Pre-Game 5: Blackhawks Coach Q on Water Bottle, Lines, Momentum

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville had the following to say as he prepares his team for a Game 5 match-up vs. the Kings in Chicago…

Q. Talking about the lines, with the Saad combination, what are you looking for?

QUENNEVILLE: I thought Saad and Shawsy last game were effective. Kaner can add to the mix there. I thought they had a good couple of periods there, generated some zone time and chances and score nice goals as well.  I think it’s production and defensive responsibility on all the lines. We’re looking for that balance.

Q. What do you tell the team before this game? Do you have to focus them on the small picture?

QUENNEVILLE: I’ve used a couple of those exact words this morning.  Going into the game, that’s what we’re focused on, trying to win the game shift to shift. Win the first period, go from there.  You look back over this series, we lost three games with three one-period stretches where we uncharacteristically gave up quantity and preventable goals. We have a to make sure that’s the area we shore up. Let’s focus on winning our battles in those one-shift areas.

Q. On report that Corey Crawford sprayed a fan with water in LA.

QUENNEVILLE: I just heard about it on my way over. First I heard of it. I’m not aware of the situation other than what you just said.
I’m not worried about it right now. I’m worrying about the game.

Q. Is it even possible to define what turned the momentum of this series around in Game 2 and use that to your advantage to turn it around your way?

QUENNEVILLE: You know, we can talk about the late goal in the second period. Talk about a couple quick power play goals that got their power play ignited. I think that sparked their offense. Those spurts of quick goals-against us.  Hopefully our power play we need to be better, it’s an area we can ignite our offense and we’ve got to shore up our penalty kills as well.

Q. Joel, how much are you emphasizing the faceoff aspect tonight and should it help that you’re back home on home ice?

QUENNEVILLE: I think Game 2 we didn’t have a very good night. I think Game 3, Game 4, they were better.
We’ll see. We got guys that can take draws. They got four very experienced guys in the circles, good faceoff guys as well. That’s a chore. It’s not just the responsibility of our centermen that have to get the job done, it’s guys helping along the line.

Q. How important is that to your puck possession game?

QUENNEVILLE: It’s always nice to start with the puck, especially on special teams. I think that’s the area where our power play last game, didn’t really start with the puck, slowed it down.

Q. I asked your players, is the pressure more on the Kings or on the Blackhawks. They said it’s on L.A. How do you feel?

QUENNEVILLE: I feel it’s on L.A. Look back against Detroit. We came in here excited about being at home, taking advantage of the home crowd. I don’t want to say loose, but let’s be excited about the opportunity. Let’s go. We got to win one game here.

Q. Is it mental lapses? Something they’re forcing you into doing?

QUENNEVILLE: They made a couple nice shots. Their shots are going through. The second power play goal is a play, goes through a couple lanes. The first one was kind of comparable to the one we saw the other game where coming down the gut, we got to go to that guy. I think that was the tough part about it, because we just saw that one and they came back with another one. I think that was a defendable play. They got some looks here. We got to recognize the chance when there’s a chance to be aggressive, make it a little bit more disruptive for them when there’s a chance to pressure.

Q. Are they doing anything differently on their power play than what you’ve seen?

QUENNEVILLE: Maybe a little bit more patience when they’re shooting the puck. They’re getting them through. I mean, we had some better blocks, maybe some better coverage going out to the points, they’re getting in a little tighter, and that’s why they’re getting better looks.
I think we had great stretches all year with the PK having success. Sometimes they’re going to go in against you. But I think doing the right things can get us back on track.

Q. Your team is probably angry, but is the confidence where it needs to be?

QUENNEVILLE: I think we’re looking at tomorrow. Excited about it. It’s one of those games where we haven’t been in this position often. We know what it was like last year. We’re looking to win Game 5, that’s it. Get the momentum back, go from there.

Q. Doesn’t seem like the dump and chase is working all that well. Would you like to see guys carry the puck in to get set up?

QUENNEVILLE: Their gap is pretty tight. That’s going to lead to defending their whole shifts if we look for that type of entry. I think we have to recognize when we have a chip. I think when we look for direct plays, all five guys, going through all five guys standing still, not a lot of speed. I think we got to find that recognition. I think we’ve had enough zone time off of getting it in deep.

Q. (No microphone.)

QUENNEVILLE: They blocked a lot of shots. They blocked a lot of shots, be it off the rush or on the power play. They got some shot-blockers. We’ve had some decent looks. All of a sudden it gets a stick or a block. Our power play hasn’t been great the last couple of games. I think that we’ve been pretty consistent with it all year. Just getting back and being confident, when you do have those looks, look to blast away. Especially from the middle, we’ve had some good looks early in the series, it led to quality. In the last couple games, quality really hasn’t been there.

Q. You have a history of overcoming 3-1 deficits. Is it fair to say this is actually a bigger hill to climb?

QUENNEVILLE: You look at Game 2, was a tough game to lose. Obviously got them to go ahead of us now 3-1. We definitely got a dangerous team. They got a real good club over there. They’ve had some interesting stretches in these playoffs this year, not even looking at the last couple years. We know what they’re capable of. They’re a good team in a lot of ways. We feel we played two good periods in the last three games. One period got away from us. We let in some uncharacteristic types of goals that we haven’t seen all year, or in the playoffs for sure, that we think are preventable. We shore that up, we keep ourselves in the game, find a way.

Q. Especially with things like Duncan Keith gets the puck, but things happened last night, the Hossa penalty. How do you shore those things up?

QUENNEVILLE: Well, we always talk about situations. I think you look at each individual goal, there’s a different thing that could lead to it.
You could say whether it was the four-on-four leading into their power play goal. Could have been on the power play. We take a penalty there where it’s almost unavoidable. But it was a penalty. It’s one of those situations where you got to deal with it, get through a kill. You’re looking at every play. We get the puck, center net, 2-0, take a penalty, it’s 3-0. I thought our starts in the last three games were really, really good. Yesterday wasn’t so. I think every type of goal that you could look at in the last three games, you know, were generally around two a game. We’ve given up way too many and rather easily.

Q. Seabrook said he felt like the defensemen need to be more responsible.

QUENNEVILLE: I think the puck is going through us, we’re not recognizing the coverage around the net. They got guys that make blind plays. They have great shooters as well. We have to make sure we’re defending around our net better than they are at their net.

Q. Assess Corey’s play.

QUENNEVILLE: He’s been all right. We’re going to need him to be really good. We’ll need that tomorrow night.

Q. What do you do to prepare the team for tomorrow nights game?

QUENNEVILLE: We always talk about different things going into games, whether it’s the mental aspect of the games, the challenges, a tweak or two technically, line combinations. There’s always different things that can get their attention. But you’re down 3-1, at home, you got nothing to lose. We want to make sure we’re playing a game, let’s play all out, have fun in our own building, recapture the momentum. That’s what we’re talking about.

Q. On the performance of Michal Handzus…

QUENNEVILLE: I don’t mind Handzus against this team at all. He’s a strong player. Strong on the pucks. Does a lot of things for us.
When we got behind 3-0, we’re looking for a little bit more offense. That’s probably why his minutes were down mostly.

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