Claude Julien: Bruins ‘don’t have to redeem themselves for anything’
|05.16.13 at 1:39 pm ET|
Claude Julien isn’t apologizing for his team’s miracle in Game 7 Monday night that has them opening an Eastern Conference semifinal series with the Rangers.
He also doesn’t want his team apologizing for being there either.
“For some reason, this last series seems to have been looked upon as negative for some people,” Julien said after Thursday’s pre-game skate at TD Garden, hours before Game 1 with the Rangers.
“For us, it was a great character win, we’re looking forward to moving ahead and we’re not looking at it the way a lot of people are looking at it. It’s not a chance to redeem yourself because we’re in the second round, we don’t have to redeem ourselves for anything. What we have to do here is look forward to this series and do whatever we can to move ahead. The character win that this team showed in Game Seven should be looked upon as a positive. That’s the way I look at it.”
One thing is for certain, no one is going to feel sorry for the Bruins having three injured defenseman heading into the series. With Andrew Ference, Dennis Seidenberg and Wade Redden all missing Thursday’s skate, it’s high likely that Dougie Hamilton, Torey Krug and Matt Bartkowski will all play in Game 1 against the Rangers Thursday night.
The one advantage of it all, though, is the fact that two of the three, Krug and Bartkowski, have played the same defensive system with AHL Providence this year.
“It helps everybody because [Providence Head Coach] Bruce Cassidy and his coaching staff seem to see the game the same way we do,” Julien said. “There’s a good connection there in the way we coach our teams, very much the same approach. I know I’ve talked to Bruce; the things we do, he does as well.
“So it’s an easy transition for the players. That’s important because coaches have their own styles and the one thing you don’t want to do is make them change where they’re comfortable to force them to do something. Sometimes that’s happens in the minors. A coach coaches a certain way, in the NHL they coach a different way. There’s transition there and you have to adapt, but we’re fortunate that both Bruce and I seem to have the same approach and same philosophies, so it makes the transitions of our players a lot easier.”
Are there similarities between the Bruins and Rangers heading into Game 1?
“I think it’s about not getting or feeling out period and just going out there and playing your game,” Julien noted. “I know we’re both gritty teams. We’ll go and grind it out. We don’t have all these so-called superstar players that can dictate the game one way or another. It’s about what we do as a group, and the same thing goes for them, I’m sure. It just makes for a good battle. The team that wins this series is the team that’s going to want to battle it out more than the other, be grittier, and get their noses dirtier than the other team. That’s what I anticipate, anyways.”
One thing Julien’s Bruins will be up against is a Rangers team that is noted for blocking shots, a mandate from their head coach John Tortorella.
“Got to find ways to get pucks to the net. Just got to keep your head up when you’re shooting,” Julien said. “They’re going to block shots no matter what. We just got to do the best we can do get them on net. When they don’t, well, they can block them and what can I do? As a team, you’re going to get some shots blocked because they like doing it. We’re just going to do our best to get them through and make sure they get to the net, and hopefully get some net-front traffic. That’s going to make things a little tougher for their goaltender, that’s not a secret.”