Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Alanah McGinley on 06/04/11 at 06:43 PM ET
Today’s Q&A with the Boston Bruins, beginning with coach Claude Julien.
Updated 5:08pm ET: Tyler Seguin, Tomas Kaberle, Nathan Horton and Michael Ryder added below.
(Vancouver Canucks already posted here.)
Q. Claude, can you talk about just how much video you’ve done since Game 1 and fit it into where does that stands versus what you do during the regular season? Is it all the same?
COACH JULIEN: Well, you know, it is all the same. Obviously you’re playing the same team over and over again. If anything, probably the type of video that you’re showing is a little different. During the season, you’re showing the other team’s tendencies. Here you’re making some adjustments as far as how they play.
Obviously, we don’t see them much during the season. So this is a final that requires, probably from the coaches’ end of it, a little bit more time on the video, dissecting it more than we normally would.
Q. Besides tonight being a big test, what did the extra day do for your hockey team in between games?
COACH JULIEN: Well, I think obviously it gives us more time to prepare. They’re going to say the same thing from their end of it. I know they got a few guys that are a little banged up. I think at this stage of the playoffs, both teams would welcome that extra day.
But at the same time, as I said yesterday, you like to get into a rhythm. After tonight’s game, it’s every second day. We’re looking forward to it. Maybe that extra rest will certainly bring the intensity and excitement to the rest of the playoff games.
Q. Dennis Seidenberg just joined your team not that long ago. What makes him a special player for your team?
COACH JULIEN: Well, I think he’s certainly been one of those players that you rely on heavily. He’s a player that can handle a lot of ice time. His intensity is always there. He’s one of those guys that you can utilize in all situations. Very strong individual. Whoever he plays against, certainly makes it hard on those players to gain an entrance or get to the net. His competitiveness is extremely good, very focused individual, very committed individual as well.
For a lot of people the spotlight’s always been on Zdeno Chara, and he’s gone unnoticed at times. I think lately people are realizing how good he is.
Q. Claude, wondering if you anticipate Game 2 maybe being a little bit more disciplined from both sides?
COACH JULIEN: Well, I think both teams know each other a little better after Game 1. Obviously, first games, there’s a lot of intensity, emotions are pretty high, the excitement. Sometimes you have a tendency to maybe lose control of your emotions and end up taking penalties, as you saw early in the game.
By the time the third period came around, both teams settled down a little bit. I would expect that to be something we might see in this game. Then again, we’ve predicted things and the opposite has happened.
We’ll have to wait and see. As far as I’m concerned, I think both teams understand that discipline is a big part of this game right now.
Q. We know how serious Z is about everything. I would think going up front be on the power-play would not be a sense of relief but maybe fun. Then I see he gets popped pretty good up there, too. Has he expressed that it is fun being up here, being in a different role?
COACH JULIEN: Well, I think he’s expressed to us that he certainly doesn’t mind being there. Something he’s done before. He’s been very good at it. Obviously, I liked the fact that he’s done a good job of standing up front.
Also, whenever there’s been loose pucks, he’s reacted well in getting them. When there’s loose battles in the draws, he’s in there. Even open the entries, he had the puck a couple times, made the plays.
I really like the way he’s reacted to situations. I think he’s done a great job. We’re also aware that in the course of a game, depending on how many power-plays there are, you have to be careful that you don’t overutilize him either. There might be some guys that are going to have to step in at times and do that job for the sake of giving him a little bit of a breather.
We’re going to certainly manage that as best we can and hope he continues doing the job he’s doing when he’s there.
Q. Your thoughts on the impact that Chris Kelly has had.
COACH JULIEN: He’s had a really good impact. When he first came, people were wondering what he was going to bring to our hockey club. Like anybody else, it took him a while to find his place on our team and feel comfortable. When he did, I think people realized how important this player could be for our hockey club. He’s done a really good job.
He’s put up some points on the board, he scored some big goals for us, he’s been reliable both ends of the ice. He’s been a great acquisition. I think Peter did a great job of bringing him in.
As you know, there wasn’t a ton of guys out there, centermen, that were available at the trade deadline. We had to find somebody that was going to help us get some depth in that position. I think he’s filled that role extremely well.
Q. Shawn Thornton hasn’t been playing, but he’s one of the guys that has won a Cup. How much has he been able to take on that role, be the guy in the room helping out this team? Do you envision trying to work him back in at some point in the series?
