Comments from the Chicago Blackhawks following their practice in Tuesday morning – including Andrew Shaw and coach Joel Quenneville…
Q. To be back out there with your teammates, how do you feel, how much are you ready to get back here?
SHAW: I feel great. It’s good to be back. It sucks being away from the guys. We have such a tight-knit group. It’s all smiles to be back out there with them. I feel like it looks good, so I feel pretty good, too.
Q. What was it like finally getting out there? Talk about the injury, how that’s progressing. Will you play tomorrow night?
SHAW: Yeah, no, I felt great. Kitch and Jamie have had fun skating the past few days. It’s fun to have the rehab part. The staff we have here is great. I feel like I’m ready to play, but that’s not my decision to make. I’m getting prepared like I’m going to play tomorrow, but like I say, it’s not my final decision.
Q. When it first happened, everybody thought you might only miss one game. Was it worse than you thought, and how was it to have to sit out?
SHAW: Horrible. You want to be out there helping your team to win. The guys did well. We beat out a good Minnesota team. We came out hard in the first game against the Kings. It sucks to sit back and watch. I’d rather be 100% come back and be there for the long run.
Q. Not only do you come back, but your shin pads come back as well. We joke about that. Part of your game is to be in front.
SHAW: I think the shin pads are excited to get back out there, as well (laughter). My game, you know, it’s the best when I’m around the net. I like to live there, get a few lucky ones off me, as well.
Q. Other players like Brandon Saad ask you for advice?
SHAW: Saad is a smart kid. He knows what it takes to score. He’s going to go to those dirty areas. It was huge for him last game to get that power play goal. Like he said, it went off his leg, as well. He’s made fun of me in the past about it, but now he sees take any one you can get.
Q. You’ve had a lot more success against Jonathan Quick than most teams. Is it the ability to get in front of the net?
SHAW: I think so. He’s a goalie that likes to stay low, tries to fight the trap, so we just try to get as many people in the net as we can and find those rebounds to put them behind him.
Q. Some of your teammates are saying that the dressing room was very quiet while you were out.
SHAW: I could see that.
Q. Who did you take it out on then?
SHAW: My girlfriend is probably upset. Past two weeks I probably put her through hell. She’s excited for me to be out there, as well (laughter).
Q. We talked to Andrew Shaw. Your thoughts on how he looked today, possibility for tomorrow?
QUENNEVILLE: We’ll see on that. I thought he was okay today. First time with the group there. Hadn’t skated in a while. We’re not sure yet on tomorrow.
Q. Is there a possible advantage, since there’s a couple more days between Game 3, of getting him more time?
QUENNEVILLE: That’s part of the process. When I look back, it could have been last Thursday, Game 7, against Minnesota, probably would have had to fight him not to play him. Certainly having time here and doing the right thing, giving him extra time, is something that’s part of the decision, as well.
Q. The way Peter Regin has been playing, has he got himself a spot on the roster?
QUENNEVILLE: We’ll see. It’s something we always evaluate.
Q. Bollig said he likes playing the villain role. Is it good to have guys like that sometimes?
QUENNEVILLE: I think your team has different kinds of players. Everybody’s got a role and a job description that you look to fulfill. It’s not an easy job providing some toughness to our team. But I think he added some dimensions to his line, to our team, that not a lot of tough guys add. You’re comfortable with him checking, defensively responsible, blocking shots, but bring some physicality that our team can use sometimes. But I think being responsible defensively really adds that element to our team.
Q. You’re getting a lot of production from the back end. What does that do for your offense?
QUENNEVILLE: I think we got some guys, I think they’re good to support our attack, entering the zone, good off the point. I think it shows the kind of goals that are scored in the playoffs, it seems like they’re points shots, screens, deflections, second opportunities, a lot is generated off the shot, it’s kind of the way we play five-on-five, power play for sure, thinking shot. They’re thinking just pound it, get to the net, improvise off the shot. It’s what we’re all about. These guys got some good shots, quickness in the lanes, guys that have good patience with the puck that can sometimes make that look off the point look even more dangerous. I think that goes hand-in-hand.
Q. Is that one of the reasons why you didn’t have Keith and Seabrook out against the Kopitar line to free them up offensively?
QUENNEVILLE: A little bit of balance there. I think Johnny and Hammer, where Dunks and Seabs, it can change over the course of the series, over the course of the game. Johnny and Hammer got a lot of ice time. Dunks and Seabs, whether it’s offensively or defensively, you’re comfortable with them against anybody.
Q. Outside of Corey’s other aspects of his game in goal, have you seen a difference in his flexibility over the last couple of years as he’s focused on that more?
QUENNEVILLE: I just think that he’s grown as a goaltender. I think he’s shown steady progress with his game. He’s developed in all aspects. He got a little more mature. You get a little quicker, you get a little bit more comfortable with the league, confidence in yourself. He’s square. He’s quick. He’s always been that type of goalie for us. I think he answered the question last year handling the stage and the extra attention in the right way. His approach this year has been fine. I like how he’s gone along here in these playoffs as well.
Q. Not something you have any control over. You’re playing one game in five days. Is that good, bad, aggravating?
QUENNEVILLE: No, it’s the way it is. It’s kind of a slow third round compared to the first two. But that’s the way it is. They played seven tough games. We played six tough games. We know we expect both teams to be definitely excited about playing each and every game over the next couple. We’d expect a fast pace, as well.
Q. Usually after facing the same team in back-to-back Western Conference Finals, there would be more of a nasty rivalry. Is there such a level of respect that we don’t have that nastiness?
QUENNEVILLE: I think both teams have a lot of respect for one another. I think special teams could make a difference in the outcome. I think being intelligent and disciplined is going to have a lot to say about who’s going to be out on top. But I think both teams, they play hard. Both teams have skill. But both teams, you know, have some physicality within their lineup that you’re comfortable with. The nastiness, if we play hard during the whistle, that’s what we look for. That’s what we talk about and stress. I think we don’t want to be deterred from where we have to go to be successful.
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