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May 17, 2010

Joel Quenneville


Q. Joel, the way Byfuglien has been playing in these playoffs really over the last five games, is he exceeding expectations? Is he playing up to the level maybe he should have always been playing at? Just your assessment of that.
COACH QUENNEVILLE: Well, I think Byf last year really stepped up his game last year in the playoffs. I think this year during the regular season, we wanted to make sure we were continuing on that pace. I think consistency is something all players try to strive for. As a staff, that's what we're looking to have our players achieve.
This year, I think he had to play on defense for us. I think he made a contribution that we weren't sure about. I think he really helped our team in a key moment of the season. And the starting the playoffs, him on the blueline, he was doing fine. When he got back up front, he really made an impact in the Vancouver series. He's one of those guys with size, his offensive ability, his position can be a factor.
I think he continued in yesterday's game in a similar fashion. He's one of those guys I'm sure you don't like playing against because he's big, strong and powerful. I think he does have a nice compliment to his game besides his size.

Q. We were talking to Brian Campbell getting booed in this building. He said you helped him out. He says Chris Pronger gets booed in every rink. Sign of respect. Can you talk about your advice?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: I go back to the way Pronger was booed in this building. It was relentless. I don't think he's getting a quarter of the attention he got as far as measuring the loudness of the boos.
As players, I think there's certain places that you might have in your career where it might be a little tougher to play in, the history of playing that rink or something might happen at a prior incident. I think as players, I think that can help you focus, knowing that you want to make sure that you're doing your best. You don't want to give them any reason to add on.
I think as players, that's part of being a pro, learning in those situations and welcome the challenge.

Q. What does it say about a team, that you beat a team of San Jose's caliber with no power plays and they had five?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: We know they're a threat in a lot of ways. I know we have to be better going forward. I think staying out of the box is a priority. We expect to play hard and draw some penalties as well.
Their penalty killers did a nice job. I think Antti really helped their penalty killers through some tough situations. I think five is too many. We expect to get on a couple ourselves.

Q. Are 45 shots too many with respect to the offensive firepower they had? You limited them to about your season average during the season series against them.
COACH QUENNEVILLE: They got a lot of power-play shots as well. I don't know what the number was. It was in the mid teens. Certainly that helped it. But we're certainly wearing in more than we're accustomed to. We did get 40 shots ourselves. It was a fast-paced game. Tremendous action. Both teams were skating hard and played with the intensity that's needed.
I don't think anybody forecasted that many shots both ways. But I think there's mutual respect for what the other teams can do offensively.

Q. What did you learn about Campbell, the way he battled back from injury? How happy are you with the way he's progressed since he came back?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: Well, certainly we missed the Soupy. It think that was prevalent when he didn't go down, I don't want to say struggles at the end of the year, but I think we slowed down where we were through most of the year. I think his addition to the rush, his pace of the game, him joining in the offensive zone, really gives our team some speed and more puck-possession game.
We really noticed his addition when we got him in Game-4 in Nashville. Turned the game around for us, we felt, with his energy and pace. I think he progressed each and every game. He's got more strength, more quickness, and his condition is improving.
A big boost to our team in a timing when we did get him in there, couldn't have been better.

Q. Joel, you guys have been down 1-0 in a lot of series so far. What does a team do? Is there something you're expecting to see from San Jose from experience yourself?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: Well, we know every game is going town tougher and more challenging. We know they're hard to play in this building. We want to make sure their starts are important. We feel they start better than anybody. Let's make sure the first handful of shifts each that there's a purpose behind it, there's intelligence and there's some pace.
But we know that tomorrow is going to be a tough, tough game. I just think that we got to react like we shouldn't be satisfied, we haven't accomplished anything, and feel like we have to win that game.

Q. What was your reaction to Dale Tallon getting a job in Florida? What is the proper way to kind of describe his role?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: Well, I'm happy for Dale. Congratulations to him. Well-deserved. He's done a tremendous job here. He built a special team. I feel fortunate to be a part of it. I appreciate Dale hired me as a coach. Got a lot of his pieces in place here.
I just think that his experience here is going to help him out in a situation there in Florida. But we're the beneficiary of a lot of Dale's work here. Hopefully we can continue on.

Q. Just wanted to ask you about the ice time of your top guys, Kane and Toews. Under 20. I think Patrick came off the ice late in the second period. Looked banged up. I wanted to ask you about getting those guys out on the ice and how that relates to the matchup strategy?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: I think every night, every game is different. Some nights are in the low 20s, some nights are in the mid teens. As a team going into the series, the matchup is something that I think will be a little bit more familiar with over time. I think it wasn't easy getting the matchup we were looking for yesterday. I think every day, every game might be a little different challenge for us.
Certainly those guys will get a chance to play. I think you add a couple, three minutes there with power-play time, they're right where they normally would be. I don't think it's a differentiation from other games.

Q. Joel, six in a row away from home in the post-season. What's the explanation for that? Conversely, what are the difficulties of playing at home in a series like this?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: We'll talk about playing on the road since we're here. The one thing we've done over the course of these playoffs, we play a more patient game, with energy, more purpose. I think maybe trying to make one extra play or pretty play at home might be the recipe for disaster, not being as successful.
But I think we have been pretty aware of how we have to play. Working on our matchup. Being patient in our game. That checking mentality seems to be more noticeable on the road.

Q. Joel, just to go back to Byf for a second. He mentioned he's got more to his game than just the physical ability. Are you talking about part of that is his shot, what we saw yesterday?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: Yeah, he's got a tremendous shot. It's heavy. Nice hands, good play recognition as well. That familiarity of playing defense, too, helps him in the needed time. Couple nice plays he made yesterday in defensive positioning.
SCHUYLER BAEHMAN: Thank you very much, coach.

End of FastScripts

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