MONTREAL | Claude Julien has enough experience to read into the minds of supporters of the Canadian. He knows that the dream to pick Alexis Lafrenière with the first choice in total raises more passions than a possible victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a series of three to five during the tour of the qualifications.
“It is normal to think so, replied Julian in a generous phone interview with the media in montreal. I do not have problem. I understand those who are excited by this opportunity. But if one loses the first round and that it was not the first choice, imagine the reaction. We are going to win.”
“People say that we should lose to have chances for the first choice, the chances for a guy here in Lafrenière. Believe me, I would like to add a player like him to our team. There would however be no assurance of having, in the event of a setback [against the Penguins]. The only way forward is to work hard and fight. If we win, we are improving as a team. And if it doesn’t work, you will be given a chance to have it. I can however remind you that professional athletes are built to win. There is not a single reason in the world to think otherwise.”
The victory, it is the main plan of Julien. He would build his team over the next few days in the hope of eliminating the band with Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kristopher Letang.
“The guys are excited, they have not played for a long time, said Julien. There are the rest, but also the desire of playing again. We don’t have crystal balls, unfortunately. We exchanged some good players at the trade deadline. We’d still bet on them, but we could not predict such a thing. It will give experience to young people, even more than if we had kept the players exchanged. It was a good opportunity to grow as a team. The only way to do that is to try to win and see where it goes.”
A special lottery
On the 26th of June last, Bill Daly presented the cardboard of team ghost for the first pick overall. Julien has followed this lottery is unique and that has crowned a team that will undergo elimination in the round of the qualification.
“It makes things interesting, said Julien. There are several teams that lick their chops, to borrow a phrase. For the eight training courses have been eliminated, we know that there will be one chance in eight of getting this choice. But there are even more chances to not get this choice [7 of 8]. This unique situation has been talking to a lot of people. We had not seen it for a long time. I would even say that we had never seen it in the history of the NHL.”
Behind the bench
When there will be an agreement between the NHL and the players ‘ Association for the recovery of phases three (camps) and four (back matches) and the renewal of the collective agreement, and Julien will find his / her coaching position as he knew. Or almost.
He does not care about the idea of being behind the bench of his team.
“My comfort level is very good, he replied. I don’t know how my words have been twisted [interview with Pierre Lebrun, the site Athletic]. I will trust the NHL. They will do everything for our safety. There is also the option not to go there, for the players or the coaches. Me, I intend to 100% to return behind the bench. I am totally confident. I simply said that, if I did not feel safe at any given time, I retirerais. I do not see, however, not this situation happen. The NHL will test the players and coaches almost on a daily basis or two days. I trust the decisions of the NHL. They will bubble for our safety.”
“It’s just that I had said. It was the truth. If I had to feel in danger, since I’m 60 years old, this is an age more delicate, I retirerais. My life and my family are more important than my work. Everybody would say the same thing. But we are talking about an extreme case, and I don’t see that happen.”