Blackhawks, Kings react to 2-0 series

Blackhawks, Kings react to 2-0 series
June 3, 2013, 12:15 pm

The Chicago Blackhawks grabbed a 2-0 series lead in the Western Conference Final with Sunday night’s 4-2 win over the visiting Los Angeles Kings. The following are post-game transcripts from Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville, forward Patrick Sharp and goaltender Corey Crawford: 

Q. Coach, you talked about getting off to the fast start. Could it
have been any faster?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: Yeah, I thought we had a real good start the
first five minutes. They had the next five. I think we finished the rest
of that period well. They were all good starting the second.
I think we got a little bit loose with our game after that. But
certainly put us in a real good spot.

Q. Your defensive core, how much are they activating what you do
right now?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: They've been quick in puck areas, they've been
moving the puck, joining the attack, on the point in the offensive zone,
complementing with our speed and forechecking.
It's one more option offensively. Seabs, exactly what we're talking
about, exactly illustrates that with a big shot, heck of a shot, heck of a
goal.

Q. You've been pretty dominant the first two games. Going into a
building where they haven't lost in the post-season, what is the message?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: We want to be excited. We'll go on the plane
tomorrow, get there. It's going to be a hostile environment. We want to
make sure our start is going to be very important, that we're proactive in
our game, and let's do the right things.

Q. When you see your goaltender help defend your captain, is that a
good thing or...
COACH QUENNEVILLE: You know, things happen. Spontaneous combustion.
Sometimes you can't forecast or predict that stuff.

Q. How has [Brandon] Saad's play improved in the playoffs?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: I thought he had a heck of a game tonight. He
was dangerous, a threat off the rush, had a lot of puck time. Made some
nice plays, some nice moves.
Play like that really complements our team game.

Q. Can you talk about what Bryan Bickell has done the whole playoffs
so far?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: Bick, you noticed him in the game, with his size,
whether it's on the forecheck with hits, getting to the front of net. He's
got a big shot, big size, and skates well. He does all the things you look
for a forward to do. Power forward, talked about that earlier. Around the
net, some of them, they're going in for him. I know he was fortunate on
that one, but he's in the right spots.

Q. With how hyped Jonathan Quick was coming into the series, are you
surprised your team was able to chase him out of the game?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: Well, we had some nice shots. We had some
high-quality stuff off the rush, as well, in that period. I still think
that's going to be an ongoing challenge with him.
Some nights they go in. But I still think he's a special goalie that
we got to keep trying to -- if we got the quality, we got the quality. But
trying to make it quality by what we do has to be something we look for.

Q. For the most part through the first two games, you've been able
to dictate tempo and style of play. Is your speed game, transition game
working the way you want it to?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: Yeah, I know when we make them play defense, it
plays into our favor. We want to make sure because if you don't get pucks
in, you're in your end the rest of the shift. We want to make sure making
them turn, playing in their end, be it cleanly or indirectly, both teams,
that's their motivation. Getting it out as quickly as possible. That's
the game. Utilizing the speed in the puck area is something we'll try to
get better at, as well.

--

COREY CRAWFORD and PATRICK SHARP
Q. Regarding chasing Quick tonight, the other day you said you
didn't want to talk too much about him. Is that not wanting to build up
the opponent? Just the idea of chasing a guy like him midway through the
game.
PATRICK SHARP: Yeah, it's nothing against Quick. No disrespect to
him. I think he's one of the top goalies in the world. He's tough to play
against.
But as a shooter, a guy that's trying to score on him, the more I
talk about how good he is, it makes it tougher for me. Wasn't meant to
disrespect him. Trust me, I think he's a good goalie.
As far as tonight, I thought we came out, skated well. Scoring that
first goal was big, getting the crowd into it. It was loud right away. We
seemed to feed off that.

Q. Corey, defending your captain out there at the end.
COREY CRAWFORD: The guy grabbed him, got a couple free shots. I
figured it was enough. I just decided to go in there and grab his head
(laughter).

Q. 10 days ago you were on the brink of elimination. Has that
comeback kind of awakened you?
PATRICK SHARP: A little bit. This time of year you try to carry
momentum as long as you can. Every game presents different challenges.
We felt great about coming back in that Detroit series. Game 7 was a
huge high for us. That seems like a long time ago now. We're past that
and we're focused on the Kings.
We're happy to win the first two games at home. We know how well the
Kings play in their building. The series is just getting started really.

