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Running quotes from Bruins vs. Capitals on 3/6

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
BOSTON BRUINS POSTGAME QUOTES

BOSTON BRUINS VS WASHINGTON CAPITALS
Thursday, March 6, 2014

BRUINS HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE AT 10:00PM
On the improvement of the Bruins’ defense over the last several games…
It was good. You know, I really felt that, you know, our guys, our whole team really played well without the puck. I thought we skated well, I liked our pace this morning in the skate, so it was important for us to bring that tonight. And when, you know, you take away their time and space the way we did tonight, it makes us a much better team, and I thought we did a great job of getting on them quickly and not giving them opportunities to make too many plays.

On the improved play of forward Loui Eriksson…
Well, I think if you’re asking, it’s because we’re seeing it, right? I think we’re all seeing the same thing. He’s been a pretty good player, and again, I don’t know how many times I’ve said it, but you know, he’s had, we had to give him that opportunity to find his game after going through those two serious concussions and that really set him back. But I think we’re starting to see the smart player that we all talked about at the beginning of the year, both ways. You know, he makes smart plays and he also defends well. He’s, he’s been a really god player, and you know, I just saw him starting to find his game before the Olympic break. I saw him play well at the Olympics, and it’s followed up here since he’s been back.

On the Bruins’ defensive effort tonight…
Yeah, no, I think our guys did a great job of pinning them in. I think our forecheck was really good again tonight. You know, we had, we wanted our guys to be a little bit more physical on the forecheck and finish their checks on these guys. They played last night, they’re a little young back there, so it was important for us to get on them physically and make them throw pucks away, and guys did a great job. I think our D’s were reading those plays well also and pinching at the right time, but we got some better support from our forwards when our D pinched tonight than we did in the past games.

On the play of forward Gregory Campbell…
Well, they’re just, they’re more in sync. You know, I think when you watch them play now, they were a little erratic there at some points, and you know, because of that, they were getting — you know, spending more time in their own end than they did at the other end of the ice. I think, you know, Soupy [Gregory Campbell] has been playing with a lot of confidence right now. He’s skating well, even on face-offs, he’s been pretty good. You know, and again, all his goals have been from him driving the net, so I think he’s done a good job there, and he’s been rewarded with some goals.

On the play of defenseman Matt Bartkowski…
Well, he was really good tonight, you know, if you ask me, but I think that’s what goes back to what I said this morning. You know, having those guys come in — we’ve got eight D’s now, and now it becomes a competition from within our dressing room, and the six best will be in the lineup. And right now, that’s what you’ve got, and I think it’s a healthy thing to have on a hockey club, and that’s what we’ve created right now. You know, when you talk about his game tonight, I thought he was really good. He was physical, he was strong, he was moving the puck well and he skated well, so that kind of play will certainly keep him in the lineup.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD LOUI ERIKSSON
On if it was good to be back after his one game break from injury…
Yeah it was a good rest. Now I felt good, the heel was fine and it as a good game so it felt nice to be back.

On his goal…
Yeah, it was a good play from the beginning. I won the faceoff and I think everyone touched the puck there and Carl [Soderberg] made a great pass.

On if this was the best all-around effort since the Olympic break…
Yeah, I thought we played really good in all three zones and for 60 minutes too. We still battled hard and we outworked them today so a great team effort.

On what he tries to do when he gets the puck in that close…
I just had some time so I was trying to hit it up and it was nice to see it went in.

On his line…
Yeah, we’ve been feeling good the last couple games. We’ve been playing good I think, we had some really good chances the whole game. So we just have to keep doing that and we will score more goals if we do that.

On where his comfort level is…
Yeah, like I said, I’m feeling good and I’m making more plays I feel like and I’m more comfortable out there. So have to just keep doing that I think and I will be fine.

On how much the chemistry with his linemates help his confidence…
No, it’s been good. Kells [Chris Kelly] is a really good two way player. He can play in both ends and he can take faceoffs and everything. And Carl [Soderberg] is just a big guy with a lot of good stuff he can bring to the game and it’s been good so far so we just have to keep doing it.

