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BRUINS POST GAME THOUGHTS – RED WINGS

BRUINS POST GAME THOUGHTS – RED WINGS

Bruins fall to Detroit, 6-1

 

BY KEVIN HARRIMAN

Boston Sports Desk Publisher

BOSTON BRUINS POST GAME QUOTES

 

Friday, February 11, 2011

 BRUINS HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN

 

On what went into his decision to replace Tuukka Rask with Tim Thomas…

Well, we didn’t feel he was as sharp as we needed him to be, that was number one. He still made some good saves. I don’t think we didn’t recognize that as well, but he just wasn’t as sharp tonight and after discussing the situation, we just felt that the right thing to do was to give Timmy [Thomas] the third period.

On if he thinks the Bruins “watching” the Red Wings tonight was a result of showing too much respect for their opponent…

No, I don’t think that was the case. I think tonight we watched them because I think we were flat. We weren’t skating tonight. We were second on the puck, and even when they had the puck, I just felt that they had lots of times to make plays. We were very slow reacting tonight. So I don’t know if the emotional games that we’ve played lately caught up to us, but we just came out flat and you know, it just seemed that nothing was going to go our way, even when we had some scoring chances. We hit the posts as well and had a couple of good scoring chances that could have gotten us back in the game but it just wasn’t going in for us. You know, definitely to me, we were flat tonight and we weren’t on top of our game. So you can’t look at this and say, “Well, let’s compare the two teams.” Obviously they were the better team tonight, but we’re a much better team than what we showed. This is the opportunity that we have, we get another shot at these guys. I think it’s important that we go in there and play our game—play a lot better. At least that way, you see where you stand with teams like Detroit.

On they are more successful when they are more physical…

Yeah, I mean, you can’t be physical if you can’t get there, right? We couldn’t get there tonight.

On if he’s apt to give Tuukka Rask another shot in goal in Detroit on Sunday…

Well, the game’s just been over and I don’t think I’ve made that decision yet. I think we have to look at situations, but we keep saying that over and over, we need Tuukka to come in and give Timmy [Thomas] some rest and we need Tuukka to play well because we know he can play well. Tonight was a tough night for him. The last time he played, he was very good for us, so he’s capable of it. I think we’ll just chalk that up as a tough night like the rest of the team in front of him and move on.

On how he will balance the workload between Tuukka Rask and Tim Thomas for the remainder of the season…

Well those are questions I can’t really answer. Because I don’t’ know what is going to happen in these next twenty-seven games. Whether one of them is going to get really hot or whether both of them are going to play well. I deal with it day-by-day. I’ve always said that because you don’t know. You can’t think twenty-seven games ahead, 20 games or 15, you just have to go by the schedule. You have to go by how things are going. My goal standing here, I would tell you that I would like to give Tuukka [Rask] some games and give Timmy [Thomas] some rest and utilize both in a way that it works for our hockey club. But I can’t tell you right now I’ve got the blueprint, because the blueprint changes everyday like you saw tonight.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD BRAD MARCHAND

On the game overall…

It was tough you know, they played a pretty good system, they really controlled the puck, they are a great passing team we just weren’t really able to get in there goal and we weren’t really moving the first period. We had our chances we could have had a lot more goals then we did. It was just one of those nights.

On how they will be playing Detroit in just a few days…

Yeah we have almost two in a row its going to be tough but we just need to make sure that we bounce back and just forget about this game and be ready for the next one.

On if there is a correlation between big emotional wins and lows…

Maybe we just expect it to come to us pretty easy especially after a game like that and maybe we focused on last game a little too much but know what I think we worked pretty hard especially in the second and the third we did some good things in the third there and we just have to build on it for next game.

On if there was an indication that [Patrick] Eaves was going to drop the gloves…

No, I know he fights once in awhile, and it was one of those games…I thought maybe step up and try to get something going.

On if he was responding to something he had done…

No, yeah just trying to get something going.

On him trying to fight…

Yeah when its 5-1 a lot of guys don’t really want to get into that stuff but we want if we are losing a game like that we want to step up at least do something and show that we care. They don’t have a lot of tough guys over there or anything so it’s a little different then maybe some other teams.

