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NHL STANLEY CUP FINALS: BLACKHAWKS v LIGHTNING


June 11, 2015


Joel Quenneville


TAMPA, FLORIDA: Practice Day

Q.  Coach, I just asked Kimmo and TVR this, them not being here that long, as far as the resilience they noticed with this team.  They pointed to the core players.  Do you see guys new to this group latch on to what this core has started and believed in for so long?
COACH QUENNEVILLE:¬† I think there's an appreciation for the way, watching these guys from afar.¬† Coming into a new team, you see the way they compete on a game‑to‑game basis.¬† They see how important winning is around here. ¬†Probably very noticeable.
Then these guys don't really say a whole lot.  I think they let the way they play and the way they carry themselves do a lot of their speaking for them.
Kimmo has been around in a lot of situations.  He's been everywhere.  He's played at every level.  He's been a leader everywhere he's been.
I think coming into our team, he's been real good.  I think he's been a good pro in a tight tough situation.  Commend him on how he's handled it.
TVR is a different file, knowing he hasn't played in such a long time.  He's come in with two important games for us.

Q.  The League tells us this is the most closely contested Final since 1968.  What do you think decides this series?
COACH QUENNEVILLE:¬† I don't know.¬† You look at the first four games, it's been that close.¬† Maybe the other team is supposed to win that game.¬† But the fact that nobody's had a two‑goal lead after four games speaks volumes about what we're talking about here.
Hey, it's fast, it's quick, it can be unpredictable.  It's two good hockey teams going at it.  I think whether it's going to be a great save or a great play, you know, a fluky goal, I know both teams leave it out there.  I know our team loves a challenge, and we expect to get better as we go along here.

Q.  Trevor van Riemsdyk had a pretty rough shift on the Lightning goal.  When that happens, does anyone say anything to him?
COACH QUENNEVILLE:  We watch him play.  I think he's played very well.  I think it was one shift he got stuck out there.  It's happened to us in second periods against a lot of teams this year.  You can't get off.  You're dead tired.  Hopefully you can get a whistle or a save or a clear.  Sometimes it goes in.
But positionally we like the way he thinks the game.  He's got a good stick.  Offensively makes a lot of nice, simple plays.  Got a good gap.  He's everything you look for in a defenseman.
In two games, in a different situation, a tough situation, he's been very good.

Q.  Joel, if you do get a win in this next game, you come back here, the Cup will be in the building here I think for the first time ever with a chance for you guys to clinch it.  Would you like your team to use that as motivation in this next game?
COACH QUENNEVILLE:  We know the Cup's going to be in the building here for Game 6.  Doesn't matter how that approach goes.  We don't want to look past anything that's going to happen in the next game.  That's our mindset.

Q.  With the penalty kills, a couple times with Oduya or Seabrook in the box, you had to rotate three defensemen.  What is the challenge of that?
COACH QUENNEVILLE:  I think our penalty killers did a good job.  I think in situations like that, that's happened over the course of the season, sometimes you got three that can kill, or use killing.  Sometimes you only got two on the bench.  You might get a chance to find out about another guy pressed in that situation.
Some guys probably can stay out there and stay the two minutes in the kill situation on a very needed basis.
These guys have been through it.¬† Whether they're staggering their changes, going 30 or 40 seconds each, one‑guy change at a time, it's done a lot of times over the course of the season.¬† It's not new to what's happening now.

Q.¬† Even thought the series is tied 2‑2, what still have you not seen from your team that you need to see in the final games?
COACH QUENNEVILLE:  I think that's what a lot of people might be thinking about.  I think we're playing against a good team.  I don't think they probably got the respect around here that maybe was deserved.  Not seeing them as much as we have in Western opponents.  They're fast, they're quick.  I think we need to be quicker.  We need to be more predictable.  We got to want the puck.
But, you know, they don't give not a lot of time, not a lot of space.  That's the one thing we have to be aware of.

Q.  When it's tight like this, do you believe in the randomness of luck or do you believe that luck is something you can make yourself?
COACH QUENNEVILLE:  Absolutely, you earn it.  You earn it over time by doing right things, being predictable.  We know the will is there.  Finding a way is what we like about our team.

Q.  Obviously hockey is a little bit different than other sports in that you have the one timeout.  What is your strategy on how and when to use it.  Has it evolved over the years?
COACH QUENNEVILLE:  Well, I think it's almost like a safety in your back pocket sometimes.  Sometimes you use it for the momentum change in the game, you don't like the way things are going.
Now the handy part of it is on an icing play, a shift where you're stuck out there, you can't get off, you got to get a breath.  I think that's probably when it's applied most.  Then at the end of the game when you're down a goal, you want to get those guys rested to go back out there to try to get an equalizer.  Probably the second most used timeout.  I think the third one is changing momentum.
A lot of teams save it for that icing.  I don't think it was intended for that purpose, but it's been applied that way.  I think on a need basis, it's useful.

Q.  Back to the penalty kill.  In the first round, there were some struggles.  Was there ever a concern or a thought that it had to get better if you were going to advance further?
COACH QUENNEVILLE:  You know what, we didn't mind our penalty killing in that series.  I know some pucks went in.  I thought we did some good things, and were doing things the right way.  Then we felt you're going to have stretches over the course of seasons where the puck is going to go in there.  If you keep doing the right things, you'll find a way to be successful.
Tough stretch at the end of the season that went against us.  Each team we've played in the playoffs has got some different things you got to be worried about.  We played some real good power plays.  We got a real good power play on the other side.  We got to make sure.  That's a work in progress.  No satisfaction with being where we're at.  Constantly has to be looked at, do whatever we can to keep it out of our net.

Q.¬† Joel, you've been around a long time.¬† There's some teams that will say, We'll take any win any way we can get it.¬† There's other teams that look back and are critical after a win.¬† How important do you think a championship‑caliber team has to be that way?
COACH QUENNEVILLE:  Well, I mean, we're in the winning business.  I don't think you should ever be satisfied with the way things go.  I think you want to find ways where you can better yourselves, better the situation.
I think after four games there's been some progress, some areas where we need to improve.  We know we have to be better.  We're looking to get better as we go into Game5.

Q.¬† Joel, going into yesterday's game, Johnny Oduya, there was a question about the injury.¬† He plays 25‑plus minutes, five blocks.¬† How important was he to the victory last night?
COACH QUENNEVILLE:¬† Yeah, he's a warrior.¬† Kind of reminds me of Hammer.¬† Two from Sweden.¬† They like to play with one another, hang out with one another.¬† Got a lot of the same attributes as far as how they prepare and produce.¬† Low maintenance.¬† Nice bounce‑back by him.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you, coach.
COACH QUENNEVILLE:  Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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