want to still play that way, no matter what. Like I said, sometimes when you are cutting corners and not always playing full out, that’s when you are more likely going to get hurt so you might as well play the same way. It’s going to probably be better if you play that way and continue to play that way instead of taking some games off and all of a sudden playoffs come and you have to find that rhythm and that physicality and get used to it kind of during the first few shifts or maybe even first few games. So we want to make sure we don’t have that. Every little detail or shift or period or game can make a big difference toward the end.

On if going into the playoffs with the best record raises expectations…
Well, I think that after tomorrow everything is going to start from zero. It’s something that we certainly are proud of, if you want to say that. We worked really hard this season and we wanted to play as best as we could and I think we accomplished that. But after tomorrow, it’s going to go back to square one and no matter what you do in the regular season you still have to play a certain way to be successful. It’s something that for sure you want to follow up on but you can’t be thinking now that you are going to get more room or more respect. It’s going to be, I think, even tougher.

On if he is paying attention to the potential first round opponents…
No, not that much. I mean, of course we check the results. But as far as losing sleep over it, I mean, you just have to be ready for ever you are going to play, whoever you are going to face and then that’s it.

On if they have a preference over one team or the other…
I don’t think so. I think that if you want to move on, if you want to win, you have to win the series no matter who you are playing.

On Patrice Bergeron getting 30 goals…
Yeah, I think we were all happy that he was able to score 30. For a guy who takes a lot of pride to play well defensively, it’s a great accomplishment and a great milestone to reach. Not many guys are able to do that playing on both ends of the ice like he does.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD BRAD MARCHAND
On Patrice Bergeron not taking risks for the sake of getting a goal…
Yeah, he just seems so aware of the game every minute of the period. He’s always conscientious of where guys are and if it’s a good play to jump in he is really good at reading that. That’s one of those opportunities where he stayed high and he knew it was better to be in a defensive position and that’s why he like, plus-40.

On if it was important for him to get Patrice Bergeron to 30 goals…
Well obviously, I wanted to try and help him out but I don’t think we really needed to give him any help, he would find a way to do it. It’s great, we’re really happy for him and it’s a big milestone.

On how Patrice Bergeron has changed as a player since the Olympics…
Yeah, I mean he just seemed like he went there and just found another gear. He came back and continued to play the same way he’s just been red-hot ever since he’s been back and hopefully he can continue that into the playoffs.

On if his own elevated play has fed the production of his line…
Yeah, I think we all just found a niche and felt comfortable with each other after a little while. And having a new line mate coming in, and once we got with Smitty [Reilly Smith], things just kind of clicked and we kind of rode the wave. It was nice to finish the season on a good note but we are still a long way from where we want to be.

On if he has any idea if he is playing tomorrow…
No, but I am assuming yes. I’m not there yet, I don’t think I’ll ever be there.

BOSTON BRUINS DEFENSEMAN ZDENO CHARA
On if they were able to get back to Bruins hockey today…
I thought so. Even though, as always, there are always things we can improve and be better but for the most part I thought we played more like us. We need to continue to play that way, obviously, tomorrow and get ready for the playoffs. We realize that the last few games were not quite the game that we like to see and like to play so we wanted to make sure that today we played a much better game.

On why he got a misconduct at the end…
I think it was more a precaution. It’s something that the referee decided to do, maybe send a message, maybe prevent any unnecessary things from happening but it’s alright.

On it being automatic that he would step in to fight for Lucic…
Yeah, I mean, it’s something that we all do for each other and that the way this team has always played. I don’t think that’s going to change, it’s just one of those things that is a reaction and you move on.

On if John Scott understood why you didn’t want to fight the first time…
Well I mean, I don’t know exactly what happened over there, I just saw gloves off and Looch [Milan Lucic] kind of standing there so I kind of wanted to move in and jump in.

