Post Game 7 Interviews with TIM THOMAS (Conn Smythe Winner) & PATRICE BERGERON (2 Goals in Game 7)
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Tim Thomas.
Q. Tim, throughout your whole career you’ve had to prove yourself time and time again. Do you think you’ve done that now?
TIM THOMAS: For now. I know the game, and I know the way that it is, you know. Winning the Stanley Cup is huge. It’s the biggest accomplishment of my career thus far.
But everybody knows in this game that you have to continuously prove yourself. I’m sure if I were to, for example, start out the season bad next year that I probably, with the Cup, would have bought myself a little bit of leeway, but it won’t last forever unless I turn my game around.
Q. I know you talked earlier in the series about visualization, when you were in some soggy locker room in the some of the Nordic countries, did you visualize yourself here?
TIM THOMAS: No. At that time I was probably just visualizing each game one at a time when I was in Finland.
I didn’t want to think about the NHL because it seemed like it was so far away. But having said that, I was happy playing where I was playing. I was playing in a very good league and I had a lot of good friends over there.
I’m very happy that I made the decision to come back. It was a tough decision at the time, but it paid off in the long run in this case.
Having said that I would have been happy playing my whole career over there if the need would have been. That didn’t make any sense (laughter).
Q. Tim, what’s going through your head after Patrice Bergeron’s goal and how did that go with each passing goal?
TIM THOMAS: I was hoping someone else would score so I wouldn’t have to shut ’em out. I was happy going into the game, talked about not getting too high. If we do score, you can’t act like you’ve won the Stanley Cup because you will get an emotional high and it will end up showing on the ice.
I was just trying to stay level. It was just one goal. It was a huge goal, the game-winning goal, but at that time, there was still a lot of game and a lot of work left to do.
Q. Tim, do you have a message for the fans who have been waiting for a long time for this?
TIM THOMAS: You’ve been waiting a long time, but you got it. You wanted it, you got it. We’re bringing it home.
Q. Tim, goaltending is about streaks and confidence. Was there ever a point in this Final that you were worried about losing a little bit of momentum?
TIM THOMAS: Yeah, to be completely honest with you, Game 6 at home. Right off the opening face-off there was a guy that whacked it backhand from the outside blue line right off the opening face-off and I just lost it. It was up in the air and I went into full panic mode in my mind.
Then Vancouver put the pressure on and whizzed the puck around the crease four or five different times, shot just wide. And I was on my heels there for a second, and that was the first time that I’d gotten nervous during the finals.
So, yeah, I was scared. I won’t lie. I had nerves yesterday and today. I faked it as well as I could, and I faked my way all the way to the Stanley Cup.
Q. Can you talk about the changing of the guard with the Bruins. Obviously Mark Recchi’s last game and the monster game from Brad Marchand, Tyler Seguin’s contribution, the past and the future of the team here?
PATRICE BERGERON: Obviously, I talked to Recchi last night and I was feeling nervous and I asked him to give me some advice. He told me to relax and go out there and play the game and to do it for him. Obviously it could be his last game and I’ve learned so much from him on and off the ice, it’s a great feeling that we’ve accomplished this as a team.
You’re right, the future looks bright with all the guys that we have, but to be honest with you, I’m worrying about the celebration right now.
Q. Patrice, on the first goal, can you just walk me through that? I don’t think that pass was intended for you, was it?
PATRICE BERGERON: I’m not sure, but I was ready for it. And Recchi tried to shoot, and obviously it was perfect because I was ready as well behind him. We sort of surprised ’em.
That first goal was huge.
Q. You cut it pretty close, didn’t you?
PATRICE BERGERON: Well, post and in, you can’t ask for anything better, can you?
TIM THOMAS: He does it all the time in practice (laughter).
Q. Tim, such a great old classic trophy is yours. What does it feel like to win that?
TIM THOMAS: The Conn Smythe? It’s quite an honor. The Stanley Cup is the biggest one. That’s the one that you’re shooting for. Conn Smythe is completely an honor. I just sat down here and started to read some of the names on it and it’s an honor to be mentioned in the same Maple leaf. Patrick, Ron Hextall, Ken Dryden, those are the three goalies that I can see on this side facing me, it’s amazing.
Q. Claude, we have to start with who is the special guest of honor?
COACH JULIEN: That’s my daughter, Katryna. She came all the way
from Boston to watch us win the Stanley Cup.
Q. How old?
COACH JULIEN: Five and a half.
Q. Claude, you’ve had a lot of good goalies at your disposal in your
coaching career. Can you talk about the performance that Tim Thomas had
through these seven games?
COACH JULIEN: Yeah, certainly would not think about saying anything
negative about the goalies that I’ve had because I’ve had some great ones,
Marty Brodeur and others. But 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.
Q. Coach, it wasn’t too long ago that you were here down 2-0. Talk
about the battle back.
COACH JULIEN: Again, we talked to the players and we had been down
2-0 to Montreal losing both games at home, so we had been through it and
probably in a tougher situation. But at least now we were going back home,
and really as you hear coaches say, you need to take a look at the small
picture in order to get back in that series. We had to win Game 3 and if
we did that, well, I told the guys momentum would take over and other
things would take care of themselves. They did.
You know, we came out Game 4 and played a strong game at home, also.
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.
Q. Like any coach, you’ve come under your fair share of criticism
throughout the season, perhaps more than others. What type of personal
satisfaction do you take in this?
COACH JULIEN: 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
Q. Coach, getting to be around the team as often as I am, I noticed
that you have a paternal aspect to you with some of your younger players
and even some of your older players like Michael Ryder. How hard is it to
dole out the tough love and know that there is an end result and how do you
feel about that now?
COACH JULIEN: There wasn’t much of an issue about that, because I
think the players, when they learn to know you and you understand what
you’re saying, there is a professional side and a personal side. Just
because you have to do things professionally, doesn’t mean that personally
you don’t like the players.
They know 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. There was never anything
personal. It was about making them better people and better players.
Q. Claude, is it simple enough to say that the turning point in this
game was the first goal or was it something else because of the struggles
that you had had here?
COACH JULIEN: Scoring that first goal has always been important for
our hockey club, as you know. And certainly when we scored that first
goal, it did give us confidence, absolutely. Because we hadn’t scored here
that much and now in Game 7, you’re playing with the lead. And we’re a
team that’s done a pretty good job of playing with the lead. And that
second goal came about. And I know that before we went out for the third
period, everybody in there was telling each other that there is no way in
the world that we could let up for a second, that we had to play a full 60
That’s been our theme for these playoffs is 60-minute effort because
they’ve heard me say it all year. Whenever we haven’t won games, I’ve
talked about having one bad period, two bad periods, and whenever we won,
we had to put 60 minutes together. That’s what the guys had to do tonight
and they had to accomplish that.
Q. You talked about putting hockey back on the map and it would be
harder to do that. Now the Bruins can enter into the pantheon of that
recent Boston championships. Have you been able to think about that at
all, that you’ve been able to fulfill your wish to give back to the fans?
COACH JULIEN: I think that’s probably what it is. 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 want to do
it for the players that have sacrificed, and their wives and girlfriends
and for the fans in Boston.
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
That’s what I’m doing here is enjoying the moment. 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.
Q. Coach, along those lines, is it sometimes more fun to watch it
through their eyes?
COACH JULIEN: Absolutely and that’s what I’ve taken from all of this
stuff. 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.
Q. Coach, can you talk about what it meant to have Nathan Horton
share in this at the end?
COACH JULIEN: Well, 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.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach, and Katryna.
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