Q. Patrick, the last five games the guy to your right has been the
biggest stopgap in hockey.
PATRICK SHARP: Yeah, he's awesome. Been answering questions all
year about Corey, if he's the No. 1 guy, if he can do it. Said the same
answer all along. There's no question in our locker room. He's the guy we
want in net back there. He's proven it in the past. It's nice to see him
finally get the credit that he deserves.

Q. There's a measure of satisfaction when you beat Quick four times.
But beating him on three clean shots with traffic in front of net, does
that surprise you at all?
PATRICK SHARP: Haven't really thought about it really. Things
happen fast out there. A couple two-on-ones, a couple in-tight goals.
I don't know. He makes saves that you think you have an open net,
he'll come out of nowhere and steal it from you. That kind of screws up
your confidence.
I don't really think too much about how the goals go in. You just
kind of play. Been playing hockey our whole lives. Just kind of react out
there.

Q. I know you're playing against the rest the Kings, not one-on-one
with Quick. Do you take any motivation about going up against the Conn
Smythe winner?
COREY CRAWFORD: Yeah, it's competitive. You want to beat the other
guy on the other side obviously. Like you said, my focus is more on their
players, what they're doing.
But yeah, I definitely want to beat him.

Q. Patrick, Brandon [Saad] had two assists tonight. Obviously not the goal
scoring. What does it say about him that he's still grinding?
PATRICK SHARP: Yeah, he was great tonight. He's been solid all
playoffs. Tough to believe he's the age that he is.
He's one of those players that he doesn't really need to show up on
the score sheet to be effective. He's such a powerful skater, plays well
defensively, creates loose pucks. He creates so much for his linemates
that, as I said, he really doesn't need to be on the score sheet to play a
great game.
Tonight he stripped a lot of pucks, killed a lot of plays. This time
of year, that's really important.

Q. Corey, seems to people on the outside you've gotten better,
increased your confidence with every game. What is the reality to you?
COREY CRAWFORD: I feel like I've been pretty strong, pretty
consistent this year. I've taken pride in that this year, to have the same
game every night, give our guys a chance.
With a team like this, you know, we have such a great offense, just
give our guys a chance and make sure it stays within a goal or two, and
we're in good shape.

Q. Corey, what is your reaction when you heard fans chanting your
name?
COREY CRAWFORD: It's pretty cool. We've had great fans for a while.
It's obviously nice when they're chanting and not booing you (laughter).

*****

The Los Angeles Kings lost back-to-back games to the Chicago Blackhawks over the weekend to fall two games back in their Western Conference Final. The following is a post-game transcript from Kings coach Darryl Sutter following Sunday night’s 4-2 loss:

Q. How soon before the game did you have to make the decision on
Mike [Richards not playing]?
COACH SUTTER: Right after warmup. He was fine today, then I think
just once his blood got pumping tonight, the adrenaline got going, there
were symptoms. I went in right after warmup, he was sitting there and I
said, Unless you're 100 percent, you're not playing.

Q. How big a hole does that put in your lineup?
COACH SUTTER: Quite honestly, once I knew he wasn't playing, I said,
Jeff [Carter], you're playing center. Tyler [Toffoli], you go up and play right wing. Really
didn't affect that line at all.
Obviously, it's a big hole. Same thing we talked about last year.
Different spot in the center. At the same time I thought we handled that
part really well.

Q. Do you have any expectations about whether [Richards] could come back?
COACH SUTTER: I don't really know. Literally I talked to him for a
minute before the game. I didn't feel, and he didn't feel, he should play
either.

Q. Robyn [Regehr] had to get stitched up as well?
COACH SUTTER: Yeah.

Q. What part of the game didn't your team handle well?
COACH SUTTER: I thought we played all right. You know what, we gave
them some wide-open opportunities that they scored on. One is a forecheck
right away early in the game. We didn't make the play on the wall we could
have made. Then the goal at the end of the first was a read play.

Q. Was that a mercy hook for Jonathan [Quick] or do you feel there were
things he wasn't doing?
COACH SUTTER: No, no. I think we play five games in the next 10
days.

Q. How much do you think the back-to-back games affected Quick, or
did it?
COACH SUTTER: I don't think at all. I think it's no different than
it would affect him than any other player. I don't think that should be an
issue.
Quite honestly, I didn't notice that as an issue for either team,
back-to-back.