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John Tortorella has no use for a pregame press conference 05.23.13 at 11:00 am ET
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John Tortorella held a very brief press conference Thursday morning before Game 4. (AP)

NEW YORK — Maybe it’s the pressure of being down 3-0 to a superior team. Maybe it’s the fact he knows his team is cooked. Or maybe, just maybe, John Tortorella has absolutely nothing of value to say to reporters hours before a game that could end his season and his tenure with the Rangers.

Whatever the reason, Tortorella needed just 19 seconds Thursday to dismiss any questions from reporters before his team’s morning skate here at Madison Square Garden.

Reporters asked just two questions and then became hushed.

Here were the two questions and answers:

Any update on defenseman Anton Stralman, after he was knocked out of Game 3 in the third period?

“No. No updates,” Tortorella said.

What do you tell your team before a game like this?

“I’ve talked to them. I don’t need to talk about it here,” he responded.

After six seconds of silence, Tortorella uttered the word “OK” and exited stage right.

Game 4 is Thursday night (CNBC, 7 p.m.).

Read More: Boston Bruins, John Tortorella, New York Rangers, Stanley Cup Playoffs
Wednesday practice notes: Claude Julien likes where his team is right now 05.22.13 at 4:49 pm ET
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Claude Julien is poised for a Bruins sweep in New York. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

NEW YORK — The Bruins have the look of a very confident team right now, as well they should being up 3-0 in the Eastern Conference semifinals and getting stronger and stronger with each game.

But Claude Julien knows full well he’s going to hear plenty about being up 3-0 in 2010 against the Flyers and 3-1 against the Maple Leafs last round, showing incredible difficulty in closing out in both cases.

“I think we live in the moment,” Julien said, sounding a highly philosophical tone. “You learn from the past but you live in the moment but you don’t live in the past. So, right now, we’re living in the moment. I like where our team is right now.

“The attitude, the approach and we’re certainly not looking at it the way all the people are going to look at it and try and find reasons to give New York some hope and say, ‘Look these guys have done this and these guys have had trouble doing this.’ We’re certainly not even going there. We’re looking at the present right now and the present is getting prepared to play a real good game [Thursday], kind of like we played [Tuesday].”

Julien, repeating the theme of taking nothing for granted, said a closeout of the Rangers will require an effort as good – if not better than – Tuesday’s performance in Game 3.

“I think if we don’t take the same attitude as we took [Tuesday], then we shouldn’t expect to win the hockey game,” Juilen said.

Other notes from Wednesday’s practice:

It was a light turnout for a laid-back practice on the ice as Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara, Andrew Ference, Rich Peverley, David Krejci, Daniel Paille, Adam McQuaid, Johnny Boychuck, Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic all had the day off from skating. Bergeron and Marchand were among those working on their hand-eye skills with a soccer ball in the hallway outside the Bruins dressing room.

Tyler Seguin, Jaromir Jagr, Dennis Seidenberg, Wade Redden, Chris Kelly, Dougie Hamilton, Torey Krug, Jay Pandolfo, Kaspars Daugavins Aaron Johnson were among those taking part.

The Bruins skated for about 40 minutes before calling it a day.

Claude Julien said both Seidenberg and Redden are making significant progress each day and their status will be evaluated Thursday. Meanwhile, Ference (lower body), who hasn’t played since Game 5 against Toronto, is still nursing an injury that has put him on the sidelines indefinitely.

“He’s doing OK,” Julien said. “He’s improving although you haven’t seen him on the ice. Better. I haven’t talked to our trainers about his return date to the ice but I think it’s getting closer all the time.”

Read More: Boston Bruins, Claude Julien, New York Rangers, Stanley Cup Playoffs
Dennis Seidenberg on playing Game 4: ‘There’s a chance for sure’ at 4:07 pm ET
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Dennis Seidenberg skates Wednesday at Madison Square Garden. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

NEW YORK — Dennis Seidenberg hasn’t played in a game since skating his first two shifts in Game 7 against Toronto on May 13, when he suffered a lower body injury.

“There’s a chance for sure,” Seidenberg said after skating for about 40 minutes during an lightly attended skate Wednesday at Madison Square Garden. “But again you don’t want to come back too early so I think we’ll see how it feels [Thursday] and go from there.”

How did he feel?

“Better again,” he said. “Today I went a little harder in practice and felt OK. But again, it’s still day-to-day, see how it feels tomorrow and go from there.”

Considering the Bruins are up 3-0 and all three rookie defensemen – Torey Krug, Dougie Hamilton and Matt Bartkowski – are handling themselves well, there’s no sense in rushing back until he’s 100 percent, or close to it.

“It’s a little bit more comforting but at the end, you want to be back as quick as possible,” Seidenberg said. “Watching games is always the toughest part, and not being part of it. You definitely want to be back in there as soon as possible. You also want to be smart about it.

