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May 25, 2009
DETROIT, MICHIGAN: Practice Day
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Joel Quenneville.
Q. You made some comments last night that were fairly pointed about officiating, how it changed the game. A day later, do you feel any differently?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: No. What happened happened. We want to move on. I know that what I said yesterday, it's over with and done with. We'll handle what we're gonna be facing on Wednesday.
Q. There are times when things like that get said in an effort to take the pressure off the team. Was that in any way part of it?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: That's tough to say. I think after games, sometimes you're more emotional than other games. We have a young team. We've overcome a lot. The nice thing about our group, we seem to just move on and handle the next challenge. We obviously have a huge challenge ahead of us.
So that's what's good about our group. Tomorrow when we all get in here for practice, fly to Detroit, we got an extra day here to recapture some enthusiasm. And knowing what we got to face is a gigantic task. We'll deal with it.
Q. Khabi able to skate? Where is he at?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: Today nobody's skating. We'll see how he is tomorrow. We'll get an idea if he can go out, get on the ice or not. We'll see. That will give us an idea on Wednesday.
Q. If the game wasn't where it was at, could Havlat have played some more?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: I think he was doing good after the game. We'll see how he presents tomorrow, whether he skates or not going into Wednesday. He's one guy that didn't skate a lot all year.
He looked fine.
Q. I know you want to move on. When you look at the stats, you had, like, almost an hour's worth of penalty minutes. So many more than the Red Wings. Where do you think that comes from?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: Well, I wasn't happy after the game. I already voiced my displeasure. So, you know, like I said, it's not going to do us any good. We have to face the Wednesday challenge. You know, we got to be smart on how we have to play. We've got to be disciplined against them and play our game.
I think we got to be smart how we go into the next game and play our game and play it hard between the whistles.
Q. Do you think any of it on your team's part was a lingering resentment over what happened to Havlat the game before?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: No. I think our game or our discipline maybe eroded as the game eroded. I think that was more reflective of the score.
Q. A day later, how would you assess Huet's play?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: Huey, yesterday was one of those games where it was a tough call whether I wanted to throw Crawf in there for his playoff experience. Next thing you know, he's in for a few minutes. It was a five-on-three. It was a tough baptism to the game.
Huey was fine. The second one was a tough one. At the same time he did a good job game before. We got him playing in the third to get him some playing time, get him feeling good about himself going forward.
He's been effective for us all year. Been a big part of our team.
Q. Corey talked after the game about being a little bit surprised to get the call and see some minutes yesterday. You didn't have him up here playing during the regular season. Take us through the process on how he became your No. 3 guy in the post-season?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: I think Antti and him really gave us some good depth in the organization as far as NHL potential, close to playing. It's just a matter of opportunity for both these guys. As the playoffs have evolved, they've both been around every day. Actually, first round for them. These guys are competing to play, welcoming the chance to play. You know, from being in the stands one game ago, next thing you know he's playing against Detroit in the Conference Finals.
It was a rather quick step, big challenge. I mean, he looked comfortable. One thing with him in his game, he's got all the credentials to be a good NHL goalie. Going from there, just the opportunity.
We feel organizationally the upside is real and huge for him. So I just think -- I thought he handled his short stint very well.
Q. Is handling the emotions of a game like yesterday important for a young team to go through to ultimately achieve its success? How do you think they'll respond to that challenge in Game 5?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: We've been good all playoffs. I think every game you get tested. We had some tough battles in the Calgary series, the Vancouver series where your emotions get the best of you at times. All of a sudden you might get off track.
With our team, we reinforce the discipline factor more than regularly. Especially knowing the quality of the power play we're facing. I think that's something we continue to reinforce and try to stress. Sometimes in games things can happen. That's all part of it.
But I think we've been pretty efficient in that area as we've gone through these playoffs. But I think yesterday, it got away from us there. But I think that was in the latter stages.
Q. You mentioned that Havlat hasn't skated much all season. Tomorrow is not a real indicator, may wait till Wednesday. In Khabi's case, does he need to show you something in practice?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: For goalies, you like them to have some work. You got a better indication to know they're game-ready. Tough not being on the ice for three, four, five days, then play a game.
