Published May 13, 2011
Q. With Peverley moving to center now, you gave him some shifts there. Almost seemed at times he and Kelly were interchangeable at times being in a faceoff scenario. Was that intentional in case anything like this happened or is it because of what they brought to these moments?
COACH JULIEN: When we interchanged them quite a while ago, we wanted to see if Peverley felt more comfortable in the middle as far as his skating. It's extremely good. Sometimes, those guys, you don't want to limit them going up and down the wall here. Chris Kelly played the wing before, so we just interchanged them. It just seemed like a better fit at the time. Obviously it worked out.
Q. When they lengthened the attacking zones, a lot of guys began using that high middle area of the zone as a dead spot. Peverley keeps 90% of his speed in his zone entries and helps him. Is that still translating into the series the way Tampa plays? Can he still do what he did?
COACH JULIEN: We'll have to wait and see, right? You let players play the way they need to play. You talk about team things that you want to do as a group. Individually, you have to let those guys play with their talent.
Those guys that normally do that are capable of finding the open ice. I think that's what you're talking about Peverley does well, he finds the open ice. He doesn't cut through the middle because he wants to cut through the middle, but he finds the ice.
Q. Coach, we've been listening to players talk about what they've been doing with the downtime. What has it been like for you?
COACH JULIEN: I think for us we don't have really a chance to sit back and relax. Everything we did from the time we finished was stay on top of other games, and at the same time Tampa was done before we were, so we knew who we were preparing for. We just started working from that day on.
Maybe the hours weren't as long as they normally would be. But every day our head was in the upcoming series.
We've had a chance to rest, but at the same time we haven't been taking time off as far as shutting down and saying we don't have to think about the next series till a certain time. We've been pretty good.
The players are the ones that are given days off, they're told to get away from the rink for a bit and then come back. We have to have things prepared for them.
Q. What have you been able to do at practice to try to get them back into the playoff mentality, to bring the aggression back?
COACH JULIEN: It's been having I guess the types of practices that we wanted. Yesterday we did a lot of grinding and battling and stuff that we're going to need to do in this series.
Today was more about flow and speed. We've been trying to keep our guys as sharp as we can. Part of that is making sure we prepare the practices accordingly, and the other share of it belongs to them. They got to be mentally ready to do those kinds of things and to execute well.
I think the guys have really been good about that, and they've done a good job.
Q. Lucic is a guy that started a little slow this season. Got stronger as it went on. Broke through with two goals in the final game. Even with this long layoff, is that something he can build on?
COACH JULIEN: Right now I like the way he's practiced, he seems to be moving his feet well, he's skating well. He's making plays, shooting pucks, going into the net. To me it looks like he's kept the same intensity and same confidence he had there in the latter state of the Philly series. I don't see an issue.
I think right now the stakes are getting higher and higher. No reason in the world for guys to get comfortable or let their game slip.
Q. Coach, the Lightning's third line with Moore and Bergenheim played a big role in their success. What makes them a tough matchup?
COACH JULIEN: I don't think I'm going to start discussing matchups here.
We realize that that line has been a very good line for them. That's part of playoff success, when you can get the contribution from different players, not always relying on the same guys that are expected to bring it to you. I think that's the key to success. They've gotten that from those guys and others.
They're not here by accident. They're here because they belong here. When you get this far in the playoffs, teams that are here are not underdogs, they're
not anything. Teams that are here are here because they deserve to be here.
Right now we're starting with a clean slate with no teams having won a game. What's happened during the regular season doesn't matter. We understand that we're facing a team that has a lot of confidence right now, seems to have a lot of depth with scoring and with playing well. We just got to be ready to face that.
Q. Going back a couple years, there's been a lot of talk this week comparing with what you went into facing Carolina. I was wondering what you and the coaching staff have learned and how you've applied it this time around?
COACH JULIEN: I think it's what I said the other day about that, it's important to give the guys the proper amount of rest after you've gone through two rounds. There's been a lot of grind, travel, day after day after day. Rest was something we needed to do when we had the opportunity to do so with these players.
At the same time we made sure, not just physically when we practiced they were hard, but mentally we made sure we didn't let them slip, that we kept sharp. At the same time we got some players that were here for that series that also learned as individuals you can't let your mental approach slip either.
They were not only good at keeping it, they were also good that everybody around them kept it. I think it's been a group effort that mentally we stayed on top of our game, on top of our focus. At the same time, the physical part of it, I don't think too many players get out of shape at this time of year.
Q. Coach, do you have an update on Patrice Bergeron? Since it's been a week, I didn't know if there wer any tests he was undergoing. Any definitive results?
COACH JULIEN: I don't know if you guys share a conference before I get here and say who is asking the question today, but I am getting that question asked every day.
I think he's improving. He really is improving. We're optimistic about him. As Peter said, when he was going to miss the start of the series, how much he's going to miss, I can't tell you right now.
He's on the right track. When it comes to concussions, you got good news, setbacks, all kinds of things that can happen. I'm not going to stand here and change my tune every day except to say that right now, it's going in the right direction.
Q. A lot has been made of the age of Roloson and Thomas at this point. I don't know how much you know Roloson. What similarities or characteristics do you see perhaps in these two goaltenders that they've been able to make it this far despite the age when it tends to be a young person's game?
COACH JULIEN: Well, yeah, when it comes to goaltending, I think experience is a big factor when it comes to that. You can have a good young goaltender, but if he doesn't have experience of pressure in playoffs, you see what happens. Those guys are old enough, have enough experience, been through the grinds, the ups and downs, they've been able to handle it well.
Certainly physically they got to battle. As a team you try to make it as easy as possible on those guys, clearing rebounds, not giving second shots, not giving poor-angle shots, try to make their job as easy as you can.
For me, I think both of those guys battle hard. Both of those guys have had to work hard to get to where they are today. Whether one of them was battling with the minors, the NHL, then the other one was the backup, trying to work as the number one, they've had their share of challenges which I think has really given them an opportunity to build some character and be excitable facing these kinds of times.
I think both of them are worthy of what they're getting: recognition. They've been good for their teams and they've played big parts in their teams being here.
Q. What have you liked about Timmy in particular the first two rounds of the playoffs?
COACH JULIEN: I think Timmy right now is in the zone. He's very focused. When I say 'focused,' he's also calm. I watched him today in practice. Very confident. That's what it's all about when it comes to goaltending. When a guy is feeling good about his game and confident, he can do almost anything. Tim is there right now.
Q. Kampfer, is he getting close, someone you can turn to in this series?
COACH JULIEN: As I mentioned yesterday, he's been cleared to do contact and everything else. Right now for him it's about conditioning. Been out for almost a month. We're kind of ramping it up with him to help his conditioning.