Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 05/27/11 at 01:47 PM ET
COACH CLAUDE JULIEN
Q. You’ve been in Game 7s before but not at this stage with these kind of stakes. Do you have to do anything to talk to your guys about emotions and keeping everything in check and under control?
COACH JULIEN: I think Game 7 is Game 7 whether it’s first or third round. There’s an opportunity here to move on to the next round. That to me is what Game 7 represents, no matter where you are in the Playoffs.
Our guys just have to enjoy this whole process here. As I mentioned yesterday, there’s 27 teams right now that would love to have the opportunity that we have in the Playoffs right now. This is one of those days where I think if you don’t enjoy the moment, you’re wasting a pretty precious day. And you take advantage of it today, you get ready, you get excited about it. You come out tonight and you leave it all out on the ice. Simple as that. Anything less than that, it’s a waste of a day.
Q. What do you take from Game 6 and springboard into Game 7 and work on to get this victory?
COACH JULIEN: We spend a lot of time on our end and we’re a determined group. We are going to need more of that. Everybody knows we’re a team that can do better than 20 shots a game, and we need to improve in that area as well. Special teams played a big role in last game, and special teams have to be better, both power play and P.K.
Q. So much has been made of the power play. At what point do you get concerned that the mental aspect starts creeping into the performance on the ice, specifically with the power play?
COACH JULIEN: Well, you can’t let it mentally get to you. I think you’ve got to have some resilience, you have to have some determination. That’s what we’re pushing our guys to be. And last game, one out of five is 20 percent, you know?
And I think 20 percent is usually pretty good. But when the other team is three for four, certainly overshadows that.
The other part is, for example, the first power play we spent almost a whole two minutes in their end. There’s positives to take from it that we didn’t create any shots.
You’ve got to make some adjustments on your power play. I don’t think it’s one of those situations where you got panicked and you’ve got to stay positive and you’ve got to find solutions. That’s what we’re doing.
Q. Speaking of the power play, you have Chara in front of the net now. Seems like to be a pretty big advantage to have the biggest guy in front of the net. What kind of advantage does that involve, that strategy?
COACH JULIEN: Well, it’s only an advantage if we get pucks to the net. That’s the bottom line here. If you are going to put him in front, you might as well get some pucks to the net and find ways to do that. So that’s part of our process is to move the puck around and create some shots.
Q. Have you done something to maybe convince Krejci to shoot the puck a little bit more, or is that something he’s figured out? And also when he does shoot, what kind of impact that can have as far as opening things up for other guys on his line, guys on the ice, if he’ll shoot.
COACH JULIEN: I think that’s something that we’ve been encouraging him to do all year. David, in his mind, is a pass-first kind of player. He always looks to pass first and foremost. We’ve encouraged him to shoot more because there’s times where he’s in real good shooting position.
And Marc Savard was the same way. Marc had a real good shot, and a lot of times he’d look to pass instead of shooting. That’s a natural thing that those guys normally do. From the Adam Oates back in the day, there are guys the guys that, that’s the strength of their game. So you don’t want them to lose that strength, but you also want them to be able to make the difference between: Am I in a good shooting or scoring area here where I should take the shot versus passing.
Q. Your top D here, Chara, Seidenberg, obviously big-minutes men for you. Especially given the fact you have last change, would you rely on them even more in a game like this than you would ordinarily?
COACH JULIEN: I think it makes it easier for line changes. That’s the one thing, you’re able to get your matchups easier than you would on the road. And on the road sometimes you’ve got to change on the fly. And sometimes you’re safer on the road than not.
So they have a tendency sometimes to play even more on the road than they do at home because you don’t take any chances. At home, obviously with a lot of teams, you see who they put out there, and you determine whether to put those guys or not.
Q. How would you describe the way Johnny Boychuk has been playing the last few games here?
COACH JULIEN: Again, this is Game 7. Sorry not to answer your question, but this is not a day or time for me to question. And I know why, my players, and I’m going to abstain from doing that today because I think our team needs to be positive and we believe in everybody on our hockey club, so we’re going to stick with that motto for today.
Q. Kaberle had pretty significant ice time last game versus earlier in the series and gives you two assists. What would you like—what did you like from that game that maybe he can carry over into tonight?
