Comments from Kings coach Darryl Sutter and Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville following Chicago’s double-overtime win in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final…
Q. It was like an eight-minute stretch in the first overtime between whistles. From the bench, what was that sensation like?
SUTTER: Trying to get your changes in, trying to get your shifts in. Overtime is not a real timeout unless there’s a stoppage of play at the 10-minute mark.
Q. [from Dennis Bernstein of the Fourth Period Magazine] Was this one a little more difficult knowing you were 20mins away from advancing and you didn’t get it?
SUTTER: Not really. It’s a tough building. Damn near got it.
Q. Any big adjustments next game?
SUTTER: You’re a little premature in that.
Q. When is the last time you saw an overtime with that much pace, basically no stoppages?
SUTTER: Well, probably every one we’ve had. How many have we played this year? Two good teams. Not going to slow down in overtime.
The other side…
Q. We talked before the game as far as that line with Shaw, Saad and Kane. Did you like what they brought tonight?
QUENNEVILLE: They were excellent, outstanding. They brought speed off the rush, play recognition, finish, support.
I thought they all had huge games.
Q. You’ve had a lot of questions throughout this series about what you’re going to do with Handzus. This is why he’s in there, right?
QUENNEVILLE: He’s a smart player. Penalty killing is his strength. Shawsy has been playing a lot. Was half a shift left side, I threw him out there. He didn’t play much in overtime. But what a great finish. Happy for him. Excited about our team.
Q. Joel, talk about Patrick Kane’s night, the confidence with the puck, what he was able to accomplish tonight.
QUENNEVILLE: He’s a special player. They’ve been tight on him. They got a tight gap. It’s tough to get through that neutral zone with possession.
I thought he had some great looks, beat the rusher off his zone. Read off his new linemates there, figured things out quickly. He anticipates as good as any player. Patience level with the puck is as good as anyone. Nice to see him get a big night like that. Those guys I’m sure are excited about moving forward.
Q. With the Kings coming back in the second period, was anything said?
QUENNEVILLE: We didn’t change too much our approach. We’ve been in tough situations before. I think we wanted to play the right way. I think when we got behind in Game 2 and Game 3 in the third periods, we opened it up, they picked us apart. We had more of a purpose. Obviously scoring early helped us. Overtime, I’ve seen a lot of games, been involved in a lot of games. That might have been the greatest overtime I’ve seen.
Q. What was the thinking mixing the defense pairings like you did tonight?
QUENNEVILLE: Get balance. Didn’t like the quality, the quantity. The goals we’ve given up in the last three games. That was the reason.
Q. Something click for Saad tonight?
QUENNEVILLE: I’d say the line. Whether it was him… I thought he had a special night. He had a lot of speed. You look at Shawsy’s contribution, Kaner’s contribution. It was one of those nights where everything fell in there nicely.
Q. Last year against the Red Wings you were down 3-1, you re-paired guys there. Tonight it was the opposite. Did you like what you saw on the back end? Why that move?
QUENNEVILLE: That was exactly what we just said. We didn’t like the last three games. It was almost exactly last year, three down, Detroit, 3-1. We changed the pairs back. These pairs that were here tonight were basically the pairs for most of last year. It wasn’t like they were unfamiliar.
Q. You just mentioned this is maybe the greatest overtime game you’ve ever been a part of. With so much going on, when that’s happening, can you actually enjoy what’s going on?
QUENNEVILLE: When they had the whistle there, basically the timeout in the first overtime there, I don’t know how many minutes and seconds, but it was just like it was a ‘wow’ factor. I think I appreciated it. The guys were working. The pace was unbelievable. It was good action. I guess maybe had a little appreciation when there was a stoppage in play.
Q. How often had Kane played with Saad and Shaw? Was it just a feel?
QUENNEVILLE: We said this morning, I thought that line with Benny on it last game was really good. Then just putting Kaner on it with Saad and Shawsy, it just feels like Shawsy gets kind of a great opportunity to play with those guys. Hopefully what we discovered today could be a line for a long time.
Q. Joel, what aren’t you getting from Versteeg?
QUENNEVILLE: Tough shift there. He didn’t see the ice after that, so not much.
Q. How much did pride factor into tonight, especially the third period?
QUENNEVILLE: You know, our guys, they find ways. It’s a testament to their competitiveness, their will to win, overcoming a lot of hurdles and obstacles.
Tonight was a great, great challenge with a great start. Having to come back in the third, winning it in dramatic fashion.
It’s a big win for us. We still have to go win in L.A. I’m sure we’re going to be excited about the challenge.
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