On if luck is more on his side…
Yeah, exactly. It’s been kind of unlucky this season but right now it’s nice to be back again and playing. So it’s good.

On the teams overall play…
Yeah, especially today I thought we were handling the puck really well. We dumped the puck in good in the corners and we got it back, we got everyone involved and we just have to keep doing that and if we’re going to play like that, we’ll win more games. So we just have to keep doing it.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD GREGORY CAMPBELL
On the progression of the third line…
We’re doing a lot better, we’re working hard and trying to work off of each other. Our three lines have been playing really well and contribute on a nightly basis and everybody knows that all four lines producing in the playoffs is a good recipe. So it comes to the point where we want to get to.

On more shifts and more minutes for the third line…
Well, the coaching staff and Claude [Julien] are always fair to us. The harder we work, we tend to get rewarded more with ice time and the more responsible we are, the more confidence he has in us as a line. He has no problem playing us if we’re playing well and he can trust us. So we’re trying to gain that trust from the coaching staff and we’ve done it time and time again. I think that we’re getting back to that point where we can be out there and contribute.

On when during the shift his goal came…
It was kind of mid shift. Bergy [Patrice Bergeron] took the draw and we got it out right away so I just ended up staying out there so it was kind of the middle of the shift.

On if he has a technique to a tip in…
It depends. Sometimes it happens to fast you just want to get a stick on it. Sometimes the puck is three, four feet off the ice it’s imperative to get the puck down. It’s really hard to tip it up, you’ll tip it over the net. If the puck is on the ice the opposite is true. So something that – you know, my goals are not pretty a lot of the times, I try to work in front of the net, get my stick on pucks and that’s where I score some goals.

On if he would consider this one of the best performances since the break…
I would, that’s a pretty talented offensive team. We held them to 13, 14 shots and not only that but we were pretty responsible defensively. We were turning pucks over with hard work coming back and their D like to join. So we were really conscious of having really good back-pressure, so that’s where we want to get to. Our offensive output has been really good lately but it’s our defensive game that we’re trying to clean up. I mean, it’s a strength of ours, that’s why we win most games so that was a good showing tonight.

BOSTON BRUINS GOALTENDER TUUKKA RASK
On playing well defensively…
Today it was the best in a long time. To keep them to 15 shots and not too many scoring chances. So we had layers all over the ice, and defended the middle really good, and backchecked hard, and had all the elements we want. So it was great to see that.

On whether he was hoping the defense would step up…
Well yeah, goalies especially, you always want to play good defensively, right? We’ve kind of slipped from that a little bit, but I think guys were sharp mentally today – that’s all it is, it’s just mental errors and not doing the things you’re supposed to do. So today we fixed that and everybody feels good about it.

On preventing Washington from going on the power play…
It helps. You’re kind of afraid of those guys when they get a power play because they’ve got so much firepower and they are so disciplined. But we didn’t give them any and it’s great to see that.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD PATRICE BERGERON
On this being a good game by the Bruins since the break…
Yeah, for sure, I think it was. We played for the full 60, we played through our system, our whole back pressure was great, we didn’t give them too many odd man rushes. And we played well, we played tight and just respected our system. When we do that, good things happen.

On if the Bruins took full advantage of the Capitals back to back…
Yeah, I think so too. We jumped on them early, we had some good legs tonight, we were first on pucks. We knew that they played last night. After the second we talked about that they were in that same situation last night and they came back. So we had to keep pushing, keep forcing and I thought we had a great third as well.

On if this was the best group effort since the Olympic break…
Yeah, for sure, it was. I thought the last few games have been a step forward and tonight was even more so. I thought it was a great effort from everyone and it was a full 60 minutes. That’s what you need.

On what it means when the defense plays the way they played tonight…
Yeah, they were great. It creates a lot of chances for us offensively as well. You know, we’re don’t spend too much time in our zone and we’re right back on the attack and that makes a huge difference.

