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Running quotes for Bruins vs. Wild on 3/17

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
BOSTON BRUINS POSTGAME QUOTES

BOSTON BRUINS VS MINNESOTA WILD
Monday, March 17, 2014

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD REILLY SMITH
On scoring a goal after going through a scoring slump...
It definitely helps. The biggest thing is just being able to score a goal to help our team win a game. Personally, it was a little tough not scoring for that many games but the biggest thing I try to do is just stay positive and not get too down on myself because the chances are still coming.

On the team stringing together nine consecutive wins...
It’s good. It’s more than just that, I think our team is playing really good hockey right now, we’re coming together, our goalies are playing phenomenal too. It’s good to see our whole team going and I think we’re playing really good hockey right now and the biggest thing is to keep the momentum going.

On if Claude Julien gave him advice about how to break his scoring slump...
No, he definitely talks to you and gives you little tid bits. That helps out, same with a lot of teammates. But the biggest thing for me is that I was still getting chances. So, it was just thinking it was a matter of time.

On scoring a goal after crashing the net...
I don’t think I’ve scored a pretty goal this year, so I figured it was going to come that way. It was a long time so it was definitely a good feeling.

On the team’s winning streak despite his scoring slump...
That definitely helps a lot [that] our team was playing such good hockey. It definitely kept a more positive atmosphere around the rink and the guys and coaching staff were great in trying to help me through it.

On if he said ‘finally’ after scoring his goal...
I don’t know, I’ll have to check the replay. I wasn’t really sure. You guys had a better angle than I did [laughs].

On his strategy for breaking a scoring drought...
I was probably trying to shoot the puck more. Sometimes that works for you, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes you force pucks a little too much when you might have a little extra time and space. But at the same time, when you go into slumps like that you need to get the puck on net and get a little bit of momentum.

On if he had a feeling he would get a goal tonight...
I think I’ve done a pretty good job the last couple of games getting pucks on net and trying not to be too fancy, just trying to get it there. So, I was hoping it was going to be tonight so it worked out well.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD JAROME IGINLA
On usually giving up empty netters to teammates but scoring one tonight…
It feels good, but we’re really trying to stay focused on our game and what we’re trying to improve on. There’s some things we go over that we do need to improve on. I thought we were pretty solid tonight. Minnesota is a good club and they came out very strong. I thought it was a fun game to be a part of, I thought we pushed back psychically, and I thought it was a good hockey game. Tuukks [Tuukka Rask] was great in net, but I thought physically, it was one of the more physical ones we’ve had lately and it felt good to be a part of it. Feels good to win it.
   
On Minnesota never having lost in Boston entering tonight’s game…
Yeah, one of the guys brought it up. Looch [Milan Lucic] knows all the stats and he brought it up actually before the game, so we did know that and it does feel good to be a part of their first loss. I think some of us new guys were probably a little bit surprised with that. Some of the guys who had been here before wanted to end the streak. But yeah, they played well, they came out hard, and I thought it was a good game. Just a little bit different style than some of the others. Their forecheck was a little bit different and I thought our D handled it well. They had some good pushes but we found a way to answer them.

On his first goal taking a weird bounce…
I couldn’t tell you. I think I shot it. It was a pretty lucky goal. I thought it went off the D-man’s butt or something and I could see it going toward the net. I just realized that, I don’t think he sees it. The goalie didn’t pick it up at all. It was a very fluky, fortunate bounce goal. But definitely take them.

On Tuukka Rask giving the team a chance to win every night…
Our goaltending has been outstanding all year without question. We’re very fortunate to have them on net, and they do give us a chance every night. Big momentum shifts. We also feel as the game goes on, the physical style that we play, we can start taking the game over as it goes on and try to wear teams down. We take a lot of pride in being a real good third period team and having that great goaltending. We don’t want to give up the chances that necessarily some of the breakaways and some of the chances that we are, but you’re going to have some breakdowns and our goaltending has been outstanding.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD CHRIS KELLY
On how Minnesota played…
They played well. They’re a good hockey team, they’re a deep team that handles the puck well, skates well, they were moving their feet extremely well in the first ten minutes and we weren’t.

On if there is any doubt that they will come back after the opposing team scores first…
Yeah, we’re feeling good obviously. But there’s aspects of the game I think we can get better at. I mean, this is a group that’s been together for a while and we’ve gone through winning streaks and losing streaks. All we’re really thinking about is the next game, nothing in the past and not too far ahead.

On having momentum into the third period…
Well we want to play consistent through the sixty minutes. Regardless of what the score is we want to play the same way and manage the puck well and be confident out there. And I thought we did a good job in the third.

On if a nine game win streak actually means anything…
Not really. It’s nice to win, it’s better than losing. But at the end of the day it’s all about the next game. It’s about New Jersey tomorrow and we’ll go from there.

On how encouraging it is that Carl Soderberg has had had such success around the net…
Yeah, I think you want to be strong and hard on that puck around the crease area. Carl [Soderberg] is a big guy and I think that goal was a great pass to Loui [Eriksson]. I think it’s just managing that puck and being hard on it.

On if he tries to make himself open when Carl Soderberg is coming around the net…
No, I knew he was coming around. I knew Loui [Eriksson] was back door and there was a guy on me so I was hoping it would have eyes and get to Loui and luckily it did.

On if the goal was a defensive play too…
You know I think that’s the great part of the game. The way Carl [Soderberg] is playing, everyone to that extent, is playing all three zones and coming back hard and preventing goals. When you do that, I think good things happen and that was an example of that.

On Jarome Iginla hitting milestone after milestone…
I think it would be tough for him to keep track. 1300 games, that’s a lot of hockey games. 1300 regular season hockey games – that’s not playoffs or preseason games or practices. That’s a lot of hockey and he still shows up and plays hard. He’s so strong, just a great addition for us to have. And for any young hockey player to look at, he’s a constant professional.

On if Jarome Iginla leads more by example or talking…
He’s pretty quiet. He goes out there and leads by example. We have enough guys that spew. He just goes out and plays his game and plays hard and does everything extremely well. Not just one aspect of his game, he’s not just a scorer. He plays hard, he fights, he blocks shots. He’s out there last minute when we’re up by a goal or down by a goal. He’s one of the best all-around players of all time I think. Just luck y to get to play with him.

BOSTON BRUINS HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN POSTGAME AT 10:15 PM
On getting a win but also having some weaknesses exposed…
We had some stuff to look at before tonight—in case you guys didn’t know that. Just another one of those games where goaltending was good. Again, too many breakaways or good scoring chances, and we have to fix that. But again, we played well enough to win. I think offensively, we did a lot of good things. Again, we just got to make sure we continue to fine-tune our game and don’t get complacent. We’re young back there and there’s still some things guys need to learn.

On Reilly Smith not putting too much pressure on himself to snap his scoring drought…
Last game he had six shots on net. You could see it turning around, so it was just a continuation of that. Right now, I think his work ethic and his mindset is good. As long as those two things are there, he’s going to get better all the time. I think tonight was a proof of that.

On what Jarome Iginla has brought to the team this season…
Well, we lose a guy we thought was going to be back with us when we talk about [Nathan] Horton last year. That was a big hole to fill. He’s come in there and filled that hole really well. Obviously, you mention all the stats. I don’t have to repeat that. He’s fit in so well with that line. He brings us the same thing the other guy did with his size and his scoring ability. He’s done a great job. And again, we’re talking about a veteran here who has tremendous leadership qualities. Again, maybe not surprising to a lot of people what he’s accomplished here, and certainly he’s been a great asset to our team where, like I said, it could’ve been a lot different had we not gotten him.

BOSTON BRUINS GOALTENDER TUUKKA RASK
On if it benefits the team to play games without power-play opportunities...
I mean it has in the past for sure, as a good five-on-five team. But lately I think, especially this year, our power-play has been pretty good for us. So, it doesn’t really matter for us. But it’s good to see that the five-on-five strength is still there.

On not getting called for any penalties tonight...
It was a pretty clean game. We’ve got to be the top team in the league not to get those calls, that’s for sure.

On Jason Pominville’s goal tonight...
Well he was going blocker side [and] the stick breaks. The bounces were one and one tonight; our first goal was kind of a similar situation.

On if it’s distracting when a stick breaks...
Oh, it is. I mean, you get the read on the shot and you react and then it goes the other way and there’s nothing you can do about it. I wasn’t watching the stick. It’s tough.

On the team stringing together nine wins...
Yeah, it’s good that we get those wins but I don’t think that we’ve played our best hockey all of these games. Giving up those breakaways, stuff like that. But for the most part I think we’re playing pretty good. The offense is good.

