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Rask in goal for B’s tonight, Julien says news on Chara “encouraging”

Rask in goal for B’s tonight, Julien says news on Chara “encouraging”

The Bruins will turn the net-minding duties over to Tuukka Rask tonight. With just a little more than a week before the puck drops for real, Rask will get his first action of the preseason. Jonas Gustavsson will serve his the back up.

Gustavsson and Jeremy Smith remain in competition for the backup spot behind Rask.

On D tonight, the Bruins will dress Kevan Miller, Zach Trotman, Linus Amesson, Colin Miller, Torey Krug and Joe Morrow.  – Kevin Harriman

600x400_julien_presser_101013HEAD COACH CLAUDE JULIEN PREGAME PRESS CONFERENCE
On if there are any updates on Zdeno Chara…
Yeah, he’s doing better. He skated this morning early and so things are going as expected I guess. It’s all encouraging.

On if he has any idea when he’ll be playing again…
Not right now, I mean we’ve kept it day to day because you know he’s progressing so obviously not tonight. We’ll see how the rest of the week goes here. And you know like anything else we’re going to be more cautious than anything. And you know same thing with David [Krejci] yesterday you guys asked, you know. It’s been a long camp and a lot of guys, you know, started getting a little stiff so we’re over cautious with him – we don’t want anything to go wrong. So we just…this is how we’re handling some of our veteran players.

On his impressions of Joonas Kemppainen…
Good. You know, he’s a real smart player. I think, you know, he’s a big body he’s strong. You know even in positioning and protecting the puck… he’s strong on draws. Like I said I think he’s a real smart player. He’s an easy player to play with – reads the game well and stuff like that, so I like that. I think, you know, right now it’s his first time trying to really get used to North American ice and I think he’s done a great job so far at that, I guess adjustment, if we can call it that. Because you know to me he’s looked good so we continue to evaluate him like everybody else and can’t say that I’m disappointed that’s for sure.

On Joonas Kemppainen’s offensive skills…
Well from you know I mean…I saw tapes of him, I’ve seen him play our games and obviously upper management has seen him play and you know some of what I watched was from the World Championships and he had an offensive side to him. Like you know when he goes to the front of the net he makes plays and he’s good and tidy around that net and stuff like that so. I think, you know again, you might see more of an offensive side to him as he gets more comfortable. Like any smart player I think you really want to make sure they’re reliable and once they, you know, they prove that they’re reliable they get more comfortable and they start bringing yet other elements to their game. But I know he’s capable of being a decent player offensively as well.

On his impressions of Colin Miller…
He’s been good. You know I think at times I’ve seen a guy who really wants to show that he belongs. And you know maybe at times trying a little too much. But that’s our job to kind of get him to tone down his game a little bit or relax and say, “Listen, you know, we know what you can do,” and stuff like that. But he’s been good I mean he’s got…you can see he’s got a good shot. I like his mobility. He’s a good skater. When you talk about, you know, breaking out of our own end that’s an element that, you know, guys like him can bring to our team because they’re such good skaters. So again, as you can we’re getting closer to our group here. Those are all tough decisions that we’re going to be dealing with at the end.
On what he thought of Colin Miller’s defensive skills…
He’s a good stick, you know. He’s got a good stick. And obviously coming from the [LA] Kings organization, you know, they’re pretty good at the defensive part of the game as well. So I think he’s had good coaching there. And again, if you’re not 230 pounds you have to be smart. You hear me say that all the time. And if you have a good stick and you’re in good position defensively you’re doing your job, you know. Biggest thing is to try and eliminate or at least get the puck back as quick and possible. So whether it’s through physicality or through being smart and having a good stick it doesn’t matter to me. As long as it gets done quick.

On if he liked Malcolm Subban’s progress and what he needs to do to make it to the next level…
Well I think I’ve liked his progress. Obviously he’s a lot more confident, poised and you know determined to you know to be a good goaltender at this level here, you know. I think when you look at him he’s still a young goaltender. He’s going into his third year and you know you’d like for him to kind of take over the American [Hockey] League like you know there’s no reason why to keep him back there and it gives him an opportunity too to mature. I say that all the time. So many goalies need time to mature. And even the ones that come up early and you know there’s some examples out there. It takes them a while to kind of get the hang of what you need to do here and for him to be here and practice more than play I’m not sure that was the right thing for young goaltender so. It doesn’t mean you’re not going to see him back here. I think if you goes there and he plays the way we know he can play down the road he’s going to force our hand again to bring him up or do something. So it’s in his hands. I like the progress he’s made as far as goaltenders are concerned. From his first year to now there’s a big difference. So even that last game…like there was some pretty hard shots coming from that point there and but he played well. He made some, again, some unbelievable saves laterally. He moved across quickly; he made a couple of game savers there so. Definitely liked the direction he’s heading in.

On optimistic he is with the two goalies he has left…
I’m optimistic you know. It’s too bad because you know when you look at a goaltender and you look at another guy that plays up front, you know, whether it’s a defenseman or that he has a tough game and you know you write it off and when a goalie has a couple of tough goals against him right away we write them off. Well he’s entitled to have a bounce back or he’s entitled to be evaluated properly as well. So you know we’re talking about [Jeremy] Smith. And then [Jonas] Gustavsson he’s got some experience we need to look at him too. The possibility is you’ll probably see him in New York. You know Tuukka [Rask] is playing tonight so you know we’re going to try and evaluate the best we can here but we have to make some decisions here. And just because you make a decision at the beginning of the year doesn’t mean you’re going to stick with it either so. It’s a matter of making the right decision and making the right moves moving forward here.

On if Tuukka Rask will play the entire game tonight…
Yes.

On if David Krejci will skate in the second group today…
Yes. He’s skating with the other group.

On what kind of an opportunity this is for younger guys like Austin Czarnik to play with veteran NHL players…
Yeah well we want to see that too. We’re evaluating a guy and no matter what, you know, you get down to, I guess to the last few numbers, you look at different players and even if they’re not here the evaluation we can make on these guys knowing that can be a call up and what they can bring to your team, you know. Whether it’s reliability or whether it’s creativity…you know that stuff. It’s important to see those kinds of things. So you know he’s been with Frank Vatrano for most of camp and, you know, now he’s got an opportunity to maybe play with some more experienced guys and we’ll see what he can do so. Like I said we’re still in an evaluation process here and he’s had a good camp and he’s here because he still deserves to be here.

On the evaluation of the younger plyers going into the final week of preseason…
Well we’re down to three games as you know. So we have to start making some tough decisions here and they are going to be some tough decisions. I’ve been impressed, I’ve been pleased with the number of guys that we’ve had at camp that have really made a good impression. Some of them are already gone, you know, whether it’s back to junior and you know I look at [Jake] DeBrusk as an example. And here’s a young kid that did an unbelievable job at protecting that puck, you know. He’s 18 years old and he’s playing against pros and he’s protecting the puck, and making plays, and taking pucks to the net like he did the other night, and cutting in and not afraid to take that puck to the net. Like there’s some impressive things from some different guys that we’ve seen so. Again like I said, we’ve got some real tough decisions coming up. But again, we’ve had a good number of players here that have really opened our eyes and that’s the encouraging part of it.

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