BOSTON BRUINS DEFENSEMAN ZDENO CHARA
On securing the win with the last goal...
We were able to score one more goal, basically an empty netter, but we forced them to pull their goalie. So, very strong effort I think that they obviously struggled. Kind of a weird game with no power plays for both ends. So, we were playing basically five-on-five hockey.

On not allowing Washington to gain momentum...
Like you said, it’s something that you have to be very careful of, especially when it’s a 2-0 game. That one goal can put them on, feed them and give them energy and we didn’t want to do that. It’s just kind of a fine line that you have to still play a strong game defensively and at the same time, know that they’re kind of one goal away from being back in the game. It was a good effort and we battled hard. We stayed disciplined.

On Loui Eriksson’s improvements since the Olympic break...
I think he’s getting better and better. It’s been, for sure, not an easy year for him with injuries. But when you’re kind of coming and going out of the lineup it’s tough to get that feeling and you’re game back. I think the Olympics probably helped him to gain his confidence and play-making capabilities. Now he’s getting better and better so for sure it’s something that we like to see. I’m sure he’s going to be getting better and better.

On adjusting their game after losing the game to Washington on Saturday...
Well don’t forget the last time we played them they got two power play goals. I don’t think it was just their speed; basically we were behind right away. But them scoring those quick power-play goals, it was a different game. Like I said tonight, without power plays, we played strong five-on-five hockey.

WASHINGTON CAPITALS HEAD COACH ADAM OATES
On how he tries to spark the team in a game like this…
It was obviously a tough game, back to back, they were waiting, second time in five days here and we beat them last time, and they are a very stingy defensive team.  It was 0-0 after the first, Holts [Braden Holtby] gave us a chance, we made a mistake on the first goal but we started the third period and you know what if Ovi [Alex Ovechkin] scores that one it’s a ballgame.  When you approach this team, and we have talked about it a lot, you have to be willing to win a game 1-0 and it was 2-0 with two minutes to go so you’re still in the game.  I know we didn’t get enough shots but after the first period, most of their chances were perimeter.  We were a little tired and we just needed that one spark and we didn’t get it.

On if the team was doing enough to get out of their own zone tonight
It was tough sledding tonight no question.  We weren’t clean, we had some tired guys, a couple sick guys, they are very good in the neutral zone at not giving you anything and really what we did wrong was we gave it to the goalie too many times and they just picked us apart coming up ice but I think that’s just a product of fatigue.

On if he feels bad for Braden Holtby on a night like this …
Yeah because we lost the game but he played a great game so I don’t feel bad for him, he did his job.  Good for him.

On how important it is for the team to turn this thing around…
We’ll rest tomorrow, most of the guys will rest and reenergize for Saturday and try to win a game Saturday.

On what his issue is with the second Bruins goal…
A little bit of the down-low coverage.

On what his assessment is of some of the younger guys defensively tonight…
I thought Brownie [Chris Brown] and Schills [Cameron Schilling] for their first game in did a pretty good job.  You know it’s hard, it’s a hard environment, you are stepping up levels of hockey, playing against a really good team.  I thought they did okay.

On changing up the lines in the second period…
Just looking for something.  I thought we had tired guys, just looking for a spark and maybe it would affect his match up [Claude Julien] and see if something generated from it.  Obviously it didn’t.

On if the inability of Ovechkin’s line to exit the zone was the product of the Bruins or the line itself…
Both.

WASHINGTON CAPITALS DEFENSEMAN KARL ALZNER
On where the team goes from here after recording only 16 shots…
Up.  You can’t get much lower than that I guess. That’s pretty bad when you’re only manufacturing eight shots in two periods.  That’s how many you should get each period at least.  So we are very frustrated with that.  The killer instinct isn’t there right now and it needs to be there because we are running out of time.  A lot of us are pretty frustrated and there is no one else to be frustrated at but ourselves and each individual needs to play better and play harder, not enough of the guys are doing it.

On if the team executed enough to get out of their own zone tonight
At times yeah, they are going to have their moments of course and they did.  We got out occasionally but we didn’t do anything with it.  We didn’t have the greatest dumps, the fore check wasn’t the greatest, and we weren’t keeping enough pucks in.  When they hemmed us in, it made it that much worse because we didn’t get anything once we finally got out.