On Pominville’s stick breaking as he shot...
No, he was going blocker side and then just fanned on it. You react one way so it’s too late to react the other way.

On the Bruins potentially catching St. Louis in the overall standings...
You try to win every game and if you have a chance to clinch the league, why wouldn’t you try? But I don’t think it’s our goal in our minds that we have to win it. We just want to be feeling good about ourselves going into playoffs and play our best hockey in April, May, June.

On Minnesota entering tonight’s game having never lost in Boston...
I didn’t know that, so it was a good reminder.

INNESOTA WILD HEAD COACH MIKE YEO
On their play today…
It’s tough to sit here after a four-one loss, but you can’t be too disappointed with the effort of our guys tonight. And obviously kind of a tough bounce on their first goal but I thought we were really taking the play to them. Even with that our guys were staying with it after two periods. They get a late goal and we’re still right there. And obviously that’s not an easy team to come back against.

On their need for secondary scoring…
We know that we do. It’s hard to, we haven’t been scoring goals lately, and that’s why, we’ve been defending hard but you can, it’s especially, you get down. We need something there so certainly we’re going to look at our lines tonight here. And I’m not sure that we have exactly the right mix. Whether we change one, two, three lines, I’m not sure. But we have to figure this out though, because like I said it doesn’t have quite the right feel right now.

On breaking up the first line…
Well that’s the tricky part because they’ve been going so well. And so yeah, I mean these are the things we have to discuss and figure out and it’s up to us to try to figure out the right match

On any positives from the Mikko Koivu line tonight…
I mean yeah, look at the second period. The chances down low in the offensive zone, and there’s no question there was. But again it’s throughout the entire lineup. We have to take a look at it and figure out if we’ve got the right mix.

On the second goal…
Well I mean it’s collective, but certainly in that moment we’re down one, and I felt that at that point even though we’re down one-nothing, I felt like we were still kind of taking the play to them. They definitely had a push after they scored that first goal, so that was a tough one. But again we bounced back and we kept fighting and we just needed to find a way to get one in the third.

MINNESOTA WILD FORWARD CHARLIE COYLE
On the Wild not converting scoring chances …
Yeah, like you said, we created a few chances, we just didn’t bury them. That could’ve changed the momentum of the game, from any point. We had a few chances early on too, so that would have been a good start.

On the Bruins being able to roll four lines…
Yeah they are pretty deep. A lot of depth over there, and all four lines can do some damage. You never know. But I think we have a good team as well, and I think we can match up against them. So we’ll just learn from this game, that’s all.

On Minnesota needing scoring outside of Mikael Granlund’s line…
I mean we’ve all got to contribute. We all know that, and like you said, we generate chances, but it comes down to putting pucks in the net. We’ve got to get going on that, helping out to be a full team effort.

On playing his first game in his native Massachusetts as an NHLer…
It was good. Obviously it’s nice to have the support of my family and friends, and just being back in Boston, so it was good. Obviously wanted a different result, but it’s always nice to come back.

On if he was playing with extra energy tonight…
Yeah, I mean, I don’t know. I guess so. There was a little adrenaline I think, at the start. Once you get going though, once you get out there, you just play your game.

MINNESOTA WILD FORWARD KYLE BRODZIAK
On the Bruins going up two-nothing in the second…
Yeah, that definitely hurt, for sure. We were really happy with our first period. We felt like we were playing the game like we were supposed to. It’s too bad we couldn’t get a couple breaks early on, that might’ve changed the game a little bit. But yeah, it’s tough when you give up two quick ones like that.

On how deep the Bruins are as a team…
They’re a very solid team. Structurally, they play extremely well, and obviously they have a lot of talent and a lot of size. Yeah, that’s a really good hockey team.

On Boston’s second goal…
Obviously I’d like to have that one back. I took too long to get it out, and they had a lot of guys, it felt like swarming, and I turned the puck over. Next thing I know, it’s in the back of our net. So yeah, I’d definitely like to have that one back.

MINNESOTA WILD DEFENSEMAN KEITH BALLARD
On the Bruins scoring soon after the Wild cut the deficit to one goal…
Yeah, they were real consistent in how they played. They’ve got good balance to their lineup, and I think they’re allowed to play everybody they’re afforded to play, everyone they’ve got. They’ve got good balance. They’ve got good structure. Unfortunately, I think we took a little bit of a dip after they scored that first goal, but that alone is not enough. We started off the game too good, I think we were controlling the play up until that point, and for whatever reason we kind of sagged a little bit, and had a little bit of a lull there in the second period, and they gained momentum. From then on, it was just short periods of us grasping to get it back, and we get it back for little bits of time, but we couldn’t sustain anything.