“For the team, it’s great. To see them perform the way they have, being poised with the puck, playing strong defensively is definitely something nice to have that depth coming from Providence. It’s nice to see. Everybody knew they knew how to play hockey and they were really good players in the minors. To have them come up and play with poise, playing confident hockey and just contributing offensively as well as defensively is definitely nice to see.”

Seidenberg missed time during the 2010 playoffs when he suffered a freak injury to his wrist, and had to watch as the Bruins blew a 3-0 lead to the Flyers.

“It’s always the same,” he said. “You don’t like sitting out. We talked about it a couple of years ago. It’s not fun watching games. I definitely want to be back in there and help.”

Seidenberg and Wade Redden were both on the ice Wednesday while Andrew Ference was not. Coach Claude Julien says Seidenberg and Redden are both getting closer and closer to returning.

“Every day they’re better,” Julien said. “That’s progress. To me, it goes down to making that decision when the time comes and that decision will be made tomorrow. I like the direction both of those guys are going in right now so we’ll keep our fingers crossed.”

Read More: Boston Bruins, Dennis Seidenberg, New York Rangers, Stanley Cup Playoffs
Claude Julien: ‘We’re a very focused group right now’ at 12:06 am ET
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Claude Julien and the Bruins have taken command of their series with the Rangers. (AP)

In the wake of a 2-1 win in Game 3 that leaves them one win from the Eastern Conference finals, Bruins coach Claude Julien says he can sense his team has found its groove.

“We’re a very focused group right now, and the challenge is to stay there.” Julien said. “After the second period, we’re playing a good road period. I thought with a couple of breaks in the first period, we could’ve been ahead. We didn’t care if we had to go to overtime, we just wanted to get that first goal.

“There’s no doubt. I don’t only see it on the ice, I feel it in the dressing room everywhere else. The Jekyll and Hyde thing I haven’t seen since midway through the Toronto series.”

Since falling behind 4-1 with 11 minutes left in the third period of Game 7 against Toronto, the Bruins have outscored the competition 14-3 while winning four straight games.

The Bruins also handed New York its first home ice loss of the playoffs after the Rangers won Games 3, 4 and 6 on Madison Square Garden ice in the first round against Washington.

“You have to be proud of your team,” Julien said. “[Playing] a Rangers team that hadn’t lost here in a long time, playing well here in the playoffs. We had to be better. We’re playing well and eventually get that goal and it came.”

Read More: Boston Bruins, Claude Julien, New York Rangers, Stanley Cup Playoffs
Claude Julien on Game 3: ‘It’s what we expect from ourselves’ that matters 05.21.13 at 10:15 am ET
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Claude Julien is ready to take his Bruins into battle for Game 3 with the Rangers. (AP)

Bruins coach Claude Julien is convinced that the outcome of Game 3 won’t hinge on the desperation of the Rangers as much as it will from the execution of his own team.

The Rangers are in the same 0-2 hole heading into tonight’s Game 3 at Madison Square Garden that they were in the first round against the Capitals, while the Bruins find themselves two wins away from a trip to the Eastern Conference finals.

“Doesn’t matter, I think it’s what we expect from ourselves,” Julien said. “That’s the thing, we always worry about the other team; we need to worry about ourselves. When we play well, we’re a good team and we give ourselves a chance to win. It’s more about our expectations right now, that has to be the important topic for us. We need to, obviously, understand they’re going to be better; we also need to be better. We’re on the road, we don’t get the last change, so it will be a tougher situation.”

One thing the Bruins know they must cut down is the number of turnovers. They committed 16 on Sunday in Game 2, and two of them led to New York’s only two goals of the game. The Rangers committed just one, and still the Bruins dominated in a 5-2 win.

“Oh, I think it was us,” Julien said when asked if the turnovers were self-inflicted. “When you look at some of those turnovers, David Krejci, just inside the blue line, turns around and it’s intercepted; you could see it coming from the bench. You could see the passes from our end on their sticks. A lot of that stuff was of our own doing. I think we can be better in that area, although we played a pretty game, I think most of those things came in the second period. We just have to be a little bit better. I thought our third period was much better in regards to puck management.”

Krejci had a team-leading three giveaways while four others had two. Brad Marchand had only one but it led to New York’s first goal, an end-to-end rush by Ryan Callahan.

“I thought our transition game has been better,” Julien said. “Obviously, the young guys have been doing that, but so have our veterans that were in our the lineup the last couple of games. That’s been pretty consistent from our back end, so that’s helped a lot. Those guys are part of that group; they seem to have enough poise to make the right plays, so it’s helped our game a lot.”
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Read More: Boston Bruins, Claude Julien, David Krejci, New York Rangers
Bruins’ little big man Torey Krug proving he belongs on big stage 05.20.13 at 9:49 am ET
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Torey Krug is looking forward to bigger and better things in the playoffs. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

Every year, a player comes out of no where to become a big factor in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

That man for the Bruins this year so far is 5-foot-9 Torey Krug.