On if the first loss against the Flyers set the team back …
I’m not sure.  They are tough teams to play against and we knew that, all these games are going to be extremely hard.  Of course we wanted to win and we were riding a high, expecting to win I guess and we didn’t so it shuts you down a bit.  But it shouldn’t shut you down for two more games after that and that’s on us.  These guys lose a game and they come back even better, so we need to be able to do I if we want to compete.

On what you say to Braden Holtby in this situation…
He was unbelievable.  Just let him know that he played great, because he did. The game probably could have been 8-0 and he kept it to 2-0 with an empty netter.  So you have to take your hat off to him tonight.

WASHINGTON CAPITALS GOALTENDER BRADEN HOLTBY
On not getting a lot of support in his last couple games…
It’s tough because we’re in a playoff battle, obviously. It was frustrating, but it’s no more frustrating to me than it is to the other guys in the room. We want to play better. We know we can play better, and we’re going to have to start.

On the Capitals not giving themselves a chance to win…
Yeah, I mean the last half of the Philly game, we played good enough to at least have a chance to win it. But the other game and a half that we played, we haven’t. It’s a time right now that we’re going to have to find out what it is, and fix it in a hurry in order to win some games to make a playoff push.

On the Capitals needing more urgency over sixty minutes…
Yeah, I mean there has to be. It’s not even just about making the playoffs, it’s about being ready to make a push when you get there. It really doesn’t matter if you make it, you want to have a chance to win the whole thing. We have to find out how to do a better job to start outplaying some teams and winning some games.

On if he felt better tonight than last night…
Yeah. I wasn’t real happy with my game yesterday, just a couple of the goals, but at the same time you put that behind you. I felt better tonight. There’s still a couple things I’d like to do better, but that’s every game.

On if he was unhappy with anything he did on the Bruins’ first two goals…
Yeah, the second goal. The first goal, there’s not much you can do, it’s a deflection. You never really know where it’s going to go. The second one, I think the original shot to the left side would’ve went wide if I wouldn’t have kicked, and gave the rebound right to him. Then I got into a little bit of a panic mode, tried to get across for the wraparound, and they threw it in front, and the guy had some time to put it away. So, probably two things there that I’d like to do better. I don’t know if I would’ve stopped it.

On how his mindset changes when the Capitals aren’t scoring…
My mindset doesn’t change that much. You play a position that you’re a big part of the team, and in order to do that, you have to have the mentality that you want to steal a game once in a while for your team. Sooner or later, I have to do that. A goalie can’t rely on offense, you have no control over that. You control your game and what you can contribute to the team.

On Michal Neuvirth being traded to Buffalo for Jaroslav Halak…
There’s obviously mixed emotions, because I played a long time with Michael. In the minors and in the NHL, we’ve spent a lot of time together, but it’s great for him. He’s going to get an opportunity to show what he can do, because he’s an outstanding goalie, and we bring in a very good, proven goalie that can help our team. I’ve only known him for one day, but he seems like he’s a very team-oriented guy, and that’s what we need around here

WASHINGTON CAPITALS FORWARD TROY BROUWER
On why the team struggled offensively tonight…
We didn’t get enough pucks to the net and we didn’t sustain enough in the offensive zone. This is one of the teams we play that breaks the puck out and doesn’t let us get in on a good forecheck. We had some dumps that got to their goalie, and as a result they were able to get out clean and trap a few of our guys for odd man rushes. Those are things that we got to clean up.

On struggling to sustain a presence in the offensive zone…
They play very tight. They’re real good defensively and good defensive position. They don’t give you a whole lot of opportunities to create cycles, create seam passes, and find open guys. They play a little bit lower than most teams; give up point shots. Early on we were getting pucks to the point and getting point shots, but not a lot getting through. And then when they did, we were not winning those one-on-one battles to get pucks back to create second opportunities.

