COACH CLAUDE JULIEN
Q. Claude, Tyler Seguin was talking about how it wasn’t an easy
thing for him to come to you and say, I’m not scoring goals, what can I do
better? Some of the guys think you’re an approachable coach. What is it
like, your relationship with the players? When a guy comes to you, is it
easy to be open and honest?
COACH JULIEN: It is. That’s a relationship I think coaches always
have to have with players, more today than ever. There was a time back
when I played that you didn’t really ever bother the coach. You either
played or you didn’t. If you didn’t, you found a way to get back in the
Today it’s a different concept, players want to know, they need
guidance. You give it to them. They know that door has always been open
for conversation. Doesn’t mean they will hear what they want to hear, but
they’ll hear the truth.
Tyler wanted to know how he could help the team.
Q. It was said that in this playoffs, how hard it’s been to carry
momentum, but you’ve been able to put a couple of games together. Just
your take on that, why that may be.
COACH JULIEN: Well, because teams that we’re playing against are
pretty good. We just have to look at the Pittsburgh series. It was 4-0.
As I said before, some games could have gone either way. This is a 2-1
series. Game 1 could have gone either way, Game 2 could have gone either
way. Can say the same thing about Game 3.
It’s about making your breaks, taking advantage of them when you have
them. That’s why we’ll have some discussions on whether you can build
momentum or not, whether coaches believe in it or not.
As I said, you always have to focus on the game that you’re going to
play that night, which is tonight. I’m not looking at, We’ve got momentum
now, we won the last two. I don’t believe in that. They understand how
important this game is, and so do we. It’s going to be a battle out there
Q. Patrice probably sacrifices some of his offense in order to play
at both ends of the ice. How would you sum up what he means to this club?
COACH JULIEN: I’m not sure I’m going to agree he sacrifices some
offense. If he does, he’d probably be a minus player. He recognizes that
both sides of the game are important to him. He knows how important it is
to our team. He takes pride in that.
Could he have more points? Yes. He’s also a guy on the ice for more
goals-against. He’s learned to balance that thing properly.
In my eyes, when you look at the offensive numbers he puts up there
for how well he plays defensively, I think it’s tremendous.
You look at his plus/minus every year, that’s always something that
dictates a lot about a player. It doesn’t mean it’s his fault that he gets
scored on. When you’re consistently a plus player, you play with different
guys, he had Recchi, Jagr, Seguin, Marchand for a few years, but other
years he had other players, too. Still, that line becomes a really
A big part of it is because of Patrice Bergeron. Not just reliable
offensively, but reliable defensively as well.
To me it’s a mindset he has, something he takes pride in. Because
he’s like that, more and more he’s getting recognized for being an
outstanding player in this league.
Q. After tonight’s game you get a couple days before the next one.
Does that change much in how you plan this game tonight, how much you might
COACH JULIEN: Not really. You don’t get a second chance at trying
to win the game you’re playing that night. You got to do whatever you have
to do. Even if we were playing every second night, if you need to shorten
your bench, you do it. If you need to play certain players, move them
around, you do that.
I don’t think those two days are going to change anything in our
philosophy of having to win tonight. Our focus is going to be on what we
need to do tonight, not what is going to happen in the next two days,
resting them, playing them more because we got two days for them to rest.
It’s about winning and finding the right recipe.
Q. What has Jagr’s presence off the ice meant to the team?
COACH JULIEN: You have to start reading some transcripts here. I’ve
answered that question about five times already. I’ll answer it again
Everybody in that dressing room knows what he’s done in his career.
Everybody in that dressing room sees what he does now. We talk about a guy
that goes the extra mile to stay in great shape, conditioning. When
everybody else has gone home, he’s still at the rink, doing extra, because
he knows himself, he knows what he needs to do to keep up with the game.
He’s a great example for younger players to look at. That’s what he
brings off of the ice. You guys see what he brings on the ice. He’s done
it everywhere he’s gone. We knew about that coming in. Sometimes he does
different things than anybody else, like going on the ice late at night on
You know what, he’s earned that right. Definitely if that’s what
makes him a good player in the next game, why not just let him do those
kind of things?