He did it again on Sunday. He scored the game’s first goal in the first period, beating Henrik Lundqvist. He did it again on the second goal, pinching in from his perch on the left point and firing a shot on goal that led to a rebound that was put away by Gregory Campbell.

Krug has been instant offense at the blue line for the Bruins. For a 22-year-old rookie in his second NHL playoff game, Krug looks like a trusty veteran.

“Yeah, well I’ve said it time and time again, I come into this locker room, very comfortable, calm,” Krug said after Sunday’s 5-2 rout of the Rangers in Game 2. “I get to watch some of the best professionals in the world prepare for games like this, as if it’s any other game. So, I have a lot of guys to lean on and they all give me confidence back. So, it’s unbelievable.”

What is so very striking about Krug is his confidence with the puck. Much like Dougie Hamilton displayed early in the season, Krug looks like he wants the puck at every chance, either rushing up the ice or setting up on the power play. Why is that?

“Well I’m a player. I’m 5-9, I’m not very big, I have to play with the puck to be an impact player,” he answered. “So, for me, you’ve got to be confident with the puck. If I’m not making plays, I’m not going to be effective and guys are going to go out there and they’re just going to find a 6-2 guy that can do the same thing without the puck. So, you just got to be confident and play with the puck.

On his goal, he managed to use his skates to control the puck, setting up the shot on his stick.

“That’s a skill that sometimes you work on it after practice,” he said. “You don’t have to work on it too much. It’s just a couple of extra reps here or there at the end, picking up pucks with your feet. So, it’s just something that I try to do, and I was lucky enough that it bounced my way.”

And his set-up of Campbell’s goal?

“It’s the same thing,” he said. “All that comes with confidence and being calm. If you’re freaking out, out there because the pucks not exactly where it is, you’re going to get yourself in trouble.”
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Read More: Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, Stanley Cup Playoffs, Torey Krug
Henrik Lundqvist on Bruins Game 2 win: ‘We gave it to them’ 05.19.13 at 10:24 pm ET
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Henrik Lundqvist was critical of his own team, which he says gave the Bruins momentum in Game 2. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

In the eyes and mind of Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, the Bruins didn’t take command of Game 2 and the series as much as the Rangers and their defense gave it to them.

“We gave it to them, we know,” Lundqvist said. “I thought we played great, we just, I didn’t think they had to work really hard to get a couple of goals there. We just made it really tough on ourselves. We just have to correct a few things and go home and turn this around. It doesn’t matter the score, it’s a loss. Overtime or 5-2, it doesn’t matter.”

Lundqvist was burned badly on yet another odd-man rush ending with Patrice Bergeron feeding Brad Marchand, just like the overtime game-winner in Game 1. This time, the Bruins used the Marchand goal 26 seconds into the third to take a 4-2 lead and all but seal their 2-0 lead, with the series shifting to New York for Game 3 Tuesday night.

“We did play well, we just made some mistakes,” Lundqvist said. “And like I said, it didn’t feel like they had to work really hard to get a couple of goals. So we just have to talk it through and be a little bit sharper on a few things, but a lot of things we did well.”

“This game was about tracking down pucks, and it was tough. A lot of late guys coming in, dragging the puck through the slot with guys in front of me, you just have to try to work hard to find pucks. It was definitely a tough game to play, no question.”

Lundqvist is hurting, and not just his ego. He took a shot to the shoulder in the third period that left a mark.

“It’s my shoulder,” Lundqvist added. “We’ll see. We’ll take a look at it.”

Lundqvist was the man who led the Rangers out of the darkness when they faced an identical 0-2 hole in the first round against Washington. Can they do it again?

“We have to look at it that way; we’ve done it before,” Lundqvist said. “But I think we are playing a better team now, so it’s going to be tough to do it. They’re a solid team and you can’t give them too much. They work hard and they pay attention to all the details in the game and that’s why they have been so successful so far in these two games.”

“I thought I was in position, but a couple of screens and when you give up five goals you can’t be satisfied, obviously. You have to look at the way they scored goals, too. It’s about teamwork out there, and today it didn’t really work for us. We just have to talk it through and I have to better and the guys in front of me have to step it up as well.”

What needs to change for the Rangers in Game 3?

“We’ll see,” Lundqvist said. “A lot of things were good today. But if you lose 5-2 you can’t be satisfied, that’s the bottom line.

“I think playing the Bruins is about paying attention to details in the game and I think they have been the better team in that department. All the details in the game, they play a solid team game and so do we, but when you lack that little bit it’s a tough game. But I’m confident and I’m going to go home and try to play a strong game in the next one.”

Read More: Boston Bruins, Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers, Stanley Cup Playoffs
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