BOSTON BRUINS GOALTENDER TUUKKA RASK

On the Red Wings having more jump in their step tonight…

Yeah they did. I thought we had a couple chances there in the first period too right from the hop, and then they come and first two shots are goals. That’s something that should never happen when you think about it as a goalie. We didn’t play our best definitely today that’s for sure. They kept it going for 60 minutes.

On if he’d like a second chance to stop what amounted to Todd Bertuzzi’s first goal…

Yeah, you know, short side. It was a good shot, but still. Short side like that you have to have it. A couple of other ones too, but you can’t do anything about it anymore.

On if this is the type of game that you just try to forget…

Yeah. Next game is coming pretty quick so you can’t start to think about what happened. Obviously, you have to recognize the mistakes that you made and move on. That’s the only thing you can do.

On if he would have liked to play the third period…

I’m not going to start analyzing that. I thought I deserved to get pulled. I didn’t play to my level today.

On if his struggles tonight had to do with lack of playing time…

No.

On Detroit’s style of play…

Definitely a different team than what we usually face. They’re really experienced and they like to hold on to the puck. They’re not so much about speed. They’re about making those plays. They’re a really good team. Obviously we knew that, but we just couldn’t match it today.

On Detroit’s passing ability…

Yeah, they have the skill to make those plays and hold on to that puck for as long as they want. That’s something that you need to take away from them in order to succeed against them.

On his misplay that led to a goal…

Yeah, I stopped it backhand and then I missed the puck pretty much. And then I didn’t want him to get the goal from behind the net but then he just shot it at my skate … off my skate, off my head and in and that’s it.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD DAVID KREJCI

On what happened tonight…

Well I think you can see, they just outplayed us. They were just playing another level of hockey today and we just couldn’t keep up with them. But we played bad. It’s not like we played good and they just outplayed us. If we play our game, like we’ve played in the last couple weeks, but we didn’t.

On if he thinks they could keep up with Detroit, if they played better…

Yeah, I’m sure we can. We’ve done it in the past. They’re a great team, you know? But they’re just people just like us. I guess we were just looking at the first half of the first period and they scored two quick goals and I guess from there, we got a little close, but you know, the score didn’t matter. They just outplayed us today.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD PATRICE BERGERON

On tonight’s game…

I think that we just need to play our game, which we didn’t tonight. We were watching. We know they are a puck possession team, still doesn’t matter usually you put pressure on them and they can’t play they game they want to play. We were watching for too long. Especially in the first fifteen minutes of that first period it was all them. The last five minutes of one it wasn’t that bad. In the second period the same thing happened again. Especially against a team like Detroit …we said before the game that it was a good measuring stick for us. You couldn’t even tell … it wasn’t our team playing tonight.

On Detroit dictating the style of play…

They played their game, but we weren’t even close to half of what we could play. Yes, they played well but we beat ourselves as well. Like I said, we were watching the whole game.

On if the Bruins can be physical against a team like Detroit…

I think we need to play our game. We need to move our feet, be hard on the forecheck. It’s been our game. It’s been the way that we’ve been creating chances and getting a lot of goals. We didn’t do that. Obviously, that’s what they want to do. They want to bring us back and spread us out and create some chances with that. I think we were sitting back a little too much.

BOSTON BRUINS GOALTENDER TIM THOMAS

On being put in the game…

Of course it has crossed your mind that you have to start preparing yourself, even if it’s just in the back of your head. Like I said, I’ve had experience of going in and experience being pulled. I’ve had the shoe on the other foot. It’s not that big of a deal to prepare yourself anymore, like when you’re younger.

On how he thinks Rask’s mindset has been…

I think it’s been pretty good. It’s been the victim of a lot of bad breaks and a lot of kind-of curveballs for a lack of effort, but he’s kept a good attitude and kept positive all through. Everyone in here still knows he’s… I shouldn’t have to say it, but he’s a great goalie and he won the last game he played. This wasn’t a fair picture to take any judgment from any position on the team.

On if the Bruins had bad timing during the game…

Yeah, it was just, you know… they play a different style of game. That didn’t help. That doesn’t contribute to it and we’re not familiar with it. We don’t play them a lot. Having said that, we just didn’t play our type of hockey, and not just our type of hockey, it was just a rough night for us.

