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Claude Julien pre game press conference

Claude Julien pre game press conference

HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN PREGAME PRESS CONFERENCE
chara-seidenbergOn if Dennis Seidenberg is a possibility for tonight’s game…
Yes, he’ll be here for warm-up. We’ve got some game-time decisions to make here, guys. So obviously not up front, we’re good up front, but on the back end we’ll make game-time decisions.

On if Torey Krug is a game-time decision as well as Dennis Seidenberg…
Could be…could be one of those. Looked okay but, you know, kind of reserving the right to make a game-time decision there.

On managing Dennis Seidenberg when he does get back on the ice at some point…
Well I think it’s simplified by the guy’s role. For him, just think about going out there and playing. We’ll take care of the rest, you know. The amount of ice time, who he plays against and all that – that’s the, I guess, the advantage we have at too with that last change. So right now all Dennis [Seidenberg] has to think about if he plays tonight is just go out there and play, you know. Don’t worry about anything else. Players that think too much obviously it usually plays against them. So we want him thinking less today, tonight or whenever he plays and kind of just kind of make it as easy as we can on him. He hasn’t had a training camp, you know. So the first time he plays will be his real first game. So that’s where we have to help him out in that area so. You know, he’s an experienced player, he’s been in the league a long time so he should be able to handle that.

On if Dennis Seidenberg is game-ready earlier than expected…
Yeah. I mean you know, there’s a good possibility he’ll play tonight. You and same thing, Torey [Krug]…we’ve got to make some game-time decisions here. But, you know, the guy is in great shape. The medical staff told me he was good enough to take, you know, some challenges yesterday in the physical part of it and he’s done that. And he started doing it earlier as well last week, so it’s not like it was first time just yesterday, but just feeling more and more comfortable so when they give me the full okay and he’s good to play then we’re going to have to throw him in at some point.

On what it is about Dennis Seidenberg that enables him to bounce back from injuries…
Well a couple of things. He’s always kept himself in good shape. And that’s the number one thing for him, but at the same time you know different players have different bodies. Some heal quicker than others. And you know he’s one of those that’s in great shape and he does heal quicker than others. Others need the time that you estimate and the other ones are sometimes a little ahead of the schedule. But, you know, give the guy credit. He always works hard to get back, to be in top shape and he’s done that again this time.
On the general managers in the NHL that have discussed reducing goalie equipment or increasing the size of nets and what he thinks about it…
I don’t like the size of the net changing at all, you know. I think there’s other ways to make those changes, whether it’s goalie equipment [or not]. The one that I liked from Nicklas Lidstrom was maybe making the crease a little bit smaller, maybe goaltenders won’t like that but when they’re in a little deeper it gives you a little more net. So if they prefer keeping the size of the equipment then maybe you have to keep them in a little lower. And if they decide to minimize the equipment maybe they keep the creases the same. But you know, no matter what they decide the only I would say is I’m not a big fan of making nets bigger.

On why he’s not a fan of making nets bigger…
Because I think there’s still a lot of goals being scored, you know. We go back to, you know, many, many years ago when people were satisfied with 2-1 games, 3-2 games they appreciated the game. We seem to go back to the 80’s where you know the Edmonton Oilers would score eight goals a game but they would win 8-6, they would give up six and, you know, stuff like that. We seem to always want to go back to that. And I think that people that know the game have always enjoyed a game that has lots of scoring chances but goaltender’s been extremely good, good pace of the game. Anybody that enjoys the game. Why do people enjoy soccer so much in Europe? They can’t even get a ticket, 2-1 games, you know? Yet they appreciate the game. So maybe you need to go there for a while and embrace it [laughs]. But you know it’s just one of those things…I really think there’s still a lot of speed in our game, there’s still a lot of skill, there’s still a lot of scoring chances and there’s still some unbelievable saves. So maybe give credit to the goaltenders. Instead of being standup goaltenders they’ve modified their style to make it a little tougher to score but scoring chances are still there. I haven’t seen a change in our scoring chances in tons of years.

On if goaltenders have gotten better over the years and maybe people want to punish them for the advancement of their position…
Well exactly, should we stop improving equipment to slow down the game? You know, it was like the skates that they have today compared to skates that we had 30 years ago – when they were wet they were heavy, today they weigh nothing. So it’s improved the speed of the game because it lightens the equipment. The kind of blades they use today, you know, everything’s improving and yet now they want to, instead of improving the goaltender’s area, we want to kind of take away from them. So again, I think there’s different things that can be done bottom line without making the net bigger, that’s my opinion, you know. And I respect every other opinion that’s out there but you’re asking me the question and that’s my answer.

