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Transcript from Head Coach Claude Julien on 9/18

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
BOSTON BRUINS TRAINING CAMP QUOTES

Friday, September 18 2015

BOSTON BRUINS HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN
On Brad Marchand’s performance at Training Camp…
Yeah I think he wants to, Mick, I think he wants to be a good example this year. He’s coming in with a real good attitude of thinking it’s time for him to step up and take a bigger role than before. He’s always been a pretty good guy in the dressing room as far as doing things that need to be done to win, as far as rallying the guys and that kind of stuff. But he’s taken the next step again and you know again leading by example is always a great way to do it. And you know he’s come in unbelievable shape- probably the best shape ever. And that’s not to say he wasn’t in good shape before but he’s in even better shape now. So he’s doing things or showing the things that indicates that he wants to be a real good leader and he wants to lead by example.

On if Loui Eriksson’s success last season will give him confidence to play well this year…
I think so I think what you saw last year is probably more of the Loui Eriksson that everybody’s known before. We had a tendency to maybe gauge him on his first year where he suffered two concussions and everything else, but he’s been a good player in this league there’s no doubt. There also may be a better comfort level right now, having been here for a few years. Last year you know he was a lot more comfortable than his first year, not having to deal with injuries plus getting to know his teammates, but he was better. I anticipate him to be good again this year. He’s come in again, another guy, who seems real focused in great shape and seems really happy and excited to get the season going.

On if he thinks Loui Eriksson’s comfort level is on the right side…
Not necessarily. I really think, and I’ve talked to him about that, I think he can play both sides. He’s comfortable. I mean he’s played the right side now for two years with us. He’s played that before, but he’s also played the left wing in his career and says he feels comfortable there as well. So this is probably a good thing for us because we may need to do that at some point during the season whether it’s in the beginning of it or at any time with injuries. It’s good to have a guy that can play both sides and can at least be, I would think, as efficient on both sides.

On if the change he’s made to the breakouts is the biggest change he’s made going into a season…
I don’t know if it’s the biggest change, but it is an adjustment. You know I’m not going to say change because, again I mentioned that the other day, you know you have to evolve with this game and this game changes and what happened in the past is that we had some great breakouts with the way teams forechecked. You know, the game has evolved and teams have started forechecking a little bit more aggressively with Ds [defensemen] pinching and stuff like that, so we have to make some sort of adjustments along the way. And we’re ready to do some things a little bit differently than other teams. Some may look similar to it, but we feel that getting our players moving a little bit more with the way the forecheck is will benefit us you know. Again, we talked about four-man attack, we did a good job last year especially the second half with being in the zone with the Ds being involved a little bit more so we hope to improve on that, but also more on the breakouts and the rush and make sure we have a little bit…a few more bodies on the ice here without being reckless. It’s about filling those holes and those areas where you can be an outlet for a pass so I think it’s about getting used to that. We want guys to kind of figure it out, fill those holes… it doesn’t mean that this guy always has to be there, and this guy has to be there it’s about making sure you fill those lanes and no matter who’s in front you, read of that guy and you fill the other lanes.

On what it has been like this year to not have set lines going into camp…
Well you know we’ve got 60 guys in camp so there’s no doubt there you’ve got some different combinations. Again, we try not to just load up lines and leave young players alone. I think young players need to learn and they can learn from the best sometimes from guys with experience so we’ve kind of mixed and matched and those can change too. Like there will probably be a few changes tomorrow in the groups and that kind of stuff, so you know again we’re just trying to get the groups working well and together. I thought the first two groups were really good so was the third, but that fourth line missing certainly means that you have to slow things down a little bit for that third group.

On all the different combinations of players…
Well there is and there’s also believe it or not there’s some competition for spots you know. You can say what you want and I’m going to be honest with you guys, I don’t think we’ve got anything carved in stone as far as who our 12 or 13 forwards are. There are a lot of question marks here on filling in those last spots; guys that can take over somebody else’s job, and I think that’s what’s good about this year. There’s some competition right from the get go from Training Camp.

On if he anticipates putting Loui Eriksson with Brad Marchand or Patrice Bergeron…
Possibly, I mean I’m standing here and we haven’t played a game yet with seven. So I’m probably going to move guys around and see where that fits you know. You saw today Pasta [David Pastrnak] you know with David Krejci. That’s certainly an option, but also I don’t know that Pasta [David Pastrnak] wouldn’t be a good option for Bergeron line either. So there’s a lot of things here that can happen. And you know, same thing with [Brett] Connolly who was injured, came in late. I think a lot of those kind of things will be a lot clearer for me and for everybody else once we get through those preseason games and see how they mesh and how they do actually individually as well.

On what it means for him to be with the Bruins for as long as he has been…
Well it means a lot because I want to be here, first of all. And you know, this is a great city this is a great organization and there’s a lot to be excited about being here. So you know, to still be here is great. I still feel that I’m very capable of continuing to bring the best out of this hockey club, and you know you hit a bump along the way- it doesn’t mean that everything else explodes. So again moving forward with this team this year we’ve got a lot of changes, a lot of new faces, that’re coming into our lineup and that’s exciting for everybody. So the challenge is still there and I guess the enthusiasm, as far as I’m concerned, is still there.

