While the Blackhawks were threatening to blow open Game 2 and send the Stanley Cup final back to Boston with a 2-0 lead, it was Tuukka Rask who was the difference. The Hawks out-shot the Bruins 19-4 but had only a Patrick Sharp goal to show for it.
Claude Julien was quick to thank his goaltender after a 2-1 overtime win that has the Bruins flying back to Boston with the series tied, 1-1. Rask made 59 saves in a losing effort on Wednesday night before turning aside 33 shots on Saturday, including all four under the ultimate pressure of sudden death overtime.
“If you look at our game, I thought the first period, we just weren’t there,” Julien said. “We were on our heels. They had total control of that period. Tuukka kept us in there. I thought the second, we started turning it around. Third, same thing. We got better as the game went on. Overtime, that was the best, had a lot of scoring chances there. Like I told our guys, we got to show up on time for these kind of games. It could have cost us tonight.
Was Julien concerned that eventually the Blackhawks pressure would wear down Rask?
“I think obviously our players responded to that,” Julien said. “I think we gave them four shots in the second, four shots in the third, maybe two or three in the overtime. I haven’t checked that out yet. We at least gave him a little bit of an opportunity to catch his breath again. That first period, like I said, was extremely hard for him. But thankfully our guys rewarded him with that effort by being a lot better in front of him for the rest of the game.
“Again, we got rewarded because I thought from the second period on, we were a good team, a better team, and by the end I thought we had more chances.”
Julien said the simple difference in the second period was his team moving their legs.
“We started playing,” Julien said. of the game’s turnaround. “I mean that in the right way. We were on our heels. We were second to the puck. We were just throwing pucks out of our own end. We weren’t making plays. We were standing still in our own end. A couple of point-blank shots. We were just not ready to play. After the first period, a bit of a chat, we got ourselves going. We got our feet moving at the start, then the rest followed, and eventually it just got better.”
It was Julien who mixed up the lines looking for added energy. It worked as Paille, Chris Kelly and Tyler Seguin brought the energy the Bruins needed to overcome the early sluggishness.
“We didn’t have much going,” Julien said. “At one point I thought that line would give us something. They responded well. Got both goals tonight. It’s a hunch from a coach. I know that Dan is a great skater, can make a lot of things happen. Seguin after the first period was one of the guys that picked up his game. Kelly was one of the guys that was good right from the start. I put those three guys together and they answered.”
Here is the remainder of Claude Julien’s press conference after Game 2:
Q. Can you talk about Kelly? Was it nice to see him rewarded this way? COACH JULIEN: Yeah, because I think he’s been snake bitten for quite a while. When you don’t score, eventually you get scored on, and the minuses keep creeping up. That was certainly something that bothered him. I thought he played well tonight. He’s played well in some games. He hasn’t been able to produce. So tonight is a good night for him, a good time to obviously have a great game. His effort and his will to be a better player was always there. You’re just waiting and hoping for that moment. Tonight was a great night for that to happen.
Q. You got these goals from unlikely sources. Can you speak to the work that Daniel Paille did on the winning goal? COACH JULIEN: You look at last game when they won, their heroes were guys from third, fourth lines. Same thing for us. That’s why you need depth in the playoffs. Top lines are playing head-to-head, top D. It’s not always that easy to score. Dan skated well tonight. His forecheck created turnovers. He also was a lot stronger on the puck as far as battling, coming up with it. That was a great shot from him and obviously a great pass by Tyler. That line, like I said, came up huge for us tonight.
Q. Is it about the battles? COACH JULIEN: That’s what it’s all about. We need to battle. We need to win those battles, come up with the puck, make those plays. That puck ended up in front and Kelly went in there and banged at it.
Q. Chris Kelly, long time without a goal. Could you tell he was pressing all these weeks? COACH JULIEN: No doubt. Just because he doesn’t see himself as a goal-scorer doesn’t mean he has to continue to have a goose egg on his stats. There’s no doubt that that bothered him, but not to the point where it was going to stop him from coming in every game and giving an effort. Sometimes that stuff, whether you like it or not, will weigh on you. When you get a night like that, it certainly takes a lot of weight off your shoulders and creates some positive thinking and some positive energy moving forward. Like I said, he and that line of Seguin and Paille were very good for us. Felt comfortable enough to send them against a second line when I had no choice, and didn’t mind having to leave them out there.
Q. Overtime had a little tilt for the Bruins. What was said in the locker room to bring it on there? COACH JULIEN: Not much more then like I said earlier. I think the first period was a period that we were really disappointed with. From the second period on, we seemed to slowly get better and better. The further the game went, the better we got. That’s just the way it was. Obviously when you come into this building, you like to at least get a split. Our guys were committed enough to work and get it.
Q. They were skating so well, moving the puck so well in the first period. Did you catch up to them or did your physical play bring them back towards you? COACH JULIEN: I don’t know. Like I said earlier, I think we started skating. It kind of at least leveled the play a little bit more. In the first, they were skating and we weren’t. It was totally lopsided. It was a hard period to coach and to watch. I think after that first period, we just decided to get our legs moving, moving the puck forward. I still thought we battled the puck in the second period. We weren’t managing it well. But our legs were moving. Slowly things started going our way.