On the team winning one of its last four games…
In the last few games we haven’t had nearly enough shots on net. I thought our start tonight was a lot better than it was against Philly, and [Braden] Holtby was strong in net, which gave us an opportunity to win. We just got to find ways to get more pucks to the net. The last two games we’ve had eight shots through two periods, and that’s not going to win you very many hockey games. Cut down on our shots against and create more opportunities and find ways to get pucks and bodies to the net.

WASHINGTON CAPITALS FORWARD NICKLAS BACKSTROM
On what needs to change for the Capitals…
Everything I think. We don’t put on a lot of shots. We’re not getting any chances, it feels like. I think the urgency has to be a little bit better. We’ve got to start off better, too. We’ve had some slow starts two games in a row.

On how the Capitals can spark themselves with 18 games left…
You’ve got to take one game at a time. Honestly, we know it’s a tough race to a playoff spot. You’ve got to make sure you play your best hockey, and we haven’t done that so far. So we’ve got to make sure we play better, and take care of business.

On why the Capitals couldn’t sustain a forecheck or get offensive pressure…
I think maybe we put the pucks in the wrong spots, I would say. We would get in to the goalie, and he’s good with his stick, and I mean the D-men were doing a great job, too, to break them out. We’ve got to come in with a little more speed. We’re starting slowly too much, I think.

WASHINGTON CAPITALS FORWARD CHRIS BROWN
On playing his first game with the Washington Capitals…
Kind of left [Braden] Holtby out to dry a couple of times, but overall I think I had a pretty good game. It was nice to have Fehrsy [Eric Fehr], Tom [Wilson], and [Ryan] Stoa just to help me out, kind of keep me in check.  Everyone was talking to me, so I felt comfortable.

On his scoring chance early in the third period…
Yeah, I mean those ones got to be in. But it’s nice to kind of start getting some of those chances back. They got to be in but it’s got to be a better team effort.

On what’s responsible for the team’s struggle on the forecheck…
I think better dumps. I think that was something coach was kind of preaching at intermission. We got to keep the puck away from their goalie and their defense and get going.

BOSTON BRUINS HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN PREGAME PRESS CONFERENCE 11:30 AM
On if he is satisfied with what Peter Chiarelli was able to accomplish depth wise…
I don’t think I’m going to tell you the opposite, am I? Depth is depth. No, he did a good job. Again, you have to realize that you didn’t lose anybody, you know, we like our players here. So it’s just about adding some depth and that he did.

On how long it will take Andrej Meszaros to get up to speed on the Bruins system…
I don’t know, I think we’ll have to wait and see. We have some practice times and stuff like that. I don’t think it will take him that long. They just play a different type of game and every once in a while when players come in they have to adjust a little bit. So we’ve been working on some of that stuff in our practices as you saw yesterday. So I think he’ll catch on fairly quickly.

On what Andrej Meszaros brings to the team…
Well, he’s an experienced player, I think he’s proved over the years. He’s a big body as well. Offensively he supports the attack well, he’s been known to be a pretty good offensive-type defenseman. So with that big body and the way we play I’m sure he will defend well also. Again, I think it will be a matter of time to see how well he fits with us.

On if Andrej Meszaros is going tonight…
No, he’s not going tonight.

On if Loui Eriksson is playing tonight…
Yup.

On if Potter is going to travel with the team to Florida…
Yeah, Potter is due to arrive this afternoon. He was leaving Edmonton this morning so he’ll be in late this afternoon.

On if Meszaros will bring the defense back into a rotation…
We’ll have to wait and see. All this stuff happened yesterday and I haven’t sat down and made any types of scenarios. But we need to see him practice a little bit and skate with us and we’ll see. At one point you're going to see him in our line up and a lot of it will depend on players paly. All of them.

On how nice it is for the trade deadline to be over…
There is definitely a different attitude today. As you can see, guys are pretty happy. Yesterday nobody wanted to see me, every time they saw me walking around the room they’d put their heads down hoping I wouldn’t point the finger at them. But today, for some reason, they seem happy to see me so that’s, kind of, the kind of impact it has on players on trade deadline day. Especially when guys are happy, they don’t want to leave. So I think it’s pretty obvious that the guys came in today happy to still be here and be part of this group.

