Joel Quenneville bemoans ‘a brutal loss’ by Blackhawks
By Adam L. Jahns firstname.lastname@example.org January 5, 2012 10:42PM
James van Riemsdyk, who scored the game-winning goal in the waning seconds, fires the puck past Ray Emery in the second period. | Matt Slocum~AP
The facts: 7:30, CSN, 720-AM.
Updated: February 7, 2012 8:34AM
PHILADELPHIA — Coach Joel Quenneville’s postgame news conference was short. He was in no mood to explain or detail what happened with his Blackhawks.
“It was a brutal loss,” Quenneville said after Flyers winger James van Riemsdyk scored the game-winner on the power play with 32.8 seconds left for a 5-4 victory at Wells Fargo Center.
Not even an impressive rally late in the third period was consolation for Quenneville. The Hawks have lost three of four in addition to seeing their lineup endure injuries.
For all talk of reliving Stanley Cup memories in their first game back in Philadelphia since winning Game 6 of the finals in 2010, the Hawks allowed a season-high 46 shots on goal. For a coach who wants his team to be defined by how well they check, that about says it all.
“That’s a lot of pucks at the net,” Quenneville said.
Goals by defenseman Brent Seabrook and winger Patrick Kane 25 seconds apart late in the third period tied the game at 4 and negated a strong effort by the Flyers as the Hawks appeared to be on the verge of forcing overtime.
But Kane’s high-sticking penalty in the final two minutes was another sign that the Hawks weren’t doing the things needed to win.
“[Ray Emery] kept us in it the whole way,” center Jonathan Toews said. “We found our way back into it and it was unfortunate that we couldn’t find a way at least to get that extra point or get to OT and give ourselves a chance to get a point after that. If it wasn’t for [Emery], we didn’t deserve to win that game.”
Other than Emery, who made 41 saves, the only positives for the Hawks was that their rookies produced. Jimmy Hayes and Andrew Shaw scored the Hawks’ first two goals. Defenseman Dylan Olsen also had a good game, according to Quenneville.
“I liked them all,” Quenneville said. “I thought they all played real well.”
The Flyers took a 4-2 lead into the third period, but a successful four-minute penalty kill after Patrick Sharp’s high-sticking penalty gave the Hawks some life and they responded.
“We were up two goals in the third and that should never be a chance for them to get back in the game, but we let them back in,” van Riemsdyk said. “Fortunately enough, we were able to win it.”
But the first 54 minutes of the game belonged to the Flyers. The Hawks spent too much time in their zone, they struggled clearing rebounds away from Emery, they spent too much time in the penalty box and they failed to hold onto their momentum.
Van Riemsdyk finished with two goals and Harry Zolnierczyk, Jakub Voracek and Scott Hartnell also scored for the Flyers, who didn’t commit a minor penalty.
“We’re just not stopping them in those dangerous areas,” said Toews, who had two assists. “We’re swooping through, hoping to get offensive breaks and go the other way on odd-man rushes. We’re swinging through areas and not stopping. If you’re lazy, you’re just going to miss pucks and they’re going to get extra chances.”