Q.   Claude,  you've been around the game for a long time, seen a lot

of  things.   Is that the craziest thing you've ever seen in a short amount

of time and among the toughest?

      COACH JULIEN:  Well, probably toughest for sure, when you know you're

a  little  bit  over a minute left and you feel that you've got a chance to

get to a Game 7, and then those two goals go in quickly.

      But  I would probably put the Toronto comeback maybe a little crazier

than that because we had to score four goals to win that game.

      But  at the same time, it's one of those things where you look at who

you  played  against, and that Chicago team I think lost seven games in the

regular  season,  and you can see why.  They're deep.  They got stronger as

the  series  went  on,  and  they're  a great hockey club.  They need to be

congratulated on that.

      But  at the same time, I'm going to stand here and tell you how proud

I  am  of  our  team,  how those guys battled right until the end.  Without

getting into all these injuries today because it's not the time, we battled

through  a  lot.  You know, when you realize that you're a couple wins away

from  a Stanley Cup and how those guys push through a lot of things, I have

nothing but good things to say about it.

      This  is  a  good group of guys, and it's unfortunate that it takes a

loser  in these kinds of situations, but it doesn't take away the fact that

you can be just as proud of them as their coach of your players.

 

      Q.   You said you didn't want to talk about the injuries, but can you

give  us  a  sense  of just how badly your team was hurting going into this

game?

      COACH  JULIEN:   The  reason I'm saying that is because this is not a

time  to  make excuses.  They've got injuries, too.  As the series went on,

talking  about  since  the  start of the Stanley Cup, we had some injuries.

And  again,  it's hard to keep guys out.  They want to play through it, and

some guys were able to do that.

      I  think  the  biggest  challenge  for me was probably these last few

games  starting  with  a  full  roster  but  not being able to end with it.

Somewhere  along  the  way you have to shorten your bench because you don't

have  four  lines  and players were getting hurt either at the beginning or

middle of the game, so that was probably the biggest challenge.

      But playing hurt is part of it, and our guys did that, and that's why

I said earlier you've got to be extremely proud of those guys.

      It's  going  to  take  a  little  while  before  we  can  realize the

accomplishment  that  we had in making it to the Final again, but right now

it doesn't feel good.

 

      Q.  Did you feel like their strategy against Zdeno was maybe the best

game plan?  Did they wear them down the way they wanted to?

      COACH  JULIEN:  Well, again, you have to give them credit for putting

a  strategy  together,  but at the same time, Zdeno is one of those players

that  unfortunately  was  not  100  percent.  So he battled through it, and

that's what I mean by being proud of those guys.

 

      Q.   Particularly after the bombing in April, your team took a lot of

pride  in representing the city.  Talk about the heart and the emotion they

showed for the city of Boston in representing them.

      COACH  JULIEN:   You know, at the end of the day, I think that's what

hurts  the most is in the back of our minds, although we needed to focus on

our  team and doing what was going to be the best thing for our team to win

a  Stanley  Cup, in the back of our minds we wanted to do it for those kind

of reasons, the City of Boston, what Newtown has been through, that kind of

stuff.   It  hit  close  to home, and the best way we felt we could try and

cheer the area was to win a Stanley Cup.

      I  think  that's  what's hard right now for the players.  We had more

reasons than just ourselves to win a Cup.

 

      Q.   This was a game where you probably had really the start that you

wanted.   Were  you concerned at all that it was only a one-goal lead after

the chances that you had?

      COACH  JULIEN:  Yeah, obviously when you look at the first period, it

could  have  been  maybe  2,  3-0, and rolling pucks on the one where David

Krejci  missed  the  pass,  if that puck is flapped it's an automatic goal.

But  that's  the name of the game.  You make your own breaks, and sometimes

they  go  your  way,  sometimes they don't.  We lost a lot of stream in the

second  period.   Jagr  left the bench and we had to shorten the bench.  At

the  pace of this game and how hot it's been and everything else, it took a

toll  on our players, and we kind of regained a little bit in the third and

especially when we scored that go-ahead goal, it seemed if we could survive

that we'd give ourselves a chance here.

      But unfortunately, as you know, it didn't happen.

 

      Q.   I know that after Game 5 the concern was about Patrice Bergeron,

especially  after  he  was  seen going to the hospital in the middle of the

third  period.   What  concerns did you have after you learned what exactly

was  ailing him about his ability to get out on the ice and to give you the

kind of effort that you're accustomed to getting from Patrice?

      COACH  JULIEN:   Well, I don't think there was any concerns as far as

either  he was going to play or not.  Those kind of things I can't control,

and  what you can control is the coaches trying to find a contingency plan.

What do you do if he's not in?

