Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Boston Bruins

Bruins News

Running Quotes for Bruins vs. Wild on October 28

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
BOSTON BRUINS POSTGAME QUOTES

BOSTON BRUINS VS MINNESOTA WILD
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
BOSTON BRUINS HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE AT 9:50 P.M.
On if there was anything specific he saw the Bruins do wrong in the third period…
I think I just mentioned that a while ago there, in my other interview, that I think a lot of it started in the second period. We started playing on our heels, we stopped playing on our toes and being first to the puck, or at least create the battle. We should have been the fresher team tonight. That should have been the case. We knew they were going to compete hard, that’s the way that teams plays all the time. It was up to us to push the pace all night long and we didn’t do that. So, you know, again I guess it’s disappointing to see the lack of tape-to-tape passes and how we’re just mismanaging that puck. And then the same thing in the third period, they were just first on it everywhere, winning the battles, winning the races, and the commitment to win was there a lot more than it was for us.

On how much of the trouble started in the Bruins’ own end…
It starts in our own end, but it’s not just the defensemen. There’s no doubt you want the D’s to make better passes, but I didn’t think a lot of our forwards were really strong on the puck along the walls tonight. Again, in closing, when we had loose pucks along the wall their D’s were winning the races to those pucks and we were slow to react. It’s a lot of everything.

On Seth Griffith’s performance…
Well, that’s probably the brightest thing of the night for us, was the fact that Seth [Griffith] really played a strong game. That line last year scored a lot of goals from guys driving the net and he did a great job of driving the net every time. He got rewarded for it and he also made a nice play there on Looch’s [Milan Lucic] goal. If there’s somebody that should be walking out of here with his head up high, it’s him.

On the Bruins trying to make long passes across the rink…
I think it goes hand in hand. When you’re not working hard you’re stretching passes and everything else. But the bottom line is that at this level you’ve got to have better execution than we’ve had. I don’t care about whether they’re long passes or not. Guys can make long passes in this league, tape to tape, but it’s our passes in skates and then we fight to get control of the puck. It starts from there, then you’re scrambling in your own end and it ends up in the back of your net. We certainly have to have better concentration on that and better execution if we expect to be a better team.

On if the Matt Bartkowski-Zach Trotman pairing had a tough night…
Couple goals against. Again, our whole team didn’t play well, so I’m certainly not going to start picking on them.

On if Bartkowski not playing much in the third was a result of shortening the bench…
Well, yeah, I think we did with our forward lines as well.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD DAVID KREJCI
On a disappointing third period…
It is disappointing. Lately – one of the most disappointing games so far this season. Up by two goals half the second, and especially they played a game yesterday, so it’s disappointing and it’s a tough loss, but it is what it is.

On whether he feels the team “pulled off the pedal”…
I thought we played a really good first period, and then a pretty decent second. Only a couple sloppy plays in the second, but other than that a pretty decent first 40 minutes, and then when you’re up 2-0 at home there shouldn’t be any excuse not to win the game, so it’s frustrating. I felt like we kind of gave them the win. I don’t think we were ready for the third period, and it cost us the game.

On what was different from Saturday’s game…
Saturday we played a full 60 minutes. We came out in the third and we scored two quick goals, and the game was basically over, but today was a different story. We weren’t ready. We lost battles. We lost races. We didn’t make any tape to tape passes whatsoever, so we’ve got to play with some confidence, and we didn’t do that, so it’s really frustrating. It’s a tough loss, but obviously we have to do something about this.

On how you explain not being ready…
You can’t really explain it. It’s just not ready. You’ve got to go out there, play smart, play with confidence, and we didn’t do that. Like I said, we lost everything, battles, races, no tape-to-tape passes.

On how much more important it is that the forwards are on their game with inexperienced defensemen…
I mean, if Zee [Zdeno Chara] is not here or if he is here, then the game shouldn’t change. Our game is to play well defensively and have a good breakout and go from there, but it felt like in the third period we didn’t help out as forwards. Our D’s, the D’s didn’t help us as well, so it goes both ways, so we have to be better as a team.

On the passing not being as good as it typically is for this team…
I wish I could tell you. It just wasn’t there. Sometimes it’s there, but I felt like in the third period we weren’t sharp enough to make those tape to tape passes, and they just kept putting the puck deep and they got on our D’s and we didn’t come back quick enough and the D didn’t make tape to tape passes, so like I said it goes both ways and now we have to do something about this.

