Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/09/11 at 09:36 PM ET
Q. Claude, just wondering, you guys were so terrific in those two games at home, the challenge is to try to bring that ‘home game’ onto the road here in Vancouver?
COACH JULIEN: Well, I don’t think it’s necessarily bringing a home game, it’s just bringing our game. As I mentioned here, I don’t think we played extremely well in those first two games. We were okay. That wasn’t good enough against a team like Vancouver. They’re a great hockey club.
We need to play with a lot of emotion, intensity and play on our toes. That’s something that we have to certainly bring here tomorrow.
Q. Claude, when you win as emphatically as you did the last two games at home, do you need to say anything to your guys at this stage about not assuming anything?
COACH JULIEN: No, not really. But I think we’ve learnt throughout the course of the season that we don’t take anything for granted. So I think our team has responded well in regards to that. I’ve always been one of those coaches that feels this is a very humbling game. If you’re not careful and you think the other way, it can certainly be brought back down to earth pretty quickly.
Q. What have you seen has been the difference the last couple of games keeping Daniel and Henrik in check? From your perspective as a coach as a team that won, what’s more satisfying, 12 goals in two games or just one goal against?
COACH JULIEN: It could be both. We left here not being able to score that many goals in the two games that we were here. We did a great job. We take a lot of pride in our defensive game, our goals-against average has always been something we pay a lot of attention to. But the fact that we were able to do those kind of things, again our special teams have been pretty decent throughout this whole thing.
So those are things that you can certainly take pride in, but at the same time it’s starting over again. This is what we do. We park those games aside and you have to refocus on the next one.
Q. Keeping the Sedins in check?
COACH JULIEN: I think this is something guys face throughout the whole year, you play a lot of teams that have those kind of players in our conference, whether it’s the Crosbys and Malkins, of course Detroit, Zetterberg, Datsyuk, you have to be able to play against those guys in a way that you certainly have to have a whole group doing the job. I don’t think you really rely on one guy.
I know Zdeno, Seidenberg have been credited with a lot of that stuff, deservedly so. We have to rely on other guys to come back and do the job as well. It’s just about being focused on who is out there and when they’re out there be aware of it.
Q. You’ve talked so much about power-plays, skill, all that. Does this series boil down to character, which team has the most character to win it?
COACH JULIEN: I don’t know whether it’s character or not that’s going to decide the series. I just know that we have to play with a certain level of emotion, a certain level of intensity for us to be successful. That’s what our team’s been all about this year.
A lot of people don’t seem to think that we’re as highly talented as the other team, and so be it. You go out there and just play as hard as you can, minimizing the mistakes. Again, we’ve been getting some pretty decent goaltending, I would say. Those things put together certainly makes for a pretty good recipe.
Q. If you look at the box scores, the hitting is about equal, but it appears that Vancouver is paying a higher price for being hit. Do you think you’re getting to the point where you’re starting to wear them down physically?
COACH JULIEN: I don’t know if that’s the case. But I think our point is to finish our checks. I think it’s part of what we want to do in this series, slow down a team that’s extremely skilled. I think we have to bring the physical element there.
They’re a highly skilled team. They need to play with that level. We’re probably more of a physical team that has to bring that game. We’re built a little differently. It’s about bringing your game to the table.
I think our guys have done a great job in the last couple of games especially, making sure they finish their checks, then they stay involved in the play. We’ve done a good job of that.
Q. Last night you called your team a blue-collar team. Is this something the players take pride in, this work ethic?
COACH JULIEN: Well, because you say you’re blue-collar doesn’t mean you don’t have any skill or talent as well. It’s a group that comes in and works hard every day, really grinds it out. Number one, our team is pretty happy with that if that’s what we’re labeled as.
At the same time, I think the fans in Boston like that kind of a team. They’ve had those kinds of teams in the past that have had success. That’s what Boston is all about. I think it seems to please everybody in that area, including ourselves. We like the way we have to go out there and play every night and we take pride in it.
Q. In the two games in Boston when you had the last change, you could get Chara and Bergeron out against the twins, you limited them to six shots in two games. Are you confident you can do that on the road as well?
COACH JULIEN: It’s not a concern. We’ve had to do that all year long when we’ve had to play teams that have those kinds of players, we need the matchups, we work it out. Definitely it’s easier at home when you have that last change, you know who they’re putting out there.
We manage to work it out on the road. It’s not always the perfect fit, but eventually we do get what we want.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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