On if there is any need to pull a player aside now that Meszaros is here…
No, I don’t think so. When you look at where we are right now, we had no extra Ds, we were running with six Ds here now for the last little while. And sure you can call guys up from Providence but we’ve added some depth. If anything it gives us the depth that we need but also it creates that competition back there again that it’s going to go on merit. As I said earlier, you're going to play the guys that are playing the best and that’s not a bad thing for a hockey club.

On if tonight’s game will be a measuring stick for where the team is now…
I don’t know if I’ll call it a measuring stick but it’s certainly an opportunity for us to make the adjustments that ended up costing us. And some of it - I didn’t think, we were very disciplined last time we played them. For a team that has a really good power play we took too many penalties. Obviously on our penalty kill we had some assignments there that were missed and created some scoring opportunities for them and some goals. Number one, we need to be disciplined. Number two, we have to make sure that we are better in our penalty kill tonight if that is going to be the case. But we didn’t play a great game defensively, we gave them a lot of scoring chances by the end of the night and we have to tighten up. I think slowly but surely our team is finding that, I guess, that part of the game that’s been missing there for the last few.

On what Thomas Vanek does for Montreal…
I don’t know. You can’t say it doesn’t improve their team because it does. But for us it means we have to beat Montreal, not [Thomas] Vanek. I know he’s had success with Buffalo against us, I don’t think he had that same success with the Islanders and so on and so forth. So right now, for me, we made our deals and that’s what I’m looking at. I’m not so preoccupied with the other teams. But just to say, when you add [Thomas] Vanek to your team, it improves them. But he’s got to fit in as well.

On Peter Chiarelli being able to go to Zdeno Chara and ask his opinion…
As you know, times have changed, even for coaches. I act way different than how my coaches acted with me back then and that’s just the way the game is now a days. He’s a guy [Zdeno Chara] that has been around for a long time, he’s our captain, he understands what goes on in the dressing room. And when you’ve been around that long, he also knows players. He’s participated in all-star games, he’s been in a lot of different scenarios, Olympics and so on and so forth. So he’s got a pretty good knowledge about guys around the league and if not he knows somebody that does. So it’s not a bad thing to bounce things off of players. Not just Zee [Zdeno Chara] but other players at times, I do the same thing.

On the chemistry of the team…
It is and I think I’ve said that before. Our management also does a pretty good job of getting good people in. You know, they do their jobs well, they do their research. And when you bring someone in near the end of the season, it’s not someone who is going to disrupt the chemistry but it’s just going to be sliding in and fitting in well. So our guys are pretty good at making everybody feel welcome but at the same time that player has to be a player that is going to fit in. So far I think management has done a really good job of doing their homework when it comes to that.

On if the third line is an ideal type of third line right now…
Yeah, I like the way they have been playing. They’re competing hard but also you got two centermen on that line. Chris [Kelly] has been the most experienced centerman of the group so when it comes to D-zone faceoffs, a lot of the times – depending on how the game goes, there are games where Carl [Soderberg] is really good so you let him take it. If he is struggling then Chris [Kelly] will step in. But there is that, I guess that sense of comfort where you know if one guy gets kicked out, the other can take faceoffs. And they both – Chris has played both center and wing and obviously Carl has too. So whoever the first guy back is plays low and the other plays high. So I think that’s what, probably, Chris [Kelly] is talking about and that’s what we like about that line too, is that they can play either position and then fill each other’s as well.

On if that third line was a goal he was striving for…
Yeah, I think we did. At first we kind of had Carl [Soderberg] on the wing and we had Chris [Kelly] at center. But Carl has played well at center. I think we have gotten a little bit more out of Carl at center and yet Chris has played the wing extremely well. So if something was to happen I have no issues with moving those guys around but it has been a good fit so far. They are producing and every game they are getting good scoring changes. They have been a good line for us so we’re going to keep them like that as long as we can.
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