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Claude Julien: 'We kind of loosened up in the second period'

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff  May 24, 2011 12:36 AM

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Bruins head coach Claude Julien spoke about his team's huge win in Game 5 tonight over the Lightning at TD Garden.

Julien addressed his team's penalty killing efforts and the momentum the Bruins were able to build, especially the two early in the second period.

"Well I think it kind of actually did the same thing in our favor that it did in their favor last game," Julien said. "You know, we had those two early power plays in the second period and we didn’t do much and they built momentum off that. I know that when Horts [Nathan Horton] came out of that second one there, he scored a big goal for us and got us back in the game. So it did build some momentum. I think our penalty kill did a great job tonight for us. Right now, before the series started, special teams were the big concern, and right now I think in both areas, we’re pretty even."

On the play that Patrice Bergeron made to set up Brad Marchand’s goal, Julien said he's seen it before from the Bruins center.

"He’s pretty good at that," Julien said. "He’s been playing so well for us and Patrice [Bergeron] is capable of making those plays. We’ve seen those goals this year from him and even [Brad] Marchand driving the net and with [Mark] Recchi, that line, they seem to find each other pretty nicely. There’s some chemistry there and they’ve made some of those plays. Obviously tonight this is a winning goal for us and at a great time. I think it really gave us some confidence because, you know, I felt our team tightened first period. When we scored that second goal, it kind of loosened our guys up a little bit."

More from Julien's postgame presser:

On why he thinks they were playing tightly in the first period and what was said in between periods… Well, I think it’s kind of a normal situation right now. Everybody understands the expectations, the pressure. It’s a 2-2 series and our guys want to do well. I think they were prepared, I think they were mentally ready for the game, but sometimes the pressure slows you down a little bit. And we kind of loosened up in the second period. We talked about it and we knew we couldn’t win the hockey game playing that way. So we had to loosen up and our guys did a great job, starting with the penalty kill again in the second period and then we took off from there.

On if the message during the first intermission was “loosen up”…
Yeah. I think we just had to go out there and play hockey. We made some other adjustments, but the one thing I said is that we look at little slow out there, our legs look a little heavy, and that’s just based on not tiredness, but more probably feeling the pressure.

On how it feels to be one win away from the Stanley Cup Finals and what is it going to take to finish off the series…
Well it’s going to take, and you’ve heard it before, it’s almost a cliché, it’s going to take our best game. When a team’s got its back against a wall, it comes out with the best of efforts and this is where we have to make sure that next game, as I mentioned here earlier, we can’t be tight. We’ve got to out there and play with a purpose and be ready to go out there and play hard. Maybe put them on their heels and maybe get them to play tight. But this is the position you want to be in obviously, up in the series. We’ve got two games here to win one. Our goal right now is not to play Game 7. And I know their goal is to create a Game 7. So, there’s a difference between the two teams.

On Tim Thomas’ keeping Tampa Bay to only one goal in the first period, despite their outshooting Boston 14-4…
Well, he allowed us to stay in the game and that’s what we talked about it. We didn’t think we played that well and we were only down 1-0, so he gave us a chance to get ourselves back in the game. I know our team. Even as a whole, when you look at the game itself, it wasn’t our best game. Sometimes it’s about finding ways to win, and that’s what we did tonight, without maybe playing our best game. So we need our best game next game if we plan on winning that one.

On if he felt Brad Marchand was getting frustrated over the course of series by his lack of scoring…
Yeah, you know, again, he’s a young player, he’s a first-year player and his intentions are so good that sometimes when things don’t go his way, he has a tendency to get a little frustrated. The minute I saw that in the first period, I had a talk with him to settle down, stay positive, and things would work out. But I really feel that that goal helped him settle down and he was a better player afterwards.

On the decision to put Zdeno Chara down low on the power play…
Well I think we’ve always had that plan in the back of our minds. And we had talked yesterday about, because our power play was not very good in Tampa, we said if it was going to happen again, we were going to have to make some changes. And we had, Zdeno [Chara] had to go to the front of the net. And I know it kind of takes something out from the back end, but we had players we kind of felt could maybe jump in at that point, and maybe at least get some shots on net. I thought he did a great job in front, and he’s a big presence and he’s a hard guy to move. And we had some chances and your power play at least, even if it didn’t score, it gave us at least a little bit of momentum.

On the play Milan Lucic made leading to Nathan Horton’s goal…
Yeah I think that was a bit of a, again it’s something that we work on sometimes. You have faceoff plays and you work on those kinds of things, and those guys are used to it, they’ll talk about it quickly before they drop the puck. And David [Krejci] was very good on faceoffs tonight, so that allowed them to use those plays. And like I said the other day, when you don’t win faceoffs, you can’t get those scoring chances. David responded really well today in regards to faceoffs and it allowed us to get ourselves back in the game.

On if there is an update on Johnny Boychuk…
Johnny [Boychuk] is fine. I haven’t had an opportunity to look at it, I haven’t watched the video yet. I know some people have, but from what I hear it’s not a great hit. I’ll maybe save my comments more for after I see it.

On Nathan Horton playing with an edge costing the team while also benefiting the team…
No, I think the one thing is, he’s a smart enough individual. And he came up to me after the game and said ‘sorry about that coach.’ He realized he took some bad penalties, but I said what I liked about that was as soon as he came out of the box, he redeemed himself and scored us a big goal. Nothing can be perfect and when a guy does something like that, but comes out of the penalty box and redeems himself and scores a big goal, I’m going to pat him on the back instead of being all over him. But he was the first one to apologize so I don’t think there is much to be done about hat. If anything he wants to tone it down and try to minimize those things.

On the option of having Rich Peverley on the fourth line…
Well he has and that’s why, I mean this is a guy who deserves the ice time he got tonight. And late in the game, on that third line, they were starting to throw [Martin] St. Louis, they were starting to throw [Vincent] Lecavalier. They were trying to take advantage of maybe the lack of experience in Tyler [Seguin]. So I had to put [Rich] Peverley out there at that point and make sure that we had some experience against some of those guys. But this is where Pevs [Rich Peverley] becomes a real useful player. Because he did a great job on the penalty kill and he jumped in there on the third power play that we had. He was used for faceoffs that he was very good at tonight. And that’s what I mean, you can’t just put a guy like him basically on the fourth line and just give him a few minutes. You see him in different places and sometimes it’s for faceoffs, and he served us really well tonight. He played a real solid game.

On how he keeps the team from playing tight in the first period of Game 6…
Well I just think we need to understand we’ve got the lead in this series. And we’ve got to go out there and play without playing on our heels. When you’ve got the lead like that you should go out and play on your toes, not your heels, and if you play well enough, maybe you put the other team on their heels. I didn’t say we are groining to put them on their heels, I said the goal is to play well and try to play as well as you can. And they’ve got their backs against the wall, so this is our opportunity here to come up with our best effort of the series.

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