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Training Camp Press Conference Transcript from Head Coach Claude Julien and GM Peter Chiarelli on 9/18

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
BOSTON BRUINS TRAINING CAMP QUOTES

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

BOSTON BRUINS HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN
On Paille's absence from practice…
It’s got nothing to do with hockey. He’s going to be fine, he’ll be back tomorrow. It’s nothing related to hockey.
 
On Chad Johnson’s performance against Montreal…
He only played half a game. And you don’t write somebody off because he had an average half game; you give him a chance to prove himself. It’s easy making a quick assessment. Sometimes guys get a real good start and as camp goes on they fade, some other guys have a tough start and then they get better. This is what training camp is for; you see it all the time. And he’s going to get his chance again and I know he’s a better goaltender then what he showed the other night, the little I know about him.
 
On any players that have stood out through the first two games…
There’s no doubt, again you evaluate players in those situations but what I can tell you right now, we’ve been saying it the last two years, I like our depth. Because depth for me means that we’re going to have to make some tough decisions there at the end. There’s going to be guys that are probably be going to Providence that could easily play here it’s just that you can only keep 23 on your roster. So that kind of indicates a little bit what’s going on. I’m sure the names that you guys are waiting for me to say are the same names that you guys have in mind. You guys see enough of it so I don’t really need to get into it. There’s going to be a battle for that third line spot and those names are probably the same names you guys got in mind.
 
On Reilly Smith…
He’s the experienced guy of the group. He played 30-some games. I thought Jordan [Caron] played hard yesterday too. [Matt] Fraser as I mentioned, highly skilled. There’s a lot of guys in those situations. You look at [Nick] Johnson I thought had a real good game in Montreal so it makes it interesting, there’s some interesting choices to make down the road. We got some young guys that are trying to showcase themselves coming into this second camp. [Carter] Camper, those kind of guys. Lets be honest, we’re pretty solid in the middle; it’s going to be tough for those guys. But again, injuries happen and all kind of things happen so you can’t discount those guys and you have to give them an opportunity to get some experience here at this level. Right now, like I said we’re talking all the same names that you guys are thinking about. It’s a real good competition and choices, even [Carl] Soderberg and [Chris] Kelly they’re both centermen, so somebody, if they stick around, is going to have to play on the wing. So we have to make that decision where we think we’re going to be best suited. So those are also some things that we’ll have to look at here in the next week or so.
 
On if Reilly Smith fits well with the Bruins…
Yeah I think he’s got some grit in his game; he’s got some jam. He made a couple of good plays yesterday. Again, we talked about [Loui] Eriksson, I thought that Eriksson and [Brad] Marchand, for me yesterday, was hard to assess because Bergy [Patrice Bergeron] makes a big difference on that line. They didn’t have that Bergy presence out there and I thought Marchy was a little bit all over the place but when Bergy’s out there, he probably sells him into playing his position, and I don’t know if he was trying to compensate. Then you get to those guys like Reilly [Smith] and [Chris] Kelly, I thought Kelly was really good yesterday as far as I watched him play; he played a real solid game. And with Smith on that line it made a real good combination of two guys there that seemed to have some jam and were able to make things happen at both ends. Reilly is a solid player, he played most of the year last year in Dallas.  He’s a guy right now that I don’t consider him a dark horse, I think he’s one of the guys that you have to consider in the running
 
On veteran presence for the preseason games…
When you look at our list of veterans there’s not a ton of them. For the most part we have to have at least 8. I think tomorrow, we may have 10 tomorrow. Just off the top of my head I think we might have 10 in the lineup, so it’s going to be again assessing a lot of other players.
 
On Gregory Campbell and his progress towards playing…
We’ve talked. He’s coming along well. I’ve said it to you guys before; he and Bergy will both be playing preseason games. There’s a chance that Gregory [Campbell] will play tomorrow; there is a chance. That decision will be, when I say made, it’s just that we have to make sure that he is ready and I always double check with the medical staff and it’s a preseason game so if he’s going to go in it’s because he’s ready to go.
 
On a chance for Bergeron to play tomorrow…
Probably not. And that’s not because he’s not ready, we’re looking at different people. But I think for him, he needs a little bit more time. I think he’s close. If not tomorrow, which I doubt, there’s a chance maybe the next game in Detroit he could be ready starting then. Those aren’t carved in stone, those are things that I anticipate; it could change.
 
On announcing cuts from the team…
That’s going to be later, I think Pete’s [Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli] going to announce those things. I’ll let him talk to the players and make it official here.
 
