Thank the hockey gods for consecutive nights of Stanley Cup playoff heaven.
Hey, how about those knuckleheads throwing those idiotic clapping paddles into the ice at the end of Game 6? And how about the jackwagon who thought that handing those things out at a hockey game was a good idea? Got what he deserved.
Remember the year the Knicks and Rangers handed out those Thunderstix at MSG? Remember, even Larry Brown (or was it Jeff Van Gundy) saying how embarrassing that was?
Speaking about embarrassing, how about Jeremy Roenick who, between “unbelievables” said the Lightning “phased off elimination.” He also said that five goals wasn’t going to cut it defensively for the Bruins in Game 7, then insisted that Game 7 will be a high scoring game. I know a lot of you will disagree, but Mike Milbury is a much better studio analyst.
An Interview with:
COACH GUY BOUCHER
Q. Guy, I know you like to talk about a team game and that everybody contributes, but in a game where Sean Bergenheim wasn’t there, you got such contributions from Marty, Vinny and Stamkos, I was just curious what kind of responsibility they put on themselves in this game and how they came through it.
COACH GUY BOUCHER: I was expecting a big game from those guys, but I disagreed that they didn’t have big games in the last games. Looking at the scoreboard, there’s more to the game than just scoring goals and having points. They had very good games before. It just wasn’t going in for some of them, and for some other guys it was going in.
So for me, they just get the result of their previous games’ hard work. So I don’t think it’s an on and off switch. It’s something that you build every game, and they got what they deserved.
Q. You said after last game, if only you could solve the enigma that is Tim Thomas. After tonight, would you say you’ve solved that or most of it?
COACH GUY BOUCHER: I guess we solved it for tonight. But every game is an opportunity for them and for us. And I’m sure he’s going to come up big. He said they were going to win for sure. So I’m sure he’s going to come up big in the next game. So we’re expecting that.
And we know he’s a very good goaltender. So today is today. But the next day is going to be another story that we have to figure him out.
Q. Claude Julien seemed pretty unhappy with the calls tonight. In reference to what you said today, just your reaction to that? He seemed to think maybe there was a connection.
COACH GUY BOUCHER: Well, first of all, I was asked that. I didn’t bring it up myself. So I was asked. And people put numbers in front of me. And those are the facts, the numbers. If you’re asking me, power plays are 5-4 for them tonight. And they were 3-0 for them the start of the game in the first period, and it was 4-1 for them before we got our other power play. So I don’t know who got the advantage today. We got less power plays than them.
Q. What was the difference on the power plays for you tonight?
COACH GUY BOUCHER: First of all, more poise. The last two games, one of our power plays had a lot of poise and the other one didn’t. And I think today both power plays had a lot more poise. And we got the results out of the poise that we had with the puck, managing it a lot better.
Q. Could you talk a little bit about the development of Teddy Purcell. He says when he first got here that maybe he didn’t quite understand the intensity it took.
COACH GUY BOUCHER: No, he didn’t. He didn’t. But you know what, that’s the beauty of this game. And working, I think, with individuals, individuals figuring out with great leaders around him, I think he saw Vinny and Marty, just like Stammer figured it out also coming in, he’s a great hardworking guy, when you see those guys and what they go through and how hard they train and how much they pay the price on the ice every night, you know, you gotta learn. And I think Teddy’s certainly one of those guys that’s learned a lot this year.
He’s put a lot of effort into it. It’s not something that just happened. He’s worked really hard at it. He’s been through a lot. We sat him one time in the stands. After that, had a little tendency to understand faster.
But we always knew he had the skill and always believed that he was a really good player. And I think he didn’t know how good he was.
So I think when he figured that out, he started to control the puck a lot better. He started to figure out that he’s got a lot more speed than he thought. And then he’s six-foot something, and he can certainly manage himself on the ice against the big boys.
And certainly I’m part of a group of people that’s very proud of him right now.
Q. What’s your assessment of the way Roloson played tonight?
COACH GUY BOUCHER: We won. That’s all. That’s what we’re asking. We’re asking him for a chance to win, and that’s what we got.