We get deep in to some quarterback discussion with ESPN analyst/former NFL starter Trent Dilfer.
Head Coach Bill Belichick on Patriots Monday
Former Patriot Heath Evans, now with the NFL Network, joins Dale, Holley and Thornton every Monday for a thorough analysis of the Patriots and the NFL. This week we break down the shutout of Houston, and look ahead to the Bills.
Sam Packard is joined by Celtics 2nd Round draft pick Abdel Nader to discuss his path to the the NBA and how he plans to improve his game. Sam then talks to Player Development Coach Nick Friedman from Elite Skills Training, the pre-Draft camp Nader attended. Friedman also gives his opinion on the Celtics performance at summer league and the development of Jaylen Brown.
Isaiah Thomas talks to Glenn and Lou about why he loves Boston, the NBA Money Bump, oh, and some Durant guy
Danny Ainge joins Glenn and Christian to explain the Celtics draft process; and he also discusses the trade rumors that permeated the night.
Rob Bradford is joined by former Red Sox, and current Cubs, catcher David Ross, who admits to joining teammates Jon Lester, John Lackey and many members of the Chicago front office in at least contemplating the idea of a Red Sox vs. Cubs World Series. Ross also compares his retirement tour to David Ortiz's, reveals stories of clubhouse celebrations, while suggesting that Lester is pitching better than ever.
Dale, Michael and Jerry speak with Sox slugger David Ortiz in his final regular season week of his career. We touch on the 2016 Sox heading into the playoffs, retirement, memories and Jose Fernandez.
Joe and Tim talked to the Sox catcher, who caught 23 strikeouts from Sox pitchers in the extra-inning win in Tampa Bay.
Joey Mac joins Ken Laird on his Saturday show to discuss the David Backes addition and Loui Eriksson departure in NHL free agency
DJ and Pete continue to assess the season that was for the Bruins and look toward the future for the franchise and how they can improve.
DJ and Pete are together for the final Sunday Skate of the season. They get into their overall thoughts on the season, the Bruins keeping Claude Julien on as head coach and the end-of-season press conferences last week. They discuss the rebuild process, what the Bruins need and how they can obtain it. Plenty of callers have their own theories and opinions on all of these topics as well.
Gary Tanguay walked out on the show for the second time in three months this morning. Here is the management approved version of today's events.
Kirk flipped out at Curtis and Fred Couples cried.
In hour three Tomase, Callahan and Minihane discuss Trump's comments this morning on Fox and Friends as well as Big Papi's farewell weekend at Fenway.
Glenn, Lou and Christian joke around with audio from a grab-bag of topics, including David Ortiz driving for Lyft, Rex Ryan joining the Buffalo media conference call, and Jim Mora coming back with another great rant.
Red Sox President of Baseball Ops. Dave Dombrowski checks in with Glenn, Lou and Christian to talk about what the playoff roster might look like, and to give the latest update on Pablo Sandoval.
Tom E. Curran joins Glenn, Lou and Christian to talk about Jimmy Garoppolo & Jacoby Brissett, and talk about what he say from a day of practice and press conferences down at Gillette.
Vintage Rex today... while Belichick is deep in to game film and preparation, Rex is making practical jokes against Julian Edelman and getting testy with the Boston media.
John joins us from NY and tells us why he left Price in, what to expect from the rest of this Yankees series, and more.
Inspired by what should happen at Yankee Stadium tonight or tomorrow, we look at four other memorable moments in which the Red Sox clinched a playoff berth.
Kirk Minihane sits down with the Boston Globes Sports Media Columnist, Chad Finn. Kirk and Chad talk about the long and storied feud between WEEI and the Boston Globe and the ongoing ratings war between WEEI and the Hub.
Kirk and Gerry talk about how the show is going since the departure of John Dennis, how the fill-in hosts have been doing so far, and what they are looking for in a third host.
Kirk Minihane loves TV and movies, he sits down with TV critic and author of the new book "TV (The Book)" Alan Sepinwall to discuss the best TV shows of all-time and which show should be number 1. Kirk and Alan disagree on which show is the best of all-time and they both have compelling arguments. Kirk and Alan talk about "Cheers" being one of the most underrated and forgotten TV shows of all-time.
Gerry Callahan and Jeff Kuhner react to the first presidential debate of this election season. Gerry is convinced Trump lost the first debate while Jeff thinks otherwise. Gerry and Jeff talk about what Trump needs to do better in the upcoming debates.
K&C producers Ken Laird & Chris Curtis are joined by WEEI intern and Recap Show host Lucy Burdge to discuss another explosive Gary Tanguay appearance on the program that featured Tango's second walkout.
Rob Bradford is joined by Alex Speier of the Boston Globe to discuss some of the issues that popped up in the Red Sox' loss to the Yankees Tuesday night. Both Rob and Alex agree winning the division is a forgone conclusion for the Sox, but the storylines surrounding Drew Pomeranz, Henry Owens, Sandy Leon and David Price all warranted discussion heading into another crack at winning the AL East
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