On if he talks to the players who will be cut…
I’ve never spoke to players in training camp, there’s too many players and there’s too many things I have to do. Upper management takes care of that. As we get near the end though, the last few cuts there as we get closer, I do because there’s a good chance you’re going to see those guys back here with us. But right now time is of essence for me to get teams ready and practice squads and practices together and all that stuff so they take care of that stuff.
 
On Torey Krug’s work on the powerplay and how it helps the powerplay as a whole…
And we used him last year, right, in the playoffs when he did come in. He’s got good mobility, he sees the ice well and he finds his players pretty good and he shoots the puck well too. He’s certainly one of those guys that I think is going to improve our power play this year and also when you look at him, the way he moves, and also David I think is making some real good decisions from back there. Not only that, he’s shooting pucks a little bit more so far this year and what can you say, to me, one of the issues I thought we had last year is that that right hand shot couldn’t get a one-timer away. We tried [Tyler] Seguin, it was [Rich] Peverley, using Bergeron stuff like that. We’ve got a guy who can really shoot the puck kind of the way a guy like [Steven] Stamkos shoots it. So I think that helped to have Iggy [Jarome Iginla] there that can take a really good one timer, he’s got a great shot so again that’s another step in the right direction for our powerplay.
 
On Loui Eriksson and his attention to detail…
It’s good. And again when I say it’s hard to assess, like I said I thought Marchy was all over the ice yesterday trying to do a lot and so sometimes that throws your linemates off too. But what I liked about is that, like you said attention to detail. He comes back in his own end he knows where he has to go he knows what he has to do. Has the puck under pressure. So he made some good plays and that line is only going to get better once they get the chemistry and when they get a guy like Bergy up the middle with those guys. But I didn’t mind his game I think I saw the things that I needed to see. But at the same time the guys that were there will attest to that the ice was really really in poor condition and it really took away any kind of flow you wanted to get into the game for both teams. It was a lot tougher to assess players yesterday because of that. It was just kind of get rid of the puck because they were bouncing and just to get it out so you didn’t get yourself in trouble. So we weren’t able to make as many plays as we normally would and that was the same thing for Washington. They had some good skill in their lineup but, same thing, they couldn’t do too much because the ice condition. So it was unfortunate that way that it made it tougher but we were still able to evaluate our players for some of those things that you just talked about.
 
On Carl Soderberg…
We saw that last year, he’s really good at protecting the puck. He’s a big body, he’s a big player. He’s lost some weight this year but he hasn’t gotten weaker he’s gotten stronger. So I think right now he’s a guy that does a really good job along the walls, protects the puck. So we can all kind of predict or make our assessments saying he’ll probably end up on the wing and I’m not saying he’s not, there’s a chance he will. But that decision will be made later on. Because we know Kelly can play the wing too we just have to have a look at those guys a little bit more and make sure we’re making the right decision when it comes time.
 
On Soderberg’s potential for the powerplay…
Well there’s that. I think once we kind of get our whole team together you might see him in a bit of a different spot with the two power plays that we anticipate. But that’s one thing, goal line, he can be really good at taking pucks to the net he can also be a good big net front presence but he can also make plays from down low as well. He’s a pretty good playmaker. That’s the one thing that he can do and he’s not afraid to go to the front of the net either.
 
On the Alternate Captain spots available after Andrew Ference left…
I’ll divulge that at some point. What we’re going to end up doing is, obviously Bergy is always our “A” but we alternate with Kells [Chris Kelly] and [Andrew] Ference, Kells will alternate with somebody else this year. We’ve got too many leaders and I think it’s important that we move it around or spread it out a little bit more so somebody else will step into Ference’s spot.

BOSTON BRUINS GENERAL MANAGER PETER CHIARELLI
On his impressions from training camp and these last couple of weeks…
The first three or four days, not to play in the first three or four days I think we should’ve had a game. I’m glad we didn’t but I think our execution has been really good, our speed has been really good, I don’t know I think Claude [Julien] has said this but, it’s been the best since I’ve been here, you can see that in our tempo and of course the four days of preparation, the execution so I thought that showed itself in the Montreal game last night. Tough to judge, the ice wasn’t great but there were some notable performances but in general, execution and tempo have been real good and that’s a function of testing and that four days of preparation, so I’m happy with where we are right now.