On Seth Griffith’s play…
It’s good to see him get two goals, especially goals like that that he drives the net so that’s what you want from your teammate, to drive the net. Looch [Milan Lucic] did the same thing, so if some guy drives the net that means it opens up some room for our players, so I thought he played well. Hopefully he can build on this and play the same way the next game.

On whether they are starting to feel comfortable as a group…
Well obviously when you score three goals as a line after two periods then you feel pretty comfortable, but the result at the end of the day it’s a loss and you try to take the positive things off of the game, but it’s hard to after a loss like that.

On Minnesota having 42 shots on net and controlling play in the zone a lot…
I felt they were putting the puck deep and they had a good forecheck, but still we like to keep the teams under 30 shots and we gave them over 40, so that’s not how we want to play, and it is what it is, so we’ll see what happens tomorrow in practice.

On whether he thinks this will be a good test of the team’s resiliency…
We have to take it game by game right now. We shouldn’t look too much ahead. We kind of dig ourselves a hole and we’re the only people who can get ourselves out of that hole, so we have to battle hard, get the next win, come back home. We play only three games on the road in November, so we have to play really well at home and get over the .500 and get back in playoff position.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD MILAN LUCIC
On being disappointed after tonight’s loss…
Yeah very disappointing third period. We did what we had to do to establish a two goal lead heading into the third and for our team that’s usually our bread and butter. We’re real good at having that killer instinct and shutting it down and playing our best period in the third. Unfortunately, it wasn’t there. We were losing battles in the D zone. Our execution of our breakouts and supporting one another wasn’t there and it ends up in our net.

On making your own breaks…
I think when you look at it you make and break your breaks. Right now we’re not getting them just because of some sloppy plays and miscommunications and, I guess, brain farts. Just not doing the right things especially in the D zone where we’re so good and we give up three goals in the third period, which is very uncharacteristic of our team. Eventually we have to, kind of, take a step back and say to yourself you gotta respect the game plan and play as a team. You saw in Toronto what it can do for you when you play together. It makes it a lot easier to play as an individual and as a team. I think we need to focus on that moving forward.

On the loss being more disappointing when your line plays so well…
It was good that we were able to do what we did as a line. But you know, I’m not calling anyone out it just goes to show that you need all twenty guys to do their part in order to win a hockey game in this league. Like I said, you go back to that Toronto game and we have everyone pulling their weight and doing their job their best and we win the game four to one. It sucks that we don’t get a win after playing the way that you did as a line. We have to continue building off of it.

On two-goal lead being strong for Bruins in the past…
Yeah for sure. It better be a lesson that we can’t take any lead, two goals, three goals, anything lightly. We gotta take this as a lesson that we have to play for the full 60 minutes and that’s the NHL right? It’s best players, best teams and that’s why you gotta to play your best for the full 60 minutes to win in this league.

On Minnesota having 42 shots…
Yeah way too much. You look at probably nine of the 11 games we played we kept the teams under 30 shots in those games. That’s what you try to do as a team especially as a team like us. We’re a checking team that can score. It’s not a good thing when you’re giving up that many shots so like I said, we just gotta communicate better, execute better in the D zone so we can get going the other way.

On this start being so different from other seasons…
Yeah, I mean, every start of the season is different and I don’t think we’ve ever really had one like this where you win one, lose one, win one, lose one. In saying that and thinking about it, you want to do what you can to build consistency in your game night in, night out, night in, night out and I don’t think that’s what we have right now is that consistency in every game. When we can find that, I think that will help us put some wins together and get going in the right direction.

On judging your play individually after the injury…
Yeah I’m definitely thinking about it a lot, lot less. Its feeling good as far as the injury goes. At the start it was definitely weighing on me, I was a little bit hesitant and scared to get into those places where I need to go to be effective for my line mates and for the team. It’s definitely moving in the right direction.

BOSTON BRUINS GOALTENDER TUUKKA RASK
On Minnesota being an impressive team…
Yeah, a hard-working team. Quick transitions and then the D joining the rush, good team.

On facing 42 shots tonight and whether that was a lot…
No, it happens, not a ton, but I mean the way mistakes happen for us sometimes it’s kind of unacceptable and we really have to be better in front of our net. Way too many goals lately have been scored right there and we talked about it but it’s just not good enough right now. 40 shots, I’m not too worried about that, but just the style we give them up, it’s pretty bad sometimes.