COACH JULIEN: That’s something absolutely. Every game is about making decisions here. Shawn for us right now is a guy that hasnt been in the dressing room between the first and second, and second and third. He’s in the warmup, he’s getting dressed with the players. He’s still doing his job.
Whenever he hasn’t been playing, he’s still been a big asset to our hockey club. He’s won a Stanley Cup. When he did win it, he had to miss some games as well.
We’re in a position where we have to make decisions based on our needs, what has to happen. We’ve at points envisioned a guy like Tyler, the way he played, we had to keep him in the lineup.
As games go on, we make decisions. What I’m saying today might be different tomorrow, so on, so forth.
Q. You’re familiar with some of those guys on that third line that Vancouver sends out. What made them so tough in that first game, maybe some things that your third line can do tonight to counter them?
COACH JULIEN: I think the one thing that was tough the last game, to be honest with you, in the first two periods, there were so many penalties and power-plays, so on, so forth. I really felt that the flow was disrupted a lot as far as gaining momentum with your lines, so on, so forth. I really thought it was a challenge.
We talked about it between periods. Guys are getting pushed out of the games because of that. Some other guys are getting overutilized. I think that’s why both teams would prefer having a little bit more discipline, although I know Vancouver likes their power-play.
I think it’s important for us to be able to be disciplined and not get caught in that kind of game where it disrupts our flow.
Our third line probably didn’t have the impact their third line had last game. But I think it’s more than just our third line; I think it’s everybody that has to be better. I felt, as I mentioned the other day, five-on-five we need to be better, need to make some better decisions. We talked about that the last couple of days. We’ll hopefully see that tonight.
Q. Roberto Luongo doesn’t give you much to shoot at. With that in mind, do you think you need to get more of those so-called ‘greasy goals’?
COACH JULIEN: I think you need to get those greasy goals in any game in the playoffs, whoever you play. We managed to do that against Roloson who had a great playoffs until they played against us and we managed to get those greasy goals and we managed to get some traffic in front. I think that goes without saying.
There’s no doubt we didn’t do that well enough last game. We didn’t get enough pucks to the net with the traffic, so that has to be a little better as well.
Q. You’ve been in this situation, referenced it about the greasy goals, that aspect of it, being down 0-1 in the series, how much do you take heart in the fact the team has been there before and come back?
COACH JULIEN: Well, I think that’s why we’re going into this game tonight with positive thoughts, positive feeling, is because this isn’t I guess unknown territory for us. We’ve been through it. It doesn’t mean it happens automatically. We know we have to work through it. Having done it certainly gives you the confidence to go out there and play the type of game you need to play in order to win. We need to do that tonight.
Certainly don’t want to go to Boston down two games. This is a game that we feel is an important one for our hockey club. Like I said, two days to talk about it and to prepare for it, now it’s time to show it.
Q. Marc Savard, I assume he’s not here?
COACH JULIEN: No.
Q. Is he still checking in, offering advice?
COACH JULIEN: Well, he’s certainly watching us play. It was nice to see him in Boston a few weeks ago. Brought his kids along. I think it was good for him. It was also good for his teammates to see that he’s slowly getting better. He’s still got a long ways to go.
Marc is certainly watching closely. To be honest with you, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in Boston. Maybe putting a little pressure on him to get back there, but he’s in our thoughts.
We know what he’s going through is not an easy thing. We also realize from our end of it how good a player he was when he was at his best, and the power-play was always very good when he was on it. When you lose a player like that, you certainly miss him.
We’ve done our best here to fill the gaps. It’s gotten us here. Now it’s up to us to finish the job.
Q. Question about being in the lineup.
TYLER SEGUIN: I’m taking advantage of all opportunities I’ve been given. Don’t want to go back to the feeling of almost waiting for an injury for you to get a chance to play. That’s not the emotional state I want to be in. I’m trying to stay away from that.
Q. Talk about getting off to a good start.
TYLER SEGUIN: I think everyone feels better today. Myself, a lot of guys had their first experience in the Stanley Cup finals. Should be a different story for all of us.
Q. Do you feel you’re in a must-win situation?
TYLER SEGUIN: I think you can look at every game as a must-win. You can say Game 2 is a big one, you can say Game 4 is a big one. Every game is a chance to win. That’s what we want.
