Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville is usually a morning person after games. Even losses don't seem quite as bad to him.
Not so much when the sun rose on Thursday, the day after a 6-2 home loss to the Kings in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals.
"I woke up this morning way more angry than I was after the game," he said before the team flew to Los Angeles, where the series continues Saturday tied 1-1. "Normally it's the other way around. Certainly there are a lot of positives to take out of the game. But the little details and the way we gave them the goals (are negatives). Exiting a game like that is a game that should get your attention."
Quenneville's message to the Hawks is not to put Wednesday's loss entirely behind them but to channel their anger.
"There's got to be a reaction," he said. "We shouldn't be happy about it. That's what we're looking for. I think that's how you get past it, doing something about it. We should be angry about how we got beat. I think there's anger involved and that's not a bad thing to have."
The Blackhawks' five penalties were a point of irritation for Quenneville. They committed three in the third period, with two of them turning into Kings power-play goals that eventually led to the landslide victory.
"We've got to be better in those areas," he said. "It definitely took the momentum away."
The Hawks split their two games at the Staples Center in last season's Western Conference finals before the Hawks went on to win in five games. They also won a regular-season game there 5-3 this season in February.
"We definitely need a road win," Quenneville said. "We've had some success there over the last few years. I think our team knows what's at stake when you go in there. The first game is what we're looking at."
Coming off a lopsided road victory seems like a prime opportunity for the Kings to raise their confidence and harness momentum. Hawks defenseman Duncan Keith said that's not a new concern.
"They're a confident team as it is," he said. "They've won a Cup (in 2012). We saw what they did against San Jose (coming back from a 3-0 deficit in the series) and being down 3-2 against Anaheim. We have a lot of respect for them and I don't think we'll sit here and worry about if we've given them confidence. We have to worry about ourselves, how we play and what we do out there to get results for ourselves."
The Hawks, Keith said, need to keep it simple in Game 3.
"When we're at our best, we're thinking defense and checking first and then our offense takes care of itself," he said. "Maybe that mindset going into the next game on the road is going to be beneficial for us. We've enjoyed being on the road. We're going to look at it in a good way."
While Quenneville has urged the Hawks to play with emotion, he also wants them to keep the game in perspective.
"We've been in some tough spots," he said. "Look at last year: down 2-1 to Boston, down 3-1 to Detroit. (This season), down 2-0 to St. Louis, 2-2 in the Minnesota series. It's just 1-1 (against the Kings). There's a lot of hockey left in the series."
(c)2014 Chicago Tribune
Visit the Chicago Tribune at www.chicagotribune.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services