On how you fix that…
Just tighten up. Just tighten up and take your man in front of the net and box him out and really be a tight five man unit and don’t let those passes go through and work hard. That’s how we’ve always been and lately it hasn’t really been that case and it’s been costing us, so that’s just it.

On not being the first to the puck in the third…
Absolutely, there’s no excuse why we shouldn’t have been the better team in the third, being fresh and all of that, but it shows character for them, and that’s how we like to win games. Times we come back in the third and that was a good learning experience for us that can go the other way too.

On the young defensemen and the expectations for them…
Yeah, I don’t think they take too much pressure out of that, but you know it’s just like we’ve got to make better passes too and not put ourselves into trouble just by making bad passes and stuff like that. Then again, taking care of the front of your net, it’s not something new we’re doing. It’s whoever comes here should be capable of doing it. Lately we haven’t been doing it.

On having a two goal lead…
It’s the worst lead in hockey, right? That’s what they say, and you let up even for a minute, bad things can happen. We take that penalty there early in the third and they took the momentum and they kept it for the next 10 minutes, got a couple of goals out of it. Then it kind of evens out after that and bad bounce in the last and it ends up costing us the game.

On whether he gets the feeling that it can “avalanche” when the young guys make mistakes…
Tough to say. I try to live in the moment too and not worry about that too much, but it obviously could happen, you know, a young guy and then you start thinking about what people think, what the coaches think, and you lose your focus in the game, but that definitely shouldn’t be the case.

On how being in so many scrambles in front of the net affects what he’s doing…
I haven’t felt that it’s been unusual for us, but just I guess we haven’t come up with the puck a lot of times after those scrambles. Usually we do, and that just says we don’t collapse enough and protect the net. We have to find those loose pucks, but some bad bounces too which is deflating kind of from a goalie standpoint, but we definitely have to be a lot better in front of that net because it’s just unacceptable.

On decision-making by defensemen and passing to guys behind the net…
I don’t know how that happens, but we have to talk about it obviously because it’s something new for us. We usually don’t do that, and when you’re a goalie, you’re playing the puck, you’re the guy with the puck, you can’t really start shooting for that pass either because you trust your D and the guys taking care of that and you know that’s my main focus, just to try to focus on that guy with the puck and not worry about the rest.

On Hockey Fights Cancer and what that means to the team…
It’s great to be involved in something like that, and we’ve had a lot of chances that we could here in Boston, and the Boston Bruins Foundation has helped us with that, so it’s just pretty easy for us to get involved and we’re happy to be part of it.

On Seth Griffith’s play tonight and going at the net hard and making things happen…
Yeah, it was good. He was good at that, and a lot of other guys too. The offense has been good. The power play has been great, and we’re really driving the net and crashing the net, but then it doesn’t really matter when the defensive side of your game is the one who gets the worst out of that, so we have to be well balanced in the future.

BOSTON BRUINS DEFENSEMAN DOUGIE HAMILTON
On doing too much on the breakouts tonight…
Well I thought we were pretty good for two periods and then they came harder I think and got some zonetime and some goals and momentum and we were kind of on our heels. Obviously, not the start of the third that we wanted and that obviously killed us.

On playing the most minutes tonight that he’s every played in his NHL career…
Not really, I felt good, so I was happy I was playing a lot, and I think like I’ve said before I play better when I play more and you’re into the game more and you’re not sitting on the bench waiting for your shift. I felt good and enjoyed it. It’s just unfortunate that we had the third period that we had.

On whether the coaching staff had notified him that he would be playing that many minutes tonight…
Nope, not really I just – it was what it was and I don’t really know. You just gotta play and do your best when your name is called and that’s what I tried to do.

On having difficulties clearing the puck out of their own zone in the third period…
Yeah it’s usually us doing that to the other teams. We know that they collapsed in the third period yesterday and it kinda “karma’d” right back to us, so it’s frustrating I think because we were doing pretty good for the rest of the game, and we knew how good they were and fast and everything. I thought we kept them pretty limited until those breakdowns in the third.

On fixing those breakdowns…
It’s mostly mental. I think it’s, obviously they were pressuring harder and got the zone time with us tired and some bounces that go in there kind of not lucky goals but dirty goals when they’re going to the net. We just have to do a better job of defending that.