Q. Does it make you feel better if you get the 1-1 split going back to Boston?
TYLER SEGUIN: Yes. Taking a game is something we want to do. Going back with a split is definitely the goal right now.
Q. At Media Day, Brad Marchand was talking about your beard and his, and he said you were using Just For Men
TYLER SEGUIN: (Laughter) No, that’s a lie. I don’t know why he’d say that. I think I do have a better beard than Marshy.
Q. (Question about special teams.)
TOMAS KABERLE: Special teams are huge no matter what, even in the regular season or playoffs. Then if you get one on the PP, it would be great. Give a boost to the team.
I thought we moved the puck pretty good last game, solid shots. The only thing missing was putting the puck in. So we just have to make sure we bear down on those chances.
Q. How is the adjustment of putting Zdeno in front of the net?
TOMAS KABERLE: I think it helped out. He’s a big guy, hard to move. It’s always like Holmstrom in Detroit, he’s always in front of the net, make it tough for the goalie. Z did it before when he played in Ottawa. Not like something new for him.
Q. The first Stanley Cup game, what was the experience like?
TOMAS KABERLE: It was awesome. I thought the atmosphere was awesome. You can feel it even the night before the game. Obviously you want to leave everything out there. It’s a great experience. You can compare it to pretty much like Olympic hockey games. Similar style. That’s really a good atmosphere.
Q. Talk to your brother a lot and did he prepare you for the Cup finals?
TOMAS KABERLE: We always talk on the phone and stuff. He knows what we are going through. He said: Just make the most of it. It would be nice to win Game 2 and be back in the series.
Q. Ready to play a hockey game finally?
NATHAN HORTON: Seems like it’s been a little bit. Hope to regroup and feel better about ourselves.
Q. How anxious are you to get out there, try to get a win?
NATHAN HORTON: I think everyone is very anxious, excited to get back at it. It’s been a long two days. We obviously need to be better. We know we can. There’s some stuff that we talked about.
Q. What would you like to be better at, come at harder in Game 2?
NATHAN HORTON: I think getting to the net. We put some shots on Roberto, but he’s going to stop it when he can see. We have guys there, that’s what we want, we want traffic, get in his vision a little bit.
Q. You kind of take heart something you said after Game 1 against Montréal, Tampa, it’s something you’ve been able to correct as series have gone on?
NATHAN HORTON: Maybe it’s just that first game, trying to find their tendencies, how everyone plays, the nerves, all that stuff. Obviously, you don’t want to lose it. But we get a sense of how they play just playing against them. It should be a better game.
Q. Talk about Roberto, the fact you need to be around him a little bit more. If you look at the third period, it was too easy for him at that time?
NATHAN HORTON: Yeah, I mean, I think so. I think with any great goaltender, you want to make their life as hard as possible. That means getting in front of his view, being in front of him, just standing there and whacking away. Like I said all along, that’s how you’re going to score on good goaltenders.
He’s no different. He’s a great goaltender. That’s the only way we’re going to score.
Q. Knowing how hard it is to fight out of a 0-2 hole, how critical does that make tonight?
NATHAN HORTON: It’s huge. We want to go back home with a split. It’s a big game for us. We need to get on the board obviously and feel good about ourselves again.
Q. (Question about getting traffic in front of Luongo.)
MICHAEL RYDER: I think it’s pretty much on us, making sure we get there, battling to get to the net. Each team has the same rules and they can only do so much to you when you’re going to the net. I think it’s all more on what we have to do, getting in those areas to get those pucks.
Q. A lot has been made this year about him playing deeper in his net. Do you notice that?
MICHAEL RYDER: Well, he’s a big goalie. He plays a little back. When he’s down, he’s a big goalie. I think he’s done a good job for them. I’m not sure if he’s back, I don’t know. Don’t see him that often.
If he’s back in his net, we have to try to get some shots, get the puck up on him and get it by him.
Q. How anxious are you to get back on the ice again?
MICHAEL RYDER: Excited, you know. Two days off sometimes is a little different. You get to think about things a little more. We didn’t practice two days ago, but yesterday we did. We got our legs going, got into it.
Especially after a loss…it was disappointing the way it ended. But we’ve had two days to regroup and we’re ready for tonight, try to get that first goal.
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