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Claude Julien pre-game press conference

Claude Julien pre-game press conference

BOSTON BRUINS HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN

On if he will use David Krejci more on the penalty kill this season because he lost a couple good penalty killers…
Well, we might, you know. It depends on how our whole lineup unfolds at the end. But we know he can kill penalties and we’ve always used him when, you know, it was deemed necessary. Like the past years we’ve had almost three pairs, even an extra guy that was really… that was his strength, so we didn’t always have to use him. At the same time, I always like to come back with David’s [Krejci] line after killing so, you know, that kind of took away his opportunity at times. But one thing I know is he can kill penalties. There’s not an issue there. So whether we use him or not, or maybe we’ll use him a little bit, we’ll see how everything unfolds with our lineup.

boston_bruins_claude_julien_contract_extensionOn if it’s good that David Krejci wants to play as much as he can…
Yeah, there’s never any issue about guys you know wanting to do things. I think there’s…whatever 18 players that are dressed every night that want to play on a power play so that’s, you know, it’s never an issue. Anything that can get you more ice you’ll want to do. So I have no issues with that, you know. If he can penalty kill, it’s more ice time. He’s a smart player, he can kill because he is that smart; he’s always in a good position. But, you know, at the same time there’s some other guys that have those roles that, you know, are willing to, you know, jump in front of pucks. And we saw that from [Gregory] Campbell and those kind of guys. You need guys that are sacrificing their bodies and you don’t always like those kind of players necessarily doing that. So there’s a fine line there that exists between using them and using other guys instead.

On if there’s a plan to experiment with 3 on 3 tonight…
Yeah, tonight. Whether it’s six nothing it doesn’t matter there’s going to be a 3 on 3 to experiment with tonight. I think it’s great for teams to get a feel of it and everything else so yeah. We got three games, I think the last one in Washington is one of them as well and I don’t know if it’s Detroit or New York, I think New York is the other one.

On if having a goaltender in a 3 on 3 that can handle the puck well is helpful…
Well it does help and that’s some of the things that we talked about to our players about. Make sure if you’re going to make a change that you don’t give it to the goaltender so you can shoot up the ice quickly or you have got to put it in areas…first of all, you like to change when you’ve got control of the puck. So hopefully one guy changes and you don’t give the puck away, that’s the ideal situation. The other situation is if you can’t control it or you can’t go back and regroup while somebody’s changing and you have to dump it in, you have to get rid of it. Just lay it somewhere where the goalie just can’t come out and play it that easily. So you know that’s kind of what we’re looking at- the things that we’re doing. And also, when do you change? It’s always more fun to change after you know you’ve had a chance to score and it’s like oh, they’re going back in our end it’s a long change. So obviously you want to change then, but that’s the wrong time to change. The right time to change is even when you’ve got the puck- even in the offensive zone, if the high man is close to the bench near the end of his shift he’s got to really focus on saying this is the right time to change here, not about getting excited about maybe scoring a goal here…because what if we don’t? Do I have enough to go back and defend? So this is where, you know, guys will be tested, you know. Talk about mental toughness and decision making and all that stuff, I think that’s where the 3 on 3 will get decided- in those kind of situations.

On if he likes the adoption of the 3 on 3…
Yeah I’m okay with that because honestly, I’ve been pretty vocal about it, I hate shootouts you know. I hate an individual deciding a team game. So I like that because I think a lot of it will get resolved in the 3 on 3. On the other hand, I was kind of enjoying that format that we had with the three forwards and the one D. I thought we had decent success with that. We didn’t lose that many games. We won more definitely than we lost. But at the same time, you know, if anything we got ourselves into shootouts. So I thought we had a decent format there. Looking at our, you know, our stats afterwards I think that was, a lot of times last year, that was our best period- the overtime period. So I like that as well. But the 3 on 3 is definitely going to I think resolve what I guess a lot of peoples secretly hope for is less shootouts and hopefully more team decision making on the outcome of games.

On if he’ll still be aggressive during 3-on-3 overtime, like in 4-on-4 OT, using three forwards…
Three forwards, yep. [So you want to continue to be aggressive?] Yeah, I mean, just because I don’t like shootouts, doesn’t mean we’re not going hopefully improve and be better at it, you know, because it’s going to happen, I’m sure, once in a while. But that point becomes pretty huge when you look at the standings at the end of the year. So we’re going to continue to work on that, but for me, when you’re playing in the overtime, you’re going for the win. I mean, you’ve got the point, you want to get that second one, so why sit back? You know, let’s go for it. That’s my approach.

On how it helps in that scenario to have two-way players like David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron…
Well that’s exactly what the concept of it is – is that we have some guys that are reliable on both sides of the puck and they’ll know that if there’s two guys down, they’ll kind of take that third-man high rule. Not to say that they’re getting out of a scoring area, but they’ll make sure that they’re ready to retreat. And like I said, if you put three forwards out there, we have to have those other two ready to back-check, no matter what. As soon as you lose a puck, you’ve got to get on the right side of it and that’s why shifts have to be short. You may only get once chance, two chances and if you don’t score, get off, because you’ve got to get those fresh legs out there. I think it’s important to keep it short and high energy, because it’s just a little mistake. One bad pass that’s behind you, you turn around, they get it, they’re gone, on a breakaway or two-on-one, something of the sort. So it’s not going to take much to decide those outcomes.

