THE MODERATOR: We’re joined by Coach Claude Julien. Questions?
Q. Any update on Patrice and Lucic not skating this morning? Looked like he took a puck yesterday. Their availability for tonight?
COACH JULIEN: As far as Bergeron was concerned, I think if he’s in you’re going to see him in the warm-up tonight. And Lucic, no issues there at all.
Q. If I can ask a follow-up. Do you know whether he’ll be in the lineup, and if you do know, is it a competitive advantage not to say this morning?
COACH JULIEN: No comments. Good try.
Q. Can we go back to the Bergeron thing? I’m just not sure…
COACH JULIEN: No. I think we need to move on to other things here. I’ve got nothing else to say about Bergeron right now. If we want to talk about the game, I’m open to that. If not, I think we’re done.
Q. Tomas Kaberle, do you see an increase in power play or decrease? What do you expect his role to be tonight?
COACH JULIEN: With Kaberle? I expect him to be even better tonight. We talked about it. And I think he’s committed to playing better. And as a coach and as a team you support and you expect your player to answer the call. And we believe in him. So that’s what we expect out of Tomas tonight, to be a good player for us.
Q. You did a little tinkering or showed a little tinkering with the lines yesterday. Will that hold? Will Kaberle and Kelly be what we saw yesterday?
COACH JULIEN: It’s hard to say. You try something, and if it works, you keep it that way. If it doesn’t, you’ve got to make changes. And those are all things that you have to do in the course of a game.
I can’t stand here and say it’s set in stone. I think we’ll do the best we can here to put the best lineup and the best lines together.
Q. Steven Kampfer, you said it’s about conditioning with him now. Is he getting to the point or is he at the point where if you needed him he can go?
COACH JULIEN: Still working on his conditioning, but certainly he’s getting close.
Q. Meanwhile, Lucic has struggled at times in these Playoffs. What’s your message been to him as he’s gone through what I would assume is a tough time for him?
COACH JULIEN: Well, it’s one of those things that he’s got to work his way through those kind of things. And when you’re this far into the Playoffs, you gotta push these guys, and you gotta encourage these guys. You gotta find ways to get them going. There’s nobody right now putting more pressure on those players than themselves.
You know, just because he doesn’t play well doesn’t mean he doesn’t care. To a man in that dressing room, everybody cares, everybody wants to do well. It’s a matter of finding their games and then pushing themselves, and confidence is a big part of this game.
We all know that, and sometimes when things go well, you have lots of confidence; sometimes when it doesn’t go as well as you’d like to, you’re struggling with that part of it. That’s where as coaches you try and help those guys through and push them through it and hopefully get them to find their A-Game.
Q. Kind of an obvious question, Claude, but we’re pretty good at those. Can you just talk about the sense of urgency that the team has going into this one, having already been down 0-2 in a series and kind of knowing how hard the road is to come back from that kind of a hoe?
COACH JULIEN: I think there should always be a sense of urgency. When you look at the way things go in the Playoffs, when you win the first game, basically you tell yourself, if we play .500, we’ve got an opportunity to win here. We’ve got to win four out of the next six games. You win tonight, you’re back to square one. It’s two out of three. That’s what it means.
And it diminishes pretty quickly your chances. And you want to make sure that you keep yourself in the running. And we know that tonight is as important a game as the first one. And you hope that by the end of the night, that you’re tied in this series. If not, you got a pretty big uphill climb. It’s not an impossible climb, but you’ve made it tougher on yourself.
Q. I know it was a little bit chippy at the end of that last game. But for the rest of the game from a physical standpoint, how did you feel about the way your team played physically? Were they physical enough? Did you see your guys banging as much as you may have wanted them to or is there an adjustment there to be made?
COACH JULIEN: You certainly want your team to be physical throughout the whole game. I thought we started off well in the first half of the first period. We were on top of them, were finishing our checks. And that part of our game slid a little bit. There’s no doubt.
We’re probably a team that’s a little bit more physical. And it doesn’t mean about running guys, but more about finishing your checks and being better on the forecheck as well. And that’s when you’re at your best. And we gotta probably improve a little bit in that area.
Q. Some of the younger players said to me, I think it was like two days ago, just that they thought maybe they were thinking too much about the magnitude of where they are now in the Playoffs. It’s what it means to win this series. Did you sense that at all?
COACH JULIEN: Not really. I mean, you can talk about it, but our focus hasn’t changed. Our approach hasn’t changed. And it’s getting bigger all the time. So those young guys are automatically going to think about that.
But if you can keep your emotions in check and realize that you have to live in the moment and handle those situations well, a lot of these guys, when they make it to this level, have won somewhere along the way.
So for them, it’s noticing that it’s maybe bigger magnitude, but it’s the same — you need to go through those same I guess situations that you’ve been through in the past. And you know the closer you get, the bigger it gets and the more you rely on your players to come up big in those situations.
That part hasn’t changed. And those guys I’m sure realize that.
Q. The other day you said at some point this series you would expect Marc Savard to come down and visit. Is today the day he’s possibly going to be in town?
COACH JULIEN: Possibly. And again, I can’t tell you for sure. He’s been scheduled to come at times, and we haven’t seen him yet, but hopefully we’ll see him soon.
Q. When you guys were down 0-2 against Montreal, Tim came back and really played some of his best hockey in that series. Given your history with him, how do you expect him to play now that you’re down in the Eastern Conference Final?
COACH JULIEN: He’s going to play well for us. He’s been good for us all year. There’s no doubt in our minds that he’s going to be a good goaltender for us. I don’t think there’s a question mark in regards to our goaltending. Obviously we need to get better in other areas but the goaltending has been good, and we take it upon ourselves as a team to bounce back, and Tim is part of that.