We'll see if he skates tomorrow. If he doesn't skate, we'll see on the morning skate. There is that possibility. I don't want to rule him out if he doesn't skate tomorrow.
Q. You touched on the power play a little bit, theirs. Obviously you want less penalties. How big does your penalty kill need to be given how effective they are on their power plays?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: First of all, you don't want to get them in the high numbers on their power play because they can score and will score on you. You're gonna give up certain scoring chances, certain shots on net. It's the quality that sometimes you try to control as best you can.
But they're gonna score on you, when the numbers get a little higher. But I think our penalty kill errors, we're constantly going over what we have to do to nullify the quality at the other end.
So we'll watch a lot closer going into the next game, you know, staying out of the box is a priority that goes along with how we kill penalties.
Q. You're at home yesterday. They have Datsyuk out, Lidstrom out, Draper out. On paper that looks like a good opportunity to win. Is that just a credit to how deep they are as a team or is it an opportunity missed for you guys?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: Well, you could say that. I was in the Conference Finals a while ago when we won four straight, Colorado won in Game 7. Forsberg got hurt Game 7. You know, they ended up beating us. It shows that no matter what, it's a team game. You can overcome a lot. They dug down. And we got to really get deep and dig down ourselves.
It's something that we want to make sure we got a lot of respect, no matter who's in their lineup. They know how to play. They know how to play in big games. Maybe something we can learn from that.
Q. Detroit has been in the way for you a lot in your career. I'm sure you're tired of that?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: I did get them once (laughter).
Q. Is that the model then for this franchise to become, have that kind of repeated success?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: Well, I think you measure yourself against the best. We all have that goal of being champions. I think you got to get through 'em. You know, they seem to be the top team in the West for a long time here.
But we got a young team. We've overcome a lot. We certainly like the trend of where we're at organizationally. We liked our season. We like where we are today. You know, I think that's why you learn as you go through it.
I mean, this is a team you got to beat. Whether we're facing 'em earlier than people anticipated, that's for you guys to sort out. But we certainly feel we can compete with them.
First three games, we were right there. Yesterday they distanced themselves. We'll move on.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Joel.
Questions for Sammy Pahlsson.
Q. Tough night. How is the team spirits? You've been through the Stanley Cup finals a couple times. Where do the Hawks stand?
SAMMY PAHLSSON: Well, yeah, like you said, it was a tough night last night. We didn't play good. We didn't handle it well. But I think we just have to focus now, try to put that behind us, try to get ready for the next game. Make sure we do it right in that game.
Q. Sammy, after the game last night, your coach had some pretty pointed comments about the officiating. Seemed as much as anything he had his team's back. Does it feel good when a coach does that, takes the pressure on himself?
SAMMY PAHLSSON: Well, everyone's got to do their role. That's how it is. Maybe sometimes he tries to help in different ways. It might be good for us. We need everyone to help out. If the coach can help out when he's off the ice, why not?
Q. Sammy, this is the first time you guys have faced an elimination game. Obviously you've gone all the way and won a ring before. What kind of advice do you lend to your teammates who haven't been in this situation?
SAMMY PAHLSSON: Well, I think the thing we have to do now is focus on the first game, on the next game coming up. We can't try to think about the game coming up after that. We have to do it right now. The first period coming in, the first shift, that's where our focus got to be. We got to win that game.
Q. Sammy, in winning the Cup, you learn how a team has to control its emotions. Did you get a little carried away, I don't want to say revenge for Game 3, but caught up in some of the sideshows for Game 3? What does a team with young guys have to learn about that process going forward, whether in this series or future seasons?
SAMMY PAHLSSON: There's a lot of emotions going around just from being in the Conference Finals. There's a lot of emotions. Guys want to do a lot. They want to play good. They want to do stuff out there. You just have to make sure you put your energy -- do the right thing out there.
We didn't do that last night, I think. We got a little carried away. I think we can learn from it, too, maybe can channel that energy in the right direction for the next game.
Q. Would you say you played pretty tentatively in front of Cristobal Huet yesterday afternoon?
SAMMY PAHLSSON: We didn't help him out the way we should. It's a tough game for him to come out. Hasn't played in a while. He comes in, the Conference Finals, a big game. We got to help him out a lot - better than we did yesterday.
Q. Three of the first four goals you gave up yesterday could be considered tough ones. How big of back-breaker goals are they and mentally to overcome?
