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JULIEN PRE GAME: PANTHERS -DECISION SOON ON KREJCI MOVING TO CENTER

JULIEN PRE GAME: PANTHERS -DECISION SOON ON KREJCI MOVING TO CENTER

BOSTON BRUINS HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN PREGAME PRESS CONFERENCE

On any update on Dougie Hamilton’s status…
No, still obviously not out there. There’s nothing more to report.

On when Brett Connolly will be able to do more…
Getting closer. Obviously you see him there in practice. It’s a matter now of getting the ‘ok’ from the doctors, as I mentioned last week, and him feeling good enough and comfortable enough. I think it’s a combination of those two making those decisions. That’s where we’re at now still.

bruinslogo1On what kind of role Connolly could have and if he will go right into the lineup when ready…
No, I think when the time comes, we’ll definitely put him in. He’s a good player. In my mind there’s no doubt we missed him through this stretch. When the time comes I’ll make that decision but certainly not open to talking about it right now.

On your analysis of the Florida Panthers…
Well just, you know, lately I think they’ve been a good team that’s progressed all year. They’ve gotten better and that’s a good sign for them with young players coming around, they’ve added some players, veteran players, that have helped solidify that group. I think the coaching, the staff has done a real good job with that group. They believe in themselves, but then again when you draft early and you draft well, eventually your team comes around and I think it’s certainly starting to come around. They’ve done a good job with putting the players that they’ve drafted in those right places and those players are obviously becoming pretty elite players. I compare them a lot to the Islanders right now. The Islanders did a great job of that too. With patience and time you get better. This is where parity comes in. In my mind, when you win a lot you have a hard time keeping your players and when you don’t win much and you draft well you build your team up and eventually the two end up meeting in the middle and it makes for a pretty interesting league.

On what you need to see before moving David Krejci back to center…
Not a ton. I think right now it’s more about these small decisions that have to be made here along the way. Lines that have been together, centermen that—there’s no doubt David [Krejci] is probably a little more comfortable at center but also he’s just started. He’s played a few games, I don’t know that he would be that much more efficient at center right now either. It’s easy to say ‘well he doesn’t look comfortable there’, I don’t know if he’d look comfortable at center right now either having to do all that work. We’re being patient with that and we’ll make a decision along the way. [Brett] Connolly’s going to come back. He’s a right-winger, so we’ve got some tough decisions to make and when the time comes we’ll make those.

On your analysis of the Marchand, Bergeron, Krejci line so far…
Well they’ve been fine. The fact that maybe they haven’t scored, maybe people expected them to start scoring a lot of goals because Dave [Krejci] was back. But, you know, Dave has missed half a season and I can’t keep saying enough about that. He’s still making those nice little plays, his hands are still good, but I think the pace of the game is what a player really has to work hard to catch up with at this time of the year and when you’ve been out for half the season, don’t expect a guy to come back and all of a sudden have the pace of the game. We know how David plays. He does like to slow down the pace, so it’s a bit of a challenge for him to get up to par right now with the rest of the group but I like what he’s doing. He’s been reliable, he’s making good plays, he’s coming around. We’ll take that line the way it is for now.

On seeing any tape of Austin Czarnik…
No.

On making proactive coaching decisions or staying with something that works for longer…
You’ll always try to make your team better no matter what. Those kind of decisions, guys like I said, I think about all those things. That’s part of a coach’s job, but certainly not a part of a coach’s job to come I here and explain everything he’s thinking or wants to do. All I can tell you is that there’ll be some tough decisions that will be made with a lot of players because of where they belong and where they should play. When that time comes, we’ll make those tough decisions.

On what you do to prevent the team from relaxing after a few good games…
Well I don’t think you should be breathing easy and I don’t think anybody in there has been breathing easy. I think it’s just one of those things where we know where we’re at, we know what we have to do here we just have to stay with the task at hand here and keep focusing on what we need to do. Dave [Krejci] said it, we’re not denying that either, it’s almost like a game seven tonight. A lot of stuff can happen one or another here depending on the outcome.

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