On playing Detroit again on Sunday…

Yeah it’ll be interesting. Interesting to see how we respond. We’ve always responded well in the past to these types of challenges. I’d imagine Sunday we’re looking to get a modicum of respect back, from the Red Wings, too. Probably the way we played tonight, they don’t have too high of an opinion of our game either.

BOSTON BRUINS DEFENSEMAN ANDREW FERENCE

On if this was the worst performance of the season…

Yeah I mean it was disappointing. We were really flat against a really good team.

On if it’s a coincidence they had such an emotional win against Montreal and came out flat tonight…

Well it definitely takes a lot of concentration and preparation to kind of walk away from the game before, just like a bad loss. You do almost the exact same thing where you have to just kind of leave it behind you and clear your mind and prepare for the next one. So obviously it looks like we didn’t do a good enough job of that, so especially against a good team it’s going to look really bad.

On every phase of the game being off tonight…

Yeah, well I mean it’s the thing when we are playing as a whole group and everybody is prepared, it’s a well-run machine. But if there’s a couple of cogs that are off, and today was timing. It just seemed to be a little off. There was a little hesitation in a lot of the things that we were doing and it only takes a couple little things to really make the system not run very smoothly. So especially like I said when you have some of those issues and against a very good team, it looks all the worse.

On if the Red Wings took advantage of the hesitation in ways other teams couldn’t…

Well I mean they’re definitely a very difficult team to play against, even when your game is on. So if anybody’s going to exploit hesitation, it’s going to be them. They have a tremendous amount of skill to take advantage of an extra couple feet of ice. And I think you saw that not only on their goals but in a number of chances where they had extra time to make plays and really kind of do whatever they wanted.

On if he is glad to get another shot at them right away or would rather not see them for a while…

Like I said you do the same thing you do after a big, emotional win. It’s just the same kind of preparation that you need to learn from the games. You take the positives, you take the negatives and you kind of leave it behind and start preparing. So especially when it’s against the same team. I mean it’s…there’s no excuse not to be ready for who they are, what the personnel is, what their systems are. I mean so it definitely gives you…it takes away any excuses that you have for not having a good rebound game.

BOSTON BRUINS FORWARD MARK RECCHI

On what Detroit did to win the game…

I mean they’re a great team but we weren’t ready at all. For whatever reason we weren’t sharp from the get-go and that hurt us. We know they’re gifted and control the puck, and they did. We didn’t match it. We’ll have to be a lot better on Sunday. It was a good eye opener for us. We haven’t had one of these in a while so let’s hope that’s it for a long time again.

On not responding the way they should have after being down 2-0…

I don’t think we were too impressed. I just don’t think we had our legs. When you don’t have your legs against a team like that, with very good puck control possession players and a team that can really move

the puck well, they can make you look flat-footed a lot and standing around. If we have our legs, it’s different. For whatever reason we didn’t today and we have to be a lot sharper. We have to go to their building now and try to redeem ourselves.

On getting a chance to play Detroit again so quickly…

Exactly. You don’t like to sit around too much. Sunday at twelve-thirty we have to be ready and be a lot different team. Show them what the Boston Bruins are really made of and make a good game of it.

On if the team wasn’t ready to play…

I just thought we didn’t have our skating legs right off the bat. They got a couple and they’re a very good puck possession team. They’re a team that moves the puck tremendously. If we don’t get in and create forecheck and create energy, they’re going to control the puck a lot of the night. When they can control teams that’s what they do. We have to be ready on Sunday and we will be. I don’t doubt that we’ll bounce back and we’ll be a better team.

On giving up six goals in consecutive games…

That’s not our team, we know that. We’ll be fine. It’s so funny, everybody talks about how we don’t score goals and we’re one of the top teams now. We let goals in and everybody is going the opposite way. We’re fine, we know how to play defense and we’ll crack down in those areas and sharpen up. The bottom line is when we play good as a team we don’t allow much anyways.

On if they needed to be engaged more emotionally…

There’s more to it. You have to skate and you have to take away their time and space and puck possession. That’s their game. Their defensemen move the puck terrific and they always seem to find a spot. If you’re half a step behind, they’re going to find those people. We have to be a lot better and we will be. We’ll be a better team on Sunday and we’ll show them we like to play and we can play as a team. We’ll be ready.