On seeing physicality in a game that doesn’t really mean a lot…
Well, you can say that it doesn’t mean something, but I think that every game means a lot. Even, if it’s game one or game 82 or 81. We want to still play that way, no matter what. Like I said, sometimes when you are cutting corners and not always playing full out, that’s when you are more likely going to get hurt so you might as well play the same way. It’s going to probably be better if you play that way and continue to play that way instead of taking some games off and all of a sudden playoffs come and you have to find that rhythm and that physicality and get used to it kind of during the first few shifts or maybe even first few games. So we want to make sure we don’t have that. Every little detail or shift or period or game can make a big difference toward the end.

On if going into the playoffs with the best record raises expectations…
Well, I think that after tomorrow everything is going to start from zero. It’s something that we certainly are proud of, if you want to say that. We worked really hard this season and we wanted to play as best as we could and I think we accomplished that. But after tomorrow, it’s going to go back to square one and no matter what you do in the regular season you still have to play a certain way to be successful. It’s something that for sure you want to follow up on but you can’t be thinking now that you are going to get more room or more respect. It’s going to be, I think, even tougher.

On if he is paying attention to the potential first round opponents…
No, not that much. I mean, of course we check the results. But as far as losing sleep over it, I mean, you just have to be ready for ever you are going to play, whoever you are going to face and then that’s it.

On if they have a preference over one team or the other…
I don’t think so. I think that if you want to move on, if you want to win, you have to win the series no matter who you are playing.

On Patrice Bergeron getting 30 goals…
Yeah, I think we were all happy that he was able to score 30. For a guy who takes a lot of pride to play well defensively, it’s a great accomplishment and a great milestone to reach. Not many guys are able to do that playing on both ends of the ice like he does.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD BRAD MARCHAND
On Patrice Bergeron not taking risks for the sake of getting a goal…
Yeah, he just seems so aware of the game every minute of the period. He’s always conscientious of where guys are and if it’s a good play to jump in he is really good at reading that. That’s one of those opportunities where he stayed high and he knew it was better to be in a defensive position and that’s why he like, plus-40.

On if it was important for him to get Patrice Bergeron to 30 goals…
Well obviously, I wanted to try and help him out but I don’t think we really needed to give him any help, he would find a way to do it. It’s great, we’re really happy for him and it’s a big milestone.

On how Patrice Bergeron has changed as a player since the Olympics…
Yeah, I mean he just seemed like he went there and just found another gear. He came back and continued to play the same way he’s just been red-hot ever since he’s been back and hopefully he can continue that into the playoffs.

On if his own elevated play has fed the production of his line…
Yeah, I think we all just found a niche and felt comfortable with each other after a little while. And having a new line mate coming in, and once we got with Smitty [Reilly Smith], things just kind of clicked and we kind of rode the wave. It was nice to finish the season on a good note but we are still a long way from where we want to be.

On if he has any idea if he is playing tomorrow…
No, but I am assuming yes. I’m not there yet, I don’t think I’ll ever be there.

BOSTON BRUINS GOALTENDER TUUKKA RASK
On the injuries of tonight’s game...
Well, I don’t think it was too bad. It was emotions and they kept it under control pretty good, the referees. I don’t think they went overboard. But, I don’t know. I don’t know what happened out there, I don’t know if he’s trying to fight people, I don’t know. But it’s a good thing nothing bad happened. I didn’t see that Piesy [Daniel Paille] hit so I can’t comment on that. But it’s a good thing we came up with the win.

On not wanting anyone to get injured this close to the postseason...
Yeah, but you’ve got to go out there and you’ve got to play hard. If you start watching your steps then you’re going to get hurt, 100 percent. Sometimes it’s just bad luck and it happens but it’s a good thing we have depth and we have to battle through those things.

On what it means to secure the Presidents’ Trophy...
Well, it doesn’t mean more than home ice. But you’ve got to keep that home ice. So, that’s about it. I mean I guess there’s a bonus to it, I heard something like that. So, those two things.