      But  to have him in our lineup tonight was a bonus.  And again, there

was  nothing  that  was  going to stop this guy from getting in our lineup.

That's  why  I  can't  speak  enough  about  how proud I am of our players,

because of things like that.  He wasn't going to be denied that opportunity

no matter what.

 

      Q.   That final two minutes is going to be examined and examined.  As

you  were  going through, did you have any sense that you guys were back on

your  heels  or  were you happy with the way you guys were playing with the

one-goal lead?

      COACH JULIEN:  Well, they started pinching, and we talked about that.

We knew they were going to pinch, and you lose a puck battle here or there,

and  they  made  great plays.  The tying goal is a great play.  They've got

their  best  players  out there on the ice and then they made a great pass.

We got caught a little bit on the wall with their Ds pre pinching.

      The  other one, as you say, Johnny-on-the-spot kind of thing, he just

happen  be  there at the post and his stick was there.  Our guys were close

to him, but, you know he just out-muscled them on that.

      That's  what  I  mean.  Sometimes they go your way and sometimes they

don't.   We've  lived through both of them, so we know how it feels on both

sides of it, winning and being the losers.

 

      Q.  Is this a state of shock for you?

      COACH  JULIEN:   No,  I think you come in the room afterwards, you're

disappointed, but I don't think I'm in a state of shock.  Again, although I

thought we were going to get ourselves a Game 7, I thought our guys, like I

said,  through  it all just gave it everything they've got, and I can't say

enough about that.

      It   was   tough  walking  in  that  dressing  room  and  seeing  how

disappointed  everybody  was,  and  to  try  and tell them, as I often say,

there's  a  lot of teams that would have loved to have been in our position

tonight  and  getting  that  opportunity,  and  we've  got  to  look at the

positive.

      It's  my  job  to do that and to let them know that it's been a great

year.   Every time you go through adversity, which we did this year, we had

a  great  start,  we struggled near the end, a real tough schedule the last

two months, which didn't favor us going into the Playoffs having played six

in the last nine days and having to fight through that, coming back in Game

7 from a three-goal deficit and winning in overtime.

      There's a lot of good things to look at.  And what we've been through

and  what  we've  accomplished  to me is a credit to those guys.  A loss is

hard to take, but you've got to look a little further than that right now.

 

      Q.  Just following up on that, broadening what you said a little bit,

this  season  started amid such negativity with a lockout and it was such a

thrilling  end,  even though you were at the wrong end of it.  Do you think

in a way it was a good night for hockey?

      COACH  JULIEN:   Absolutely.   I  think  when you look at those first

games  in  overtime,  each  team wins a game, close, exciting hockey, first

game  three  periods  of  overtime.   I  mean,  we had the real hockey fans

excited  about  this  series.   I  think  it's  been  a  good  bounce  back

half-season  for the League personally.  I think the fans got back into it,

and  you  always appreciate their support because if I'm a guy on the other

side, I know how I would have felt.

      Our fans are very forgiving and supportive, and that's what this game

needs.   In order for us to thank them or pay them back, you've got to give

them  the  kind  of hockey I think that they saw from all the teams here in

the Playoffs.  It was an exciting last couple of months.

 

      Q.  With the exception of the ending, it seemed like you enjoyed this

experience  maybe  more  than the last time, playing around with reporters.

Was  that  because  you  realize how difficult it is to get back, maybe the

Toronto  series  or  maybe  the  real-life events like the bombings and the

school shootings in Connecticut just being bigger than hockey?

      COACH   JULIEN:    I'll  be  honest  with  you,  maybe  I  wasn't  as

demonstrative  as  you want the first time around, but I really enjoyed our

Playoff  a  couple years ago when we won.  And I enjoyed this one, as well.

And you're right, the ending is the only thing that probably isn't a lot of

fun right now.

      But when you get that opportunity, if you don't enjoy it, how can you

remember  that  as  a  positive  thing.  I tried to spread that through our

hockey  club, and you can ask the players.  On off days it was about having

some fun, and on game days it was let's get our heads into it, and our guys

responded well to it.

      As  I  said  this  morning, our guys were excited to play, and that's

what  I  wanted to see.  I didn't ask them to be excited.  They came in and

were  excited  to get this challenge, and it showed.  The start of the game

was  great,  and  like I said, with maybe the consistency in our lineup and

not  so  many  banged-up  individuals,  we  maybe  could  have kept up that

intensity.  We wore down as the game went on.

      But at the end of the day, to answer the first part of your question,

I love this time of year.  It's the best time of year to be playing hockey.

I don't care if it's the end of June or the beginning of July.  How can you

not  enjoy  coming to the rink, beautiful weather, and best time of year to

be playing a game.