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May 21, 2015

Joel Quenneville


THE MODERATOR:  Questions for coach.

Q.  Any lineup changes for tonight?

Q.  With Marcus Kruger, we talked about him the other night, that warrior mentality.  How valuable is a guy like that given everything he's been able to do?
COACH QUENNEVILLE:  He's an important part of our team.  We use him in a lot of important situations, primarily faceoffs, killing penalties, one, three, and five rotations.
He's just got an intelligence around the puck.  He's a very competitive guy.  He doesn't score a lot of goals, but definitely will stand out in his career when you look back.
He's a real competitor, and you love what he brings to your team.

Q.  When you're managing your bench, do you worry game to game?  Are you thinking as the series moves on?
COACH QUENNEVILLE:  When you're playing, as a coach, you're playing to win that game.  That's basically our thought process.  Nobody anticipates you're going to play for six periods.  But that's what we were dealt with.  They have to go through the same thing as well.
It was a heck of a game, but that's our mindset.

Q.  Is too much being made of minutes played, particularly by your defensemen?
COACH QUENNEVILLE:  It's up to you guys.  You're talking about it a lot.  I know we look at our team, the answer was on the prior answer, hey, that's our focus, is trying to get through and trying to win that game.  We place an emphasis on every shift's importance, as well, getting guys out there in those right situations is something you look for as well.
Every game's different.  The score dictates a lot of times ice times a well.

Q.  The goaltending position has really grown over the last few years.  You have Andersen, Bishop, your guy, backup Darling.  How has that changed offensive approach over the years in terms of screening and things to do to exploit that or gain an advantage against it?
COACH QUENNEVILLE:  The evolution of the positioning, it seems to get better in that area.  I just think that goalies are so good, whether it's the coaching, whether it's the scouting, whether it's the shooters, they know the tendencies.
One‑on‑one with the goalies, it's tough to beat.  I think the only way you can make it difficult for the guy is to try to block his vision or try to get bodies crossing in front of him prior to the pucks, second opportunities.
But you got to go to the hard areas in this league.  From the outside you're not going to score.  But certainly you want to make sure you're putting more pucks at him, whether they're indirect shots or pass off as best you can.  You need traffic to score in this league.

Q.  Speaking of traffic, a lot of talk about net‑front presence.  From a defensive perspective, how do you protect that area and how do you move guys out of there without taking penalties?
COACH QUENNEVILLE:  It's a good question.  I know it's basically how most teams play.  Certain teams get to the net better than any.  We're probably playing as good a team as there is in the league at getting in front of the net, staying in front of the net, having their abilities to get their hands on some loose pucks and finish the goal to go along with that.
I just think that positionally a lot of teams will box you out going to the net.  Some teams you got a double screen if you're tying up in front of the net.  We'd like to prevent the puck from getting in that area.
Certainly, whether it's positionally or whether your little tendencies, I think you're instincts take over a little bit in that area.  But we want to make sure the loose stuff around the front of our net, we want to make sure we're better than we were in the first game.  I liked how we got better.
Conversely we got to get better at their net.  I think we did a better job in Game2.  That's an ongoing battle.  At the end of the series is where it will get sorted out.

Q.  When you have a guy like Kris Versteeg who has been a big part of your team, suddenly not playing, have you had contact with him?
COACH QUENNEVILLE:  He's had a great week of practicing.  He's not happy.  He wants to play in the worst way.  Puts himself as a candidate to get in the lineup.  We've had some decisions along the way.  Last game we could have inserted him.
We'll see.  I like his approach.  I told him we expect him in this series.

Q.  The Blackhawks have been through this before, coming off these long games and having to get ready for the next game.  Can you just kind of take us through the process, whether it's the players or the coaching staff, just coming off that game, getting ready to play another important game quickly.
COACH QUENNEVILLE:  I think our group starting on time, they'll focus on the next game, the importance of each and every game, the meaning of it.  The excitement of coming back here.  We haven't been back here in a while playing a huge game like today.
The experience of our players that have played in many big games, coming off some tough, long overtime games, their preparation in moving on, you have to commend the leadership group, the guys that have been through it, it's another part of the experience.
That process sometimes gets challenging, but I think our group, whether it's proper rest, the way they eat, sleep, the way we travel, the way we take care of things ‑ that's a compliment to the entire organization ‑ the focus on a lot of little details we don't talk about, but it can be a factor, especially coming off our last game.

Q.  How would you evaluate Kyle's play in Game2?
COACH QUENNEVILLE:  I liked his game.  Expect him to even improve because he's got another layer with the puck.  I think offensively his speed and quickness, he can get involved a little bit more with moving up ice, off the point as well.
I think defensively he's fine.  I think he's got some quickness.  He broke up some plays, made a lot of direct plays as well.  Good start.

Q.  Considering how much defensive zone starts you give that checking line, are you ever surprised where there's a game like the last one where Shaw leads the team in shots or they just create that much possession?
COACH QUENNEVILLE:  That line, they all bring a little bit something different to the lineup.  I think they're all instinctively in tight areas, in the puck areas.  I think starting in your own end, you might have to block the shot.  They're out for that key goal for them.
I think it's something they want to be at the other end of the rank.  They got rewarded.  A lot of these playoffs, they've had a lot of goals like that go in without production at the other end, knowing at the end of the day they're out‑chancing the top line, the line they're out there against.  They have a lot of zone time.  They generate momentum in our team game.  That's part of the job description.
Shawsy had a big game for us last game.  We'll see going forward.

Q.  Joel, off topic a little bit.  Canada is talking about the Mike Babcock signing.  You've won two Stanley Cups to his one.  I'm wondering what your net worth is (laughter)?
COACH QUENNEVILLE:  We'll let you guys talk about that (laughter).
I just watched his press conference prior to coming in here.  Big cheer walking up to the microphone.
Happy for him.  We'll see how that all plays out.  We'll see what happens.

Q.  You mentioned the long layoff before home games.  Getting back at home after a long game, what kind of spark can that provide you guys?
COACH QUENNEVILLE:  Well, I think obviously we mentioned this after the last game, the enthusiasm we're going to have in this building, the anthem here.  Great place to be.  The enthusiasm in the city gets more intense as we go along.  I think everybody probably had a long day at work yesterday and are looking forward to today's game.
It's a special place.  I think our players know the advantage, the perk of playing in front of such a passionate fan base, the excitement.  We look forward to this.  I think playing here at home against a good road team here, it's going to be a good test.
Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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