BOSTON – Claude Julien has his game face on for the Bruins.
The Bruins coach is normally effusive with his words and expansive with his answers to the media in all situations, but Julien has gone from loquacious to laconic in the days leading up to the second-round series opener Thursday night against the Montreal Canadiens.
Here are a few gems from a Thursday morning press conference that lasted roughly two minutes and shed absolutely no light on what to expect from Boston or Montreal heading into their 34th all-time playoff matchup.
What point will he decide if Daniel Paille will be in the Game 1 lineup?
How do you figure out a team in the playoffs after struggling against them in the regular season?
“I don’t know. I really don’t. We just figure it out.”
Julien answered five questions in all, and actually gave a marathon 38-word answer to the first question as to whether there will be extra excitement in the B’s dressing room after so much time off prior to the series. Julien answered seven questions during Wednesday’s press conference including a “Not really. Why?” answer when asked if he ever loses sleep at night over his goaltending situation.
It’s an interesting dynamic between Julien and Michel Therrien heading into the series. Julien, of course, was the coach that replaced Therrien in Montreal after the fiery Habs coach was fired in his first stint with Les Habitants. Bruins fans remember Therrien as the coach that gave the throat-slashing gesture to the B’s bench in an eventful 2001-02 playoff series between the two coaches.
On the other side, Therrien was complimentary of the Bruins and seems to be softening up the President’s Trophy winners with French-Canadian verbal bouquets tossed at the Black and Gold.
“We’re playing against the best team,” Therrien after an optional practice that was missing Max Pacioretty. “Underdog or not, the Boston Bruins are the best team in the league right now. We understand that it’s a huge challenge not only for us, but all the teams that play the Bruins this year.”
It’s certainly an interesting contrast in approaches between the intense Julien and the Eddie Haskell-ish Therrien as the rivalry begins to take shape between the Bruins and Habs on Thursday night.