On how hard it is for the Wild to score right now…
Yeah, I mean, it’s tough every night. And it’s not us, I think teams are coached well. Players are coached well. Players are smart. Goalies are good. I don’t know if there’s a formula to score more goals. It always seems to fall back to get people to the net, create traffic, and score on your second and third opportunities. If the goalie sees the first shot, chances are, he’s going to save it.

MINNESOTA WILD FORWARD MIKKO KOIVU
On if this was one of his line’s better games…
Oh I don’t know with that either. We got some good shifts but obviously we have to get better.

On Tuukka Rask’s goaltending…
He was very good. We knew that going into the game and he was as good as people say he is. And yeah, he made some great saves.

BOSTON BRUINS HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN PREGAME PRESS CONFERENCE 11:30 AM
On the update on Johnny Boychuk…
Well he didn’t skate this morning because he can’t right now, he’s too sore. So he’s day-to-day. I don’t know, it’s obviously from the incident the other night. So he couldn’t skate this morning, he came in early and we tried to see if he could, and he couldn’t. So we’ll just go day to day with him.

On the result of his x-rays…
Must have been, to be honest with you. Because if he tried to skate this morning it would have been negative but here’s some damage in there, obviously, when you go in feet first. We looked at both his skates and he kind of crashed in there and twisted. So a little sore for him to skate on.

On if he would like to get Corey Potter in at some point…
I’m sure we will at some point. We haven’t made that decision yet, there is obviously a spot open in Johnny’s [Boychuk] case and I’m going to dress seven tonight. I told them all to come and do the warm up so that gives me time to day to kind of look at what I want to do and make that decision tonight.

On Loui Eriksson ever being concerned about not making a good first impression…
I didn’t get that impression and I’ll tell you why. I think he knew that we understood what he had gone through.  Two concussions and we all know about concussions on this team and how it has set people back – who we have and don’t have any more. So I think we’re a little understanding of that and we made sure he knew that as well. So it’s just a matter of giving him the opportunity to find his game and that’s what we did. Right now, to me, he’s found his game, he’s playing really well.

On what he remembers about Matt Bartkowski right out of training camp and in Prague…
I remember he was late for the bus, that part I remember. And that he needed to grow up, and that he’s done. He’s a young player coming out of college and a lot of things are happening quickly. I think that he needed to grow into a better pro but still, his skating has always been impressive. It’s an effortless type of skating style and he’s got size. To us he had the ability to become a good NHL defenseman. So sometimes it’s just about bringing them to these places and letting them grow around your team and making them see what it takes to be a good NHLer and I guess he learned a little bit on that trip and worked his way back up here.

On Matt Bartkowski’s consistency…
Yeah, it has and I think that is the biggest thing but at the same time this is the first year that he has played, more or less, on a regular basis and he’s been in there and he’s had an opportunity. Plus, he’s had a few in the minors where he has played a lot. Again, sometimes you need to grow as a pro and I use that term ‘grow as a pro’ because you have to learn to deal with the schedule, you have to learn to deal with the rest, you have to learn to deal with nutrition. And when you're single, it’s a bigger challenge. So you learn to adapt and right now, he’s doing a good job of being a consistent players. And like I said, the one disadvantage that the college players have in their first year is the schedule where you played weekends and now you play any time of the week. And it’s back-to-backs and three and fives and five and eights, so just that schedule itself becomes a challenge. So those guys sometimes it takes them a little while, whether it’s in the NHL or the American Hockey League, but usually after a year they have it down pat.

