Julien: ‘We’re not going the other way’
|01.18.10 at 2:46 pm ET|
Monday was a day that America took time to remember one of the great speeches ever delivered in U.S. history.
And while Claude Julien was trying to repeat Martin Luther King, Jr.’s ‘I Have A Dream’ address, he did take time before the Bruins’ MLK Day matinee with Ottawa to remind everyone that his team won’t let nagging injuries get them down.
Even before his short-handed team took the ice Monday afternoon without Steve Begin, Marco Sturm, Marc Savard, Andrew Ference and Byron Bitz and got smoked by Ottawa, Julien sounded a hopeful if not optimistic tone.
“We’ll go out there and play hard and hopefully get good results,” Julien said in the moments before Monday’s debacle.
Julien did want to make one thing clear. He’s not blaming the injuries on the training staff.
“None of injuries are related to conditioning,” he said. “It’s really about the injuries banged up because of contact with different things. It’s got nothing to do with the conditioning. At the same time, it’s definitely not from being fatigued or tired because we’re really trying to give those guys some rest whenever we can.
“I don’t know if you want to call it bad luck but every year is different. Some years you go through a whole season and you’re fortunate to stay away from those injuries. Other years, you get more and we’re just one of many teams that are going through that right now.”
Then Julien proceeded to provide perspective from two seasons ago, when the Bruins nearly didn’t get into the playoffs because of injury after injury in the final weeks.
“We seem to forget a little bit about two years ago,” Julien recalled. “Just when it was right near the end of the year, when we were really battling for a playoff spot. You had Krejci in his first full year as your No. 1 center and you had [Glen] Metropolit as your No. 2 and Sobotka was a rookie. He was our No. 3.
“We were pretty thin at one point, with Savard being out and Bergy out for the year. Even Zdeno was out before, so we keep forgetting that. We’ve been through it here before and the thing I like our guys battle through it. This last road trip, I don’t care if people are saying we only came back .500 [3 of six points]. All I know is eventually certain things catch up to you and those third period leads evaporate. It wasn’t from effort. Our guys left it all out on the ice and we battled hard and that’s all you can ask right now.”
And despite what happened on Monday in the first two periods at the Garden, Julien maintained there’s hope for the future.
“We’re not going the other way,” he said. “I’m telling you right now. It is what our situation is, and we’re not going the other way. We’re going to keep battling. Right now, we’re holding our own and, if anything, we’re going to start moving forward. But that’s not even part of our thinking right now – for myself or those guys in the room.”