On Torey Krug defending smarter in his own zone, especially handling battles with bigger players, and if he encourages him to not get into battles with guys that size…
Yeah. I think I talked about that just the other day. I talked about him not necessarily saying, ‘well, I’m going to win this battle against this 6-foot-6 guy.’ He’s just got to be smart, and all we want for him is to come out with the puck, so even you know, if you’re going to go in the corner and you’re side to side, maybe be smarter, let him go in first, maybe take the puck away just before he goes in and go out the other way and you know, I always use the example of Brian Rafalski, who I coached in New Jersey – he was extremely good at that. He was this little player and you could use him against top lines because he was smart in his D zone that way. He’d come out with the puck and then go up the ice, so he didn’t have to engage in battles and that’s what I told Torey, because Torey’s from that area, I’m sure he’s seen him play. And [I] said that if you can be a little more like Brian Rafalski was, you’re going to see a big difference. I don’t need him – there’s times when he can handle himself, he’s big, he’s strong, that’s not to say he’s weak, but it’s hard to compare him to a 6-foot-6 guy that’s going in the corner and he’s 230 pounds. Be smarter, and come out with the puck – that’s all we care about. And same thing with forwards, when we talk about physicality – just get in there, get your nose dirty and come out with the puck. You know, if you’re not a hitter, you don’t have to run anybody over but if you’re smarter enough to come out with the puck, you’re not going to hear a complaint from me.

On if he tells Torey Krug to just come out with the puck instead of engaging in battles…
Yeah, I think he knows that. You know, he’s been in the League now for a few years, where that part of it doesn’t matter anymore. Maybe at first, when he first came in here, ‘I want to show them that I can handle the physicality and I’m going to try and go head to head’ and that’s normal, I guess, that thought process. But now he’s got some experience, and says ‘I don’t have to prove that I can handle myself that way. All I have to handle is that I’m a good player, I can come out with the puck and I can do the job that I’m good at’ so those kinds of things get pushed aside.

On Alex Khokhlachev and Brandon DeFazio being the two players skating in their second preseason game on Tuesday night…
Just give some good looks. I mean, we looked at some players – probably a lot of it is juggling some players, and as you saw today, Krejci’s going to have kind of his line with Beleskey and Pastrnak and more than likely, Thursday’s game we’ll have Bergy’s line probably with Loui and March, so it’s kind of spreading those things out, so when we looked at the center position, when we looked at left wingers and that, I thought DeFazio had a real good game and he would be the right fit for that line for tonight, so we put him in there with that line.

On the power play this season…
Yes, we’ve had those discussions, and we even had those before camp started. We looked at the names and we kind of put some stuff together, but there’s – believe it or not, we’ve got probably at least 12, maybe 13 players that can play on the power play and two power plays consist of 10, so that means that we’re going to be looking at certain situations and certain players in certain areas, and see how that fairs out in those preseason games, and again, that means that if we have certain guys starting on it, that doesn’t mean that those other guys won’t go in at times, so I think we’re in good shape there. We’ve just got to make sure we have enough penalty killers at the end of this training camp to feel comfortable with that as well. I think on the power play side, we’ve got quite a few bodies. You saw Krech [David Krejci] this morning playing the point, something he’s done before, he’s been good with that, so that’s a possibility as well.

On last year being the first year he didn’t have Geoff Ward on the bench, and what he missed about not having him there, maybe tactically or as a friend…
I think a little bit of both, Fluto, because I’ve known Geoff for so long and we’ve worked together for many years and we just read off each other well. He knew my style and obviously I knew his and tactically, he’s very good. I think in New Jersey, he’ll help them quite a bit with the tactical part of it, because he spends a lot of time and he enjoys that and you know, whether it was a five-on-five, whether it was power play he worked on, stuff like that, so you know, there’s no doubt you miss a guy that you’ve worked with for a long time, but having said that, I think once Joe [Sacco] got comfortable with us, he’s really brought a lot as well. Here’s a former head coach who understands the position I’m in, but also he’s been an assistant coach before, he knows his role and you know, him and Jarvy [Doug Jarvis] were in charge of the power play last year and I thought if you take the stats with the numbers from the League, but then you look at the other stats that they keep, our power play created a lot of scoring chances, our power play was good, we spent a lot of zone time, did a lot of good things and I think at the end of the year, where you looked at the issues there, was the finish. I didn’t think we finished well — weren’t able to finish well on our power play — but it was good, so that’s a credit to Joe who came in and replaced [Geoff Ward] and Doug Jarvis who worked well together.

On how much time during training camp he’s spent working with the 3-on-3…
Well, we’ve tried to do it as much as we can in the scrimmages that you saw, just to give the guys a feel. We have some ideas as far as coaches, what we want to do, and we mentioned that to the players quickly but we’re going to also work on that part of it, and some of it is what I talked about with changes — when do you change? Some of it will have to do with faceoffs, you know, faceoff plays for and how do you set up for faceoffs against. And even 3-on-3, you can be in the offensive zone and you saw it in one of the scrimmages, the centerman is on his forehand, he pushes it through and that guy takes off, your defenseman could be flat-footed if he’s in too tight and there’s a breakaway right off a defensive zone draw. There’s a lot of things – offensive zone draw, there could be a quick play right off the draw as well, so we’ve got all that stuff mapped out and we’re going to work at it probably more when we get a smaller group.

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