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May 17, 2009

Joel Quenneville

DETROIT, MICHIGAN: Game One Postgame

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Joel Quenneville.

Q. Surprised at all at the quality of chances those guys were able to generate against Seabrook and Keith?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: I think both teams had a number of chances, high-quality chances. We've got to be way better than that today. I didn't like our game. We have to be -- we got to play perfect hockey. Today we certainly, even though we were at 2-2 in the third, even though we probably would love to be there at that stage of the game, we got to be better.

Q. Your best penalty killer needs to be your goalie. Can you talk about Nikolai's play tonight.
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: I think our best penalty killing is going to be staying out of the box. They're dangerous. They had a couple key saves there in the second, held us in the game.
But I think their power play has so many looks and weapons on it that trying to stay out of the box, but certainly we're going to need our goaltender to make some key saves, and he did there today.

Q. A player like Dan Cleary, a Blackhawks draft pick at one point, how much do you wish you had him on your side?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: We like our team. We got a lot of depth. We like the rotation of our lines. He's had a good playoffs. He's a dangerous guy. Scored some big goals. That first one was certainly -- we had the perfect start. That certainly slowed us down.

Q. You lost Game 1 in one round, you won Game 1 in another. How do you put this behind you and go on with the rest of the series?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: We move on. I think our team has responded to the different challenges through this process. But we know we got to be way more effective in all aspects and areas of our game because they're dangerous in a lot of ways. But we got to be way better.

Q. Talk about the defensive job they did on the Kane, Toews group.
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: Well, I think that line is one of the better lines in the league. I think offensively we got to at least spend some time in their zone. I think you win the faceoff, in the offensive zone with a 1-0 lead, and all of a sudden it's in your net, that one was a tough goal.
I still think against that line, you know, you got to spend some time in their end because you know you're going to be in your end a little bit. I think we got to handle that matchup going forward.

Q. How much of that today was just a bit of stage fright from some of your kids, their first ever Conference Finals, playing the Cup champs?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: I'd like to figure out exactly what was why. I mean, we were very respectful of what they're able to do. They're dangerous in all areas.
You know, we've been off for a little bit. I think the pace of this game and the series is going to be ratcheted up from our first two. You know, I think every shift's critical and vital to sustaining our team game. And, you know, you can't take shifts off. You can't have loose plays or critical turnovers. Like I think we lost a lot of our momentum in that second period losing the puck in the middle of the ice.

Q. You had open ice early in the game. How do you find consistent open ice against this team?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: Well, I think when we do have the puck, we got to make sure that we want to keep it and support it. I know we do have some speed in our transition game. We notice they got a lot as well. I think there's respect that we got to have when we're in vulnerable areas with the puck but have confidence to make a play and try to get through it.
But we need support of our defense coming up on the attack, as well. But I just think our overall puck possession game has to be better, but we lost the puck too many times, particularly in that second.

Q. Any reason why that was during the second period? Puck possession was a strength the first two rounds. Tonight there were a lot of turnovers.
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: Give them credit. They checked their backside pressure as good as anybody in the game. They're stripping pucks as good as -- their top guys are very effective at that as well. I think they play hard both ways, both sides of the puck. We've got to make sure that when we do have it there's some strength on it and there's some protection around them. But we can't look for delay plays; we've got to attack.

Q. What difference did you see in the Red Wings today than the team you were playing in the regular season?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: Well, I think we got a lot of respect for them. We saw a great team during the regular season as well. We saw when we went in the outdoor game, we saw the ability. We had a critical game here, matching it up against them for first place, right before that game as well.
So I think the bigger the moment, this team, they're pros, they've got good veteran guys and they've got good experience. We got to know that these guys know the challenge ahead of them. But we know that we got a lesson today that we got to be better.

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