Sunday, Apr. 4, 2010
By Brett Ballantini
Blackhawks goalie Antti Niemi:
On not wanting to give the title belt up to new holder Troy Brouwer: It fits me best!
The guy with the least grasp of English best summarizes the last week best: Everybodys enjoying more about the game.
Laughing off his 1st career NHL assist (and only his second as a pro: That wasnt much of an assist. I just saw Kaner dropping into the middle.
On whats different in his game now compared with earlier in the season: Its a big deal that Ive gotten to continue playing after a couple of bad games.
Refusing to acknowledge hes the man in the crease for the Blackhawks: Well see how it goes.
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville:
On Niemi: He doesnt get disturbed or disrupted. Hes quiet and low-key. Those traits make him comfortable in the net.
Coach gets big laughs in response to several questions about naming Niemi official starter: Right now hes going good. Hes likely going again Tuesday.
On his teams recent transformation: A week ago, you would call our play not very good. Or terrible.
Blackhawks defenseman Dustin Byfuglien:
Asked whether meeting the goal of a division title is a big deal: I guess so.
On his late tally, his 17th this season but first as a defenseman: Blue line scoring takes a lot of the pressure off of the forwards.
A couple of losses never hurts a good team. It sets you back to ground zero and you can start over again.
Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane:
On beating Kiprusoff with a tasty, highlight-reel goal in the second period: That one felt really good. He said this with a big, cheese-eating grin.
Id rather not score if we win, as opposed to just putting up big scoring numbers and not winning.
On his recent scoring slump: Its a goofy game. Part of my job for the team is to produce offensively, and its good to be able to do that today.
Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp:
Getting back to playing the right way is more important than winning the division.