COACH CLAUDE JULIEN
Q. Prognosis on Horton?
COACH JULIEN: Day to day.
Q. How much do you think the extra day off here will help your team?
COACH JULIEN: Well, it will help both teams. When you play two games in one night, it’s probably a blessing in disguise that we have two days between because, number one, it’s going to make for a better Game 2. I think if anybody who is a hockey fan watched last night’s game, they have to be happy with the showing. It was a hard fought game. Could have gone either way. That’s what Stanley Cup Final should be all about.
Q. When you have had difficult losses in the past, is there anything special about bouncing back?
COACH JULIEN: I don’t think so. Like I said, we’ve been through a lot. Again, when you go back to the year we won, we were down 2 0 to Montréal losing our first two games at home. We bounced back from that. We’re down 2 0 against Vancouver in the Final and we came back.
I don’t think much is going to rattle our team. We’re a pretty resilient group of guys. We live in the moment.
This is a game, we all know, hope we should all know, that could have gone either way. Both teams had great chances. We could be sitting here today up 1 0 as much as we are down 1 0.
Q. What have you liked about Tyler (Seguin)’s game?
COACH JULIEN: He’s been skating well. To me right now, the only thing he needs to do is to be able to finish. If he can finish, it will certainly help his confidence, help our hockey club.
But not criticizing his work ethic because he’s competing hard and he’s got some chances. Those things are certainly a positive thing. So there’s only one thing left to do, and you hope for his sake and our sake that it comes along.
Q. When young players struggle, like Torey (Krug) did last night, as a coach, how do you handle that situation, how do you address it with them?
COACH JULIEN: Well, when you look at games, there are a lot of mistakes that are made. Some end up in goals, some you’re able to recover from. Certainly, we shouldn’t look and judge this player on one game where he might have been average instead of real good, like he has been.
Those are part of a player getting better. Doesn’t mean we lose confidence because we still had the confidence to put him out there in that game, in overtime and everything else. He’s also the kind of guy that can produce that goal that you needed.
It is what it is. It’s easy to focus in on one thing. Yes, it was a mistake to throw that puck up the middle. If you look back at the play, I didn’t think we had a great line change and he didn’t have a ton of options. I think there could be some blame shared on that goal.
Q. What do you say or do with players to keep them focused during a long OT like that when they have had good chances to win the game but have not connected?
COACH JULIEN: I think you have to turn the page. That’s what I mean, our team’s resilient. Wasting our time thinking what could have, should have is a lot of waste of energy.
Our team turns a corner and we start focusing on the next game. What’s done is done. They could say the same thing on a few opportunities they had. But today, they got a win, so it may be a little easier for them to move on.
I don’t think it’s going to be an issue with our hockey club. It never has been.
Q. With the physical toll a game like last night takes on your players, is there anything special you do to help with the recovery?
COACH JULIEN: A day off today is certainly a good start. I think they certainly deserve that. For recovery tomorrow, a good practice that doesn’t necessarily have to be long, but will get our legs going again, our blood flowing, get ready for Saturday’s game.
Today’s technology, there’s all kinds of things that are out there. You hear about players in the cold tubs, the hot tubs, the mixture, so on and so forth. Everybody is capable of bouncing back from those situations, especially with two days in between.
Q. What did you like that you saw from Seguin, specifically?
COACH JULIEN: Yeah, I mean, he skated, had some chances. He’s got the speed to be up there with them, got the skill. For him, it’s an opportunity right now. He did a great job.
Like I said, we’ll see where everybody stands here by Saturday.
Q. When the tying and winning goals go in the way they did, off of a skate and a double tip, is there anything you attribute that to? Being in the wrong place? Awareness?
COACH JULIEN: None of those. It’s called hockey breaks, and you get those. We got those in the other round against Pittsburgh. We had some of those. Last night, Chicago got the breaks going their way.
That’s the game. You don’t complain about it or use it as an excuse. Sometimes they go your way, sometimes they don’t. That’s the way it is.
You have to give credit to the teams for making those breaks happen. They shouldn’t be looked upon as lucky more than they make their own breaks.
Q. When you went into the third overtime, you had three defensemen who logged major minutes. What concerns you about that going forward about distribution of minutes, that you’re not over reliant on them?
COACH JULIEN: Nothing more than their team. They had their guys log the same kind of minutes, too. When you look at that, I think it evens out. It’s just the way it is.
These athletes are in great shape. Obviously not in the shape where you would expect them to be at their best if we had to play back to back games, a quick turnaround. The fact that we have two days in between, we should be able to recover.