COACH JULIEN: I think that’s somebody that you can talk about positively, and certainly one of those guys that I think last game played pretty good. I liked his game. He moved the puck well. He was in there. He created some opportunities for us.
And the only thing you’ve always heard about Tomas is that you like to see him shoot puck more. There’s times on the power play where if he has that shooting lane like we said with Zdeno in front, you have got to shoot. Doesn’t have to be a big shot. Can be a wrist shot. Can be anything.
But the rest of the game, I thought he moved the puck well. I thought he iced well. He made some good decisions in our own end. He did a great job.
So I know there’s been a tendency to be hard on this guy at times, but I would say three out of the last four games, he’s been a real good player for us.
Q. How much are you looking forward to, you talked about the opportunity, but the atmosphere in this building tonight and also the fans throughout this Game 7?
COACH JULIEN: Again, this is the opportunity that we have to play in front of our own fans. And when you have the choice of saying would you rather be in Tampa or at home, I think it’s pretty obvious which one we’ll pick.
And this is what you fight for all season long, home ice advantage in the Playoffs. And this is the opportunity that’s given to us. It worked for us in our favor against Montreal, and we plan on making it work again in our favor today.
Q. First of all, are there any lineup changes planned, and in a game of this magnitude, how tough is that decision-making process and deciding who is in and informing the guys who won’t be in?
COACH JULIEN: It is. Everybody wants to play at this stage of the season. All I can say is give you the same answer I’ve given every other time. We’ll have 23 guys out there tonight, and you’ll have to wait until game time.
COACH GUY BOUCHER
Q. Sean Bergenheim looked a little bit better out there - at least to us - this morning. How optimistic are you that he’ll be available for you in Game 7 tonight?
COACH BOUCHER: I wouldn’t say optimistic for now. It’s better. He might try the warm-up. We’ll see. I’ve still got to talk to my therapists and doctors. There’s been some improvement. So to what extent, we’ll have to wait and see, but doubtful.
Q. Guy, with what’s at stake tonight? Game 7 is one thing in the first round. Do the emotions become a little bit harder to control and deal with considering what’s at stake in a Game 7 tonight?
COACH BOUCHER: Well, to say no would be a lie. But I think that’s the challenge is to be able to control these emotions. And we didn’t want our players or ourselves playing the game last night or this morning or this afternoon. It’s our job to make sure that we stay focused on what we’ve got to do, not the hype of everything else that this game means. And we feel that we can be better than the last game, definitely.
We’ve done some good things. We want to keep those, but I think we need to focus on what we need to improve for tonight.
Q. Back to Bergenheim for just a second. What has his absence maybe caused you to do in terms of maybe some slight of hand, kind of masking his absence, making up for it?
COACH BOUCHER: Well, obviously you want to think of your own team. But at the same time, when you look at the Bruins’ depth, it does make a difference because instead of equalizing things, it has a tendency to give them a little upper hand on that, because they’ve got Seguin on their third line and Ryder. And Kelly is doing really well. And they’ve got Peverley on the fourth line. First-line guy from another team on their fourth line, and that’s where Bergenheim became extremely important for us in the previous series and this series where the line with Downie and Moore played like a first line.
So right now, we’re trying to find chemistry with some other guys. I tried things two games ago. I tried things the last game. Some of it worked, some of it didn’t work.
It makes me juggle a little bit to try to find some chemistry that is absolutely crucial in any of these playoff games.
Q. Speaking of finding that chemistry on that line, Blair Jones has stepped in there a little bit. What have you thought of what he’s shown you in these Playoffs, because seems there’s been a lot of improvement over the course of the season?
COACH BOUCHER: What I like about Blair right now, is what’s different than before, is when we brought him up, he was good the first game. Pretty good the second game. Then they would kind of fade away a bit.
I think the last times we brought him up, he maintained his level of play. And so that’s what I find really interesting right now. He’s working so hard. He’s a warrior. We knew that. But I think he’s maintaining the level of play that we’re expecting out of him. And he’s brought a lot of grit.
We knew he had that. He’s one of those guys that’s got enough skill, but has got a lot of grit, pays the price, backchecks extremely hard and finishes his check and is first on puck. So I think that’s a great recipe to have a good playoff.
So I think for him, what I like about this player is that he likes the challenges. He’s on the bench and he’s looking at me with those eyes: Put me out, I’ll do the job. It’s always fun to have those guys.
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