Canadiens Game Day: Habs face challenge at centre, Claude Julien says

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    When Canadiens coach Claude Julien walked into the TD Garden Wednesday morning, he didnt make the mistake of walking into the wrong dressing room.It was a little different, said Julien, who spent 10 years as the coach of the Bruins. You come here as a home-team coach and now come in as a visitor. Obviously, I was familiar with what going on, but there a lot of construction going on and things seem to be moving ahead. Im sure Ill get comfortable soon enough.Julien said he has run into people he worked with over the years, but catching up with old friends is a low priority.I have to remember what Im here for Riley Sheahan Jersey, said Julien whose team faces the Bruins Wednesday . I have to be prepared as much as Im asking players to be prepared for this game.Julien noted that the Bruins have retooled their roster since he was fired last February. They made some room for some of their young players and they cleared out some older players, said Julien.Theyve developed some youngsters like DeBrusk and McAvoy, but they still have a strong leadership group and theyre trying to play with a pretty good pace. But when you look at us against them there wasnt a very big difference in the pace of the game. Sometimes, it about bounces or certain teams making certain adjustments. When the two teams faced each other, there didnt seem to be a big difference. We have to keep trying to improve, keep plugging away.Bruins head coach Claude Julien motions to an official during game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh on Feb. 7, 2017.Gene J. Puskar APThere will be a couple of differences from Saturday game. Centres Phillip Danault and Andrew Shaw were injured in that game and are not available. And because the Canadiens are the visitors, it more difficult to match lines because the Bruins get the last line change.I like to use the word challenge, Julien said when asked about the difficulties facing the Canadiens.You cant lose two centres and everyone knows that probably our challenge position right now. We dont hide from that fact. You lose one guy that there all the time and the other in Shawsy, who takes lots of draws. You have to ask your players to be conscientious on how they play. You have to be better and smarter and, as a group, you hope you can overcome those things. It always tough to ask one guy to do it on his own.One player who is being asked to step up is Jacob de la Rose, who is tentatively pencilled in as a the centre between Alex Galchenyuk and Jonathan Drouin.Reflecting on his days here, Julien talked about the players, most of whom are still active.The leadership group is very strong here and there were guys I was able to be with from Day 1, the Krejcis, Bergeron, said Julien. Im talking about the way guys came up, the Marchands, the Krugs, you can say Tuukka Rask, Pastrnak. I was fortunate to have good players and we just seemed to evolve with the game every year. You have to bring something new to keep the guys interested and excited, and that what coaches have to do today. You cant coach the way you did 10 years ago and expect it to work. I felt I was able to do that in a lot of areas.During the Canadiens morning skate, newcomer Logan Shaw was on the ice with spares Ales Hemsky Evgeni Malkin Jersey, Joe Morrow and backup goaltender Antti Niemi. Julien said Shaw debut with the Canadiens is on hold until he gets a practice or two let him get his feet wet, said Julien.

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