Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Alanah McGinley on 05/25/09 at 03:58 PM ET
Q. You made some comments last night that were fairly pointed about officiating, how it changed the game. A day later, do you feel any differently?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: No. What happened happened. We want to move on. I know that what I said yesterday, it’s over with and done with. We’ll handle what we’re gonna be facing on Wednesday.
Q. There are times when things like that get said in an effort to take the pressure off the team. Was that in any way part of it?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: That’s tough to say. I think after games, sometimes you’re more emotional than other games. We have a young team. We’ve overcome a lot. The nice thing about our group, we seem to just move on and handle the next challenge. We obviously have a huge challenge ahead of us.
So that’s what’s good about our group. Tomorrow when we all get in here for practice, fly to Detroit, we got an extra day here to recapture some enthusiasm. And knowing what we got to face is a gigantic task. We’ll deal with it.
Q. Khabi able to skate? Where is he at?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: Today nobody’s skating. We’ll see how he is tomorrow. We’ll get an idea if he can go out, get on the ice or not. We’ll see. That will give us an idea on Wednesday.
Q. If the game wasn’t where it was at, could Havlat have played some more?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: I think he was doing good after the game. We’ll see how he presents tomorrow, whether he skates or not going into Wednesday. He’s one guy that didn’t skate a lot all year. He looked fine.
Q. I know you want to move on. When you look at the stats, you had, like, almost an hour’s worth of penalty minutes. So many more than the Red Wings. Where do you think that comes from?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: Well, I wasn’t happy after the game. I already voiced my displeasure. So, you know, like I said, it’s not going to do us any good. We have to face the Wednesday challenge. You know, we got to be smart on how we have to play. We’ve got to be disciplined against them and play our game.
I think we got to be smart how we go into the next game and play our game and play it hard between the whistles.
Q. Do you think any of it on your team’s part was a lingering resentment over what happened to Havlat the game before?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: No. I think our game or our discipline maybe eroded as the game eroded. I think that was more reflective of the score.
Q. A day later, how would you assess Huet’s play?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: Huey, yesterday was one of those games where it was a tough call whether I wanted to throw Crawf in there for his playoff experience. Next thing you know, he’s in for a few minutes. It was a five-on-three. It was a tough baptism to the game.
Huey was fine. The second one was a tough one. At the same time he did a good job game before. We got him playing in the third to get him some playing time, get him feeling good about himself going forward.
He’s been effective for us all year. Been a big part of our team.
Q. Corey talked after the game about being a little bit surprised to get the call and see some minutes yesterday. You didn’t have him up here playing during the regular season. Take us through the process on how he became your No. 3 guy in the post-season?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: I think Antti and him really gave us some good depth in the organization as far as NHL potential, close to playing. It’s just a matter of opportunity for both these guys. As the playoffs have evolved, they’ve both been around every day. Actually, first round for them. These guys are competing to play, welcoming the chance to play. You know, from being in the stands one game ago, next thing you know he’s playing against Detroit in the Conference Finals. It was a rather quick step, big challenge. I mean, he looked comfortable. One thing with him in his game, he’s got all the credentials to be a good NHL goalie. Going from there, just the opportunity.
We feel organizationally the upside is real and huge for him. So I just think ?? I thought he handled his short stint very well.
Q. Is handling the emotions of a game like yesterday important for a young team to go through to ultimately achieve its success? How do you think they’ll respond to that challenge in Game 5?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: We’ve been good all playoffs. I think every game you get tested. We had some tough battles in the Calgary series, the Vancouver series where your emotions get the best of you at times. All of a sudden you might get off track.
With our team, we reinforce the discipline factor more than regularly. Especially knowing the quality of the power play we’re facing. I think that’s something we continue to reinforce and try to stress. Sometimes in games things can happen. That’s all part of it.
But I think we’ve been pretty efficient in that area as we’ve gone through these playoffs. But I think yesterday, it got away from us there. But I think that was in the latter stages.
Q. You mentioned that Havlat hasn’t skated much all season. Tomorrow is not a real indicator, may wait till Wednesday. In Khabi’s case, does he need to show you something in practice?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: For goalies, you like them to have some work. You got a better indication to know they’re game-ready. Tough not being on the ice for three, four, five days, then play a game. We’ll see if he skates tomorrow. If he doesn’t skate, we’ll see on the morning skate. There is that possibility. I don’t want to rule him out if he doesn’t skate tomorrow.
Q. You touched on the power play a little bit, theirs. Obviously you want less penalties. How big does your penalty kill need to be given how effective they are on their power plays?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: First of all, you don’t want to get them in the high numbers on their power play because they can score and will score on you. You’re gonna give up certain scoring chances, certain shots on net. It’s the quality that sometimes you try to control as best you can.
But they’re gonna score on you, when the numbers get a little higher. But I think our penalty kill errors, we’re constantly going over what we have to do to ify the quality at the other end.
So we’ll watch a lot closer going into the next game, you know, staying out of the box is a priority that goes along with how we kill penalties.
Q. You’re at home yesterday. They have Datsyuk out, Lidstrom out, Draper out. On paper that looks like a good opportunity to win. Is that just a credit to how deep they are as a team or is it an opportunity missed for you guys?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: Well, you could say that. I was in the Conference Finals a while ago when we won four straight, Colorado won in Game 7. Forsberg got hurt Game 7. You know, they ended up beating us. It shows that no matter what, it’s a team game. You can overcome a lot. They dug down. And we got to really get deep and dig down ourselves.
It’s something that we want to make sure we got a lot of respect, no matter who’s in their lineup. They know how to play. They know how to play in big games. Maybe something we can learn from that.
Q. Detroit has been in the way for you a lot in your career. I’m sure you’re tired of that?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: I did get them once (laughter).
Q. Is that the model then for this franchise to become, have that kind of repeated success?
JOEL QUENNEVILLE: Well, I think you measure yourself against the best. We all have that goal of being champions. I think you got to get through ‘em. You know, they seem to be the top team in the West for a long time here.
But we got a young team. We’ve overcome a lot. We certainly like the trend of where we’re at organizationally. We liked our season. We like where we are today. You know, I think that’s why you learn as you go through it.
I mean, this is a team you got to beat. Whether we’re facing ‘em earlier than people anticipated, that’s for you guys to sort out. But we certainly feel we can compete with them.
First three games, we were right there. Yesterday they distanced themselves. We’ll move on.
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