On not doing too much to get outside of his game with Chara out of the lineup…
Yeah that’s exactly what I am trying to do, so not do too much and that’s when you get in trouble. Just try to play simple and have our whole unit make up for him [Zdeno Chara] because it’s impossible for one of us, so I thought we were ok until I guess just the goals and I don’t think we gave up too much other than that. Like I said I thought we played ok, so just frustrating that we had those breakdowns.

BOSTON BRUINS DEFENSEMAN DENNIS SEIDENBERG
On when the game started to get away from you…
I think the whole third period wasn’t the way we wanted to play. Too many breakdowns, we gave up too many shots. We did have chances at the end but it was a little bit too late.

On being concerned that the breakdowns have become consistent…
Real concerning. Like you said, it’s been going on the whole season so far, the past ten-eleven games. It’s something we have to work on and were trying to work on. We have to get it fixed.

On being able to foresee the teams struggles…
No not at all. Our expectations are always very high. Obviously that’s not the way we want to start but we do have a good effort, we just have to be smarter, more assertive in certain areas at certain times during the games.

On difference from the Toronto game and tonight…
Like you said it was the third period. We just didn’t close quick enough on guys. We gave them too much room to get shots and traffic out front. We just have to do a better job battling harder, wanting it more and go from there.

On Hamilton’s improvement…
I think it’s nice to have a guy like that come in—well come in, he’s been in here for a while now. He’s just a workhorse. He logs a lot of minutes, he can skate, he moves the puck up there, he’s got a good shot and it’s good to have a guy like that. We always knew he could do it and now he has to do it.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD SETH GRIFFITH
On being happy with personal achievements but unhappy with team results…
Yeah it’s kind of hard to be happy but two goals-- obviously the wins more important. It’s too bad we didn’t have a very good third.

On how the team unfolded after the second period…
Yeah just like you said we weren’t making very good passes. It didn’t seem like we could break out of our end very good. It came back to bite us in the end.

On improving being the first ones on the puck…
That’s easy to fix, you just have to work hard. I think we’re going to come tomorrow and practice hard. Hopefully we’re ready for Buffalo.

On a step backwards in trying to build consistency…
Yeah every time we win one and then we lose one it’s always a step back. We want to be an above five hundred hockey team and tonight we took a step back.

MINNESOTA WILD HEAD COAH MIKE YEO POSTGAME MEDIA AVAILABILITY
On the road trip…
The way it all worked out, I’m not too disappointed. We learned a couple lessons on the trip. We learned that we can’t take our foot off the gas when you have the lead and we learned that we can come back if we stay with it.

On what it says about the team …
Yeah that was it for me, three games in four nights. I thought just the way we bounced back, I liked our first two periods too. We had a couple breakdowns that looked like tired mistakes, but we were getting chances. I felt that we were in the fight, and our guys proved it in the third period.

On Parise’s comments lauding his tactical adjustments in the third…
Yeah, I prefer not to get into it. You can draw whatever you want up on the board, but it’s only as good as your players. They’re the ones out there executing it, and I thought that the way they went out and executed that was tremendous.

On learning from last game’s third period against the Rangers…
I liked our first two periods too. You don’t just flip a switch. I thought we were in the fight through the course of the game. It might’ve been easy for us to say, well, it’s not our night and get ready for the next one. Given the fact that we weren’t fresh, we were tired, missing a couple guys, to keep fighting back against a very good hockey team, I was real pleased with.

On Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien’s suggestion there was a momentum shift towards the end of the second period…
At 3-1, we didn’t feel that we were out of this game. I was looking at the bench and I’m not disappointed with the way that our guys were playing, the way individuals were playing. I felt like we were getting some chances, I felt like we were getting some pressure, and I knew there would be some more opportunity if we stayed with it.

On the last five minutes…
Easy…[laughs]…In the early part of the year, it’s good for you to deal with that. We should be comfortable with it. We practice these things hard so that when things are intense like that, your habits take over. We have good habits so that’s what we have to rely on.

On the fourth line’s performance the last few games…
These guys are doing a tremendous job for us. What I like, they’re doing it the right way. Their goals have been similar in a lot of ways. Getting to the offensive zone, bringing momentum to us, being strong defensively, and obviously helping out on penalty kill and whatever their roles call for, those guys have done a great job for us.

