Claude Julien happy with his power play: ‘Especially [considering] the lack of them’
|05.24.13 at 4:29 pm ET|
Claude Julien has been happy with his power play unit in this series, that is when the Bruins actually get a power play.
He made that much perfectly clear on Friday after practice as his team prepares for another chance to wrap up the series against the Rangers in Game 5 at TD Garden Saturday evening.
The Bruins were 2-for-4 on the power play Thursday in the Game 4 loss to the Rangers, with one of the two misses actually resulting in a goal as Tyler Seguin scored his first goal this postseason as a penalty was expiring in the third period. The Bruins didn’t get a single power play in Game 3 and had only one in Game 2. Boston is 3-for-9 in this playoff series while the Rangers are now 1-for-14 on the man-advantage.
With Nathan Horton and Torey Krug scoring on the power play Thursday night, is Julien pleased that his power play is making the most of its chances?
“Well, yeah especially the lack of them that we’ve had in this series,” Julien said. “It was nice to see us score a couple of goals. It’s been tough. It’s a good thing we’re a good five on five team and that we’ve managed to win hockey games, but last night two for four, and certainly it could have been three for four I guess two seconds after the power play ended, so our power play did a good job of producing and whenever you can count on that it’s always a bonus.
Other notes from Friday’s practice:
The Bruins skated hard for 30 minutes in an up-tempo, early afternoon practice on the TD Garden ice. All players were present and accounted for except for Andrew Ference, who is still nursing a lower body injury that has kept him out since Game 5 in the first round. Dennis Seidenberg and Wade Redden were the fourth defensive pairs to skate in drills Friday. Julien kept his defensive pairings the same, with Zdeno Chara and Dougie Hamilton leading the way, followed by Johnny Boychuk and Matt Bartkowski and then Adam McQuaid and Torey Krug. There were no changes on the lines either as Tyler Seguin remains on the third line with Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley.
“I think it was one of those practices today where you wanted to get a good sweat, knowing it’s an early game tomorrow, or afternoon game,” Julien said of the odd 5:30 p.m. start time on Saturday afternoon. “And we just want to make sure we’re ready for tomorrow.”
Here is the remainder of Julien press briefing with reporters from Friday afternoon:
On if there was a message from him to the players about not fighting in Game Four: “I think it was pretty clear. I said it even on TV there between those timeouts: the guys on my fourth line, to me, aren’t worth the trade off with their fourth line right now. Those guys are pretty valuable players for us. So which ever way they see their players, I certainly don’t want to see one of mine necessarily in the penalty box with one of theirs, because it plays to their advantage.”
On if the loss has a better feeling to it, as opposed to what a 4-0 loss would have felt like: “I think yesterday was one of those games where it could’ve gone either way. As I said, I don’t think we got outplayed, I don’t think we got outworked; it was just one of those games where a couple of good bounce went their way and that was the difference in the game. For us right now, and I said it when I was in New York, we’re living in the present, yesterday’s the past. Right now, we’re looking to get ourselves ready to play a real good game tomorrow and play to win ourselves a hockey game.”
On if today’s practice allowed the team to recapture its crispness: “Well, no, I think there’s certain days; I know you’re not always great at your job sometimes, right? Same thing with those guys. You try, right? You muscle through. And that’s what we did yesterday. I didn’t think we were good, we were okay. In the playoffs, okay is not enough to win you some hockey games. A lot of our play was just okay, so we need to be good. That’s what we’re aiming for tomorrow. We’ve proven along in this series that we can be good and consistent. We’ve just got to be good and bounce back tomorrow and play as hard as we can, hoping that that’s going to win us a hockey game.”
On if he talked to Tuukka Rask about the first goal: “What do you want me to say? Not really, not really. There’s not much you can say on those types of things. It’s things that happen. We know the impact it had. He lets one of those in and how many does he save for us? You kind of balance those things out. It becomes a non-issue.”
On what the injured veteran defensemen offer to the young blue liners: “I don’t think they can offer much, to be honest with you, right now, the way those guys have played. If they were a little nervous and you could see apprehension, then you expect, sometimes, your veterans to step in and tell them to relax, things coaches will do. Right now, those guys have been playing well enough, I don’t think they need any advice right now. We haven’t given them much either, as a coaching staff, because they’ve played well. We’ve talked about correcting a few mistakes here and there, but that’s about it. Let them play.”
On whether Dennis Seidenberg is close to playing tomorrow night: “He skated today. I keep telling guys they’re progressing everyday. That’s why you see them on the ice.”
On Dougie Hamilton being hard on himself after last night’s Rangers overtime goal: “I think the one thing our guys have been is they’ve done a great job being accountable, and when I say accountable, they’re not afraid to say, ‘Well, I made a mistake.’ So I don’t think when I say make a mistake, I’m not necessarily talking about Dougie [Hamilton] here, but anybody that’s made a mistake and created something and goes, ‘I’ve made a mistake.’ I don’t think coaches need to harp on it more than that. Acknowledging it is certainly a great thing because it means they know what needs to be done and then from your end of it you make the correction and then you show confidence in them that they’re going to go back and get an opportunity to redeem themselves.”
On whether he is happy with how Hamilton has skated with Zdeno Chara: “Absolutely. You look at the series so far. We’ve played four games in the series, and then you look at one goal and do you jump all over him for that or do you give him a pat on the back for everything he’s done so far in the series and us being up 3-1. I think it’s more that. I keep saying the same thing again. For us, it’s remaining honest and objective and saying there’s some mistakes made, but also there have been a lot of great things happening. A lot more great things than bad things, so right now we’re not in a position and we don’t want to be in a position to knock ourselves down more, and we want to rally back tomorrow and play an even better game so that we can win this series, and that’s all we’re thinking about right now, not about mistakes and everything else more than what do we need to do here tomorrow and that’s all we talked about today.”
On Tyler Seguin beginning to produce: “Everybody has a different way of trying to get their players going, and for me I just tried to put him on a different line, take some of the pressure away from him, and let him work his way out of it, and as long as I saw progression in that area, I was willing to be a little bit patient, and what I mean by that is he may not have produced, but I thought he was working hard. He was battling hard. He was going in front of the net and we talked about that one where Bergy [Patrice Bergeron] scores the winner against Toronto. It’s all his work in front that made that happen, but those kind of things showed signs of him working his way out of it, and so you stick with him, and yesterday he contributed in a way that he was able to keep us in the game.”