On making big saves early on in the game...
It was a four-on-one with Soupy [Gregory Campbell] playing the D, which was pretty ridiculous. I don’t know how that happened. And, you know, guys had the puck and made a last second play and it wasn’t really a backdoor, it was more of the middle of the net, so I just stretched out and it hit my pad and got the rebound.

On earning the 98.5 First Star of the Season...
Well, that means you played good at home.

On the team playing Bruins style hockey...
Yeah, for sure. I thought we played a pretty solid sixty. There was a few times we didn’t dump the puck in when we needed to and gave them odd man rushes, but I thought for the most part we played a really solid hockey game.

On his play heading into the playoffs...
It could always be better, but it was good to get this game under your belt and feel good about yourself. The last one in Minnesota was kind of tough for everybody but the last month and a half I’ve felt confident and I’ve been resting a lot. So, I think it’s going to help me going into the playoffs.

On when he’ll begin thinking about the playoffs...
I’ve already been thinking about it for a week now, at least. Just try to play good hockey but maintain your rest and think about things you have to do going into the playoffs. My focus has been a little bit there already, but I’ll rest a couple of days and crank it up.

On the difference in style of hockey during the playoffs...
It’s that and then it’s the intensity. It really boils down to who wants it more and who makes less mistakes. So, there’s that mental aspect and it’s more intense hockey I think.

On the possibility of winning the Vezina Trophy...
No, it would be nice, obviously. It happens if it happens and it’s one of those things that – it’s an individual trophy, obviously but it’s tough to win that trophy unless you’re team is playing good, too. So, a lot of credit goes to your teammates if you win it. So, we’ll see what happens.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD DAVID KREJCI
On clinching the President’s Trophy…
It is a nice achievement, that’s for sure, but that wasn’t our goal going into the season. So one thing what’s good about it is as long as we’re in the playoffs we’ll be starting at home, so that’s good, but we’re trying to accomplish something different so we have one more game tomorrow. We need to play a really strong game and feel good about our game going into the playoffs.

On Patrice Bergeron reaching 30 goals for just the second time…
That’s good. I’m happy for him. Before the break he didn’t look like he was going to crack 30, but after [the] Olympics he came back just like a different player, and he’s been playing extremely well, so it’s good to have two guys in 30, so hopefully he can stay hot throughout playoffs.

On seeing Daniel Paille go down given everything he has been through this year…
It’s just sad. This time of the year in the third period it’s just sad. We need a guy like that. He’s been a big part of the team. He brings so much speed on the fourth line and lots of energy. He’s good on the PK as well, so it’s just a sad day, not just for him but for us as his teammates, so we’re going to miss him. Hopefully he’ll come back soon, and it’s just sad.

BOSTON BRUINS DEFENSEMAN TOREY KRUG
On colliding with the Sabres’ goaltender Matt Hackett...
I haven’t had a chance to watch it back. Honestly I don’t even know what happened. I just felt like my feet got kicked out from under me and I landed on his leg. For a second I thought he was okay and then he started screaming. So, I feel bad. It’s just a tough play.

On what happened during the collision...
Like I said, I don’t know what happened. If I get a chance to watch it – you never want to see stuff like that happen, no matter how it happens. It’s tough.

On the team clinching the President’s Trophy...
It’s a nice accomplishment. Obviously it’s not our main goal, but along the way you’re going to pick up things like that. It’s good; obviously the best record in the NHL speaks for itself. Now we’re onto our main goal and we’re going to have a lot of fun with it.

On keeping mental focus during games where players get injured...
 It’s tough. You’ve got to feel for the guys – like Piesy [Daniel Paille] there – obviously we want everyone for playoffs and hopefully he’s okay. You have to stay sharp mentally, because if you’re not, you’re going to get hurt yourself. So, you’ve got to make sure you’re in it mentally, sharp, and physically you’re taking care of things – otherwise you’re going to find yourself on the sidelines.

On the positive takeaways from the team’s play today...
I thought it was simple. It was nice. Guys were chipping pucks in deep, not making too many plays at the blueline, and that’s all we ask from our guys. When we’re playing on the forecheck we’re a hard team to beat.

