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Monday, May 31, 2010
Quenneville, Niemi, Hossa postgame quotes


Here are the transcripts of Joel Quenneville, Marian Hossa and Antti Niemi discussing Monday’s win:

Q. Marian Hossa breaks through, scores that big goal late in the second period. Talk about the lift that gave your team, seemed like they mobbed him right after the goal and then you scored a couple seconds later?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: Yeah, it was a big goal. Looked like it was the kind of game whoever scored first would have a big edge. Kind of different, just the opposite of the first game. But the pace was fast, it was competitive. Obviously, a very timely goal, and then Benny to come back with a big one right after, and you're in a good spot right then.

Q. Whether they were his fault or not, five went in on Niemi the other night. What is it about him that enables him to play the way he does after games like that?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: That's the way he is. His disposition is very laid back, very quiet, very unassuming guy, and he just moves forward. I think he just looks ahead, and looking to stop the next shot and refocuses. But, you know, you've got to commend his attitude and his preparation. At the same time, that's just the way he is.

Q. Were you relying too much on Antti Niemi in the third period, you thought?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: No, we certainly didn't want to spend that much time in our own end, and the quality that they're getting, we had to be better. They're coming, they're pressing, and they've got a lot of guys that can make plays.
I think that's, you know, that was one of those games where we'd like to spend some time in their end. We'd like to have some more puck-possession game, we started the game the way we'd liked. Second period we might have been fortunate coming out with some very timely goals.
But at the same time, we did better in our team game tonight, and Antti really complemented that.

Q. What was the thinking throwing Ben Eager out there right after that first goal? Obviously, it turned out to be a great decision, but what was your thinking having him out there with a different group?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: Well, just those guys give us some speed. They give us energy. Sometimes as a line you can just insert them with other guys. Benny gets in on the forecheck, and whether Prongs is out there or not, hopefully, he creates a little bit of space and puck possession.
But he made a great shot. Benny's got one of those shots that's deceiving, and got more pace on it than you'd think or know. It was a huge goal.

Q. Continuing on Benny here, can you talk about how a player who plays the way he does can change the momentum in a game like that?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: Well, that line, that's their niche. That's what their effectiveness is is bringing energy, hitting, getting in on the forecheck. They had some shifts in the offensive zone, and a couple of times he got inserted with different guys over the course of the game.
But all playoffs long, I think that that group has been useful in their ways. They don't get a ton of ice time, but they manage to make it important whether it's five to nine minutes. Very useful again tonight with their contribution.

Q. Everything looks like it's rolling forward. You're up two games, 7 in a row. Do you guard against overconfidence?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: No, you've got to commend our guys with their approach. I think whether it was in the Vancouver series or the San Jose series, I think we're looking to play our best game next game, knowing we have to be better.
We're going on the road there, and they're playing well at home. I think we've got to go back to what made us so effective in the road trips in San Jose and Vancouver series, and look to check our way into a very competitive type of team.

Q. Now that you took care of business here, how super charged do you expect the building to be in their place on Wednesday night?
COACH QUENNEVILLE: Well, you know, you've got to expect a loud building. I think we went into some loud buildings in Vancouver and San Jose in the playoffs. You know, you eventually like to quiet it as best you can. But I think that's a challenge that's going to be out there.
But I still think that being excited about thinking we have to be our best next game, it's going to be you a tough game and be ready for it.

Q. Antti, obviously the scoreboard was different than the first game. Were you seeing the puck better, were you getting better help from the blue liners? What was the difference for you tonight?
ANTTI NIEMI: I think our "D" played maybe a little bit better in front of the net in blocking shots and letting me see the puck. But it's always a little bit about the luck, too, how you see the puck, and how it bounces.

Q. Can you just talk about what you felt right after you saw that puck go in the net?
MARIAN HOSSA: Oh, I mean, it's been a long time. Just try to work hard. And when the bounce, the garbage goal I scored went in the net, I was looking for some ugly goal like that to get the offense going.
Like I said before, our line creates also a lot of chances, but we weren't able to capitalize on the good chances. And finally, it seems like the game before and today we got lucky bounces. So a relief, definitely.

Q. You had said during that little goalless drought that you weren't getting frustrated. But now that you've scored, can you tell us the truth, were you getting frustrated?
MARIAN HOSSA: Yeah, you know, it bugged me definitely not scoring goals for me. Trying to create offense, either passing, but when I'm shooting the puck doesn't want to get in. I try, like I said, I tried not to get frustrated, but it's in your head, you know.
I was waiting for some, like I said, just garbage goal and hopefully now that our line keeps going offensively better and better.

Q. How much has your confidence grown from making the team in Helsinki when it was tight between you and Corey Crawford, and Corey got sent down and to now, the journey in eight months?
ANTTI NIEMI: Well, it's like night and day. It's a huge difference, and I think that's the biggest reason why I can play this well right now.

Q. Right after the game, you're out there on the ice, the crowd's chanting your name, what did that feel like to you?
ANTTI NIEMI: Well, it's an unbelievable feeling how the people react to our game.

Q. The last two years you've been so close. Last year you were in this same situation with Detroit, up two games to none after winning two home games only to swallow a pretty bitter pill against Pittsburgh. How can you draw on that experience and maybe show your teammates that it's not over yet, you've still got to play it one game at a time?
MARIAN HOSSA: Definitely, I mean, I don't like to go way in the past, but in the same situation everybody knows how good things we've got going on right now winning both games at home. It's really great for the confidence and really good for momentum.
Right now, going into their building, it's going to be really important how we start out Game 3. And that's going to be one of the most important games we play this year, definitely.

Q. There's been a lot of talk about how depth has gotten you where you guys are at this point in the playoffs. With the first line struggling a little bit, how important is it that your line has played the way it has to this point?
MARIAN HOSSA: I mean, our first line was carrying the team through the whole playoffs. I don't think they're struggling; they're creating chances, but they cannot, you know, in the first two games they couldn't put a puck in the net. You know, which is a good thing we have good depth, and the other line could step up. That's what good teams have. Right now it's different lines' turns.

Q. Every time you have a game where you have four or five goals, it seems that you're able to refocus where you come back to a shut down game where you give up none or maybe one or two. How are you able to do that?
ANTTI NIEMI: It's hard to say. It's a great thing that it's been that way. I want to keep it that way later, too. But maybe it comes out of how I feel after the bad game or game allowing five or four goals. I don't know how it happens.