On the influx of players to be contributions in training camp and who stands out…
Well at the risk of excluding someone you’ve got, last night you’ve got [Niklas] Svedberg he played very well. I think you’ve seen the other night in Montreal, you’ve seen [Torey] Krug and [Matt] Bartkowski play very well. I like what I see of, as far as newcomers, Reilly Smith. I thought he was, he made some nifty plays, I liked his battle and he’s a smart headed player. You know you’ve got other that have been playing well and I put the newcomers in a bunch. They’ve all tested well too so. Two games in we’ve seen kind of split squads so I’d like to see how these new guys play with a fuller squad and we’ll see that the next few games.

On Reilly Smith potentially being added to the roster…
We’ll as I’ve said he’s very smart. He makes good plays in small spaces. He’s got a real good shot. Still, for me I’m still evaluating, I haven’t seen a lot of him, I saw him a couple times in college, I hadn’t seen him live in Dallas, our guys scouted Dallas quite closely last year. Very good stick, so on the wrong side he, picks pucks really well without bobbling; very good on the wall. So he’s not the biggest guy but I think he plays with an edge so he’s got a lot of the things that we like, so we’ll have to look at him more closely but he’s caught my eye a little bit.

On Reilly Smith as a two-way player…
Well, it’s good they accept that role. Hey, listen I know what you meant. He’s, so, he’s good on the wall defensively which is important for wingers, especially an off-shot winger.  You can see him make those – protect that puck well – he makes those plays to get pucks out when often times guys try to go back. He’s got a mature game on the wall so that’s part of the two-way component that’s important. He’s, for his size he’s strong on the puck. So those, and he’s smart, so those plays, he made a couple of plays last night in the offensive zone where he had to, he was kind of like stick handling in a phone booth then he got a nice pass through, a misdirection pass through and it takes sense and feel to make those passes but he makes play too on the defensive wall so those are just as important as the offensive plays.

On comparing Dougie Hamilton and Zach Ttrotman?
He’s, so the other D [defense], if you’re trying—we’re evaluating everybody, I thought [Kevan] Miller’s been strong too. [Zach] Trotman had a real good rookie camp and he got, I thought he had a good game the other night, he got lost a little bit in the middle parts of the game. So I mean, we’re going to continue to evaluate both those guys, you know the other D man too, but Trotman and Miller for me have stood out in the newcomer category also. As far as those D that played last year for us, no spot is guaranteed but their body of work is greater than these other two so I would have them ahead.

On Dougie Hamilton playing AHL or playing NHL…
My goal is to have him in the NHL.

On Carl Soderberg standing out in camp…
He has. He, when he came over here in the summer or not the summer, the end of the spring, it was practically summer, he hadn’t played for a while and he came over and we threw him right into the fire and his conditioning was off. He just hadn’t played. His conditioning was off. So he’s come in to camp this year and he’s in terrific condition. He’s got a couple of quicker steps, first few steps. He’s bailed around D a few times, taken the puck to the net so he’s shown me some stuff that I’ve seen before in him and that I would expect to see from him, certainly he’s not a rookie so to speak as far as age and his game the other night I thought was, I mean he felt his way a little bit but I think he’s real good on recoveries and the power play. He’s a heavy player in recovering the puck so I like a lot about his game. I hope that we can slot him in there whether it’s center or wing but it’s still to be determined.

On if there is a preference to having Carl Soderberg or Chris Kelly play off the Bruins if one of them had to…
Well not right now. I think what I’ve seen in Carl is that he can really shoot the puck so just from that perspective, maybe right now he’s the guy we collectively see on the wing. I see the way that he’s beaten D in practice going wide, big, strong on the puck. That’s, for me, a prototypical winger trait. So he’s got the power forward traits to his game so, we’ll see how these next games progress with him.

On the age and experience of Nick Johnson making him a different type of acquisition and what attracted Peter Chiarelli to him…
He had a good game the other night I think. First thing for me would be his size and he’s a smart player, an efficient player and skating. So he had, we’ve got to be careful not to judge a player in these circumstances after just on game but he showed me the skating part of that game too so he’s in the mix, definitely in the mix. I think the common denominator is kind of hockey IQ, when you hear me talking about all these guys, that applies to him too.

On if Torey Krug, Dougie Hamilton and Matt Bartkowski know not any spot is guaranteed…
Yeah I would think so, knowing those three guys. We don’t have to spell that out for them that there’s – I spoke openly to the group about competition. I’m really looking forward to seeing the competition at all levels, at all positions. Obviously there are guys that are fixed in their position but when you look at those three D and you look at the players, the D that have been there, there’s really three D for two spots. So, I guess that doesn’t rule out other D-men that may be the seven but common sense would dictate right now that it would be those three guys for those two spots. And they have embraced it and they’ve played well. I thought Dougie [Hamilton] had a good game last night, he was strong on the puck and made some good plays and closed well as the game progressed. The other two, Torey [Krug] and Bart [Matt Bartkowski] the other night in Montreal, they both played well.

