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June 23, 2013

Claude Julien


THE MODERATOR:  Questions for coach.

Q.  Claude, any update at all on Patrice?
COACH JULIEN:  Yes.  He's day‑to‑day.  Well, isn't that good enough?  Day‑to‑day.

Q.  Upper or lower‑‑
COACH JULIEN:  Body injury.

Q.  How is he spirits wise coming home on the flight?
COACH JULIEN:  You would ask Marshy that question, because he said he looks dashing today in his suit.  He's a guy that's day‑to‑day, and day‑to‑day is really good news to me anyways.  Should be to you guys.

Q.  No white pants or anything?
COACH JULIEN:  No, we leave that for Walshy.  White shirts.

Q.  Brad Marchand, no points in this series.  Is this a similar slump as to what he was going through in the beginning of the Playoffs?
COACH JULIEN:  Well, if he's going to be a streaky player I would hope that streak starts tomorrow.  I don't think he's played terrible, but certainly he knows he can play better.  But a lot of our guys do, too.  We all need to be better in order to get ourselves back into this series here.  We feel confident that we can.
You go through bumps along the way, and you fight through it.  Just have to look at the other team.  They have guys that haven't produced and they started producing.  If we can do the same thing, then we're going to get ourselves back into it.

Q.  Your team is no stranger to adversity.  Can you give us an idea of the message you'll give them tomorrow night going into battle with the Blackhawks?
COACH JULIEN:  Well, surprisingly enough maybe for you guys, you don't have to say much to this group.  Like I said, we don't say it because we want to say it, but we're an experienced group that's been through a lot.  Not just that but we have a good group of guys that understand what's at stake.  They understand what's happening, and they know what they need to do.
I don't need to go in there and give this big speech and get these guys riled up because they know what's at stake, and we've proven it in the past, and now we have an opportunity to prove it again tomorrow, and that's up to us to show it on the ice versus talking a great game in the dressing room and not showing up on the ice.
I'd rather see our guy be focused, ready and excited about playing tomorrow, and the word excited should be a key word to tomorrow's game.

Q.  Chris when he came back from the leg injury, it took him a little while to find his game, but do you feel in the last 10 days to two weeks he is skating like the Chris Kelly before the injury?
COACH JULIEN:  Absolutely.  He's been a real good player, and his skating is definitely better.  His confidence because of that is definitely better, as well.  He's been a good player in this final series.  There's no question about that.  He's certainly done his job.

Q.  You've played four rounds against teams that are increasingly good.  You get a pounding and give a pounding for four rounds.  Are you ever amazed at what guys want to keep playing through when they're obviously not 100 percent?
COACH JULIEN:  It's like that every year.  When you hear those stories when it's all said and done and what guys have played through, those guys deserve a lot of credit.
I'm going to be honest here.  I've never been a coach to push guys to play, because if they don't want to, I don't want them in my lineup.  So the guys that you see in our lineup are guys that want to play.  This is where they deserve a lot of credit, because if they can and if medically they're cleared and they want to, I'm not going to hold them back.  They can be medically cleared, but if they're iffy about their situation, don't feel comfortable, then they're not going to be in our lineup.
That's why the credit should go to them, because at the end of it, once they're medically cleared it's their decision.  When I say medically cleared it doesn't mean you're 100 percent, but you're told that you can go.

Q.  Are you anticipating that Bergeron may be able to skate tomorrow morning?  And two, are you comfortable leaving Soderberg in that spot if Bergeron can't play?
COACH JULIEN:  Well, again, what does day‑to‑day mean?  I don't know if he'll skate tomorrow.  He may.  And that's what day‑to‑day is.  Again, I'm trying to be as clear as I can here.
At the same time I like Soderberg's game.  Anybody who knows that this guy hadn't played in two months and came into yesterday's game and played the way he did should be impressed.  I know I was.  He had good jump and there was no fear.  We gave him the same message we gave our young kids when they came into that round against New York, and he just did the same thing.  He went out there and played and played hard, and I didn't mind his game.
Now, whether that happens or not, again, will depend on Bergy.  The other thing is if it's not Bergy, I'm going to look is he the right fit or do I look for something else, and I may have to juggle some players around.
But that will happen more tomorrow when we find out more about Bergy.

Q.  We talk about Tuukka's game and how that's become so great in the Playoffs, but what have you noticed about him as a leader?  I noticed after the games he's not afraid to call himself out or teammates out but in a way that it's constructive?
COACH JULIEN:  Yeah, I think he's earned that respect.  He's honest with himself, and he's given up some bad goals where he's looked squarely in the camera and said, hey, I should have had that.  They're not always the proper words but he says it the way it is.  As far as his teammates are concerned, if he's honest with himself, he can be honest with the team.  I don't think he's ever thrown anybody under the bus, but it's not a bad thing to say because if I can stand up here and say it, why can't they.

Q.  Other than maybe a couple of moments in the first couple of minutes, did you like your Game 5 start as well or better than any other start in this series?
COACH JULIEN:  Well, to be honest with you, we looked a little nervous, and I'm saying that because there was a couple of easy passes that slipped off sticks and everything else, and yet we were hoping to get a better start.
That wasn't necessarily a start we wanted, and we keep saying we need better starts.  But yesterday the first maybe three, four shifts were like that, and sometimes those things can set the tone.  So we definitely need to be a little bit better tomorrow in that regard.