Q. What did you think of the job Tuukka (Rask) did last night?
COACH JULIEN: He’s been good. Nothing’s changed with him. I thought a lot of the chances they had, he got to the puck. Like we talked about, you have one that goes off of Ference’s skate. Can’t blame him. There was a point blank shot. The winning goal I think was tipped twice before it went in. How can you blame your goaltender for those kind of goals?
Certainly he’s good and continues to be good. Right now we have a battle of two goaltenders that are at the peak of their game.
Q. Last night Tuukka described the Krug turnover as a terrible turnover, do you attribute that to a heat-of-the-battle type of thing?
COACH JULIEN: Not sure what you mean by that.
Q. Tuukka, that’s how he described the turnover.
COACH JULIEN: I don’t think he was blaming Krug. He probably had the right to say the same thing. It wasn’t a good turnover. But, like I said, he didn’t have that many options either with a tough line change and everything else.
Mistakes are part of the game. Whether he made that turnover, he still scored four goals for us in the series where we need him to score. I think if you balance it out, there’s a lot more positives in Torey’s game than there is in that one mistake.
Q. Was there anything in particular that happened on the bench when you got whistled for the too-many-men penalty?
COACH JULIEN: Well, yeah. I don’t think you could blame anybody on that. They had to make that call. Our guy is coming off, they shoot the puck right at him, hits him in the foot. He’s not trying to play it, it hit him. Our other guy jumps off.
If that puck doesn’t hit him, there’s no too many men on the ice penalty.
We had a couple in the Pittsburgh game. It’s so touchy now with the line changes, the intensity, you see a lot of those penalties being called in the playoffs.
Q. What about his game makes Dan Paille so versatile?
COACH JULIEN: Well, because we need it. With his speed, his ability to score goals at some pretty important times has been good for our club, especially for a guy who most of the time will play on the fourth line. He’s been able to step up and help us out in different areas. He continues to be a good penalty killer for us.
I think his game is just as important as we talked about Campbell going down. You lose a guy like Campbell or Paille, whether they’re on the first line or fourth line, they still play a valuable role in our hockey club.
Q. People who don’t have as much invested in the outcome of the game as you do are already describing last night’s game as a Classic, can you look at it that way despite being so close to it?
COACH JULIEN: Absolutely. I even talked about it with our management and staff like that. I said, ‘You know, in reality, it was a great hockey game.’ When you watch the video afterwards, you see the excitement, the chances, everything else. The only thing I would be mad about is the fact we didn’t win. Other than that, this was a great hockey game for people to watch. It was a great hockey game. I thought both teams played well.
I don’t think there should be any disappointment in what happened last night except for us not getting the win that we wanted.
Q. Claude, can you explain why the recent Stanley Cup champions have won despite struggling so much on the power play?
COACH JULIEN: Yeah, I think if you look at teams sometimes that have great power play percentages in the playoffs, they get them early in the series, early in the playoffs. But as the playoffs move on, you do so much homework on the other team’s power play. Like for us, we could go back three rounds, looking at Chicago’s power play, and vice versa. So you do your homework. Plus, the more you play them, the more you make adjustments as you go on.
I think it’s a normal trend, has absolutely nothing to do with the team not being able to score more than the penalty kill doing a great job.
When you see guys like Campbell throwing himself in front of a shot like he did, you’re seeing guys go above and beyond what they do in the regular season to prevent a goal.
To me, it’s a normal thing. Even when we played Vancouver, they had such a good power play. By the time they got to the Final, they couldn’t score either.
Yeah, you give your team credit. But also the fact that you’ve been able to scout themand play them, and just as the game goes on is another thing. To me, I’ve always been one of those proponents, we can say what we want about special teams, yes, they can win you games, decide games once in a while, but more often your five on five play is what is going to decide a game.
When you play 50 minutes or so five on five, that should be more of a determining factor than six minutes on a power play.
Q. How ready are your three extra forwards if they are called on to play?
COACH JULIEN: We’ve worked everybody hard. Like I said, they’ve been pushed. They’ve done extra, forwards and D’s included. There’s nobody in that extra squad that isn’t ready to step in right now.
Q. You used the word ‘resiliency’ several times. Why is this team so resilient? Is it leadership? Chemistry?
COACH JULIEN: It’s because we’ve been through a lot. You can chalk that down to experience of having been through a lot, the ups and downs. So we don’t get rattled anymore. We know what we can do. I mentioned all the examples earlier.
We’re very capable of staying in the moment, not living in the past, which could be last night, or living in the future, which is unrealistic.
Q. Do you remind your players of that?
COACH JULIEN: Don’t necessarily have to bring all that stuff up. Those guys have been through enough, they talk about it to each other. You hear them saying it.
Like I said, we have a good group here that has been through a lot. Not much has to be said more than from my job just getting us ready for the next game. The rest of that stuff, they’re very aware of.