On what he told them for the third period…
I mean obviously when you’re down, you don’t want to pass up any opportunities to shoot the puck. Especially against a team like this, the chances are hard to come by so that is one thing we definitely talked about, don’t give up an opportunity to get the puck to the net.

MINNESOTA WILD FORWARD ZACH PARISE
On beating the Bruins much like the Rangers beat them last night...
Yeah I didn’t expect it to happen 24 hours later but that’s the way it goes.  It happens to everybody, it happens to us, it happens annually to one of the best defensive teams in the league.  That’s the way it goes, you get one and all of the sudden you get a little momentum and you start to feel good about it.  The best thing is that the way we were playing paid off.  In between the second and third we made some tactical adjustments and I think that really caught them off guard and paid off for us.

On what sort of adjustments they made in between periods...
Usually we are a little more passive.  We kind of noticed that they kept going D-to-D over us all the time in their own zone on retrievals and usually we are a little more patient on the weak side but in between the second and third we just changed and no matter what we always went on that weak side and I think it caught them off guard.  I know that’s how our line scored the second one and I feel like they had a hard time breaking out once we did that.

On how big of a statement this game was after losing to New York the way they did last night...
The most important thing was that it kind of cleared our minds from what happened and just understand that last night has no impact on tonight’s game and I think we played like that.  We played pretty well throughout the whole game.  It was pretty solid.

On responding after last night’s game...
It’s always easy to say that but I thought the chances we were getting off the rush so we were generating, Rask made some really good saves on us.  We felt really good about the way we were playing.  We felt that they had a hard time with our pace, with the way we were skating and it paid off in the end.

On how the team has played through 8 games so far this season…
I think we have played really well.  A lot of games we have played well in stretches but I think we’ve played solid in all 8 of the games.  I don’t think we were trying to make a statement, we were just trying to be better tonight and respond better than the way we closed last night.

On playing two games in two nights and playing so strong in the third period...
Personally, it didn’t feel like, it didn’t look like we were tired.  I don’t think we felt tired.  We like the way we were playing, we were moving our feet.  When you see it’s working, it makes it easier to do.

On if it makes a difference with Zdeno Chara out of the Bruins lineup...
He controls a game.  I know personally I have been matched up against him quite a bit playing in New Jersey and he just makes such a difference out there.  He plays 30 minutes, all situations, it’s a tough hole to fill.  Any team, if you lose your number one defenseman, it’s going to hurt.

On all the goals being scored right off the crease...
That’s kind of his [Zdeno Chara] strength too.  They do such a good job at crashing the net.  They have big guys that are tough to defend and they always funnel the puck towards the net and it’s tough to defend.  I guess we started to do that a little bit and we got the same type of goals that they had.

MINNESOTA WILD FORWARD THOMAS VANEK
On moving on from last night’s loss to the New York Rangers…
It was big.  Obviously, I think we put it behind us right after the game.  It’s not a loss we were happy with or proud of, but I think we felt good.  Even after 40 minutes, I thought we played well, we had chances.  I thought Tuukka [Rask] made some big saves.  We just kept going and finally got rewarded. 

On staying motivated…
We just kept going.  It’s not like we were lacking energy.  I thought for back-to-back [games], we played well.  We had shots, we had chances. Even our power play actually had a few chances.  I think that helped, so even though we didn’t score, I think the mood was good, and here, there was just no panic.  That’s what helped. 

On learning from yesterday’s loss to the New York Rangers…
I think yesterday – I don’t think we played bad enough.  It’s just once that first one was there, we were like, “Okay—it’s just one goal.”  It’s almost like we waited for another one to get scored on, but I think today we just pushed back.  We kept going.  It didn’t matter if it was 2-1, 3-1, we kept going.  Like I said, we got rewarded.

On Head Coach Mike Yeo splitting him up from Mikko Koivu…
We found out before [the game], but you know, if you don’t produce, you get split up.  So, I thought with Brodzie [Kyle Brodziak] and Nino [Niederreiter] we had some good chances, we created good [opportunities].  I actually thought I had it there, but I banked it off the shoulder.  It looked like it was in, but I guess it wasn’t.

On bounces not going his way…
It’s finding chemistry.  I feel like I’m getting open, just not getting the puck.  I could probably shoot a little bit more to get that first one, but…I’m not too worried about it.  I know I could score in this league.  It will come.