On being alarmed about Chad Johnson’s performance in goal…
Well, he didn’t see many shots. The first shot obviously he’d like to have back. I can’t remember who shot it but it was kind of a dribbler, spit out the rebound. So he’s going to get a game, so we’ll see him in full. So, what was it shocked? Alarmed, okay. No I wasn’t alarmed. It is an important position, no you’re right, you’re right. There’s another spot that’s open for competition and we’ve seen Chad [Johnson] play better. He only had, I think, eight shots. But still, three goals, eight shots. I don’t fault him for the [P.K.] Subban shot. The other one, you know, who was it [Max] Pacioretty? Five hole? In the five hole behind the D? He didn’t get a lot of help on that one either. But he’s got to be better.

On how beneficial it was to see all the players…
Well I think from that size perspective, we started our camp, it was probably on the lower size across the league. A lot of teams I think were in to the 50s. While they may have made cuts earlier, they still didn’t get down to where we were. The games, the first couple games allowed us to see some of those players that maybe we wouldn’t have if we had games starting a little later on or if they were more spaced. So it’s a bit of a development piece too, to have those players get into games. And there may be a couple guys that won’t get in to games that we’ll end up having to cut and it would have been nice to get them into games. But they’ll be the younger guys. So these games, the early games, they're evaluation but also there’s a bit of a development piece to them.

On if there will be cuts today…
Yeah, there will be some cuts a little later on.

On how Danny Paille is…
Yeah, he was just feeling really ill, he will be back tomorrow.

On what is expected from Brad Marchand this year…
Well I would expect more of the same. You always hear me talk about maturing with Brad [Marchand] and finding a balance and that still applies but that is one of our top six forwards and he scores timely goals, he scores a lot of goals and I would expect that to continue. I would hope that he would never lose the ice to his game, I don’t think he will. One of my themes going in to this year because of the turnover, was five players really, that some of these players now, it’s time to inherit some of the leadership. That doesn’t mean that you have to have a letter, it doesn’t mean that you're in the leadership group, it just means that it’s time to saddle up a little bit more. I would say Brad would be one of those guys and I think he is willing and looking forward to taking that on.

On if it helps that he is separated from Tyler Seguin…
You’re not the first person that has asked me that, Matt asked me that too. No, you know what, he’s just growing up. Again, I can’t believe we’re talking about Tyler [Seguin] here but Tyler will grow up too and is growing up so just different grades.

On the first two lines …
So obviously Krech’s [David Krejci] line was really good the other night and I had seen that chemistry coming around in practice but they had the puck on a string there for a while. So that was nice to see and it was nice to see Jarome [Iginla] dying for that one timer. Like he wanted to be in that one time position. And then each of the guys were looking for each other all the time so that was nice to see. Bergy’s [Patrice Bergeron] line, Bergy didn’t play last night obviously but they're the same way a little bit. Different personnel but they’re looking for each other and sometimes that gets to become over passing. But it’s a good thing to start off with chemistry and Loui’s [Loui Eriksson], I mean you’ve seen him now in enough practices, you see how he takes care of details with and without the puck, he’s a good fit for that line.

On the seamless transition for Jarome Iginla going into the Nathan Horton spot…
Yeah well I saw the seamless – they're both shooters first so I think that’s probably what he was alluding to and I’ve seen that. Size and they play with an element of physicality so there’s a lot of similarities in their game and it’s when you have players like Krech and Looch [Milan Lucic] and what they bring, Krech with really looking for openings and looking to find the shooter whether it’s to Milan or Jarome and Looch of course with a power game that clears a lot of space. It’s fun to play on that line and I’ve seen Jarome in practice, and in that game, having fun. It’s still early but it looks to be a good combination now and not surprising as I said because there’s a lot of similarities between Jarome and Nathan [Horton] as far as play.

On the level of concern for injuries in the last game…
Not a high level. The ice was soft, a little bit soft. When you go to those off site games, you always have stuff like that. So it was certainly something that we would anticipate and I think it was a good thing what Washington did with that end of their market and we went in there. We weren’t trying to get out unscathed but the ice was a little soft.
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