Claude Julien: We don’t need to change ‘a ton’ for the Flyers
|04.29.11 at 2:06 pm ET|
Before the team left Boston for Philadelphia Friday, Bruins head coach Claude Julien said the Flyers are a better match up for his team than the Canadiens were in the first round. The Bruins captured three of the four meetings in the regular season and were even able to score on the power play four times, something they failed to do in 21 tries in the opening round.
“We match up well against them and they’re always close in tight games and we got to go in there with some confidence and obviously some determination,” Julien said. “Playoffs is a different situation than the regular season, but again as I mentioned it’s just one of those things that we feel that we don’t have to change a ton of things. And if there’s adjustments to make along the way, we just have to be prepared to make them.”
The Flyers, however, did not have big defenseman Chris Pronger at their disposal in the last meeting on March 27 in Philadelphia as he was still healing from the effects of a broken hand.
“He’s an experienced guy, a guy who has got good size as well and has got a good shot,” Julien said. “I know he certainly hadn’t used it much when he’s come back now. Whether he’s 100 percent, we don’t know, and it really shouldn’t matter to us.
“But he’s been a big part of their power play and when you get a guy like that back, it’s no doubt that it’s a boost for their hockey club and certainly helps. So we’ve just got to continue I guess playing the way we have been against them for most of the year this year. I thought we played them well and we came out with three wins, and I think we had the overtime loss.”
The Bruins’ only loss to the Flyers came with three seconds left in overtime on Dec. 11 at TD Garden when Mike Richards beat Tim Thomas with a wrist shot. The Bruins also showed they can win all sorts of games against Philly, 3-0, in Philly on Dec. 1, 7-5 in a Garden shootout on Jan. 13 and 2-1 on Brad Marchand’s goal late on March 27. The Bruins also appear to have the clear advantage in goal with Thomas starting all seven games of their series against Montreal while Brian Boucher was one of three different Philadelphia netminders to see action against Buffalo.
“Everybody is questioning their goaltending, but their goaltending has always seemed to do the job,” Julien said of the trio of Boucher, Michael Leighton – who won Games 6 and 7 last year against Boston – and rookie Sergei Bobrovsky. “So it’s one of those situations where I think a lot what has to be done here will be about us more than it will be about their hockey club and what we need to change from our point of view.”
Then there’s the Philly offense, which came at Ryan Miller in wave after wave in Games 6 and 7 after suffering a pair of 1-0 losses in Games 1 and 4. While the Bruins had four 20-plus goal scorers this season, the Flyers boast seven, with banged up Jeff Carter and Danny Briere over 30.
“Well as far as comparisons, I think the one thing that I can tell you about our team is that we don’t need to change a lot of things,” Julien said. “We obviously have to get better in certain areas, but I don’t think as a whole our team has to change a lot. We still see a lot of things that we can continue to utilize in order to give us success. Obviously they’re a little bit of a bigger team and they do have some skill up front. Montreal had some skill up front.”