Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville, Patrick Sharp, and Duncan Keith spoke to the media before Game 6 in Los Angeles…
Q. Duncan, you guys talked going into Game 5 about the pressure being on them to close this out. Still feel that way?
KEITH: There’s pressure on both ways. I think it’s just a matter of the way you look at it. But at the same time, you know, they’re looking to close this out obviously. We’re playing for our lives tonight, so we’re going to need our best game of the year.
Q. Do you consider this year a success if you don’t win the Stanley Cup?
KEITH: I don’t think we look at it as a success if we don’t win. I think with the group of guys we have in here, especially the core guys, I think that’s our goal. Obviously, you know, we’ve done a few things right to get to this point. But I don’t think anybody in our room’s satisfied with just getting to the Western Conference Finals.
SHARP: Yeah, I agree. Expectations are high in our locker room, within the organization. We certainly know what it takes to get to this point of the season. We have our sights set much higher.
Q. Is there anything you learned from the first two games here that you can apply today?
SHARP: I hope so. They play well in their building. They play well on the road as well. It’s a tough place to play. I think we can do some things better tonight than we did in the previous two games in this building. Having said that, it comes down to executing on the ice.
Q. Duncan, yesterday the Kings were talking about how they didn’t want to get involved in trading chances with you guys. Generally is it easier to slow a game down or speed it up?
KEITH: Well, I would probably think it’s easier to slow it down. I think it’s harder to handle the puck and play a speed game. Not everybody can skate fast. I think we’ve got guys in our room that are tailored toward that type of game. At the same time I don’t think we’re playing to try to play a wide-open game. We have to be good defensively as well and be smart in our own zone that are going to lead to chances.
Q. Patrick, do you believe in momentum, whether it carries over from game to game?
SHARP: Yeah, momentum is big in the playoffs, whether it’s game to game or win a singular game. I think you see it in all the series that have gone on so far, whether a team is coming back from 3-0. The Kings have won a number of games in both their series in a row. You look in the course of one particular game, big shifts can swing momentum, penalties, goals, all that kind of stuff.We had a big win a couple nights ago. We’re hoping to keep that momentum and play well tonight.
Q. With Kane getting going in the last game, how much of an effect does that have on everybody else?
SHARP: Yeah, Kaner is a special player. When he’s playing the way he has been lately, makes everybody else better. He’s making his teammates have those great chances to put the puck in the net. I think you look at the way he’s skating now, he’s getting the pucks first and hanging onto the pucks. No question he’s a big part of our team and we’re happy with the way he’s playing.
Q. Duncan, do you think that when Q split up the D men the last game it sparked you guys, and do you expect him to do it again today or is it a last minute decision?
KEITH: I don’t really think anything about it. Throughout the course of a season, there’s always changes to the lineup, the pairings, more so on the forwards. As a player, we’re just focused on trying to go out there and play your game, do the things to help the team win. Whether it’s changes or things like that that can, you know, spark something, I don’t know.