Claude Julien: ‘You need breaks in the playoffs. … We scored on the opportunity given to us’
|05.08.13 at 11:21 pm ET|
To Claude Julien, Game 4 came down to the Bruins getting a break and making one of their own. Tuukka Rask made a glove save on Joffrey Lupul midway through overtime through a partial screen.
Minutes later, David Krejci took advantage of Dion Phaneuf taking out Nathan Horton in the Bruins’ end and went off on a break that ended in the game-winning goal in overtime as Boston beat Toronto, 4-3, at Air Canada Centre. Krejci’s hat trick produced a dramatic win that puts Boston up, 3-1, in the best-of-seven series, meaning the Bruins can clinch their first postseason series win since winning the Cup in 2011 with a win Friday night in Boston.
“I think they definitely wanted to win this game for the sake of going back to Boston tied,” Julien said. “At the same time, we wanted to win this game as well to put ourselves in the position to just have to win one more game.
“In overtime it was about making sure we made plays and not pass up on shots. Rask made a great save there on Lupul. He was screened and stuck the glove out and made the save, and that was huge for us. There was a post there by Kessel. You need breaks in the playoffs and we got some in overtime and you make your own. We scored on the opportunity that was given to us.”
As for Krejci and his line in this playoff series, Julien couldn’t be happier.
“Obviously, his line has been good through the whole series but tonight, David certainly was the guy shining and was on top of his game. He’s been a real good playoff performer for years for us and he continues to do that. There are just certain players that thrive on playoff hockey and he’s one of those guys.
“There’s a couple of things. We know he’s a great playmaker. He’s a great skill player but the other part is he doesn’t shy away from traffic, he doesn’t shy away from a physical game. He’s very gritty when he needs to be gritty. If he’s got one weakness, it’s that he’s very hard on himself at times when things aren’t going well. But when you see him play like that, not sure you want to call it a weakness because when he does find his game, he’s a pretty dominant player.”
The Bruins even got a goal, albeit a power-play, from Patrice Bergeron, getting Boston on the board in the second period after falling behind 2-0.
“It was nice to see Bergy score,” Julien said. “[Tyler Seguin] had a chance there with a couple of seconds left [in regulation]. This is his hometown and he seems a little bit nervous here because I thought he played really well the first two games in Boston. He was a really good player. Here [in Toronto], not quite as good but still a guy we feel very confident that can turn it around and [Brad Marchand] is the same way. They’ve been good players for us all year. Hopefully, it’s just a matter of time, and we can certainly use that coming up next game.”
Here’s the rest of Julien press conference:
On finally finding the switch in the playoffs: “Guys kept talking about flicking a switch and stuff like that but I mentioned at the start of the series that I really felt our team was turning a corner in the last week and a half but unfortunately, we had six games in nine nights and we didn’t get the results but you could see the effort, you could see the focus, you could see our players getting more physical, more involved. I felt confident. I said that to our guys. I said that to our coaches that we’re going to be OK here. Maybe that’s where the experience comes in because guys know that even if it was a 48-game schedule, it was a real long year, and especially when you consider playing every second day the last couple of months.
“It was a long regular season because of that and I think everybody was looking forward to getting to the most exciting part of the year, and this is playoff hockey.”
On the killer mentality for Game 5: “We’re going to need it. You hear that and it’s because it’s true. Coaches and players say it, ‘it’s not over till it’s over.’ You’ve got to win that last game [of a series]. And we’ve seen it. We’ve been part of that scene where we were up 3-0 against Philly a few years back. Thankfully, it’s served us well in the future. And hopefully, it will serve us well here in this next game. This is a pretty good team we’re playing. We’re not just saying it to say it. You just have to look at the game. They’re battling with us. They’re going head-to-head with no issues at all.”
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