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June 24, 2013

Joel Quenneville



THE MODERATOR:  Questions for coach.

Q.  Coach, it's one thing to win a Stanley Cup, but to have two goals in 18 seconds, just talk about the resiliency of this team.  And I don't know if it could have been summed up any better there.
COACH QUENNEVILLE:  Yeah, it's kind of like the season we had.  It was one of those seasons we were saying, we're almost charmed the way we started the season and the way we ended.  Nobody saw that one coming either way.
A lot of great things in between, some great challenges in this playoff series or this playoff round, and then let alone the other three.
But commend Boston on playing a great game tonight, and we're very fortunate to come out of that first period down 1‑0.  It was almost like what happened in our building Game 2.  Johnny scored a big goal to get us back into it.
But the resiliency of our team was in place all year long.  The depth of our four lines made it such a great season and a fun team to coach, as well.  And the back end, the contribution and the goaltending combo we had with Corey running with it here in the Playoffs.
But it was one of those seasons, fairytale ending and an amazing season.

Q.  Have you ever seen anything quite like that finish?  Is there a point of reference for you that you recall?
COACH QUENNEVILLE:  Kaner's a funny goal against Philly, but this goal, the ending, nobody saw it coming.  Maybe our power play, maybe our look late in the game that we didn't get much off.  You just hope, and we tied it up and the other one was icing on the cake.  But nobody foresaw either one coming.
And that series and the pace that we just saw for six straight games was an amazing series.  Commend both teams for leaving it out there.

Q.  What does it say about the organization at this point that you beat the Red Wings, one of your big rivals on the way here, you beat the defending champions and now you've won twice in four years?
COACH QUENNEVILLE:  Well, it was a great season, a lot of good things.  We went through losing basically half a team, even more so, coming in in the last couple years.  Stan did a great job of retooling it in different ways.
I thought the two playoff runs prior to this year, just to get in the Playoffs was pretty amazing.  I thought we had some good learning lessons playing Vancouver to Game 7, and then last year played a decent Phoenix series where the goalie was great.
But we definitely learned some good lessons there, some valuable lessons, added some pressure on ourselves with the regular season we had, but I think that sometimes can be healthy.
The highs and the lows that we experienced throughout this Playoffs, I guess the disparity is as high as you could see.  Being down three games against Detroit, on the ropes, life or death situation, didn't look very promising, finding a way, that definitely gave us a boost.  I thought we had a great LA series and a great finish.

Q.  You win the Stanley Cup with a core that essentially is the same core that had two first‑round access two seasons in a row.  Did you change coaching them differently?  Did they respond to coaching differently, or what was different about this year?
COACH QUENNEVILLE:  I think the regular season, I think the depth of our four lines, I thought we balanced four lines a little bit more.  I thought we cut back ice time on top guys.  I don't know if we were preserving it for the Playoffs with the regular season the way it was.  There wasn't a lot of time between, so I thought that kept us fresh throughout the year.
And we had some stretches in the Playoffs where everybody seemed to be fresh, and we were fortunate health‑wise‑ got a little bit hairy I'm going to say in this round as far as our health‑ but finding ways to overcome that type of adversity, basically it showed through the character that we have in the guys and what they did to get back out on the ice.

Q.  Talking about the adversity, with Toews obviously going through what he went through last game and even going through questions of his scoring and putting pressure on himself, how did you see him rebound today?
COACH QUENNEVILLE:  He had a monster game.  He was fine.  He looked ready to go at the end of the last game, and I thought he looked very good yesterday and was ready to go last night and today.
The bigger the game, the bigger the setting, you know what you're going to get from Jonathan Toews.  He just knows how to play hockey.  Whether he's productive or not, absorbs a lot of big minutes from their match‑up guys and he never gets outscored.  His production sometimes gets criticized.  The one thing is he plays the way you want a hockey player to play, and our captain, as well.

Q.  You've already won a Stanley Cup, but do you ever allow yourself to think this is the best team in the world?
COACH QUENNEVILLE:  That sounds pretty cool.  I thought we had one of those seasons this year where it was a special year, and what we accomplished at the start of the year nobody envisioned or nobody could have predicted or foresaw that happening or being the case.
But I thought we played some very meaningful games through that stretch, particularly later where we learned what it was like playing on big stages because everybody seemed to approach it like a Game 7.  The highs and lows of this playoff round, we got tested against some good teams in the Western Conference, and then we might have saw the best team we saw all year in this playoff round.
It was that type of season where we did a lot of good things right.  Commend the competitiveness and the perseverance of our team, especially the way things ended today.  It was that type of season, and it was special.

Q.  For Corey Crawford obviously the goaltender gets the flak if a team comes up short, so for him and everything that he worked through to get to this point, what does this mean for him?
COACH QUENNEVILLE:  We're happy for him.  The scrutiny that he was under at the end of last year going into the season, he was capable of getting through the regular season, let alone the Playoffs.  His preparation going into the year was in the right place.  I thought his consistency was great.  I thought the support and challenging that Ray provided, as well, was definitely in the right place, as well.  I think there was confidence no matter who was in, they were going to be consistent.
I got a question the other day which kind of was surprising, who's going to play your next game.  It was obvious who's playing our next game because he was the reason we were playing the next game.  It was that type of year for him, and I'm very happy for him.

Q.  There's so many swings in this playoff in the post‑season for you, but go back to you're trailing 3‑1 against Detroit.  Was there a meeting?  Was there a conversation?  Was it players only?  What happened when you were down 3‑1 that changed the face of the Playoffs for you?
COACH QUENNEVILLE:  We had a discussion with the whole group, and I thought sharing some experience of being down 3‑1 in a series and coming back, we had guys that had been through it and won series.  They were talking about it.  We visited the Vancouver series.  We were down 3‑0 and got it to Game 7 in overtime.  So it was within our group.
I thought the belief was definitely in the right place.  Everybody was confident that we could just chip away, get excited about being at home for Game 5, get a big start.
We got the big start, big win, power play goal.  Got going that night big.  Down a goal in Detroit going into Game 6 and finding a way to win.  And Game 7 was an amazing game, as well.
There's been so many amazing games this playoff series that are very memorable.  Those endings and the last three rounds is as remarkable endings as you'll ever see.

Q.  Can you take us through your mindset from that first goal to the second goal on the bench?  What was it like?
COACH QUENNEVILLE:  You're talking about the tire in the winter?  Yeah, you pull a goalie.  You just want to make sure everybody knows where they're supposed to head coming off the bench.  We got to the net.  Bicks had an amazing playoff round and playoff season for us.  He absorbed big minutes for us.  Quick nice hands around the net.  Kaner and Toews along with him reuniting in Games 4, 5 and 6.  I thought they were huge for us, just like they exited Games 4 and 5 against LA.
You equalize the game there.  They might have been a little tired.  I could have kept them out there, but Bolly, that line hadn't played in five or six minutes, and offensively, defensively, you know you get a contribution all year long of all four lines.  No matter who you throw out there is capable of making plays.  Next play on the wall, cruised back to the point one time and, bang, it's in the net.
Kind of the way you had to score in this whole series.  The pretty ones weren't there, it was the ugly goals that seemed to work.

Q.  You're not going to lose nearly as many players this time around and your core is going to be together.  How soon before you start thinking about a third one?
COACH QUENNEVILLE:  We're going to enjoy this one first and have fun with it, and then we'll talk about that one.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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