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Julien pre game press conference: Winnipeg

Julien pre game press conference: Winnipeg

JULIEN PREGAME PRESS CONFERENCE

Claude Detroit Game 1On how he feels about opening night tonight…
Oh, I think everybody’s excited. You know when you go through training camp and you play those preseason games and then finally at the end of I guess preseason you see you’re still here and you have an opportunity to play for this organization. I think it’s great for the players, it’s great for us and coaches to get the season started, you know. We’ve put in a lot of work and a lot of time and now we want to I guess get the show on the road and tonight’s going to be an exciting night for everybody.

On how it feels to be coaching so many new players…
Well my first year I had over twenty new guys. [Smiles]. I didn’t know anybody, right? So that was probably more than it is this year and I managed to get through it. So you know, I think it’s been a good three-plus weeks where we’ve been able to kind of work individually as a group, as a line, with different players and different personalities. And everything right now, you know, we’re pleased with it – we’re optimistic and we just have to let things work themselves out too. So I don’t have any issues with the number of new players. I just have a, you know, preoccupation with getting the whole group ready to play here tonight.

On if Zdeno Chara’s status for tonight…
He’s out.

On how opening night differs this year emotionally and professionally…
Nothing changes, Kevin. To me I’m excited about tonight. I don’t live in the past and that includes winning a Stanley Cup. That cup we won over four years ago, you know. So right now it’s about trying to duplicate what we’ve done in the past that made everybody happy and you have to go year-by-year. So nothing changes for me. It’s just about going out there. And I have some pride in trying to do a good job and trying to accomplish, you know, what people maybe don’t think we can accomplish. That’s the challenge that we have this year and I’m looking forward to that.

On how he feels about his defense with Zdeno Chara out of tonight’s lineup…
Well we’ve dealt with that before, you know. We dealt with that last year. He was out for a while and you know you have to deal with those situations. And again my preoccupation can’t be about what I’m missing, but what I’ve got and what I’ve got tonight I think is good enough for us to win a hockey game. All we have to do is go out there and show it.

On if there are ever any scenarios where he would play with four forwards because of missing Zdeno Chara from the lineup…
I’m not quite sure.

On if he would ever go with one defenseman and four forwards…
Not necessarily unless you’re really looking for a goal late in the game. I think, you know again, you know you hear coaches say, Fluto, that just because something happens you don’t throw your game plan out the window and I know you’re going to talk about, “Well you need to adjust,” I think that that’s right but over the course of a game sometimes you have to stick with what you have. There’s a lot of teams that have six healthy Ds but only five basically play. So it’s not unusual to have five Ds play a lot of minutes. And I think what you’re talking about is different times of the game that you can make those adjustments if you feel like it.

On if Zdeno Chara’s progress has changed at all…
Yeah, it’s getting better every day, you know, it is. There’s no doubt today he felt better than yesterday so we’re you know, I guess we’re hoping that it’s going to be sooner than later and that could be next game for all we know.

zdeno-chara1On if he would feel comfortable playing Zdeno Chara limited…
That would depend on the risk that you take, you know. What is that risk? If it’s minimal then maybe you do. If there’s more damage that can be done over that course of playing in the game or two earlier versus being safer down the road why not? You have to be smart about your decision-making. So to me if there’s no risk and he’s got to play hurt or little risk and he’s got to play with a little bit of pain – no problem. If it’s the other way around, there’s a big risk, then why risk it this early in the season?

On a percentage of the fan base that judges the team for how physical the team is…
I just wonder about what we’re going to do as a group in here, you know. There’s no doubt that the Boston fan base wants a type of team. I think we’ve always tried to give them that. But at the end of the day the Boston fan base wants to see us win. And if we win there won’t be any complaints. So we have to think about winning hockey game and think about winning them the right way, whether it be physical or whether it be scoring or whether it be defensive play we have to win hockey games here.

On if he thinks the Winnipeg Jets have changed much since last year…
No. They have the same coach and from what I’ve seen of the preseason games nothing’s really changed. I think they have some young kids but they have some good talent too, you know, those young players coming in. They’re still fast, they’re still a good size team and I think they’re a team that’s going to be extremely respected this year because of the growth that’s come from that group over the last few years.

 

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