Say this about Claude Julien — he sounds pretty confident going into Game 7.
On Tuesday, a reporter asked Bruins bench boss for his thoughts on the obligatory post-match handshake and what it’ll be like when he crosses paths with Washington Capitals head coach Dale Hunter.
Here’s what Julien had to say (courtesy CSNNE.com):
“I plan on being the happy one tomorrow,” Julien said with the confidence of a coach that’s won three straight Game 7 do-or-die matches and five straight elimination games behind the Boston bench.
But, as Julien often does, he took the time to answer the question with some thought and perspective. There is something to be said for playoff hockey as the only one of the major four sports that lines players up for handshakes at the end of each playoff round.
“It all depends on the series,” Julien said. “There is animosity, but as the same time there comes a time when you have to put those things aside and congratulate the team for their good effort and moving forward. That’s what I’m hoping happens to our team tomorrow.”
Given what transpired last postseason, no surprise Julien feels confident.
The Bruins became the first club in NHL history to win three Game 7s in one playoff year, defeating Montreal in Round 1 (in overtime), Tampa Bay in the Eastern Conference finals (1-0) and Vancouver in the Cup finals (as the away team, becoming just the third team since1967 to win Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals on the road.)
The Caps, meanwhile, have had far less Game 7 success. Washington’s played in four Game 7s since 2008, but won just once.
They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.
The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.
In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.
The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.
Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.
The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).
McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.
It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.
Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.
Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.
Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.
“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”
Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible: