The Chicago Blackhawks want to clinch the President’s Trophy, awarded to the NHL team with the best regular season record. They want to enter the playoffs on a good note.
On the other hand, common sense dictates that coach Joel Quenneville will ease up on the throttle and allow his team to coast a bit during the final week. The Blackhawks need to catch their breath before embarking on a (hopefully) long playoff journey.
So what was Coach Q to make of his team’s listless effort in a 3-1 loss at Vancouver Monday night?
“It was the worst game of the year,” Quenneville told reporters. “That was the one game maybe this year that we can say that we weren’t at the level that’s needed from start to finish.
“We know when we play Vancouver it’s an intense game and you’ve got to be ready. They were much more prepared to compete at that level that’s necessary to win in our game and give them credit.”
Quenneville didn’t belabor the loss during his post-game address. Defenseman Duncan Keith also kept things in perspective.
The Canucks were the more motivated team and it showed.
“We feel good,” Keith told reporters. “Obviously we’re not happy about tonight, we know we need to play with more jump than we did tonight, and we’re confident, it’s one game we’re not happy with.
“We know what we’re capable of doing in this room and it’s just a matter of sticking with it and staying positive.”