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ERIKSSON SITS OUT TONIGHT’S GAME

ERIKSSON SITS OUT TONIGHT’S GAME

BOSTON BRUINS HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN PREGAME PRESS CONFERENCE 

 On where Loui Eriksson was for pregame skate…
Loui [Eriksson] was in the back room. He’s got a minor issue that we’ll keep him out tonight, but he’ll be back Thursday.

On clarity on Adam McQuaid…
No, no. Probably by the end of the week, I guess, we’ll get more clarity on that.

On involved he is in any potential trade discussions…
I mean, I’m not in the room spending time talking about it but I’ve had discussions with Peter [Chiarelli]. We’ve discussed the possibilities and everything else. They’re certainly keeping me up to date and he certainly wants my opinion on that but more importantly I have get be focused on getting our team ready to play and that kind of stuff. So, not deeply but involved enough that I know the scenarios that are going on and everything else.

On what he has seen in Loui Eriksson’s game over the last month…
Well probably everything we expected from him. And unfortunately he wasn’t able to show it at the beginning of the year because of the concussions and all that stuff but he is starting to showcase the type of player that we knew we were getting. He’s making some smart plays, just have to look at that short handed goal of Soupy’s [Gregory Campbell]. You know, he’s patient enough, he made a great pass. He’s been a great penalty killer for us and watching in Sweden he was also a great power play player for them, he played on their first power play. He’s just starting to come around right now and everything about his game is there and probably more than anything else, his hockey sense, vision, it’s pretty impressive.

On if it is easier to keep the guys calm during trade deadline time because of being in first place…
I think so. I said that the other day, they’ve been through it every year so far and when you look at what happened for the most part, we’re always tried to add to our team depth and we haven’t really subtracted a lot. So I think the players understand that and for now, for those that don’t, they’re going to have to learn that it’s part of the game and I don’t think it should affect our game more than it should affect any other players on any other team. It’s that time of year for everybody so you have to act like professionals, you have to go out there and do your job and hopefully by three o’clock on Wednesday you’re still sitting in the dressing room you want to be sitting in.

On what he has seen from Matt Bartkowski since Seidenberg got injured…
I think he’s been good, just got to look at the last game. He’s logging some pretty big minutes now and he continues to get better. I like his poise with the puck, he’s been carrying a lot of pucks out of our own end which has facilitated our breakouts. You know, he’s defending better all the time, he’s getting that confidence as far as being able to battle I the corner and that’s just the young player getting more ice and more experience and feeling more comfortable with the whole situation. But I’m not disappointed at all with the way our young Ds [defensemen] have handled it. Right now we’re in the situation I think that we’ve lost maybe three games in the last 14 or 15, so we’re in pretty good shape with the young Ds that we have.

On how valuable it is to have Matt Bartkowski who can play big playoff minutes…
Well it’s valuable. And I said that the other day, when you sit here today you understand how important it was for those guys to play in that series in New York. They handled the pressure, they handled the playoff pressure that comes with it very well. I thought they did a great job, they were poised. Torey [Krug] played a big role in that series, scoring some big goals and Bart [Matt Bartkowski] did the same thing. We had some young Ds that really excelled in that series and today you feel more comfortable going in to the playoffs with those guys because they’ve been through it.

On what he expects from Jordan Caron tonight…
I’m not going to focus totally on Jordan because he is coming in after being out for a while. But he’s worked hard, his speed to practices and everything else is the same as everybody else. He’s going to go out there, he’s going to compete hard, and he’s just going to do what he does normally and that’s just be strong against the walls, be dependable and go out there and play that kind of game. So to me, my focus isn’t more on Jordan [Caron] than it is the rest of the team. He’s coming in and I don’t think we’re expecting him to be a savior but just to be a good player for us would be a bonus.

On having a 13th forward that you know won’t make mistakes when he comes in…
I think there’s a lot to be said about that. He’s a very reliable player as I mentioned, he’s probably going to have to end up killing penalties for us tonight. That is a 13th forward maybe coming in and being put in that role, you don’t see that too often. And he’s going to play with [Carl] Soderberg and [Chris] Kelly and he’s going to hopefully try and keep that line going in the right direction. But they also play against top lines so he’s a reliable player as well. We feel confident with him in our defensive zone so there’s a lot to be sad about a player like that because there are not a ton of them there that you can rely as much on as you can with Jordan.

On what challenges Florida not being a playoff team holds for the Bruins…
Well, I don’t think they should be taken lightly because they have a new coach and they have been playing much better as of late. They won their last game against the Islanders, they were in a really good game against Washington. It’s one of those teams that comes and competes hard every night and we have to take that seriously, we have an opportunity here with a little bit of luck to pull within one point from the top of the conference depending on what Pittsburgh does tonight. There are a lot of reasons for us to win these games. But these are games you have to win and these are games that if you don’t take them seriously and you’re not ready, you get surprised and you get disappointed.

On what Loui Eriksson’s issue is
It’s an issue. It’s an issue. That’s my choice of words there. I know it bothers you but that’s my choice of words. He’ll be back Thursday.

On what he has seen from the fourth line in the past two games…
Obviously they have been much better. Because, number one, I think their line at one point was doing a lot of duplication. You know, the forecheck – they’d end up with two guys as the first forechecker and they were a little bit all over the place and they didn’t get the results they wanted and then spent a lot more time in our D zone than they should. They got themselves back in sync, Gregory [Campbell] has kind of turned the page there and it’s important for him to have a good finish. So it was important to start from scratch and that line sort of looked at some video and talked about how they needed to play and the last two games they have been a really good line for us. They’ve scored goals not by fluke but more by the way they’ve worked together and how hard they’ve worked and how hard they’ve been working at putting pucks at the net also.

On if the fourth line continues to play this way, could they play more minutes…
It is. You look at our top line last game played maybe 16 minutes, 15, 16 minutes. Although players like to have lots of ice time, players also understand that with 17 games in 31 days these things here will work to your advantage down the road if we continue to do that. Big minutes will come when they’re needed but when they’re not it’s important to have your guys going and spreading those minutes around.

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