Comments from Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville after Chicago’s Game 7 loss to the LA Kings…
Q. All the leads you had throughout this game, was it what they were doing, what you weren’t doing?
QUENNEVILLE: No, they made plays. They scored two quick goals on us. Getting that third one certainly put us in a good spot. That one-goal lead in the third period maybe a little bit stationary. We didn’t give up a ton. Had some looks. Had some chances. The breakaway in overtime.
It’s one of those goals that was a tough one.
Q. That was kind of a theme in this series, you get leads early, just not be able to handle them. Is that maybe the most frustrating thing going into the off-season?
QUENNEVILLE: No. I think we checked pretty well all year. I thought we played two good teams in the first two series, wasn’t a lot of room, wasn’t a lot of space. We didn’t give up much. A little bit more open in this series. We’re productive, but we have to be better keeping it out of our net.
Q. Does this say anything to the difficulty of repeating as a champion?
QUENNEVILLE: Well, we were pretty close to getting to the big dance. You look at how close we were, how competitive it was. It’s a tough league. It’s a tough thing to do, to win the Cup. I couldn’t be prouder of our guys the way we competed in some tough situations, down 3-1. One shot away from going to try to do it again. We’re in a tough division, some tough teams, some tough games. Overcoming all those obstacles after what happened last year and this year, you know, I’ve lost some tough games, but nothing like tonight.
Q. You mentioned the goals in the net. What changed in the series?
QUENNEVILLE: They got some quick sticks. They go to the net hard. Loose stuff hanging around. They got a fortunate bounce on the winner.
Every goal’s different. Their power play really got their offense going. It started in Game 2. Puck started going in on us.
Q. Was it hard to get a full 60 minutes out of this team? Were they running on fumes?
QUENNEVILLE: I thought the ice was really heavy tonight. I thought both teams were trying to fight through it. You look at what happened in these last three games, the unpredictability from the start, the emotion, the intensity, playing the right way. So, you know, I thought both teams left it out there. Unfortunately, somebody had to lose, you know. Tough ending.
Q. You rolled out four lines more consistently during the regular season. Did that deter you at all, going to three lines?
QUENNEVILLE: Not at all. I thought this series was a four-line game. A lot of nights they went to three lines early. Looking for our matchups. Timeouts and the power plays tonight, I don’t think it was too bad in that area.
Q. Worried about the fact that you have the core in place, this is a team that’s a bounce away from going to the Cup, pretty loaded again for next season. Does that help at all?
QUENNEVILLE: It’s tough to think about next year right now. As we progress in the summer, I’m sure we’ll be excited about the fall. Right now, you look back, definitely a lot of good things that we accomplished this year. You know, a lot to be proud of, of what transpired over the course of this season, this series, the playoffs. But certainly a lot of good options to start next year when you look at the group we have.
Q. Now that it’s over, can you assess the health level of your team. Did you have guys playing through some things there?
QUENNEVILLE: Yeah, no different than any other years. You know, certain guys. Everybody’s got some annoyances, getting through it, playing through it. But losing Shawsy, then coming back, he’s a warrior type of guy. I thought he came back and gave us a nice jolt in the lineup. Other than that, I don’t think it was different than other years.
Q. It’s early, but how do you see the Kings matching up against the Rangers?
QUENNEVILLE: I’ll let you sort out how that is going to play out. I would have liked to think how we’re going to match up against them ourselves. I know one thing, they find a way, L.A., they’re never out of a hockey game, they’re never out of a series. They’re dangerous.
MORE: To see what Kings coach Darryl Sutter and his players had to say after their Game 7 overtime win, click here.