By Allan Muir
Here are the key takeaways from today’s press briefings with Chicago coach Joel Quenneville and Boston’ Claude Julien:
Quenneville confirmed that Brandon Bollig, who was burned on the winning goal in Game 2, is out. Viktor Stalberg, who was banished to the press box before Game 1, is back in. “I think Bollig gave us a couple real strong games,” Quenneville said. “You can talk about the last play, [but] I thought he did a nice job. Viktor, we’re just looking for more. I think we need some speed from him. I think we need energy. I think that he’s a threat off the rush, defensively responsible.”
The Game 3 slump
The Hawks come into tonight’s game having lost all three of their previous Game 3s on the road. “I thought two of the three games we weren’t happy with the way we played when we were up [in the series] 2-0.” Quenneville said. “In the case of Detroit, I thought we played the right way when it was 1-1. [So] whether we’re comfortable at 2-0, or 1-1 [making us a hungrier team], we have to make sure we are looking for a response to the way things ended the latter part of last game. Let’s be ready, [let's] be excited about the challenge. Knowing [we] have to get something out of here [to regain home ice advantage], let’s get it done.”
Julien wasn’t impressed by his team’s 3-0 mark in Game 3s, or giving any credence to Chicago’s struggles. “Stats at this time of year don’t mean a thing,” he said. “No matter what we are, what they are, it’s about winning this game tonight. I don’t pay much attention to stats when it comes to that stuff. We’ve seen those things change. It just takes one game to change the stat.”
David Krejci, super sub
With PK specialist Gregory Campbell done for the season, David Krejci is assuming additional minutes to pick up the slack. It’s a new challenge for Krejci, who averaged just 19 seconds of shorthanded time during the regular season, but Julien says he’s done his homework. “He’s always been in all the meetings, because if one of our penalty killers was in the box, he would kill some penalties. He’s very comfortable with it. I think he’s done a great job. David is a smart player. He can read off a lot of people. He’s able to read the plays. To me, it was not a big issue to put him in there because he’s very capable of handling more ice time.” Krejci has now picked up 2:20 on the PK and 27:52 overall, both tops among Boston’s forwards. Pretty clear Julien is going to ride him as long as he holds up.
The Garden Factor
Quenneville is concerned about his team’s unfamiliarity with the TD Garden is a concern. “Some of [our] guys haven’t been in this building at all,” he said. “The boards are a lot livelier [than the United Center]. Some of the buildings we played in the playoffs, like Detroit, you [have] to check out the ice,” he said, suggesting they’ll have to be careful with dump-ins and plays off the glass.
Julien is thrilled to get back in front of a friendly crowd. “Well, there’s no doubt you’re a lot happier at home than you are on the road, right? We’ve got a great crowd here. We may not hold as much in our building, but the decibels will be just as good as it was at the United Center.”