CHICAGO -- The look on Rob Blake’s face wasn’t much different than those on the faces of his San Jose Sharks teammates on Sunday afternoon.
They'd just been swept out of the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs in the Western Conference Finals, and along with looks of disappointment were looks of bewilderment. The Sharks didn't play all that poorly in the series, and at times controlled the action. Still, they weren't able to come up with a single win.
Blake, a 40-year old defenseman and 20-year NHL veteran with one Cup victory to his credit, said he'll need some time to let the sting of this one wear off before he decides whether to add another season to his lengthy career.
That could mean playing for the Sharks or possibly another team if San Jose can’t afford to give him a new contract. To be sure, Blake brings a strong element of playoff experience, which neither team in this series had much of in their dressing rooms.
That also makes Blake a go-to for reporters looking for perspective on games like Sunday’s and series like this.
Q: I guess start with your thoughts on today’s game and Chicago coming back again to win?
Blake: It’s unfortunate, but give them credit. They’re a good team. They outplayed us throughout the game.
Q: If someone would have told you before the series that it would end in a sweep either way, you probably wouldn’t have believed it would you?
Blake: No. I mean, it’s a sweep. It was close, but it was still a sweep and we have to understand that the level has to be even greater. The further you go in the playoffs, the harder it gets. We let the second period in the second game get away from us, then the third game was a very good game by both teams -- but they capitalized and won it. Now you’re down 3-0 in a hole that we couldn’t get out of.
Q: You guys played a very solid defensive game in the first period, what happened after that?
Blake: They turned it up. They played with more poise than we did. They made more plays breaking out and different things. They controlled the tempo of the games throughout this series. They’re a good team and they were able to do that to us.
Q: How much did the goal that was credited to Brent Seabrook in the second period turn things around in this game?
Blake: That got the momentum going for them. We never dominated, but that gave them some energy and some momentum. They’re a young team and a good young team, and they play with some poise. That gave them energy and got them going.
Q: What’s next for you?
Blake: I don’t know. I’m going to wait a few weeks. I don’t know what I’m going to do, but I’ll take some time here and decide.
Q: You mean regarding your future?
Blake: Yeah. I think I’ll let this sink in for awhile. I’m in no rush to make a decision.