On how confident he is based on the team’s play thus far…
Again, I’ve said over the summer, and I’m going to keep saying it.  I think we have four lines that can play. Tonight, back-to-back, and we put up 40-plus shots again and came back and won.  I think when have that depth, and you don’t have to rely on two or three guys or two lines, I think it helps you out.  And I think it showed again tonight.  Every line chipped in.

MINNESOTA WILD DEFENSEMAN MARCO SANDELLA
On scoring the game winner…
I saw [Jason] Zucker come around and I knew he was going to lay it in there for me. Luckily, I got a lot of wood on that shot.

On the third period…
I mean that was huge. It happened to us in New York, and we knew that we had a good game. We just wanted to keep going, keep pushing and that’s what we did in the third period. I felt like we had a lot of momentum and it was bound to happen.

On lessons learned from the game against the Rangers last night…
You’re never down and out. We proved that tonight. To our credit, we worked hard in the third, but in New York, it was definitely a lesson. It’s good that it happens now and not later in the season or in the playoffs.

On the team’s energy in the third…
Yeah, we weren’t very happy about the result that we had last game. We thought that we were playing a good game today. We just knew that if we kept battling, we were going to get rewarded.

BOSTON BRUINS HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN PREGAME PRESS CONFERENCE AT 11:00 AM
On Minnesota’s emotional mentality coming into the game…
That’s what I’m telling myself, yes. They played a hard game last night. You can either look at the first two periods and then see a team that only gave up eight shots and who’s very dominant, and I know they had some power plays but very dominant and very hard to play against and for whatever reason just kind of seemed to lose that pace of their game in the third. It cost [them] the game. We know just from watching them and even playing against them last year how tough of a team they are to play against.

On the consistency of the Bruins lines…
Well, it’s good as long as they keep, I guess, playing the way they have as of late. That’s always the challenge that you have is that you want to see the consistency continue. You never know night in night out, there’s no guarantee that’s going to be there, you gotta make it happen. That’s what we’re trying to encourage our guys to do is continue to play the way they have been lately in most of the games and try and build on those things. We show them video and things we do well and things we need to correct and you hope they respond to that.

On how Tuukka Rask factors into the team defense without Chara…
Well Tuukka [Rask] always plays well in Toronto and that’s one of the reasons we put him in there. He seems to have some pretty good games in there. He was solid again for us. Although we did play well, they still had some good scoring chances and he made some really good saves for us that allowed us to get some separation from them as we scored some goals. But, he’s been good and he’s another guy that’s starting to find his groove as well so it’s a matter of him continuing to do that.

On how Rask can continue to improve…
I’d like to see him get 15-16 shots a night. That would be a good sign for our hockey club but as far as I’m concerned with him, it doesn’t matter the number of shots he gets, he’s either really focused and he’s in the game and playing the way he did last game. That’s what we need from him. He’s no different than the rest of the team. He had a mediocre start and to me and he’s getting better all the time. That’s the way I’ve been looking at his play as of late.

On the flow of how the defense has been used without Chara…
Well when he’s [Zdeno Chara] not there you have other guys that have to matchup right? It’s a matter of seeing those guys a little bit more and that’s what we talked about is it’s not about bringing more to the table but probably being at your best. When the season started, to have [Dennis] Seidenberg back on the left side it gave us a good one-two punch again. Two hard guys to play against. He’s been asked to step up and play more minutes against top lines but we don’t him to do more, we just want him to be good at what he does. Seidenberg and, I guess, [Dougie] Hamilton for the most part responded well last game against Toronto against their top line. We’ve got guys like [Adam] McQuaid that can step up there. Torey’s [Krug] one of those guys that wants to show everybody he can play in the top four. These are opportunities for guys right now to really show if they can handle it

On assessment of Zach Trotman’s play…
I guess with one game it’s always hard to assess a player but I was happy with his game in Toronto. He did a pretty decent job. He’s had a few stints with us. He’s a big body, he’s got a great shot, can move the puck well and right now it’s him just being, I guess, consistent and trustworthy player back there. We’ll see more as we move forward here, but definitely not disappointed in his first game.

