Quenneville says discipline will be key for Blackhawks
BY MARK LAZERUS Staff Reporter May 24, 2014 6:16PM
Kings goalie Jonathan Quick (24 saves) blocks a shot by winger Ben Smith in the third period in Game 3. | Chris Carlson/AP
Updated: June 26, 2014 6:50AM
LOS ANGELES — Game 2 of the Western Conference final — and maybe the series itself — turned early in the third period, when Brandon Bollig took an unnecessary interference penalty, and then the Blackhawks were caught with too many men on the ice. The Kings scored on both power plays to take the lead and pulled away for the victory.
“Discipline is always the key,” coach Joel Quenneville said Saturday before Game 3 at Staples Center. “We took a couple of penalties that aren’t necessarily our style of play last game. We always want to stay out of the box, especially against their power play. Let’s be smart about it.”
He wasn’t talking to Andrew Shaw directly, but he might as well have been. Shaw brings the kind of tenacity and physical play the Hawks need, but he also walks a fine line between aggressiveness and recklessness. Shaw, who returned to the lineup Saturday after being injured early in Game 1 against the Wild last round, had taken four penalties in a little more than six games. Only Bollig had more penalty minutes during the regular season than Shaw, who had 76.
“We want to play determined, we want to play [ticked] off, considering how we played last game late in the game,” Jonathan Toews said. “At the same time, you’ve got to try to contain that emotion and not let it be a detriment or take you back in any way. Shaw is one of those guys that’s got to be controlled. We want to stay out of the box. At the same time, there’s a lot of things guys like him can do to give us that energy.”
The Hawks were the fifth-best faceoff team during the regular season, winning 52 percent of their draws. But the Kings were third-best, at 52.8 percent, and dominated the Hawks in Game 2, winning 61 percent (43-for-70). Anze Kopitar won 15, and Jarret Stoll won 14.
Michal Handzus was 4-for-16, and Peter Regin was 2-for-10. In Game 1, each team won 31 draws.
Considering both teams are built on puck possession and are so good at hanging on to the puck, faceoffs are particularly crucial in this series.
“That’s something we need to focus on,” said Toews, who was 11-for-25 in Game 2. “Clearly, we weren’t good enough.”
Back on track
After playing only one game in five days, the Hawks are excited to get back to the usual pace of playing every other night for the rest of the series.
“It feels like these three games have taken a long time,” Toews said. “Now we’re getting in the swing of things, going every other day. We’re excited to get in that routine.”
Bryan Bickell was at a loss to explain why the Hawks have fared so well at Staples Center over the last couple of years. They had won three of their last four in Los Angeles heading into Game 3.
“The movie stars in the stands? I don’t know,” Bickell said.