On bouncing back from a rough last few games...
Absolutely. Just watching games back and understanding that when you take care of the puck things are happening for us. We were pretty reckless with the puck the last couple games and that’s not something our team wants in our identity. So, moving forward we’re going to keep trying to fix that and make sure we stay on top of it.

On turning 23 today...
It’s pretty crazy – it’s been a whirlwind. I wish that I was 23 and had a Stanley Cup already from last year. But it’s those experiences that make you stronger as a person and moving forward I can use it to my advantage this year.

BUFFALO SABRES HEAD COACH TED NOLAN
On Matt Hackett’s condition…
It doesn’t look good right now, we’re going to wrap him up as best as we can and get him back home, get our doctors to look at him, but it doesn’t look too good right now.

On Christian Ehrhoff’s condtion…
He’s got a mild concussion so he’ll be out tomorrow.

On Chris Stewart’s condition…
Stewart re-injured his old injury so you won’t see him tomorrow either. D’Agostini [Matt D’Agostini] tweaked the lower body so he won’t be in there tomorrow.

On Brian Flynn’s condition…
Flynn same thing, lower body, he won’t be in there tomorrow either.

On whether Matt Hackett’s injury was the knee or leg…
It was pretty bad. You know I didn’t see it, but according to the medical staff it wasn’t too good so we’ll get our doctors to look at him.

On whether he was disappointed Defenseman Jake McCabe got thrown out of the game…
I looked at it a couple of times. When you see injuries like that you want to make sure they were good, clean hits and from what I saw it looked like it was chest to chest and it was just one of those things.

On John Scott’s incidents and what he felt about Scott getting sent to the room for the first time and then the second time…
Well you know that some guys are labeled for certain things they want to get that out of the game and I understand that, but sometimes he’s picked unfairly, but hey that’s just the way it is.

On Scott and Zdeno Chara just talking…
Johnny is a very personable guy, and sometimes he goes on the other side, but sometimes he just talks and sometimes the referees don’t know what they’re talking about when he could be talking about the weather, who knows. But it didn’t look like it was going too in that aggressive manner.

On why John Scott got the misconducts, while the other one didn’t on the two misconducts he took…
You know I’m not the referee so you question a lot of things. You know sometimes when a player has a certain reputation it follows him, maybe tonight that’s what happened.

On going to this building and facing the best team in terms of points in the league and the difficulties of that…
Well yeah we’ve been out of the playoffs for quite some time now, but we’re still professional people and we’re still going to play hard. You know for the number of injuries we had and for Knapp to play here tonight to come up from the East Coast Hockey League, and going through this number of goaltenders we did and I think you have our total is fourteen injured players wrapped up and we lost another five tonight so it’s very tough no matter what team you have to have that many injuries. 

BUFFALO SABRES FORWARD CODY HODGSON
On being tough competitors and playing the Islanders tomorrow…
No, we got to make sure we come out strong again tomorrow for the home fans especially and put an even better out there on the ice.

On getting twenty goals for the season…
Well, that’s nice personally, but it doesn’t mean much when you don’t win. You can’t even enjoy it.

On whether he’s ever been on a team that’s lost four goaltenders…
Not in this quick of span. No, never. No, it’s bizarre.

BUFFALO SABRES GOALTENDER CONNOR KNAPP
On seeing the stretcher come out onto the ice…
Yeah, yeah you never want to see that happen. Obviously it was bad. You know all the guys feel pretty terrible about something like that happening especially with everything that’s happened already. Definitely not the way you want to play your first NHL minutes seeing Hack [Matt Hackett] go down like that, it’s tough.

On whether there’s anything you can do as a goaltender in he position Matt Hackett was in…
You know I’d say that’s probably the majority of how injuries happen. We’re so focused on the puck and a lot of time our save selections put us in a vulnerable position to get hit. You know it’s not a great defensive posture to be down on your knees like that and there’s really not much you can do.