SAMMY PAHLSSON: They were tough goals, absolutely. I think the first one was tough, the shorthanded and everything. The one that really put us down I think is when we scored and we got scored on right away after that. That's a really tough one. You get a little momentum coming in, think you're going to go after them, get ahead, you get scored on right away. That's tough and hard to come back from.
Q. You talked about what you need to do facing an elimination game. Knowing the character of the team as you do, how do you think the guys are going to respond to facing an elimination game?
SAMMY PAHLSSON: Well, I think and hope we're going to do it well. We've been pretty good in this kind of situation before. We've been down in games. We've kept playing. We kept going.
We didn't do it last night. That was the first time, I think, in the playoffs. We've been down in a lot of games, and we just kept going and played good after it. I hope we can use that or play like that in the games coming up.
Q. In your two trips to the finals with the Ducks, were you ever in a situation like this, where your back was to the wall? How did you cope with it?
SAMMY PAHLSSON: I don't know if we were facing elimination at any time. It's always tough in the playoffs. You lose games. Guys get injured. There's always stuff happening. You just have to learn how to handle it the right way. Like I said, you have to focus your energy on doing the right thing out there, playing the game, not taking too many penalties like we did yesterday. We got to keep our composure and focus on the right things.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Sammy. Questions for Cam Barker.
Q. How do you see the mindset of the Hawks with an elimination game coming up? Can you shake off that game from last night?
CAM BARKER: Yeah, I think it's something we've done well all season, bounce back, learn from our mistakes. I think last night's one that kind of got away from us, might have let our emotions kind of get in the way. Obviously you can't be running into the box against a team like that.
I think we've learned all season and bounced back. I don't see it being any different.
Q. Last night after the game Joel had some fairly strong comments about the officiating. It kind of seemed in a certain way that he may have been watching your back as players, taking the pressure off you guys. Is that good when a coach can do that?
CAM BARKER: I think you got to be accountable for what you do. I think, you know, going to the box, taking penalties, if it is or isn't a penalty, we can't afford to be in the box. It's something we can't repeat again. That's about it.
Q. You were out there for the first goal, the shorthanded one. Take us through what happened there. Seemed like you had a lot of guys caught in deep. Was a rotation missed?
CAM BARKER: You know, a lot of the power plays, you kind of improvise on the fly. I think Campbell went in, chipped in. It's a play that happens quite often. You know, I'm not sure if it was a rotation that didn't get made or whatnot.
But, you know, I don't know if they had a guy really cheating, but they kind of anticipated that play. Obviously, two-on-one resulted in a goal.
Q. You have been through so much already this year. What about the character of the team? You've done it before. This is the first elimination situation.
CAM BARKER: Yeah, I think, you know, we've had big games before, gone into tough buildings, tough atmospheres. I think Detroit's a team that, you know, like they showed last night, they had a couple guys out of the lineup, and they just play a great team game. They're extremely consistent.
That's something that we can obviously learn from. You know, if we want to win and be successful against them, that's something we have to do, as well.
Q. You mentioned that you let your emotions get the best of you yesterday. All season long you've been pretty good about not letting that happen. What was different about yesterday?
CAM BARKER: You know what, I'm not sure. I think obviously guys want to play well. I don't know if it's frustration or what it is. But, you know, we really have to stay out of the box. That's something that I'm sure we'll stress going into the next game. Obviously, when the score gets up a couple goals, you know, things tend to get out of hand. You know, them on the power play's never a good thing, so...
Q. The hit on Havlat in the previous game, was that maybe too much in people's minds yesterday?
CAM BARKER: For?
Q. That was such a dramatic play that got replayed over and over on TV. Was it a distraction?
CAM BARKER: I don't know if it was a distraction. Guys are, you know, aware of who made the hit and who's out there. Big hits happen all the time. You make a note of it and kind of move on.
You know, he showed a lot of courage coming back and playing yesterday after that big hit. You know, I think everyone heard the applause in warmup, starting lineup. It's a huge boost to have him in the lineup.
You know, I think that could have been part of the reason why emotions are high. But, you know, I think they're high regardless. You know, we got to kind of, you know, keep them bottled down maybe at times.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.
End of FastScripts