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May 15, 2010

Joel Quenneville


SCHULYER BAEHMAN: Questions for Coach Quenneville.

Q. After giving the guys the day off yesterday to do a little sight-seeing, were they back where you wanted them to be today?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: It was a good practice. They had good energy, want to get back on the ice, play some games. I think it was a good diversion yesterday getting away, spending some time together. I think we're chomping at the bit to get going tomorrow.

Q. Joel, from talking to Bolland and Keith and Seabrook, it sounds like they'll be the group for Thornton's line. How tough is that choice given how Pavelski's line has produced?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: I don't know how they know it. We haven't talked to them about that yet (smiling). Certainly it's an option. I know they have the assignment here late in the year. I think they relish that challenge and that opportunity. I thought they did a nice job against the Sedins. This matchup in this series is going to be a little bit tougher. They have two lines you have to be concerned about.
When I say 'tougher,' you don't know how you're going to get that matchup. We had three pretty good offensive lines in that last series. I'm still not sure exactly what is going to match up. I think Keith and Seabrook will match up good against that line.

Q. What does it mean to you to have this opportunity to go farther than you have as a coach in the playoffs?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: Well, it's not easy to get here. We like the way things have progressed in these playoffs. We've been fortunate each and every round to get through in different situations that kind of highlighted how we got through. At the same time, the challenge going forward even gets tougher.
We're facing a team that's probably in the same place we are. They want to get to the next round. We know they got some obstacles that we got to address, too.
I think we shouldn't feel satisfied. We shouldn't feel like we've accomplished anything. I know getting back to where we got to last year, it's where we wanted to be. But getting to the next round is what we're all about. I think that presents a great challenge for us. But that's the motivation. That's our objective. That's what we're here for.

Q. What has impressed you most about Antti?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: I just like how cool and patient he is. I think his approach every day, very patient in the net. Nothing seems to bother him. I think he has the same disposition every single day. He comes to the rink, looks forward to the next challenge, next shot. Seems like a very quiet guy, good teammate, smiles and goes about his business. He's not stereotypical goalie you see. He's so relaxed and kind of quiet about his business, you appreciate what he does, how he moves forward.
I think he's handled that situation exactly the way he seems as a person.

Q. Rob Blake yesterday was talking about Byfuglien. They weren't going to try to move him. They didn't want to add an extra screen. When you hear that, they'll try to lift his stick on the rebounds, what advice do you give to the guys in the middle, if that's the case?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: We'll see how it all plays out. It's tough to forecast how the position is going to work itself handout.
I think Byfuglien, he's a big body guy, try to play net when you go in there and present a screen, present traffic. I think we're better on the second and third opportunities. I think that's our mindset, be it Byfuglien or all our other forwards that go to net and try to find traffic, try to find him or look around the screen.

Q. With your team having been here last year, the Sharks having problems in the past, who do you feel has more pressure on them going into this?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: I don't know if there's pressure. The way I look at it, we're excited. At the start the year, I think everybody expected us just to get here. We knew how challenging it was during the regular season and each and every round we're at to get here today. We're fortunate to be here.
Pressure, I think we welcome the opportunity to move ahead. We welcome the opportunity. When games seem to be bigger, we respond. I think that's what I like about our team. I think last year's experience can only make us more comfortable in this situation and create more of an appetite for us, as well.

Q. You had six Olympians, four of whom played right up to the final day. Did you do anything different with those guys to make sure they weren't overtaxed when they returned?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: We tried to gauge that as best we can. I know our team game slipped a little bit coming out of the Olympic break. We tried to monitor their ice time a little bit, cut them back a little bit. At the same time, you're in the winning business, trying to win the game you're in. Maybe you can get a little bit of a breather in the next game.
Every game was kind of different. That was part of our thought process, give them a couple days off here and there and hopefully they could replenish their tanks. We're very happy with where they're at right now. Seems to be a lot of energy in these guys.

Q. The Blackhawks have lost the playoff opener in the past four series. How can you reverse that? What can you really do?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: Well, I think we can just look at the two prior series. We got a better assessment. Maybe it's the way we prepared going into both games against Nashville and Vancouver. We had about five days of practices. I don't know if we got a little bit stale going into it. I think our mindset, approach, changing up our scheduling last couple, three days, keep us fresh and motivated. Let's make sure we can recapture the momentum that we exited Vancouver with and the way we played that game is how we want to begin this series.
Certainly it's been a topic of discussion within our group here. We want to correct that.
SCHULYER BAEHMAN: Thank you, coach.

End of FastScripts

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