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Coach Joel Quenneville Pre-Game 3 Press Conference

by Staff Writer / Chicago Blackhawks
Q.  Joel, how much harder will it be to get Bolly's line out against their top line and how much of an effort will you make to do it?


COACH QUENNEVILLE:  We'll see.  I know it's been a challenge when we've been on the road.  It's not easy at home as well.  I think whether we're trying to get him out there against the Sedin's or Thornton's line, sometimes you have to work for it.  You don't always get it.  Hopefully you can get the D you want.  It is something you have to give and take. The score sometimes dictates how much.

Q.  Regarding Marian Hossa, he had kind of a good let's say Stanley Cup Final with Pittsburgh; not so good with Detroit.  Now he's back again for the third time.  How has he kind of played in the Cup Final, and do you get the sense of how much this guy really wants it after his journeys the last few years?
 
COACH QUENNEVILLE:  He's a special player.  Not too many players are going to find a way to play 12 rounds in three years and still not taste the Cup.  It's a pretty amazing type of contribution he can make to three different teams in the way he's really helped our club.  He's elevated our pace, our tempo, our skill level.
 
For sure as a coach you have a lot more options with him on the ice.  We really like the way he has progressed in the Playoffs as well.  I'm sure he's excited about the third chance here this year.  We really like his contribution in the first two games.  I think that line has been very effective in a lot of ways.

I think defensively he really provides a lot of puck possession and defensive responsibility.  Offensively if he's got the puck, he can make plays.  That line has been a big factor, and he's a big part of it.

Q.  Joel, Andrew Ladd was on the ice this morning.  First practice since he got hurt.  Is he --
  

COACH QUENNEVILLE:  He's not playing tonight.  He's status quo.

Q.  Coach, having played two games against the Flyers in the Series, is there a Western Conference team that you can kind of compare them to to a degree?

COACH QUENNEVILLE:  Well, they certainly    not necessarily to a direct type of team.  They play a fast game.  They've got a lot of speed.  They've got a lot of skill.  They're dangerous.  All their lines on the ice can make plays.  They can attack well.

So I think we've played some skill teams and some fast teams.  San Jose and Vancouver are top scoring teams.  Philly kind of represents that type of skill level.  A threat offensively.  And their D are very active in the attack as well.  They're kind of comparable in that regard.

I think there's a lot of respect on our side how dangerous they can be.  Let's make sure our checking mentality applies again.  But there's a lot of ability there.  We want to make sure we recognize that.

Q.  Joel, you have had Pronger and then you coached against him.  Does he get away with a little bit more because of who he is and his stature in the game?


COACH QUENNEVILLE: 
You have to commend Prongs for finding ways to get around it or push the envelope, whichever    as far as, I guess, you can push it.  But he's a smart player that is effective in a lot of ways.  He finds the way to take advantage of whatever situation it is that can give him an edge.

So I think we want to make sure we keep it tight on him and hard on him and try to keep him where he's playing defense, as opposed to attacking.  But he's pretty smart as far as how he works it.

Q.  Coach, do you see any advantage at all of having guys like Sharp and Eager who have played here, won a Calder Cup here.  They're familiar with the city and the crowds.  They're kind of down playing it, but do you see it  

COACH QUENNEVILLE:  It's tough to measure something like that.  At the same time, I think the approach we have had throughout these Playoffs on the road is we're looking to play a hard game.  We know the building here is alive.  Trying to get through the opening minutes sometimes can set up the whole type of situation that's going to be played out later in the game.

So let's respond to what's going to start in this game or what's going to happen early.  And no matter if we had some experience here or not, we know it's going to be hostile, and let's be ready for it.

Q.  Coach, Patrick Kane said this is the game where you guys can really seize the momentum, take advantage, take control of the Series.  You said the entire Series you commended their approach.  Are they any more intense going into tonight's Game 3, knowing that going up 3-0 would be huge?


COACH QUENNEVILLE:
  I think we haven't gotten ahead of ourselves.  I think our approach today has been great.  I really enjoyed the morning skate.  Very business like.  More matter of fact than we've seen at any point in the Playoffs.

We're approaching this as a must win for us.  I think the focus is in the right areas.  We feel we can play better than we have shown here in the series.  And we're looking to improve off of those levels.

Q.  Joel, it's putting it mildly things have gone well for you since you took the Chicago job.  Was there any twinge of doubt that you would get another head coaching job after Colorado?

COACH QUENNEVILLE:  That's tough to comment on that.  At that time I was very comfortable with the way things played out.  I think the situation over that summer was there might have been some opportunities.  I was very comfortable taking some time off and seeing how things went.  I was looking forward to staying in Colorado and watching hockey for part of that year, whether it was a whole year or not.

But I think I was very fortunate to be in the situation, the opportunity that arose here in Chicago.  I've been very fortunate since that day.

Q.  Joel, for about the thousandth time, for some of us who are slow, can you go over the point in time where you decided we're going with Niemi.  He's our guy, and this is why?

COACH QUENNEVILLE:  I think all year long I think that Huet had the ball and Antti was basically getting any opportunity he got to go in the net.  He just did whatever he could to stop pucks; and the first game in Finland pitched a shutout, was very comfortable getting practice every single day, quietly went about his business.  Never complained.  Very supportive of Huet.  He was very consistent in his game.

I think as we got closer to the end, we had to make a choice.  We knew one guy was going to get the ball going into the Playoffs.  He had a chance right at the end of the year too take it, and he took advantage of it.  He hasn't looked back.  He's just the same demeanor that he's had since all year long that hasn't changed in the Playoffs, his approach.

I think that whether it's a young goalie or not, a lot of young goalies in the Playoffs have gotten deeper than they have in past years.

But nothing fazes Antti and his approach.  I would say at the end when he got the ball to play consecutive games at the end of the year, we had a little bit of a hiccup there as a team.  He stabilized that whether it was a decision or a thought process and took advantage of it.
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