On Detroit dictating the style of play…

They did, absolutely. They dictated it and now we have to go to their building and dictate it.

On if they can beat Detroit when Detroit dictates the play…

If we play properly, if we play the way the Bruins play and we skate, absolutely. We can turn the tables. Tonight they had it on us, they controlled it, we didn’t have our legs and they were good. They’ve come off some tough loses lately. I think they’ve lost four and they were ready for this. You know we have a tough job ahead of us and we’ll be ready for it.

BOSTON BRUINS DEFENSEMAN ZDENO CHARA

On whether the Bruins didn’t bring enough energy or if Detroit played well…

They played really well and we didn’t really stick to our game plan. It was one of those nights we didn’t perform and execute well, the things we talk about.

On getting to play Detroit again on Sunday…

I think overall our game has to be better. Everything about it, we’re losing battles, we didn’t skate with them, pretty much everything. We were just flat all around.

On how the Bruins followed the win over Montreal similarly to how they followed the win over Dallas with the loss to San Jose…

Well, yeah, I mean it is something that we are looking for, more consistency. Following up big wins and emotional games like we had. I don’t know, it’s just one of those nights that we didn’t have it.

On the Bruins’ goal after he broke his stick on a shot…

It’s kind of a lucky break. Obviously try to shoot on the net and broke the shaft, then it went to Looch [Lucic] and he made a great play to Krech [Krejci] and we scored. Sometimes we have those lucky breaks.

DETROIT RED WINGS HEAD COACH MIKE BABCOCK

On the game tonight…

Obviously it was a good game for us. We scored timely goals early, we got off to a good start and I thought we were skating good and moving the puck good and in the end we were able to get a comfortable lead and play all our guys which was really good. We got a home and home with this team. They’re going to be a lot tougher on us in our building and so we just got to get prepared for that.

On seeing so many of the top six forwards score goals…

No, that was really good and I thought that Z’s [Henrik Zetterberg] group there was real strong. I thought Pav’s [Pavel Datsyuk] group was strong. Pav is starting to get his game back and him and Huds [Jiri Hudler] seem to have some chemistry so that’s real positive for us. I thought [Kris] Draper and [Darren] Helm and then [Patrick] Eaves played real well. Did everything right the whole game so that was positive and then Abdy’s [Justin Abdelkader] had a good night too, so. I thought we did a lot of good things. You know, it’s one of those games where you get up and maybe you stop playing a little bit but I thought we kept it up.

On if it would have been disappointing to not respond in such a strong way after being booed off the ice at home…

Well what I’ve done here with this group over the years is normally I’ll let them solve their own problems and you let them take control and they normally do it all. They really do. Nick [Lidstrom] is an unbelievable leader [with] Draper, Zetterberg, Datsyuk. This is one of the times, the first time in a long time, that we have actually talked about stuff like we did here the other day and they really responded, which is important for us. We think we got a good hockey team but we weren’t playing like a good hockey team. It doesn’t matter how talented you are, if you don’t work you got no chance to be successful.

On if he was more hands on in practice the past few days…

Well I just, we talked about it, more so. You can’t let this happen, to the point where enough talking had been done and so today, they played which is great to see and you got to give them full marks.

On the success of the power play tonight…

Yeah, I thought our power play, we still never shot the puck on it, which drives me crazy and we talked about that today. Our power play is going to be a lot better when we quit fooling around and just shoot it. Just shoot it. And I thought that Huds and Pav and Homer [Tomas Holmstrom] did a great job on the five-on-three to really make a nice play. That was a good play. And Z [Zetterberg] had a great step going east-to-west behind the net, but our guys up top on the point got to be shooting the puck more. There’s lanes and that’s how you break teams down. When we’re successful, we’re always shooting the puck. Through our first three power plays, I think we had two shots on net, you know? So, we got to shoot the puck more.

On scoring two goals on the first two shots…

Well it gives you momentum but I mean, we made an unbelievable play when Chara pinched for the first goal to set Bert [Todd Bertuzzi] home on a two-on-one and a great play by Hudler to absorb [Adam] McQuaid’s check and slide east-to-west on the rim on the bottom by [Niklas] Kronwall and then back out to [Danny] Cleary, those great plays. You’re going to score on those if it’s your first shot or your last shot. Those are tough plays for the goalies. A guy goes barring in and then a guy goes east-west, behind

the net, slot. You can look at the goal and say hey, two shots, two goals or two chances, two goals but the bottom line is, they’re going in.