On how much confidence he has in Matt Bartkowski now…
Well I think he’s proven that the last little while. Right now I’m going to tell you about him maintaining it though. You know, you don’t just start showing it and then think everything is okay. I like the direction he has taken, I think he has become really reliable and since Dennis [Seidenberg] he has gotten better and better by being put in kind of Dennis’ positions a little bit more. He’s become more consistent, even more physical, more confident and like I said his consistency in his game has gotten a lot better. So now if he can maintain that it is going to help our team a lot…

On comments about peaking too soon…
If they want to know about consistency, I think I can show them and it’s always been that way. For us, win or lose, we have to be consistent too as coaches. If you're not going to harp on them too much when things are tough, you're not going to let them off the hook when things are good too. They see things every day about things that we have to be better at. So I don’t know if they’re feeling comfortable or whether the comment was made as far as – you know, this isn’t our best. Trust me, it’s not our best. There’s a lot – when you look at the scoring chances you give, when you look at some of the break downs, it’s nice to win some games but you have to remember, sometimes your goaltender does a pretty nice job of bailing you out. So for us, we watch videos after every game and we watch our game and analyze our team. To us, we’re good right now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying we’re playing bad, we’re playing well. But I think there is still a lot of room for improvement here if we expect to go a long ways in the playoffs, we’re going to have to be better than what we are right now. So to me, that’s not peaking.

On how this is different from the 2011 stretch…
Well, to a certain extent it is but that’s why you have a shredder in your office and you shred that paper. Because on paper, it’s not worth much, it’s what’s on the ice. So we always do that after games, we shred that stuff and start all over again. But again, let’s not get fooled. We’ve seen guys go on winning streaks or teams go on winning streaks and they’re still winning when they’re playing bad and eventually it catches up and it takes them forever to get back on track. And this is where we have to be careful at this stage of the year. We have to make sure that guys understand that just because you're winning doesn’t mean you're playing well and that’s on video, not on paper.

On if guys are better at understanding that…
Absolutely. Our team, don’t get me wrong, our team doesn’t get comfortable. Whether that comment came out of one person or whatever, that doesn’t matter. But that same person understands, and then the rest of the team understands, that we’re a mature team. We’ve been through a lot, we’ve learned from our ups and downs, especially our downs. So, you're a better and more mature team because of that. So I know our players don’t get complacent but it’s also my job to make sure it doesn’t get there. They can do their share and I have to do mine and that way we keep ourselves on our toes.

On if he thinks of Carl Soderberg as a center now…
Well I’d say right now absolutely. But you know only a fool doesn’t change his mind and it might be a time where somebody else is even better than him. And where I was going to put the best player in the best position, right? So right now, he’s best at center and I think right now something that goes unnoticed is how well [Chris] Kelly has played on the wing. If [Chris] Kelly doesn’t play that well at the wing, we’ve got an issue here. But Kells [Chris Kelly] has played really well on the wing and that has made the transition for Carl [Soderberg] a lot easier because it’s turned out to be a pretty decent line.

On Reilly Smith is turning the corner…
Yeah, again, I’m not going to call that a slump because it’s not from lack of competing. I think he’s been, not snake bit, but things haven’t gone his way. He’s a young player so he’s dealing with that for the first time on this level. To me, as long as a guy keeps working and created the opportunities he had last game – six shots on net – that’s just a sign of probably turning the corner and then maybe working their way out of it.

On if Smith was putting more pressure on himself…
Oh sure he was, sure he was. And that’s been a trait of his, that he demands a lot, and that’s a trait of a lot of players, to be honest with you. And he’s just one of those guys that has that trait and it’s up to us to kind of take some of that pressure off him. He’s just got to go out there and play hard and most of all, you have to play hard but you have to have fun at this game. It’s work but your work has to be a lot of fun too. I think right now he had a lot of pressure on his shoulders, I think he was coming to the rink and getting on the ice there and instead of smiling was just carrying the weight that he didn’t need to carry. So we’re just trying to help him take some of that weight off his shoulders…

On if having defenseman that are puck carriers is a challenge or a bonus…
It can be both. It can really be both, as you’ve seen I think our transition game has gotten better because we have some Ds [defensemen] now in are lineup that are guys that can carry the puck a little bit more. At the same time even the guys that we’re as much – every year, like I said, we like to bring a little bit more to our team so we’ve encouraged our guys to support the attack a lot more. You’ve see Zdeno [Chara] in quite a bit, he scored a goal the other day that way. So our philosophy has changed a little bit. But at the same time, where it becomes a challenge is you’ve seen more breakaways and you’ve seen a few more break downs so we have to make that adjustment where you find that fine line where you want them to support the attack. And it’s not always their fault, it’s also the forwards having to read from that in covering up. So to me, we’ve given up a little bit too many breakaways and outnumbered situations for my liking so we have to make that adjustment. That’s part of the thing we were talking about here, we haven’t peaked too early because there are still some things here that need to be worked on.
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