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CLAUDE JULIEN PRE-GAME: FLYERS

CLAUDE JULIEN PRE-GAME: FLYERS

BOSTON BRUINS HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN PREGAME Boston-Bruins-LogoPRESS

On status of David Krejci…
His status obviously would put him on the injured reserve. That means he can’t play until after Saturday’s game. That’s his situation. He’s doing much better today. Let’s just hope that things continue to improve and he’s back in our lineup after Saturday. It all depends how he does from here on in.

On Craig Cunningham’s position being related to Krejci’s injury…
He had a good camp but I’m not going to lie, there’s a lot of things related to—not just [David] Krejci but [Greg] Campbell is hurt. We’ve got some injuries here so he’s a guy that had a good camp, can play center, is good on face-offs. He’s worked hard in the minors. He’s earned the respect of his teammates. At the same time, well respected just because of how he conducts himself and when he shows up on the ice how hard he works.

On Spooner having experience in a top six role…
Yeah I think, again as we said the other day, he’s a real good player. There’s areas in his game that he wants to continue to work on and were gonna keep helping him along the way here. He’s definitely got some experience too. He was with us for twenty some games last year. He’s a player we can rely on and his speed is a hard thing to find in this league so when you have it you try to maximize it. Like we said we’ll see how he handles it and go from there. But certainly a big asset, to your questions, to be able to have a guy like that can certainly play with some skill players and give us that sort of dynamic.

On preseason criticisms of Spooner paying off now that he’s made the team…
Well this is not negative, but he hasn’t made the team. He’s here and he has to hang onto his spot and we’re giving him that opportunity. We’ve said that before, anybody that feels comfortable here certainly doesn’t have the right approach to our team, it’s about earning it. The thing I liked about what he did was that he had an average camp, he was sent down, he came back and he showed us that he wanted a second chance and proved that he deserved a second chance so he’s got it now.

On the Johnny Boychuk deal opening up a spot…
You talking about your son? [laughter]

On finding a permanent replacement or rotating D into Boychuk’s role…
I think, in response to your question; I think we’ve got seven defensemen that are regulars in the NHL. So a top four role, I think there’s a lot of guys that can play in those roles. Torey Krug is a good defenseman, so is Adam McQuaid when he’s healthy. [Kevin] Miller showed us how good he can be. [Matt] Bartkowski played in the top four. You’re going to say maybe—you’re gonna argue with us that maybe that’s not the guy you win a Stanley Cup with. Guys, they’ve got the experience, they can and right now we feel comfortable with the seven guys we have. Now, is it a hole to fill or does it just mean that we went from eight capable NHL defensemen to seven? That’s how I have to look at it.
On how then power play with adapt to players out of the lineup…
Well we always have guys. Guys get injured during the season and we plug in guys here and there. We’re gonna do that again tonight. I’m not gonna stand here and start giving you all my things but we do. We’ve addressed that because David’s an important part of that power play on the right side. There’s also guys that can play more than a minute on the power play. There’s a lot of guys that play almost two minutes. We’ve got enough guys there that can stretch their shifts out on the power play if need be and well see how that goes tonight.
On replacing centers on the power play and penalty kill…
Not really. You still got some guys that can kill penalties at center. [Patrice] Bergeron’s one of them, obviously [Chris] Kelly’s another one. We’ve had Spooner kill penalties, we’ve have Cunningham kill penalties. We’ve got a lot of guys that can handle that, that aren’t bad on face-offs either. We have wingers that aren’t bad on face-offs either if worst comes to worst. But it’s up to me to work that out and there’s a lot of times you see were short of center men I’ll put a pair of guys that aren’t center men but they’re gonna change on the fly and as soon as there’s a whistle I’ll put a center men out.

