Julien: This is not the 1970s
|03.18.10 at 12:26 pm ET|
Bruins coach Claude Julien addressed and unusually large group of media after their morning skate on Thursday before their game against the Penguins. Like the Boston players, Julien deflected most talk about how his team will handle Matt Cooke after his hit that put center Marc Savard out for the season with a Grade 2 concussion on March 7. Julien also noted that Blake Wheeler, Johnny Boychuk and Dennis Wideman did not participate in the morning skate because of a flu bug that is going around the team and that each will be a game-time decision.
Here is the transcript courtesy of the Bruins media relations staff:
On what his message was and will be for Bruins, in light of all of the media attention surrounding tonight’s game:
I don’t think I have to say everything I said in that dressing room. The one thing I can tell you is there’s an importance for us to win and get ourselves in the playoffs. That’s obviously pretty important for us, and the rest will take care of itself.
On if the best retribution in his mind (despite others’ opinions) is to win tonight’s game:
You can do [it] a lot of ways, and we’ll deal with the situation when the situation comes about, but we know that the number one thing is to win a hockey game here.
On what he thinks Colin Campbell and Terry Gregson will say to him, Dan Bylsma, Peter Chiarelli and (Penguins GM) Ray Shero today:
No idea. Really, no idea. I’m preparing for my game and whatever they tell me, we’re going to listen and see what they have to say, but I have no idea. Obviously they don’t want this to get out of control. That’s why they’re here and they’re certainly going to keep a close eye on it, including the referees and I think everybody knows that.
On if there is an expectation from the fans that puts the Bruins in a tough situation:
Well, you know, the same people that want revenge are the same people that will probably be upset if we don’t make the playoffs also. There’s ways of dealing with these kind of things and like I said, the number one priority right now is to win a game and let’s let the game be played. We can stand here all day and speculate and like you said, a lot of times half those things don’t happen and you just better sit back and watch and whatever happens, happens.
On if he thinks that the league’s talk about fast-tracking a headshot rule and Colin Campbell’s statement yesterday that supplemental discipline will be considered in similar cases might have been preemptive steps for something happening this evening:
I don’t know. Again, I don’t know what the message behind it was but the one thing that I do know is they’re working hard to avoid some of those things that have happened and for that, I commend them, for doing that. They’re obviously trying to make the guys more accountable, probably more respectful of each other and I think it’s the right direction to take. It’s not an easy job. I know we can stand here and even as coaches, or even as fans and media and criticize, but it’s not an easy job and it’s a job that not too many people want. It’s something that, no matter what, has to be addressed and I think they’re trying to do that.
On how the Bruins locker room is still frustrated with the hit on Marc Savard, despite the fact that it occurred on March 7, because there was no retribution (and now we are talking about ‘vigilante justice’):
Well I don’t think our team is reacting any different than any other team would under the circumstances. You lose your top point-getter for years here and he’s out for probably the rest of the season. I think every team would react the same way.
On the keys of the game for the Bruins tonight:
We’ve got to play hard. This is a team that’s got a lot of skill. It’s a team that skates extremely well. They’re a team that lost last night and will probably want to redeem themselves so I think we expect a pretty good challenge and our team’s just got to play hard and you know, when we play hard the way we did last game and even looking back at Philadelphia and those kind of games. When we’ve got everybody going and playing hard, we give ourselves a good chance to win.
On if the honorable thing tonight would be for Matt Cooke, as a player, to make himself accountable since he ‘has not been held accountable for his actions:”
I think that’s a question you should ask Matt Cooke, not the coach of the other team. I think he’s the one who has to answer that question.
On the status of Blake Wheeler, Dennis Wideman and Johnny Boychuk, since they did not participate in the morning skate:
Yeah, we’re dealing with a flu bug going through the team right now so that’s something that’s certainly not helping us at the moment. We’ll see how the day goes and we’ll obviously have a lot of game-time decisions to make.
On how much of a fine line it is for the Bruins to try to be aggressive and still get the two points tonight:
That’s just it. That’s the bottom line. We need the two points. There’s a fine line that, like you said, you have to be careful of. Things need to be done within the rules. Unfortunately, the rules aren’t the same as in 1970 and in those days, it was a lot different. There were bench-clearing brawls, which you don’t see anymore. There was a lot of other things going on and that’s what everybody has to understand. There’s a lawsuit going on right now with that Vancouver incident. People have a tendency to forget about that so it’s a very fine line, very touchy for individuals and for organizations, so that’s what we have to keep in mind here.
On if Matt Cooke would have still completed the hit on Savard if the rules were the same as in the 1970s:
You guys, turn the page here, I’ve had enough of this.