On whether Los Angeles’ comebacks were “what they were doing, [or] what you weren’t doing”:
No, they made plays. They scored two quick goals on us. Getting that third one certainly put us in a good spot. That one-goal lead in the third period maybe a little bit stationary. We didn’t give up a ton. Had some looks. Had some chances. The breakaway in overtime. It’s one of those goals that was a tough one.
On whether the inability to hold leads in the series was the most frustrating aspect of the loss:
No. I think we checked pretty well all year. I thought we played two good teams in the first two series, wasn’t a lot of room, wasn’t a lot of space. We didn’t give up much. A little bit more open in this series. We’re productive, but we have to be better keeping it out of our net.
On the difficulty of repeating as champions:
Well, we were pretty close to getting to the big dance. You look at how close we were, how competitive it was. It’s a tough league. It’s a tough thing to do, to win the Cup. I couldn’t be prouder of our guys the way we competed in some tough situations, down 3-1. One shot away from going to try to do it again. We’re in a tough division, some tough teams, some tough games. Overcoming all those obstacles after what happened last year and this year, you know, I’ve lost some tough games, but nothing like tonight.
On what changed the series:
They got some quick sticks. They go to the net hard. Loose stuff hanging around. They got a fortunate bounce on the winner. Every goal’s different. Their power play really got their offense going. It started in Game 2. Puck started going in on us.
On the challenges of getting “a full 60 minutes” out of the Blackhawks:
I thought the ice was really heavy tonight. I thought both teams were trying to fight through it. You look at what happened in these last three games, the unpredictability from the start, the emotion, the intensity, playing the right way. So, you know, I thought both teams left it out there. Unfortunately, somebody had to lose, you know. Tough ending.
On any consolation of knowing that the core group is in place and the Blackhawks were a bounce away from going to the Stanley Cup Final:
It’s tough to think about next year right now. As we progress in the summer, I’m sure we’ll be excited about the fall. Right now, you look back, definitely a lot of good things that we accomplished this year. You know, a lot to be proud of, of what transpired over the course of this season, this series, the playoffs. But certainly a lot of good options to start next year when you look at the group we have.
On whether there were players playing through injury:
Yeah, no different than any other years. You know, certain guys. Everybody’s got some annoyances, getting through it, playing through it. But losing Shawsy, then coming back, he’s a warrior type of guy. I thought he came back and gave us a nice jolt in the lineup. Other than that, I don’t think it was different than other years.
On how the Kings match up against the Rangers:
I’ll let you sort out how that is going to play out. I would have liked to think how we’re going to match up against them ourselves. I know one thing, they find a way, L.A., they’re never out of a hockey game, they’re never out of a series. They’re dangerous.