Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Alanah McGinley on 05/24/11 at 01:18 AM ET
Q. The penalty kill was a huge impact on the game today. But especially those two early in the second period. How much momentum does that build for you to kill those two right away and maybe get your legs going a little bit in that stage of the game?
COACH JULIEN: I think they kind of actually did the same thing in our favor that it did in their favor last game.
You know, we had those two early power plays in the second period, and we didn’t do much. They built momentum off of that. And I know that when Horts came out of that second one there, he scored a big goal for us and got us back in the game.
So it did build some momentum. I think our penalty kill did a great job tonight for us, and you know, right now before the series started, the special teams were the big concern. And right now I think in both areas we’re pretty even.
Q. Can you talk about the play that Patrice Bergeron made setting up the Marchand goal. Seemed like only an elite playmaker is going to make that kind of pass with that kind of timing and patience.
COACH JULIEN: He’s pretty good at that. He’s been playing so well for us. Patrice is capable of making those plays. We’ve seen those goals this year from him and even Marchand driving the net and Recchi, that line, they seem to find each other pretty nicely.
There’s some chemistry there. And they’ve made some of those plays. And obviously tonight this is a winning goal for us, and had a great time, I think they really gave us some confidence, because I felt our team tightened in the first period. There’s no doubt about that.
When we scored that second goal, it kind of loosened our guys up a little bit.
Q. Why do you think you guys were tight in the first period? And what was said in between periods?
COACH JULIEN: Well, I think it’s kind of a normal situation right now. Everybody understands the expectations, the pressure, and that it’s a 2-2 series.
And our guys, you know, wanted to do well. I think they were prepared. I think they were mentally ready for the game. But sometimes the pressure slows you down a little bit. And we kind of loosened up in the second period. We talked about it. And we knew we couldn’t—we knew we couldn’t win the hockey game playing that way.
So we had to loosen up, and our guys did a great job. Started with the penalty kill again in the second period and then we took off from there.
Q. Is that the message in the intermission: Loosen up?
COACH JULIEN: Yeah, I think we just had to go out there and play hockey. I mean, we made some other adjustments. But one thing, as I said, our legs looked a little slow, our legs look a little heavy, and that’s based not on tiredness but more probably feeling the pressure.
Q. How does it feel to be one win away from the Stanley Cup Finals, and what’s it’s going to take to finish off the series?
COACH JULIEN: Well, it’s going to take—you’ve heard that before—it’s almost a cliche—it’s going to take our best game. When a team’s got its back against the wall, it comes out with the best of efforts.
And this is where we have to make sure that next game, as I mentioned here earlier, we can’t be tight. We’ve got to go out there and play with a purpose and be ready to go out and play hard and maybe put them on their heels and maybe get them to play tight.
But this is the position you want to be in, obviously, up in the series. And we got two games here to win one. And our goal right now is not to play Game 7. And I know their goal is to create a Game 7. So there’s the difference between the two teams.
Q. Can you just talk about the boost you get—obviously you mentioned the penalty kill as well—but Timmy’s play there in the first period when they outshoot you 14-4, and yet you’re down only one. What does that mean to you guys coming into the second?
COACH JULIEN: Oh, he allowed us to stay in the game. That’s what we talked about. We didn’t think we played that well. And we’re only down 1-0. So he gave us a chance to get ourselves back in the game.
And I know our team, even as a whole, when you look at the game itself, it wasn’t our best game. But you know, sometimes it’s about finding ways to win, and that’s what we did tonight, without maybe playing our best game. So we need our best game next game if we plan on winning that one.
Q. Over the course of the series, have you felt that Marchand was maybe getting frustrated that he wasn’t scoring, especially in the first period, he seemed to be trying to do a little too much with the puck?
COACH JULIEN: Yeah, I think again he’s a young player, first-year player. And his intentions are so good that sometimes when things don’t go his way, he has a tendency to get frustrated. And the minute I saw that in the first period, I had a talk with him to settle down, stay positive and things would work out.
