Julien: Players deserve to enjoy the moment

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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

Sources: Bruins engaged in trade talks involving Ryan Spooner

Sources: Bruins engaged in trade talks involving Ryan Spooner

This probably won’t come as a complete shock to those watching the way things have played out with him this season, but the Bruins have engaged in discussions with multiple teams about a Ryan Spooner trade, per multiple sources with knowledge of the situation. 

The 23-year-old Spooner was mentioned casually a few months ago as possible fodder in a Jacob Trouba deal with the Winnipeg Jets, but that deal never really materialized prior to the Jets signing their young, frontline D-man to a two-year deal. The Carolina Hurricanes, New York Islanders and San Jose Sharks have all expressed interest in Spooner, per one hockey source, as it appears that things simply aren’t going to work out for him in Boston. 

It’s been a challenging year for Spooner with pedestrian numbers of three goals and eight points in 24 games, but there are plenty of mitigating circumstances behind the slow start. Spooner has been pushed into playing left wing for the bulk of the season rather than his natural, preferred center position, and he’s been dropped to the fourth line by Claude Julien over the last few weeks. At times he’s also been pulled from the Bruins power play where he racked up six goals and 17 points working off the half-wall last season.  

Julien talked about the former second round pick in frank terms after this week’s win over the Carolina Hurricanes, which featured a Spooner snipe to the top corner during a successful shootout for the Black and Gold. 

“I think at times that [David Krejci] line goes quiet, other times it’s better. We’ve tried different guys on the left side right now and one [Spooner] might give them speed but doesn’t win as many battles,” said Julien of his search for stability at left wing alongside Krejci and David Backes. “The other way [with Tim Schaller] guys are a little harder right now, and they spend more time in the O-zone. So we’re really trying hard to find the right balance there.”

Trade talks have increased the past few weeks because A) the situation has worsened recently with Spooner’s prolonged stint as a miscast fourth line winger and B) the speedy, skilled forward will most likely be a man without a spot when 22-year-old left winger Frank Vatrano returns sometime around the mid-December range. 

According to one source, the Bruins are asking for a “top six forward” in exchange for a package including Spooner, and it’s a lead pipe certainty they’re looking for some goal-scoring given their 24th ranked offense this season. That represents a bit of an organizational sea change after the Bruins searched low and high for a top-4 defenseman in trade over the summer. The emergence of 20-year-old Brandon Carlo, and the Boston defense’s performance across the board, has lowered the Black and Gold’s priority list need to trade for a D-man. 

The Bruins have scored two goals or fewer in 18 of their 25 games this season and badly need somebody that can put the puck in the net from one of the wing positions. Unfortunately for the Bruins, there aren’t a lot of top-6 forwards readily available that could make an immediate impact. It’s highly doubtful any team is going to fork one over for an asset like Spooner that’s been downgraded due to the way he’s been utilized by the Bruins this season. He hasn't played with the same creativity or confidence this season after posting 13 goals and 49 points as their third line center last season. 

So it remains to be seen what the Bruins will get for Spooner after they offered him and a draft pick to Buffalo for rental forward Chris Stewart a couple of years ago. That was a deal Sabres GM Tim Murray turned down before trading Stewart for considerably less at the trade deadline.

The bottom line: the Bruins are working the phones discussing possible Spooner deals, and it feels like there is some motivation from B’s management to move a player that doesn’t seem like he'll ever be a proper fit in Julien’s system. 

Sunday Dec. 4: Zacha adjusting to life in the NHL

Sunday Dec. 4: Zacha adjusting to life in the NHL

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while marveling at the Bruins setting a franchise record this season for fewest practices in a regular season. Thanks compacted schedule due to the World Cup!

*Pavel Zacha is adjusting to life as a rookie in the NHL with the New Jersey Devils, and things are getting better as they go along.

*Manitoba Moose players relive their favorite Star Wars moments prior to the team holding their Star Wars Night.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Elliotte Friedman sits down with new Florida Panthers head coach Tom Rowe to discuss the massive changes in that organization with the firing of Gerard Gallant.

*Good for Anders Nilson putting a rainbow decal on the back of his goalie to mask to support some gay friends that have faced public resistance in their lives.

*Bruce Garrioch has his weekly NHL notes with several players, including Flyers defenseman Andrew MacDonald, potentially on the trade block if anybody wants them.

*PHT writer Cam Tucker has Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson suffering a broken leg that will keep him out 6-8 weeks.

*There was no blood for the Vancouver Canucks fans, but there was still plenty of drama in a win over the Maple Leafs.

*For something completely different: The World Baseball Classic works for everybody except for Major League Baseball, and that would appear to be a problem.