Over the game’s next 50 minutes, Quenneville’s mood gradually declined as the Red Wings skated away with a 4-1 victory in Game 2 and evened the Western Conference semifinal series.
“I liked our start,” Quenneville said. “I thought, the first 10 minutes of the game, the pace was probably as fast as any point throughout [the series’ first] four periods, but we didn’t sustain it. We didn’t do what we were hoping to do over the last 50 minutes.”
The Blackhawks experienced in Game 2 on Saturday what the Red Wings experienced in Game 1 on Wednesday.
In Game 1, the Blackhawks owned the puck, outshot the Red Wings 42-21 and breezed to a 4-1 victory. In Game 2, the Red Wings reversed the tide, outshot the Blackhawks 30-20 and ended up with their own 4-1 win.
“They kind of used our own game against us, playing puck possession, keeping it,” Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane said. “I felt like we were chasing the puck the whole time.”
The Blackhawks made a handful of costly errors in the neutral and defensive zones leading to Red Wings’ goals, but it was the lack of offense that bothered Quenneville the most. He didn’t think the Blackhawks were good enough with the puck when they actually possessed it.
“We lost momentum of that game by what we didn’t do on our attack and offensive zone,” Quenneville said.
Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews had the same criticism.
“Last game, we played smarter defensively, and that was by holding on to the puck and making plays in their zone and keeping it out of the danger area, and we didn’t necessarily do that today,” he said.
Quenneville wouldn’t point his finger at anyone specifically, but he was willing to point it at everyone.
“Across the board, we should all assume some responsibility,” he said. “We need to be much better than that. I thought our game was way off as far as the pace that was needed. We weren’t smart in certain areas.”