I really feel that that goal helped him settle down and he was a better player afterwards.
Q. Was it some of what you saw Chara doing earlier in the game that made you decide give him a look down low on the power play?
COACH JULIEN: Well, I think we’ve always had that plan in the back of our minds, and we talked yesterday about because our power play was not very good in Tampa, we said if it was going to happen again, we had to make some changes, and we had Zdeno pegged to go to the front of the net. I know it takes something from the back end, but we had players that we felt could maybe jump in at that point and maybe at least get some shots on net.
I thought he did a great job in front. And he’s a big presence and he’s a hard guy to move. And we had some chances.
So our power play, at least, even if it didn’t score, gave us at least a little bit of momentum.
Q. Also on Nathan’s goal, we saw Lucic go up to the point there, just his awareness there to go across the ice rather than maybe taking the safer play and going back up front?
COACH JULIEN: That’s something we work on. Sometimes you got faceoff plays and you use those kind of things. Those guys are kind of used to it. They’ll talk about it quickly before the drop of the puck. And David was very good on faceoffs tonight. So that allowed them to use those plays.
As I said the other day, when you don’t win faceoffs, you can’t get those scoring chances. So David responded really well today in regards to faceoffs and it allowed us to get ourselves back in the game.
Q. You have an update on Johnny and what did you think of that hit?
COACH JULIEN: Johnny’s fine. Haven’t had an opportunity to look at it. I haven’t watched the video yet. I know some people have. And from what I hear, it’s not a great hit.
But I’ll maybe reserve my comments a bit more for after I see it.
Q. Nathan Horton gives you a huge goal reminiscent of his Game 7 goal against Montreal, very formidable from that position. The other stuff that he does during the game, some of the bad decisions, running at Hedman, missing and slashing his stick and going to the box, is that like the collateral damage that comes along with when he’s playing a really high-energy game, that you just have to accept and hope won’t come in too large a dose?
COACH JULIEN: No, I think the one thing, he’s a smart enough individual. And he came back up to me after the game and said: Sorry about that, Coach. He realized that he took some bad penalties. What I liked is as soon as he comes out of the box, he redeems himself and scores us a goal.
Nothing can be perfect. And when a guy does something like that but comes out of the penalty box and redeems himself and scores a big goal, I’m going to pat him on the back instead of being all over him.
But he was the first one to apologize. So I don’t think there’s much to be done about that.
If anything, he wants to tone it down and try and minimize those things.
Q. Just a couple of games now where Peverley has started on what we call the fourth line. But you’ve increased his ice time as the game’s gone on. Speak about what a good option he’s been in that regard.
COACH JULIEN: Well, he has, and that’s why—I mean, this is a guy who deserves the ice time that he got tonight.
And late in the game, on that third line of theirs, Moore, they were starting to throw St. Louis and starting to throw Lecavalier and trying to take advantage of maybe a lack of experience in Tyler. So I had to put Peverley up there at that point and make sure we had some experience against some of those guys.
But this is where Peverley becomes a real useful player. He did a great job on the penalty kill. He jumped in there on the third power play that we had.
He was used for faceoffs that he was very good at tonight. And that’s what I mean. You can’t just put a guy like him basically in the fourth line and just give him a few minutes. You use him in different places and sometimes it was for faceoffs, and so he served us really well tonight and he played a real solid game.
Q. Coach, you talked about trying to make Tampa play tight in the next game. How do you—what do you tell the team and how do you take the next couple of days to keep Boston from playing tight in the first period again in Game 6?
COACH JULIEN: I just think we need to understand that we’ve got the lead in this series. And we’ve got to go out there and play without playing on our heels.
I think when you’ve got the lead like that, you should be playing on your toes, not on your heels. If you play well enough, maybe you put the other team on their heels.
I didn’t say we were going to put them on their heels. I said the goal was to play well and try and play as well as you can. They’ve got their backs against the wall. So this is our opportunity here to come out with our best effort of the series.
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