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NHL STANLEY CUP FINALS: BLACKHAWKS v LIGHTNING


June 13, 2015


Joel Quenneville


TAMPA, FLORIDA: Game Five

Chicago ¬Ė 2
Tampa Bay - 1


THE MODERATOR:  Questions for coach.

Q.  Coach, we've talked about Antoine Vermette quite a bit.  You got him for some depth to another veteran.  What can you say about what he's been able to do?
COACH QUENNEVILLE:  He's gotten better every game.  I thought he had a great game tonight.  Very timely goal.  Big faceoffs in.  Both zones tonight.  Lot of wins.  Positionally aware.  Battled.
I thought Steeger had a great game as well.  That line was very dangerous.

Q.  In a game that features a lot of stars, seemed like your best line tonight was Desjardins, Versteeg and Kruger.
COACH QUENNEVILLE:  Yeah, that line was good, too.  I thought Krug's line, Vermy's line, were aware, offensive zone time.  Haven't had much in this series as we're accustomed to.  I thought tonight we had a good start, we had some good pace.  I thought those guys had some good shifts.  Obviously Sharpie's goal was big right off the bat as well.

Q.  Talk about Hjalmarsson.
COACH QUENNEVILLE:  Well, he's always been good.  We've been fortunate to be around this guy for a lot of years.  Defending top players, defending tough situations, blocking shots, he's a warrior.
I think he's as good a defender as is in the game.

Q.  Toews talked about he thought this was the best defensive game you played in the series.  What have you done so effectively defensively?
COACH QUENNEVILLE:¬† Well, I thought kind of what I just said, we had some more zone time in the offensive zone.¬† We weren't having to play in our own end.¬† We didn't have too many long‑cycle shifts.¬† I think it started the shift when they scored, they a couple in a row because we didn't move the puck quick enough.
But I thought we were simple.  I think we have the checking mentality.  They look to check as well.  There's not a lot of time, not a lot of plays to be had.  But I thought our start was something we haven't seen in the first four games, which is nice to see tonight.

Q.  Hjalmarsson had a bunch of blocks for you guys.  What makes him so good at blocking shots?
COACH QUENNEVILLE:  He anticipates well defensively.  He usually has a good gap.  The closer you are to the puck, the better chance he has to hitting you.  He doesn't care where he gets hit.  He's willing to take some pain and kill some plays.
But he's got good stick positioning, good awareness, where the puck is coming, when it's going to be the danger shot.
But he's kind of what I just said about how he defends, as good as anybody.

Q.  Coach, you've said in the past how much gratitude you have about your loyal fans.  How crazy do you think it's going to be there Monday night?
COACH QUENNEVILLE:  Never been in this spot.  I'm sure it will be crazy over the next two days in town.  The buzz will be off the charts.  Look forward to it.

Q.  How challenging will it be to keep the focus on the game?  The Lightning aren't going to go away.  You have a lot of excitement building.
COACH QUENNEVILLE:  We've got guys that have been there and done that.  I think we can lean on these guys to share their experience of how you prepare the night before game day, morning skate, then the game.
I think that's our focus.  That's all we're worried about.

Q.  Coach, what do you have to say about Crawford's focus?
COACH QUENNEVILLE:  Great.  I thought he was solid tonight right from the outset, handled the puck well, rebound control, alert, battled.  You know, he's been really good in the series.

Q.  Joel, since you've taken the reins of the Blackhawk bench, you've had an impeccable record.  Blocks from Hjalmarsson, big saves, a bit of everything.
COACH QUENNEVILLE:  I liked the team game today.  We started the right way.  Finally got a push.  Weren't in our end a lot in the first part of that first period.
But I thought that extra day helped going into today's game.  I thought we had an excellent practice yesterday.  Had some enthusiasm.  Guys seemed to rise.  The bigger the game, the bigger the setting, they're excited about the challenge.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you, coach.
COACH QUENNEVILLE:  Thanks.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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