On forwards playing harder on defense…

No, it was way better. Our big thing tonight was we had a good F-3, we looked after our D. We hadn’t been doing that at all, our D had been in trouble so much in so many games because we weren’t looking after them and you know, when you play the game right and you play with structure coming out of the offensive zone, you break out of your zone fast and you’re always on offense. That’s why we’ve been playing in our zone so much.

DETROIT RED WINGS DEFENSEMAN NICKLAS LIDSTROM

On if he would ever consider playing in the KHL in Russia…

No, I’m good. I’d rather stay here.

On seeing so many top six forwards have a good night…

I think it was very important for our team to have the guys respond and I think we played with a lot more sense of urgency too. You can tell from the puck drop that we wanted to score. I think it showed that we were going after pucks and getting pucks at the net and guys were getting rewarded by doing that too, so. It’s great to see the team respond the way we did tonight.

On how important it was to set the pace of the game…

I think it was very important to set the tone early on in the game. Whether it was forechecking or hanging onto the puck in the offensive zone, things we’ve talked about that we have to do a lot better job at, I thought we did tonight. By doing that, I thought we kind of set the tone in the game early on.

On what part of the Bruins’ offensive game they were able to shut down…

I thought we were playing real well at the blue lines. We didn’t give them a whole lot, many chances for two-on-ones, three-on-twos. I thought we played real well defensively and we didn’t spend a whole lot of time in our own zone. I thought we were aggressive to push them on the outside and once we got the puck, we were going quick the other way.

On if their pride was on the line after being booed off the ice at home…

Yeah, there’s a lot of pride involved. A lot of, you know, a team that really wanted to respond to having a poor game at home. I think it showed from the start of the game that we played with a lot more desperation and I thought we played the way we can play, too. And I thought we kept it up for most of the game, too. We scored on the power play and we had some more chances to score, but I think the key was getting more shots at the net and really being hungry to go and get it.

On the success of the power play…

Yeah, we got two goals on the power play and especially the five-on-three. We have to score when we get chances like that and we did. And the same thing on the five-on-four, where we get one goal and it really helps us set the tone for the power play.

DETROIT RED WINGS GOALTENDER JIMMY HOWARD

On his team’s performance tonight…

It was great. A lot of it’s done from just being in good position, good structure. It was just a great all around game by all the guys.

On the importance of Detroit playing a good game tonight…

It was very important. We haven’t been playing Red Wing hockey for awhile now. You know, we realize that. Sometimes you care so much you dig in a little bit too hard. I think we all needed to take a

step back, relax a little bit. We had a great practice yesterday. We had another great pregame skate this morning, so our guys felt really good going into tonight.

On Detroit’s best players stepping up…

We need our best guys being our best guys. Tonight that was the case. It’s just something we need to build on.

On if being booed by their home fans in their last game motivated them tonight…

Against Columbus and against Nashville it was a bit of an eye opener for us. That’s not the way we want to perform for our fans and they deserve better.

If today’s team meeting helped…

We went over it a little bit more at a team meeting, discussing the other team’s tendencies. Sometime’s you need to switch it up a little.

DETROIT RED WINGS FORWARD TODD BERTUZZI

On getting off to a good start tonight…

Yeah, for sure. Like I said, we’ve talked about it enough and we had to go out and do it and start playing like we know how. We know how crucial these points are. It seems everyone in the West is winning right now, so these points are crucial. We were playing a really tough Boston team, so we were ready.

On if he put any extra pressure on himself to turn things around tonight…

I think everyone did. I think everyone needed to go out and play and stop thinking. We’re at our best when we’re relaxed and calm. We were just letting the play happen instead of over thinking it and trying to do too many jobs out there. I think we did a lot of that tonight.

On Detroit’s best players stepping up tonight…

You do for sure. You need the guys who are playing the big minutes to contribute. We’ve had our guys do a very good job up till now. We just need to keep doing more of it.

On if Detroit’s two quick goals in the first period put the Bruins on their heels…

They came back with a quick goal too and that put us a little bit back on our heels. We just kept playing well defensively, having third guy high and took care of the puck.

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