Q.  When you started these Playoffs against the Leafs, you talked to us about the ups and downs that your team had gone through.  There's been more highs than lows, but there have been a few bumps along the playoff way, and you know your team.  Has anything about them surprised you on this playoff journey?
COACH JULIEN:  About them, our team?  No, I think there was bumps along the way here in this series, as well.  There's times, like I said‑‑ our first two periods yesterday I didn't think we generated much on the attack, but we had some better chances in the third.  So you can kind of dissect the game a little bit and say that, but at the end of the day you lose by a goal, it's a 2‑1 hockey game.
And yes, they might have had a few more scoring chances than we did, and we know we can be better, but no, this team has shown a lot of pride and guts as far as going out there and competing.
And like you said, not everybody is 100 percent, but yet we're still getting guys to compete hard, and that's what you've got to keep doing right until the end because the other team is in the same position as we are right now as far as all the things I've talked about.

Q.  Just wondering what was your opinion on Boychuk's hit on Toews yesterday?
COACH JULIEN:  The same as the league.  I think they said it was clean, wasn't it?  Then I agree with them.  I'm not going to hide from that.  If it wasn't a clean hit, I'd have been a guy that supported those kind of things that we need to get out of the game.  But it was a clean hit.

Q.  If Toews can't go for Chicago, and we don't know, but‑‑
COACH JULIEN:  Who are you?

Q.  I'm Pierre.
COACH JULIEN:  From who?

Q.  From TSN.
COACH JULIEN:  You're supposed to say that before you ask the question.

Q.  Thanks.  You threw me off now.  If Toews can't go, how much do you look at the other lineup when you're formulating your strategy?
COACH JULIEN:  No, but again, if you look at our situation, I think I should be looking in my backyard and make sure I've got my guys playing tomorrow before I start worrying about the game plan with them.
We'll know more tomorrow, and I can prepare in different ways in my mind, and once I find out whether all our guys are in our lineup and whether all their guys are in or out, probably you can adjust to some things in your game plan according to that.
But right now we know it's up to us to play our game and to bring our A game if we want a chance to win.  That part of it should be more important than who they have and don't have in their lineup.

Q.  David's line the last couple games, is there a little bit of a defensive issue thing going on there?
COACH JULIEN:  Well, is it a defensive issue because those guys have been scored on?  I think when you look at the goals that Kane has scored, you've got to give him credit.  He's done a good job of getting into those quiet areas and sliding into those pockets and the puck keeps coming to him, and that's what good players do.  They find areas to go to where pucks come to them.
What I would say as far as our team is concerned is you need better awareness when you're out there on the ice against them and know where those guys are, and sometimes it can be the forwards, depending on where he's coming from, and sometimes it's got to be our defense.  He's one of those guys, and Sidney Crosby does it well, too, goes from one side, goes behind the net and comes out to the other side and kind of loses himself.  I think Kane's first goal was that kind of a goal.  And the other one he came in from the slot area and slid into that pocket.
And again, it's more of awareness, and it's not just a line and it's not just the D.  Sometimes it's one or the other, and we need better awareness.

Q.  Most teams don't want any part of Z.  They stay away from him.  The last two games the Blackhawks have gone there.  How do you think he's responded and do you need more from him?
COACH JULIEN:  Well, they've gone there.  I think, again, I don't think Z has been a bad player for us.  Again, you look at all the goals, and I keep saying that, just because he's on the ice doesn't mean they're his fault.  I get to watch those games and dissect it, and I can't really tell a single goal that's all Z's fault.  He takes a lot of heat because he's on the ice for those goals and what he means to our hockey club.
But you've got to be objective about that.  Like I said, it's pretty obvious that they're throwing the pucks in his corner and they want to get him to turn and tire him out.  But again, he's a well‑trained athlete that can handle that, and you'll see that in the next game and hopefully the one after that.

Q.  You brought the issue of nerves.  Just wondering how you sense the team feels right now, if it is feeling a little bit nervous and how that compares when you were in the same position two years ago.
COACH JULIEN:  It's like I was saying earlier, I think our guys have been through enough that they're fine.  I didn't see anybody hanging their heads today.  If anything I think they're looking forward to the challenge tomorrow, and that's a great sign, I think, for a coaching staff to see their players like that.
And I said earlier, I don't think I need a big pep talk with these guys because the reason is I see them in the right frame of mind and all we've got to do right now is go out there and prove it tomorrow.
Talk right now is cheap; you've got to show it.  That's what I'm going to give our team the opportunity to do tomorrow.

Q.  Are you ever concerned whether it's in past seasons or this run, too, that your team physically hits a wall at some point, and are you concerned at this point that things are piling up?
COACH JULIEN:  No, I don't think so.  I don't think physically we've hit a wall.  Again, we're in the fourth round, and a lot of guys are playing through a lot of different things.  But I don't think we've hit a wall.
Again, those are things that I can talk about here, but I'd rather let our guys show it tomorrow, and you're going to see we're going to have some pretty good jump.  Tomorrow we'll be ready to play.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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