On whether he had time to get nervous while stretching…
Yeah I mean I probably since they had to get the stretcher out and everything it was late in the game I didn’t think something like that would happen obviously, but you know some nerves for sure especially when they carted and the crowd was definitely into it and right into a power play, too. So yeah, there’s some nerves there no doubt about it.

On making the save right away on Jarome Iginla…
Yeah, yeah I mean I felt like I felt ready, I prepared myself like any other game I would be playing. So yeah it was nice to get a couple of shots in there early and feel the puck a little bit.

On the lively board getting the better of him and the puck hitting his skate to go in…
Yeah, that’s the second good bounce they got off the glass, but geez I’ve watched so many Bruins games I should’ve figured it was coming right back out, but yeah unfortunate bounce and it’s tough to let in one on your first game, but that happens in hockey.   

BUFFALO SABRES DEFENSEMAN JAKE MCCABE
On whether he had a chance to get a look at the replay and his thoughts on his hit on Daniel Paille…
I haven’t seen a replay of it. My intentions were my shoulder to the chest. I don’t think I raised my elbow at all. Like I said I haven’t seen the replay, but yeah that’s my thought as soon as it happened.

On needing to step up as a defenseman, even if that play presents itself again…
Yeah I mean I got called for interference. I mean I don’t think it was too late. You try to go through me, like I said I kept my hands down. Kind of just an unfortunate play, I think his head was down. So yeah it’s too bad.

On putting his hands up right away and what he was thinking…
I saw him drop, yeah. I mean I knew right away that it probably didn’t look good he dropped like that and you hope the guy is OK. I think he’s got a concussion history in the past, a couple of guys are telling me so the best wishes for that, but I wasn’t trying to be dirty at all I was just trying to play hard.

On if he’s sensitive to the way the game is being called…
I mean yeah. I mean this is the first time I experienced it here. I’ve experienced it in college, you know you have those big hits and you know more often times than not they’re going to get called for something whether it be an elbow or apparently an interference tonight you know whatever it may be you just got to keep your hands down as best as possible and you know just try to play smart.

BUFFALO SABRES FORWARD DREW STAFFORD
On goalie Matt Hackett leaving the game on a stretcher…
I’ve never seen anything like that. You know to go through that on the bench that’s quite a bit of a challenge – just add it to the list this year. I mean we don’t want to use any excuses at all for what’s going on, but I don’t know if that’s our 9th goalie or whatever it is and we are playing basically with two lines for the last half the period.  You know guys dropped with injuries and penalties so.  That’s a heck of team over that’s going to be a challenge with four lines and six D let alone we got two lines and four D maybe for a while.  That was a challenge, but we talked about it in here again – not going out with a whimper.  We, once again, I don’t know if [Torey] Krug got pushed in I didn’t see the play, but once again another guy taking out one of our goalies.  We talked about 30th place, out of the playoffs or not, you know we’re in this together.  We got one more game tomorrow to end this thing on a positive note.

On if it’s scary to see a stretcher being brought out on the ice…
Yeah, like I said, I didn’t see the play.  I guess hopefully you wish him the best.  He was playing great, but at that point it’s not about hockey.  It’s about the guy’s health and hopefully that he’s going to be okay so we are waiting to hear his status.

On if it’s frustrating that other teams are able to defend their teammates without getting misconducts…
Johnny [John Scott] got kicked out for absolutely nothing.  I know the refs are arguing that [Zdeno] Chara got kicked out as well, but they weren’t doing anything they were just talking about Johnny’s nose.  Chara’s stick went up last time and that’s it.  You know, short bench as it is and I don’t want to get in trouble here talking with the refs or anything like that, but those guys are questioning us getting fired up and asking them questions and – I don’t know it’s just frustrating.  I mean look at how’s this year’s gone, look at our bench.  You got to read the play, read the game, read how the game’s going, totally unnecessary.  I mean Johnny, they’re big boys, Johnny’s not stupid he’s not going to do anything; Chara’s not going to do anything.  So that’s disappointing especially at that time in the game when, like I said, we pretty much have two lines going we are just trying to salvage what we can so it’s pretty frustrating.