I think he knows himself well enough we can allow him to do those
things. I think the players respect that he does that. And maybe a
20-year-old doesn’t have to do that at this stage, but maybe when he gets a
little older, he might take some of those things into consideration to know
how hard he works after games.
Q. Tyler Seguin said the last few games are the best games since he
started. Do you feel the same way?
COACH JULIEN: Absolutely. He’s played well. I said that the other
day. Maybe he hasn’t got that goal or those goals, but he’s got some
assists, made some great plays on other ones that they haven’t scored.
He’s forechecked, done well in the battles as far as trying to come
up with the puck, all the things we ask him to do. We’re not expecting him
to be a real physical player because we don’t try to make a player what
But it’s about winning battles. Battles means coming out with the
puck. Whichever way you have to do it, you go out and do it. I think he’s
done a great job of getting in there and creating those situations to this
Q. Zdeno’s shot totals per game is down a little bit. Is that just
an indication of defense-first kind of mentality?
COACH JULIEN: It’s just making smart decisions. Chicago is a team
that does a great job of fronting. We used to talk about New York.
Chicago does a great job, too. They’re in the shooting lanes. Maybe when
he gets the puck, they’re in the shooting lanes. He’ll make a smarter
decision with the puck than to get it blocked. I don’t see an issue there.
At the end of the day, scoring chances are there. It’s tight on both
sides. But I think last game we had close to, in our counts, to 20 scoring
chances. So they’re there. I’m not going to put too much emphasis that
his shot total is down.
Q. From a philosophy standpoint from you, are you tougher on a team
as the games get bigger when they win or when they lose or is it no
difference or is it a feel thing?
COACH JULIEN: It’s a feel thing. You can lose some games where you
think your team played extremely well and you can win some games where you
thought you were lucky and guys didn’t perform well. I look more at the
But we’re in a stage right now where I think we just got to stay
focused. My job is to keep our team focused on the present, not the
future. That’s the most dangerous thing right now, is to try to look
ahead. We have a job to do tonight – not tomorrow, but tonight. I think
our guys have to be ready for that challenge that we’re going to get
Q. We’ve talked about with Seguin and Kelly, they haven’t been going
offensively, they’ve been able to find the right mindset. Recchi, a couple
years ago when he retired, said Peverley would be a good option, he still
seems to have the right mindset knowing he’s contributing on the faceoff,
PK, everything. Speak to his character, how he’s handled less glamorous
situations this year.
COACH JULIEN: He’s done well in that regard. I’ve said it I think
yesterday. We’re a team. We take a lot of pride in whatever we have to
do. Sometimes you’re given a role that is maybe not the role you’ve been
used to, but you embrace it.
Somebody has to take over for Gregory Campbell right now. He’s a
great faceoff guy, a guy that can play with energy. He can give us that.
He’s a great penalty killer, as you mentioned.
You take what they bring in a positive way and you try and insert him
in those kind of situations.
Those guys understand it. Like I said, we spread everything around.
We got guys that kill penalties, guys on the power play. The role players
are extremely proud of their roles. I think that’s important for a hockey
club to have success.
A guy like him has a lot of versatility. You can put him on the top
line. You’ve seen him on the wing on the top line. He’ll be able to help
your hockey club. I think that’s an asset to any hockey club that has
players like that.
Q. Jagr, with him on the power play, we see the pass that was made
the other night. You brought him to be the left shot on the right side.
What does that do for you, opening up space on the other side?
COACH JULIEN: Well, obviously he’s been a player that’s excelled in
those areas throughout his career. He’s got good vision. He can make
those passes like you saw the other night. At the same time I’ve seen
where teams really try and jump him, try to get the puck out of his hands
because they know how dangerous he can be. When they do that, sometimes
they’ll pull a guy out of position which allows another guy to get a good
He’s brought that respect I guess to our power play as well. Another
dangerous player. So it’s opened up some other options.
I think he’s done a great job of that.