Jan. 13--MONTREAL -- Folks who know Claude Julien well are not surprised to hear the Canadiens coach, who tonight will face the Bruins team he coached for 10 seasons for the first time since he was fired last February, does not plan to talk about it.

At least not at the moment.

Julien was not on hand at Bell Centre yesterday as the Bruins returned from their bye week for a quick skate before tonight's game against the Canadiens. Julien and the Habs were at their practice facility across the river.

Julien has told several Montreal reporters that, while he knows there will be many questions today about this game, he will not address the topic. His thinking is that he does not want to become a big part of the story and potentially distract from his team's preparations for what is a vitally important game in its increasingly gloomy playoff chase.

Nothing official, but Julien understands the questions are legitimate and aren't going to go away, so he is expected to comment on all this when the Canadiens face the Bruins Wednesday at the Garden.

Julien was very much Topic A, so here's the remarks of some of his former Bruins players.

Patrice Bergeron: "It's going to be different. I mean, is it special. Once you're on the ice you just have to go and play your game. That being said, I owe him so much. Hopefully we have time to shake hands and say, 'Hi.'

"He's had a huge impact for us. We all know that. But if you look at the big picture. We all know these are big points and we have to play a game and be good."

Zdeno Chara: "Claude has done a tremendous job for us with Boston. Now he's with a different team. You treat it as maybe like when you face players who were with Boston and now they're with different teams: You're just focusing on your jobs. Just as we're going to be focusing on our game, he's going to be focusing on his."

Bruce Cassidy: "At the end of the day, he's got his team to worry about, I got mine. That's where our focus is. I know it's where my focus is -- to try and get us back to the level we were playing at before the break. I thought we were doing a lot of things well.

"We haven't seen Montreal, so that's the interesting part. It's the middle of the season and you haven't played a team in your division -- that's a little bit odd. But it's always been a great rivalry. I'm actually looking forward to it.

"I think for the players who have been here, Z and (Bergeron), absolutely . . . they won a Stanley Cup with Claude, so there's a mutual respect, a player-coach relationship that they will have. I'm sure they'll spend time with him catching up and they should.

Busy schedule

After tonight, the B's are home for a practice tomorrow, then host Dallas Monday. Wednesday they host Montreal, then visit the Islanders at Barclays Center on Thursday. The B's are back in Montreal for another game next Saturday.

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