2011 EASTERN CONFERENCE FINAL
Game 6 Post-Game Transcript
May 25, 2011
COACH CLAUDE JULIEN
Q. Your comment on how the special teams went.
COACH CLAUDE JULIEN: Obviously it was a difference maker. They scored three goals on the power play and it took us a long time to get our first one, and that certainly dictated the game. And what was more disappointing is probably the fact that, you know, I don’t know if I agree with those calls. And hopefully what was said today didn’t have any impact on that, because if it did, I’d be really disappointed.
But when you look back at those and you get an opportunity to look back at them and thatâ€™s really tough to swallow. And at the same time, you want your team to kill those penalties, which we’ve done a pretty good job throughout the series. But tonight that wasn’t the case. And obviously it was the difference in the game.
Q. Just to follow up, if you can take a positive, obviously Lucic and Krejci and Horton had a great game, and Krejci especially.
COACH CLAUDE JULIEN: They were very good tonight. That line needed to be big for us. And they were. And that’s certainly something that you can build on heading home, that if those guys played like that again, you like our chances.
Q. Vinny, Marty, Steven Stamkos, any surprises there that they turned it on in a big game situation?
COACH CLAUDE JULIEN: Power plays, that’s what they excel in.
Q. What do you think having Chara out there on the power play? There was one I think you had containment for about a minute forty. Didn’t score on that one. The one you did, he was right around the post there?
COACH CLAUDE JULIEN: Yeah, he did a great job again tonight, and just in that second period, we had some power play time. And then somehow there were times we should have shot because he was there and we had the shooting lane and we chose to pass. And that certainly took away some momentum from our power play.
And sometimes it doesn’t have to be a big shot. It’s just a wrist shot that’s got to go through. With him in front of the net, you’re giving yourself a chance. And again, he did a great job in front, and that’s something that we need to hopefully capitalize on with the job he’s doing up there.
And our guys have to make sure that they shoot the puck a little more. I thought in the second period we stopped shooting the puck. And that really hurt us as well.
Q. Back to that top line thing. When they’re bad, they’re bad. When they’re on, they’re unbelievably good. Lucic, why is he first to the puck so many times tonight? Is that just determination? Or what’s going on?
COACH CLAUDE JULIEN: He was skating tonight. It’s as simple as that. When he skates and comes at you hard, certainly puts everybody on their heels. I thought he was skating well tonight and created the stage for himself and also created some turnovers for the hockey club, and that was a big difference maker as far as that line was concerned. It made a whole lot of difference.
Q. You worked all season to get home ice advantage. Just your thoughts on going back Game 7?
COACH CLAUDE JULIEN: That was my comment after the game to our guys. You play 82 games, and a lot of times people say: What do you play those 82 games for? And I think that’s one of the key things that if you can get home ice advantage this time of year, you need to take advantage of it. And we did against Montreal and now we need to do the same thing against Tampa.
Q. You referenced that Montreal Game 7. If you can think back, what was it like for the guys heading into that, just the attitude, the feeling in the dressing room, and do you think you’ll have that this time around?
COACH CLAUDE JULIEN: We’ve had the experience of it, obviously, and we need to take that experience and utilize it again. And I thought tonight our guys competed fairly well. But, again, those penalties ended up costing us. Their power play was successful.
At the same time when we got to within one goal, we got a D that caught in and give him a two-on-one right after he gets within the goal. So again it’s a mistake that becomes costly in the Playoffs.
So if we can minimize that stuff and come out hard next game and then take the lead and hang on to it, no doubt, we’re going to be winners.
But we’ve done well against Montreal. And I think we had a lot of pressure not just because it was Montreal; it was also the first round, and we needed to get through it. And we did that.
So I think our guys are going to be fine for Game 7, I know our guys will be ready and positive and our job is to make it happen.
Q. You brought it up, the comments today about the referees. On the one hand, do you warn your players there might be extra sensitivity about what they do out there? And secondly, is there any place for that in the game, are you disappointed that something like that would come up in a conference like this?
COACH CLAUDE JULIEN: I didn’t say anything special to our players. We went out there and played the game. I thought we were very disciplined tonight. And again, it just seemed like it was one of those tough nights when you look back at some of those penalties, whether you’re allowed to agree or disagree. I’m one of those guys tonight that probably disagreed on a lot of them.
When you hear what happened today, I guess it certainly makes things look even worse. So referees have a tough job to do. One thing you don’t want to do is criticize them. You’re allowed to agree or disagree, but they’ve got a tough job to do. My job is not to criticize them. But it was something that was tough to swallow tonight.
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