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JULIEN FOLLOWING LOSS TO MAPLE LEAFS

JULIEN FOLLOWING LOSS TO MAPLE LEAFS

BOSTON BRUINS HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN

On how difficult it is to win in the NHL when your power play and penalty kill are both struggling…
Well I think it’s hard to win in this league when you’ve got to play from behind all the time. I think that’s the biggest thing for me right now. We’re not great at playing catch-up hockey. We’re a team that’s pretty good playing with the lead, and we didn’t do a good enough job of that tonight.

On if the penalty kill needs quick fixes or a lot of work…
I don’t think there’s a lot of work that needs to be done. There’s some areas that, again, we get caught running around and we just open up the seams. Even that goal from the backdoor there in the first period, it was identified before the game that they do that. So we need a little bit of sharpness from individuals as well, and get a little more composure on the PK.

On the Bruins starting the game well and where the game went from there…
I thought the first ten minutes we came out pretty hard, and then it just kind of leveled off. We gave them a couple of goals, one you let a guy go to the front of the net for a rebound, the other one you take a penalty because you don’t dump it in when you’re trying to get a line change. Again, those are all things that are self-inflicted, and until we clean up that part of our game, it’s going to be a struggle. We’re going to be playing coming from behind, like we did again tonight. It was the same thing in California, down three-nothing both games that we lost. It’s hard enough to win in this league, you can’t put yourself in that position.

On if it’s disappointing to lose following a sound win in San Jose…
It is, but you know, we don’t travel a ton either, and you could tell the grogginess in our players when we came back. It was so important for us, I thought, to win this game tonight anyways. It’s just one game [at home] then go back on the road again. But we’ve just got to buckle down here and come back with a successful road trip.

On if he was happy to see Shawn Thornton fight…
I don’t know if I want to answer that.

On if injuries were the reason for shifting guys around on the power play…
We had to replace some guys, and again, on the point we want some guys that can shoot the puck, so we decided to put [Zdeno Chara] there. Looch [Milan Lucic] is a big enough body, he can play the front of the net too. Loui [Eriksson] is a pretty smart player there on the half wall as well. We saw that in the beginning of the year when he was healthy. We thought we’d move guys around, but it had nothing to do with that tonight. It was more like our team as a whole, you could see that we weren’t in sync from breakouts, we rimmed a lot of pucks versus making clean passes. As a whole, we’ve got to clean up our game that way.

On what he’s seen out of Tuukka Rask’s recent performances…
Same thing you’ve seen. I don’t know what else to tell you, I agree with him.

On how a goaltender can overcome fighting the puck…
I don’t know, because that’s why we have a goalie coach.

On if the Bruins’ struggles snowball when they fall behind…
No, I think if anything, there’s a lot of guys that didn’t play well enough tonight. We had a lot of guys that were trying to do a little too much to compensate for that. We’ve just got to clean up our game as a team, and when everybody does their job, we’re a pretty good team. But right now that’s not happening.

On if there are similarities between struggles now and the beginning of the season…
No, again, every year we go through this, guys. Every year, [in the] middle of the season, we seem to go through a struggle, and we work our way out of it. Nothing is different, every team in this league. I mean we’re sitting here, and we’re talking about our team, but there’s not a single team in this league that doesn’t go through this. I’m trying not to be overly critical versus trying to fight our way out of it, and that’s what I’m trying to do here. That’s why I’m kind of avoiding some of these questions here about this and that. It’s not about being negative here, it’s about working our way out of it.

On swapping defensive pairings…
That’s just coaching. I keep telling you guys that, it’s just coaching.

On seeing the team try to come back in the third period…
We tried. It’s not surprising. I mean, this is the kind of team we are. We’re not always good, but I never question the character of this hockey club. That’s never been a question for me, anyways. They’ve always been resilient, and they will continue to be resilient. Like I said, it’s just going through that situation that I think our team has got to pick its game up and be better.

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