On if Cam Neely and Don Sweeney are on the same page as him about changing the size of the net…
Not sure, and at the same time I don’t think we would need to be, you know. I haven’t really discussed it. I was told that they talked about it but I didn’t ask his opinion and what he thought. But at the same time, we’re allowed to have different opinions and at the end of the day whatever they decide, you know, as a group you go with.
On if he thinks changing the size of the nets would change the game too drastically…
Well you know I don’t think we’ve changed the size of the rink either because players have gotten quicker right? So are we going to change the size of the nets and not change the size of the rink because we want to see more goals? You know what, like I said, anybody that knows the game of hockey isn’t complaining about the goals. They want to see a good game and that’s the bottom line. We have to give them a good game, whether it’s from a physical standpoint, whether it’s from a speed point of view, speed of the game, scoring chances- that’s what they want to see. So whether a puck goes in or not, I don’t think that they hockey purist so people that know the game are really complaining about that.

On what he would like to see from the team tonight to kick off their five-game home stand…
Let me switch my thinking here because we’ve talked about everything but the game right? [laughs]. No I think we…obviously our home stand has got to get better, you know – our home record I should say- and we’ve got a home stand here that allows us to rectify that. So, you know, as every coach will tell you let’s not look too far ahead let’s look to tonight here and get ourselves on a bit of a roll at home. And let’s work through these next five games so we can definitely improve our home record and not make this such a friendly place to come play in.

On why regrouping in the neutral zone in a 3-on-3 situation is better than doing that versus in a 4-on-4 or a 5-on-5 situation…
Well I think right now because one little mistake in 3-on-3, you know, there’s a lot of damage that can be done. So what teams have tried to do is when they do have the puck they try to keep it as long as they can, you know, instead of dumping it in and making a change and getting the right people on the ice because there’s so much ice out there they prefer trying to keep it, regrouping, getting some fresh guys out there. Or even if it’s not fresh guys, instead of just going in one against two or three, they’ll turn back and wait for the other guys to catch up. I think you’ve seen a lot of teams 3-on-3 they use a delay, which is what a lot of teams use on the power play. The defensive team backs off and they’re almost off to the blue line then you drop the puck and somebody comes in with speed. So that’s been a good way of entering the zone or getting scoring chances. So I think every team is adapting to it. And unfortunately for us, to a certain extent, besides preseason we haven’t had much of a chance to use it and other teams have used it a lot. So teams that have used it a lot are definitely getting better at it. This is where our challenge is going to be. You know, the game that we did didn’t last long because we ended up with a penalty. But there’s teams that have already gone through it quite a few times and they’re kind of catching on to what needs to be done here. So we’re kind of watching those situations from the coaches’ eyes and trying to grab what we can from it so that when our turn comes we’ve had a little bit more information.

On if they have the space to try regrouping in a 4-on-4 or 5-on-5 situation…
Well you know what, I’d say 90 percent of coaches would prefer getting pucks in deep versus going back and turning it over in the neutral zone. It ends up either in your net or in your own end. So they take that approach versus…the 3-on-3 you go back to chances of…again there’s not two or three guys coming at you so the chances of turning pucks over are a lot less than 5-on-5.

On if the physical size of goaltenders is an issue…
Well I think, you know, you look at our goaltender Gus [Jonas Gustavsson] or even Tuukka [Rask] who’s tall versus Gump Worsley or something like that. There’s definitely a difference, but again we didn’t change the size of the rinks because of the size or the speed of the guys up front because they’re bigger too. So again, I just keep going back to the same thing, Joe. Why are we always looking to punish the goaltenders, you know? Let’s make something that’s… again, if you make bigger nets they goaltender has to change the way he plays. He’s grown up playing the same way and all of the sudden he’s in the NHL now he’s got to change something, you know. We’ve stopped goaltenders from going behind the net in certain areas so that, you know, we’d give teams more chances to forecheck. So now we want to take away or make the nets bigger. We’re trying to punish the goalies all the time. So that’s where we’re sitting on the fence on that one and maybe not agreeing and looking for other options. I don’t disagree with what they’re trying to do. I’m just looking for other options that would not be so drastic for goaltenders.

On when they practiced 3-on-3 in practice this week and if the team still understood it and remember it…
Yeah I think it was just mostly, too to get a feel of how much space you have and how you want to run through it. That was the goal of the 3-on-3 two days ago was just that they need to experience it again because when it does happen we haven’t really played it that much. We did a lot of it in training camp I think it really helped the guys understand it, now we have to stay on top of it. Just like sometimes, you know, we practice power plays, penalty kills, different parts of our game I think that 3-on-3 has to be a part that every once in a while you throw into practice as well.

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