On how it makes him feel to hear that his players want him in Boston…
I mean you don’t want to be a popular coach, you want to be a good coach, and there’s respect that exists in that dressing room between the coaching staff and the players. I think we, all of us in that coaching staff group, has played the game at high levels. We all know sometimes what players go through and whether it’s a slump, whether it’s a tough year, whether it’s injuries, you know we’ve been pretty respectful of dealing with those kinds of things but at the same time you have got to make sure you still do your job and you have to make those hard decisions and not worry about, you know, making the popular one. You have got to make the right one. So hopefully we’ve got a group here that understands that and respects that and if that’s the case we’ve got a good relationship going.

On if there are any young guys that have stood out for him between today, Rookie Camp and captain’s practices…
Well I think you know… I think in rookie camp you saw a lot of those young guys play their first game which was obviously…they seemed a little nervous in that first game. I didn’t see that one obviously but that’s the report I got. I thought the second game they really had a good first half- they were moving the puck well. There was a lot of guys that you know on the back end, I can talk about the goaltender McIntyre who in the game I saw allowed them to go into overtime in that second half… was extremely good. Zboril, Arnesson just to name a few and there’s also some up front, some of those picks of ours, first round picks, you can see the skill and the talent. I saw them do well in that first half as well, and they kind of faded with the rest of the team so I don’t know that you point the finger at one individual or two individuals more than there was a team thing, but you can see the skill level. You can see the…and the other part too you have to remember when you’re evaluating some of those young kids is some of them are 18 and some of those rookies are 23, you know? When some of them are coming out of college you’re a little bit more experienced and a little bit more mature and so you have to kind of look at that 18 year old, “how’s he going to look when he’s 23? Is he going to be better than that 23 year old is right now?” So you have got to be patient with those guys. What I saw is, I saw a lot of talent. I saw some real good potential in a lot of our players, even in you know, I’ll use the example of Hickman who I think hadn’t played since last January because of a shoulder injury, he hadn’t played that long but he’s looking real good not just size wise but he’s making good plays he’s you know going to the net well a lot of little things he’s doing well. A guy like that is intriguing when you look at that kind of stuff so there’s a ton of stuff. I’m probably forgetting some guys because obviously [Austin] Czarnik, [Frank] Vatrano were unbelievable, you know, scoring goals you know one’s a great playmaker the other’s a great shooter. Like I said, I’d go on and on because I was pretty impressed believe it or not with that group. There was a bunch of guys there that seemed to give me, anyways, a lot of time to look and spend watching these guys grow. I think our guys, you know our scouts and our people that bring those people in, have done a good job of bringing in some good guys and not always draft picks, sometimes there’s free agents. So to say that I really liked what I saw from not only that Rookie Tournament but also summer at development camp. I was pretty impressed- [Chris] Casto on the back end, a big guy with a big shot, good mobility for his size you know. Like I said, I could go on and on, I’m sure I’m forgetting some guys but there wasn’t that many disappointments for me anyways.

On what he wants the identity of the fourth line to be…
Well you know, ideally I’d like to be able to rely on my fourth line to score some goals, but at the same time a lot of those guys from the fourth line will give you either energy or score you some goals, will either be really good defensively where they become valuable penalty killers. I think there’s a lot of different things you can look at from a fourth line and I think we’ve got the ability this year to maybe make that line a line that’s going to give us probably a little bit more firepower so we’ll see as camp goes along. And that’s why I said there’s a lot of different scenarios here, a lot of different guys battling for those last spots that by the end of Training Camp hopefully we can figure out what’s going to be the most ideal situation being with that fourth line.

On what the message to Joe Morrow was sending him back to Providence last year on what he needed to work on…
Well I think there’s a lot of good things about Joe [Morrow]. I think he’s a great skater and you know he can move up the ice well, he’s got a good shot. Again I think at times it’s about really taking some of those risky plays, and you know his strength and maybe part of his weakness are the same. He’s a real calm individual which is a strength. When a guy doesn’t panic it’s great, but sometimes you’re too calm and it gets you in trouble. So he’s got to find that fine line I think that’s going to kind of take away those situations where he’s a little too calm so. But other than that, like I said, he skates well, he shoots well, you knows he’s a good player and again, he’s one of those players who’s right now in the mix to start on our back end.

On if there are any complications with Dennis missing the start of skating at Training Camp…
Well no I think you know, Don Sweeney, kind of filled you in on that yesterday so again this is a medical situation that I’m told he’s not on the ice I don’t know exactly when he’s going to be back or… I think a lot of recovery time depends on how things go and everything else, but right now I’m just dealing with the guys that I have. But you know it’s disappointing news for us to get before Training Camp, everything seemed good and he had a little bit of a setback here but hopefully it’s shorter than long.

On if he sees Jimmy Hayes playing left and right wing…
I think so, again you know I go back to what I said earlier with those preseason games you’re probably going to get a chance to see him play on both sides. I know he played the right side last year and when I talked to him this summer he said he has played both sides and he has actually enjoyed playing the left as well. That’s where you got a guy like Loui playing on the right side that’s a left shot and right shot on the left side. Some guys enjoy that but at the same time there’s nothing wrong with moving those guys to their right sides also so again there’s a lot of things I have in my mind that might work for us. But you know, I reserve the right to keep that to myself for now because I could be totally wrong by the end of training camp. This is what you do, you try different things and then you asses them and then you make the right decision hopefully moving forward when the regular season stats.







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