BOSTON BRUINS HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN PREGAME MEDIA AVAILABILITY AT 11:20 AM
On the team’s level of play in the last two games…
Well, I think I’m disappointed. That was last game. You turn the page and you move on. This team has given a lot through the whole year. It doesn’t mean you hang on to something that you felt at that time, which I think – we’re a better team than what we showed. I know the challenges are there for a team that’s kind of clinched their spot and basically is waiting for the playoffs to start but we still have something to play for, and a win today would solve that issue.

On whether he thinks about which playoff opponent he’d prefer…
No, we don’t. Again, we’ve never been one to start picking and choosing here – that’s never worked out most of the time for any team. So we just we have good information on all those teams that we have a possibility of playing. We’ve already started doing our homework on all the possibilities, but when the time comes that it’s official, then we’ll dig even deeper and have our guys ready for it.

On whether he expects his players to be well-rested at this point…
I think so, and at this point, why would we be more tired than anybody else? I mean, it’s been a tough month for the whole league -- a lot of games crammed up in March and I think we’ve been in the position where we’ve been able to give some key guys some rest. And we’re, for example, we’ve been able to roll four lines and that’s been a big help where maybe other teams haven’t had that luxury. We’ve had a good goaltender that’s come in and played well and given Tuukka [Rask] not only some games off, but Tuukka’s also had all those days off we’ve given all the other players who were at the Olympics, so he’s well rested. So to me, there are no issues -- no more than any other team. If we’re tired, then there’s a lot of others teams that are tired as well, so we don’t feel that way. I think we feel that we’ve had enough days off, so right now, it’s about just playing those games. And like I said to the players at the beginning of March, let’s make sure we make good decisions here in recovery and eat well and get your rest when you can, and I think the guys have done a good job of that.

On whether forward Chris Kelly should be expected to be in the lineup for the rest of the regular season…
No, I wouldn’t expect to see him in these next couple of games -- it’s today and tomorrow, so that’s too quick. But again, as far as when the playoffs start, we’re optimistic right now, but you know, I can’t guarantee anything at this point.

On whether there was a plan at the beginning of the season for how many games goaltender Tuukka Rask would play…
It is -- like I was going to say, I didn’t put a number on the amount of games because who knows? Could’ve been some injuries along the way, could’ve been a lot of different things, but I think right now, the picture that’s there as far as the games played and his stats -- and for both goaltenders, for that matter -- has been pretty good for us.

On whether to expect the full lineup on the ice today…
Today, no, we’ll have our full lineup.

On whether goaltender Tuukka Rask will start today…
Yes.

On whether the team is currently carrying any spare forwards from Providence…
No.

On defensemen Zdeno Chara and Dougie Hamilton, as a pair…
I think [Dougie Hamilton] has played well. I think he’s a young player that’s got a lot of potential, and at the same time, I think you’ve got to give Zdeno [Chara] a lot of credit because he does, first of all, keep him on his toes by talking to him a lot, and I think he certainly gives him that comfort that a young player needs in that situation. But Dougie’s played well -- he had a tough game last game like the rest of the team, but he’s played really well. He’s made some good plays – again, he’s defending better, and with Zee, they’ve been a good pair, but I don’t know where we’re going to be a week from now. You start the playoffs, you make those changes, those are things that can happen any day. So I can’t tell you that that’s going to be my pair for sure.

On what will determine the defensive pairings in the playoffs…
Well, it depends – again, it depends on a lot of things. It depends on the players playing, it depends on who we’re playing, it can depend on a lot of things. And like I said, there’s a lot of thought that has to go behind that more than maybe people think. And as far as I’m concerned, I don’t get into those kind of things until I really know who it is. I don’t waste time – “If it’s that team, the other team and so on” – we’ll have lots of time to make those decisions here in the following week.

#04/12/14#
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