On forward line pairings remaining consistent after talk of change in preseason…
Yeah I think there’s a comfort level, right? When you played so long with certain guys there’s a comfort level there. By accident, if you want to call it that, Loui [Eriksson] ended up back with Carl [Soderberg] and Kells [Chris Kelly] because David [Krejci] was hurt in the first three games so we put him back there and all of a sudden that lines really clicking, so I guess common sense as a coach says why break up a group that’s going well? As far as Bergy’s [Patrice Bergeon] line, Smitty [Reilly Smith] coming back, he was a little bit behind and we had to give him a chance to find his game but that’s where he’s best suited right now and so we’ve found somebody that we think is a smart player that can shoot the puck and has been pretty good so far in [Seth] Griffith. You gotta allow him, he’s a young player second year pro, you gotta allow him to get a good opportunity here as long as he keeps showing some progress. Knowing that that’s a spot that’s open right now, and I think the fourth line—what can we say? More or less with [Simon] Gagne on that line is just giving them some good speed, good skill and has been a real reliable line, which I feel at times after power plays and that I can use against other teams top lines at different times. We’ve got, more or less, what we’re looking for right now and it’s up to the guys to continue to play the way they have been in order to keep them that way.

On Kelly playing on the wing…
Well he’s played the wing last year, Joe, on that line so it just seems to me; the biggest thing is that he can play both. His number one is that he’s a center man that’s also played wing in the past. Carl [Soderberg] to us is way more comfortable at center than he was on the wing, so again it was kind of a making that decision of saying, ‘listen, this guy here is so much better at center. This guy here is good wherever you put him, center or’—and yet we still use him for faceoff situations, d-zone coverage a lot of the time you’ll see him low. It’s just kind of blended in well, where they are right now and they just seem to read off each other even better with both guys being able to be reliable down low and that includes Loui Eriksson who’s a pretty good two way player. It just kind of blended in that way and we’re leaving it the way we see it best fit right now.

On Kelly being one of the best players so far…
Yeah he has been. I know he has been the center of a lot of criticism or trade rumors and all that stuff. I guess when you’re on the outside, not seeing everything that he brings, it’s an easy assessment to make but we really feel he’s a valuable player and he’s producing right now extremely well, better than even some of our top producing players. So, what can you say? Right now I think he’s certainly showing that he belongs, and that he’s a good player for us. You’ve heard us say even more about him from the inside of the dressing room, which is sometimes just as important as what you bring out there

On where Hamilton’s biggest improvements have been…
I would almost be tempted to say everywhere. He’s gotten stronger. His vision is great, always has been, but he’s got more confidence now and making plays in carrying pucks as you’ve seen. We’ve seen it in the playoffs against Detroit; you saw it the other night. We see it at different times where he just skates right through teams and has that great release. He’s made a lot of strides in a lot of ways. Two of them, if you wanted me to cut it down to two, would be his strength and his confidence to skate the puck and make those plays.

On Hamilton’s goal against Toronto…
Well I’m kind of getting accustomed to it. We’ve asked our D to support the attack. Re-watching the game and watching the video clip, he was taken off to support the attack and then we kind of bubbled the puck a little bit he just kind of slowed down and cut back to the middle and the puck came loose and he just pounced on it. To me that’s a great read and reaction kind of a situation. I thought that was a great play on his part. He’s a player right now—I talk about confidence, even defensively he’s a lot more physical and he’s standing up to people a lot better than he used to in the past. I guess I put that in the confidence category as well.

On drawing connections to Hamilton’s situation from your personal experiences as a defenseman…
Well I guess it’s like, a lot of players that come in the league, and a young player like him, for example, coming into our lineup as a 19 year old or 20 year old and seeing Jarome Iginla who you probably been watching as a kid. You’re talking about quite a few years. Jarome was probably in the Olympics when Dougie [Hamilton] was a ten year old or something like that. So, you look up to these guys and it could be Zdeno [Chara] who was his partner and a defenseman and your kind of in awe. Until you get over that little hump of playing against players or playing with players that you’ve idolized growing up, it does make a difference. We’ve all been through it. Now I think it doesn’t matter, they’re all players. It doesn’t matter on the other team whether it’s a guy you idolized, he’s an opponent and he just plays against them the way he should. That’s probably something as a 19 year old, probably was going through his head during the half season like ‘wow these are all the guys I watched playing, never dreamed of playing against.’ That certainly was probably a strange feeling for Dougie in my mind.

On Hamilton’s Elsa costume…
Couldn’t have picked a better guy for Elsa. I think I’ll end it on that guys.
View More