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May 18, 2009

Joel Quenneville


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Joel.

Q. Before we get to X's and O's on the series, your thoughts on Patrick Roy being offered the Colorado Avalanche job?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: I think it's speculation. I don't really want to touch that story. So we'll see. I don't want to talk about innuendo and speculation.

Q. Do you think a lot of adjustments need to be made by your team in Game 2 or do what you do better?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: I think we got to do things better. You know, some things we'll look at to maybe tweak a little bit along the way. But I still think we got to be -- the pace of our game's got to be consistent and stronger, and we got to be harder in the puck area.

Q. Coach, do you think some of your younger guys maybe got caught up in their first Conference Finals game and sort of maybe got a little bit lost in the emotion of it?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: I don't know. I think when we look back, our first game against Vancouver, we got off to a tough start. Our first game against Calgary, first game of the series, we had a slow start at home as well.
We liked our start yesterday. We lost a lot of momentum on the first goal. But I still think the challenge is going to be ongoing with Detroit where you got to be consistent in your game from start to finish. We all got to be at our best, and you can't have any lapses mentally or physically. We got to do the right things.
I think we know that after the end of the game, we have to be better and we have to concentrate on emphasizing the importance of every shift.

Q. Joel, Havlat was among the guys who didn't skate today. Can you tell us if he's okay?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: Yeah, he's fine. We had approximately three or four guys didn't skate today. They'll all be available for tomorrow.

Q. What can you do, if anything, to make sure Patrick gets shots?

Q. Yes.
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: Kaner is a dangerous player. I think he's playing against a pretty good player in Lidstrom. That line's pretty effective against them, as well. I think Kaner finds his way through it. He progresses where all of a sudden, you know, he ends up on the score sheet and he's a threat.
But I think he's a tough guy to contain over time and I find top players eventually get their chance to break through. But you find in playoffs, the top guys, sometimes they don't always appear on the score sheet, but they're still useful in other ways. Maybe the lesser-known guys all of a sudden get the scoring and get a little more attention.
But he jumped for us big-time in the most important game last series and we expect him to get better as we go along.

Q. Do you feel with certainty you know how he's going to respond tomorrow or is that kind of a question in your mind?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: Say that again.

Q. Are you sure how he's going to respond after that first game?

Q. Kane.
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: Kaner, he's going to be fine. No, he's a great pro. He's getting better every day. I thought he's progressively improved his games here in the playoffs. But, you know, he's somebody that hopefully they got to be concerned with every time he's out there.

Q. Coach, do you plan to make any adjustments to any of the lines going into Game 2?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: We'll talk about it. You know, I just think we worked the same lines today as yesterday. In the course of games, sometimes you change based on who you think is going better than another, and sometimes a matchup to get away or tighten up.
But that's something that could be ongoing in games, in between games as well. But we'll see.

Q. With Seabrook so strong for you throughout the playoffs, and yesterday he had a couple of tough plays, do you say anything to him? How do you sort of get him back on track?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: I think we visited with a lot of guys. We had a good video session here today, probably reinforcing areas we can improve upon. I think collectively we should all think we got to be better. That pair has been very effective for us all year, him and Dunks. They really work well together. We expect them to be a key force for us going forward. They get the top matchup. We're going to rely upon them as we go into each and every game. We expect them to do the job.

Q. Joel, you've shown an ability all season to bounce back from tough losses. What do you attribute that to?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: I think today we had a real good practice, good enthusiasm. You know, I think the thing we keep saying is we have to be better. I think our guys' approach and attitude has been good today. Maybe we are a little bit, going into that first game, I don't want to say full of ourselves. But five or six days off, we didn't recapture the pace that's needed and necessary. I'm sure that's grabbed our attention. I'm sure that's something we have to shoot for.

Q. I'm sure you've seen the replay of Burish almost getting his neck cut. What are your thoughts on that?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: Lucky. I know it was a dangerous play. I didn't see it live. It was along the boards. But that was close.

Q. You said yesterday, We have to play perfect hockey. What does that mean? That seems like kind of a tall order.
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: Well, we played some stretches there, you know, where we were really happy with our game. When you're on the road, you're looking to check, you're looking to protect the puck, you're looking to put it in good areas. So I think managing the puck we can be better at, and, you know, eliminating their quality scoring chances, particularly off the rush is something we got to be better at.

Q. Joel, despite Detroit's success, they're not getting a lot of offensive production from the Datsyuk line, Hossa. They're saying maybe they're pressing a little bit. As an opposing coach, do you sense that or feel that in that group?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: No, it's tough to say. I think that not every line is gonna be hot. You can't expect everybody to be hot at the same time. Everybody goes through stretches where they're having a tough time putting the puck in the net. I'm not really worried about who's scoring or who's not scoring.
We want to make sure we make it tough on all their lines and recognize that sometimes, from our point of view, we're thinking if we can make certain groups play in their own end, that plays into your strength.
You know, top lines, they eventually find they're going to get scoring chances. Sometimes they go in for them or not. I know that those guys at any moment can score. Just like 2-2, Samuelsson puts it in the net, makes a great shot. They got a lot of guys capable of making those type of plays or shots. I think we have to be respectful no matter who is out there that the firepower doesn't really drop off.

Q. Joel, some people paint this as a big brother, little brother. With the experience, the Cup, all that, you guys are young and on the rise, is that fair to make that assumption?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: No, that's tough to say. I know that we're concerned about us. We know we got a good challenge and a good test ahead of us.
But they've proven it. They've done it. They know the meaning of where we're at right now. I think we got to acquire that appetite and taste immediately.
But I don't think we should be in awe or put them on a different pedestal. I think we've proven at the end of the year we can beat them. But we know how we have to go about it. We got to do things right.

Q. Can you compare the depth Detroit has now to what they did before the lockout when you played during the playoffs? Is it pretty similar in terms of being able to roll four lines and get contributions?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: No, they've had good teams for a number of years. You look at the depth, their high-end players, there hasn't been any drop-off over the different teams they've had. You know, one of their staples has been Nick on defense, who is as good a defenseman as we've seen over a long time. I think that's been a staple there. Their team around it has been very effective in a lot of ways.
But not too many teams in the league have as many guys that can make plays that are that good and dangerous offensively for that stretch of time. That's a compliment to the organization. But at the same time I'm not dishing out compliments here, we want to beat 'em. We want to make sure we contain these guys as best we can.
So, you know, this is a good team that has a lot of weapons, a lot of firepower. But we want to make sure that we give them something to think about.

Q. I know you didn't want to touch on the Roy thing. Because of your relationship with him, do you think he would make a good NHL coach?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: Patrick, you know, he's one of those players that was pretty amazing the time I was around him. He's one of the guys that not too many guys have that level of thinking as players. It's almost an elite level of the knowledge of the game, the technical part of it. He's done very well for himself with his organization in Québec. I know how competitive it is.
You know, I haven't been really around him as a coach. You got to give him some kudos for the job he's done there. How that plays out, I don't want to get in there.

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