Julien: Players deserve to enjoy the moment

175733.jpg

Julien: Players deserve to enjoy the moment

By MaryPaoletti
CSNNE.com StaffReporter Follow@mary_paoletti
Bruins coach Claude Julien took the podium with a very special guest: His 5 12-year-old daughter Katryna, who came all the way from Boston.

On the seven-game finals set played by Tim Thomas
Tim Thomas in these playoffs just totally dominated. That's the sign of a great goaltender. He was on top of his game from start to finish, and especially in this final round. He was outstanding every game. I know everybody expected him to have an average game at some point. Never came. He was in the zone, focused, never let anything rattle him and never questioned his style of play. What's happened to him right now is so deserving and so proud of him and obviously the rest of the team.
Battling back from the 2-0 series deficit
We missed Nathan when he got hurt, you know, guys really felt like they wanted to rally around that situation and be supportive of a guy who came to us from Florida and put everything on the line. And, you know, they wanted to win it for themselves, but even more so for him. They really rallied around that situation. I think it was great the way our team just looked at the small picture. Every game, all we talked about was going out there and earning it. It wasn't ours to have, it was ours to earn.

Personal satisfaction in answering critics
You're probably the 20th guy to ask me that question tonight and I'm going tell you exactly what I tell everybody else. As a coach you're going to be subject to criticism, but the most important thing is what's going on inside that dressing room. There wasn't a guy that didn't believe in what we were doing. So it's easy to stay the course, and you got to stay the course. Today you're rewarded for it. Had I worried about that other stuff, I probably wouldn't be standing here today.

Difficulty of doling out tough love
There wasn't much of an issue about that. . . . Brad Marchand came up to me after Game 5, or I think it was Game 5 or so, and he said to me, you know, I know you're always talking to me about some of the stuff going on, but he says, I want you to know that I appreciate you trying to help me through that. And it's almost like a parent trying to help their kids. And at the end, you know, it's called tough love, but you're doing it for the right reasons and I think our players understood that.
Fulfilling his wish to give back to the fans
As a coach, you stand here and you're happy about what you gave people on the outside. There is good proof here, my family, my wife and daughter and my parents that came in from Ottawa, my in-laws, and those people growing up had an impact on your life. You want to do it for those people. You're paid to do a job and the job is to succeed. And when you succeed, you've made everybody around you your fans and everybody else happy. I want to see our players have fun with this and they deserve to enjoy that moment. I'm very willing to stand back and just watch them, and that will make my day.

On watching through his players eyes
I've been through these situations before, and the best way is always to stand back and watch everybody else enjoy it and enjoy it through their eyes, as you mentioned.

On having Nathan Horton in Vancouver
Our players really wanted him out here, and obviously when you've got a concussion, flying can be sometimes touchy. But our doctors said he was well enough to make the trip. The guys came to me this morning and said, we would like Nathan to be in our dressing room from the get-go and be part of this preparation for the game, and he wanted to be part of it. So a lot of things that happen in our dressing room were from the players' ideas. We did a couple of things as coaches, but, as we mentioned before Game 7 against Tampa, some of the guys, Recchi and Thornton brought their rings in, put pictures up and decorated the room. They took charge. They did the same thing again with Nathan. They said we want him around us. That shows you how united of a group we were and how we cared for each other.

Mary Paoletti can be reached at mpaoletti@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Mary on Twitter at http:twitter.comMary_Paoletti

Spooner, coming to life with Bruins, feels Julien 'just didn't really trust me'

Spooner, coming to life with Bruins, feels Julien 'just didn't really trust me'

BRIGHTON -- The Bruins' third line has been reborn under interim coach Bruce Cassidy, and the players are now openly admitting they desperately needed a change.

Claude Julien never trusted Frank Vatrano, Ryan Spooner and Jimmy Hayes enough defensively to play them together, but this line has blossomed under Cassidy: Six goals, 15 points and a plus-11 in seven games. They’ve survived in the defensive zone by rarely playing there. Instead, they push the pace, make plays to keep the puck out of the D-zone and, most importantly, keep producing the secondary offense that wasn’t there in the first 55 games of the season. 

No one has been freed from the shackles more than Spooner, who is back playing his natural center position after being forced to play left wing under Julien. The 25-year-old said Tuesday that getting a clean slate with a new coach has been extremely beneficial to him, and that perhaps he didn't always love playing for the guy now minding the bench in Montreal. 

“I felt like the last coach ... he just didn’t really trust me,” said Spooner, who has two goals and six points along with a plus-1 rating in seven games post-Julien. “It might've been kind of on me not really playing to the potential that I have, but at the same time . . . I just don’t think that he really liked me as a player. It’s kind of in the past now. It’s just a part of the game. It’s up to me to just go out there and just play, and not have that stuff in the back of my mind. 

“I just kind of have to go out there and believe in myself and I think at times I wasn’t really going out there and doing that. Maybe that’s something to learn. This sport has ups and downs, and I’ve had my downs. You learn that you can just sort of push through it. If you do that then things can be good.”

Spooner has 10 goals and 33 points along with a minus-3 this season, and could potentially surpass last year's numbers (13-36-49) in his second full season. 

Most felt that the speedy, skilled Spooner would be one of the big beneficiaries of the move from Julien to Cassidy, and now he’s showing that with a new lease on life in Boston. 

Tuesday, Feb. 28: Nothing coming easy for Habs

Tuesday, Feb. 28: Nothing coming easy for Habs

Here are all the links from around the hockey world and what I’m reading while it’s all happening around the NHL world ahead of tomorrow’s NHL trade deadline.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Eric Engels says that a torturous February shows that nothing will come easy for the Montreal Canadiens.

*Some raw locker room video from the Florida Panthers with local D-man Keith Yandle holding court with reporters.

*PHT writer James O’Brien has some early thoughts, and some praise, for the Washington Capitals landing puck-moving D-man and big ticket rental player Kevin Shattenkirk.

*The Toronto Maple Leafs up their playoff cred by landing gritty, big third-line center Brian Boyle ahead of the trade deadline.

*Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook are the city of Chicago’s longest-tenured teammates having spent the last 12 years together with the Blackhawks.

*Patrice Bergeron and Toucher and Rich are getting together for their 10th annual Cuts for a Cause, which will be on March 27.

https://www.nhl.com/bruins/community/cuts-for-a-cause

*For something completely different: Jimmy Kimmel gives his perspective of the debacle that went down at the end of the Academy Awards on Sunday night.

http://www.rollingstone.com/tv/news/watch-jimmy-kimmel-on-oscars-best-picture-award-mistake-w469552