On Bobby Robins making the team…
I think he’s really grateful for the opportunity that he’s been given but I think that he needs to understand too is that he’s earned it. We don’t give anything around here, people earn it. He should be proud to have earned his spot, number one on this team so far and it’s up to him to go out there and play the way he did in training camp. As I said he’s a guy that skates well enough to for check well, finish his checks, give our team energy. We know his toughness, his willingness and his hands aren’t that bad either. There’s a lot of guys in this league that can fight but when it comes to playing the game they’re not as skilled as he is. Were in a good spot right now with Bobby.

On relation to Bobby Robins…
Not really because at 33, I was done [laughter]. Yeah when you look at his spreadsheet of his career he’s been a lot of places and for him to land an NHL job at his age is pretty remarkable. It’s a feel good story for everybody, for you guys, for us as coaches and even his teammates are behind him one hundred percent.

On the flyers not having a heavyweight anymore…
They’re still a big team. They still have some toughness. It doesn’t mean about dropping gloves all the time but they’re a big team and they’re gonna continue to play the same way. I’ve watched some of their preseason games and they’re a good team. Gotta give them credit on how they bounced back last year from a tough start so there’s character there as well.

On changing of the hash marks influencing jousting and fighting during the game…
No I don’t think it’s—first of all I think it will help the jousting. That’s one of the things we notice the most but at the same time if you watch it and when you win a faceoff your player has it in the offensive zone your player has a lot more time to maybe skate in front of that player and let your D get an offensive opportunity there and I think the league is trying to create that as well. On the downside defensive team wins the draw it’s a little harder for the forwards to get to him. They tried it in the preseason and liked it enough to keep it in. I experience it in the Olympics and I thought it was a good thing as well. There’s pros and cons in everything you do and they chose to go with that. I see no issues personally with it. I don’t think it’s a big deal. I don’t think the jousting was slowing down the faceoff more than it was center men going in, or wingers going in getting thrown out for center men and that’s been resolved as well.

On the dry scrape…
I don’t think it had great reviews overall but they chose to try it this year and we’ll see how it goes. Maybe it improves as it goes on here. Maybe the dry scrape is quicker. Right now I think in preseason because it was new to everybody it seemed like it took a long time, it seemed like we were getting pushed out of the game and starting all over again. Those are comments I’ve heard from a lot of people and players and maybe even referees and that kind of stuff. At the same time, what it does for the good of the game is that in order to switch ends and not give one team an advantage over the other, where there’s more snow on one side than the other, puts us on a level playing field again. In order to do that, they have to have the dry scrape and you saw it in one of our preseason game where a bad change resulted in us losing in that five minute overtime. I guess it gives teams a chance to resolve games before we get into the shootout. As much as we’ve all heard it, as much as it’s exciting to watch shootouts, a lot of hockey purist people think it’s not always the best way to resolve games. We’re working with it. I appreciate the fact that there’s an effort being made in regards to that.

On Zdeno Chara’s role changing…
No, not really. He’s still the best shut down defenseman in the league in my mind and this is only my mind but I think if you do a survey of players, if there’s one guy they hate playing against its him. I don’t think his role needs to diminish, I think whether were talking minutes, whether were talking this and that, I’m not even going there because we talked about that yesterday but there’s a lot of young guys that are coming into their own and maybe they will be able to get a bigger role. His role won’t diminish. He will still be playing against top lines and playing important minutes for us to be able to succeed.

On core team approach changing in terms of coaching…
Well I’m not quite sure whether I understand your question but our core group is still our core group and as far as I’m concerned I coach the same way all the time. No doubt there’s some young players that maybe are going to have to learn along the way—and how do they get experience if they don’t play? You try to balance things out where you put those players in positions where they can succeed and not necessarily positions where they’re gonna hurt the hockey club. I’m talking about maybe young guys late in the game don’t play as much but they’ll play enough during the game that eventually they will be able to step into those roles and that’s going to be up to them to show me that they can be put in those roles. That’s basically how I coach things and guys earn their ice time and that goes for young players as well. There’s always—there was a time when it took forever to get to the NHL because young players always had to spend time in the minors. That part of the game is now gone and there’s a lot of young players that come in that have to learn on the fly and were no different when it comes to having those players in our lineup.

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