Saturday, January 1, 2011

Coach Bruce Boudreau Speaks after Morning Skate Before the 2011 Winter Classic

Q. Can you tell us who is starting for you tonight in goal?


Q. Are you looking at this stage of the season for someone to emerge and say I want this job, and they both played well and they both maybe had some bumps?

COACH BOUDREAU: Well, I think they both want this job. And I mean, if Neuvy hadn't have got hurt the day after Christmas, he would still be playing. But he got hurt and then all of a sudden Riley gets a chance, and he plays a great chance against Carolina and he shuts out Montreal, how can you not give him the start.

Q. I think early in the season you said ideally they'd play four games, one game each and something would happen in the Playoffs. Do you want one of them to have identified himself to the rest ??

COACH BOUDREAU: By the season's end I would. I think it's a little bit like when we made a trade for Huet a couple of years ago, there was Kolzig and Huet and I played them the first 10 games, just alternated, and then eventually Cristobal won the job and he played the last seven games.

And I just assume or I'm hoping that something like that is going to take over here, and it doesn't have to happen anytime soon. I think they're both really competitive guys having a friendly competition of who wants to be number one. But it will happen in the last quarter of the season, I would think.

Q. Bruce, with Jordan Staal playing tonight, not just tonight, but big picture playing in venues, how does he change the dynamics of that team?

COACH BOUDREAU: Well, they've always got one of their big centers on the ice. I mean, they can go to the power play and have Malkin and Crosby off, and then they come back with Staal.

And it seems that when he's been in the lineup, in the past against us, if Sid or Malkin aren't having a good game, Staal's having a great game. And he can be sometimes not having a great game, but the other two guys are having a great game.

So it's hard to shut down all three of them, because they're all three great players.

Q. Big game like this and all the buildup in the middle of the season, how much of a distraction is that to the next game and the rest of the season?

COACH BOUDREAU: I don't know. We haven't got to the next game yet. But the next game is against Tampa, and I think we're tied with them for division lead. So hopefully it's not a distraction. But we won't know until we get there.

Q. Coach, what's Tom Poti's status for tonight?

COACH BOUDREAU: He's not playing.

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

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