Chicago Blackhawks: coaching

Finals confirm status of coaches

June, 14, 2013
6/14/13
9:18
PM CT
LeBrun By Pierre LeBrun
ESPN.com
Archive
CHICAGO -- It is uncanny, really, the symmetry that exists in the storylines for both head coaches in the Stanley Cup finals.

Claude Julien of the Boston Bruins and Joel Quenneville of the Chicago Blackhawks are Stanley Cup winners, of course, and both have been the subject of firing rumors once or twice during their otherwise stellar runs with their current teams.

Oh, and they've got another thing in common: They're both excellent at their craft.

"One of those guys is going to win a second Cup,'' Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock told ESPN.com Friday. "To me, that's unbelievable. No disrespect to Scotty Bowman, but this is a totally different world than when he was doing it. I'm jealous as hell one of them will win a second Cup.''

Indeed, either Julien or Quenneville will be the first two-Cup winner in the NHL's salary-cap era, a distinction that will set them apart from their current peers.

Read the entire story.

The right man at the right time

June, 3, 2013
6/03/13
7:15
PM CT
Greenberg By Jon Greenberg
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
CHICAGO -- It was early May of last season when the Chicago Blackhawks were at their post-Cup nadir and a power play had as much to do with the front office as the hockey rink.

A first-round playoff exit at the hands of the Phoenix Coyotes was the second spring in a row the Blackhawks went out like lamb. There was no doubt this season would be important for the front office and the coaching staff, namely coach Joel Quenneville.

Some would say it would be a defining season for the future of this organization.

While no one with hiring or firing power would say Quennville's job was in jeopardy, winning the Stanley Cup in 2010 only served as a reminder of what this job was now about, getting back to that ideal. The same holds true for general manager Stan Bowman.

A bad 2013 season could have resulted in big changes for a team that makes money, but also spends prodigiously. Rocky Wirtz has shown loyalty comes after performance.

Even after a record-setting start and a Presidents' Trophy, both meaningless come May, it's fair to assume a second-round playoff exit to the Detroit Red Wings could have spelled doom for some coaches, executives and players, or at least presaged changes to come.

But none of that came to pass. The Blackhawks have new life.

Read the entire column.

Q on hot seat? Wirtz calls it 'ridiculous'

January, 28, 2013
1/28/13
11:50
AM CT
By Staff
ESPNChicago.com
Chicago Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz said it's too early to start talking about another Stanley Cup, despite his team's franchise-best start, but it wasn't too early for Wirtz to shoot down speculation that coach Joel Quenneville was on the hot seat heading into the season.

Read the entire story.

Five coaches on the hot seat

January, 8, 2013
1/08/13
9:56
AM CT
Burnside By Scott Burnside
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
Joel QuennevilleRob Grabowski/US Presswire

You can make a case that all 30 head coaches are on the hot seat, especially with a season cut almost in half by the lockout, but let's cut to the chase. There are a few every year whose place behind the bench is significantly more perilous than the balance of their peers. Here are five coaches who might be looking over their shoulders:

Joel Quenneville, Chicago Blackhawks


After guiding the Hawks to their first Cup win since 1962 back in 2010, veteran head coach Joel Quenneville has been one-and-done the past two playoff seasons. Yes, were it not for a couple of brain cramps by netminder Corey Crawford in the first round against Phoenix, Chicago might have written a different ending last spring, but that's not how it played out. Perhaps more concerning for the talent-laden Blackhawks was the team's dismal performance on special teams, as it was tied for 25th on the power play and 27th on the penalty kill. There were rumblings that Quenneville was in trouble in the offseason, and he'll need his team to get off to a strong start and to show improvement on special teams to keep those rumblings from becoming something more.

Read the entire list here.

Will a new Q be the Hawks' biggest change?

May, 22, 2012
5/22/12
12:43
PM CT
Rogers By Jesse Rogers
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
BlackhawksJeff Vinnick/NHLI/Getty ImagesLook for Joel Quenneville to use ice time as a reward and punishment next season.
Chicago Blackhawks fans must be wondering: What's the biggest offseason change coming for a team that underachieved in the 2011-12 campaign?

Surprisingly, the answer may not come in the form of roster changes. There'll be some new players, of course, but in order for a blockbuster trade to happen the Hawks would most likely have to move from their core group, something general manager Stan Bowman said he's not fixated on doing.

There will be some free-agent signings, as there always are, but with Patrick Sharp's new contract kicking in and all the other core players signed to big deals there isn't a lot of money to go around. The Hawks can make one decent splash -- if they choose to -- but that's about it. Everything else is filling in some blanks at the bottom end of the roster both on offense and defense. At least that's what it looks like here in late May. If, say, Nashville defenseman Ryan Suter wants to come to Chicago at a decent rate then things might change, but all in all, the Hawks have their core group and a few ancillary younger players to maneuver with as they head into 2012-13.

So what will be the biggest change?

Joel Quenneville.

(Read full post)

Quenneville quashes Montreal rumors

May, 8, 2012
5/08/12
6:39
PM CT
By ESPNChicago.com
ESPNChicago.com
Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said Tuesday that despite speculation he has no plans to head to the Montreal Canadiens, where friend and former Hawks assistant general manager Marc Bergevin is now the GM.

Read the entire story.

Special-teams assist ruffled no feathers

March, 20, 2012
3/20/12
8:33
PM CT
Isaacson By Melissa Isaacson
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
CHICAGO -- When Chicago Blackhawks Director of Player Development Barry Smith took the ice during practice last month to help the team improve its special teams play during its nine-game losing streak, observers wondered if the unorthodox move caused any behind-the-scenes tension.

Smith, the right-hand man of Hawks senior advisor Scotty Bowman during much of Bowman’s Hall of Fame career and a part of five Stanley Cup championships, did, in fact, help improve the Hawks’ penalty kill almost immediately.

But one Toronto paper linked the move to perceived dysfunction in the Hawks’ front office, a suggestion at which team owner Rocky Wirtz scoffed.

(Read full post)

Coach criticism could fire up Blackhawks

February, 13, 2012
2/13/12
9:49
PM CT
Rogers By Jesse Rogers
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
CHICAGO -- Losers of eight straight games, the Chicago Blackhawks, who now sit just five points ahead of ninth-place Calgary, went back to work on Monday to try to find some solutions to their problems.

The day started with general manager Stan Bowman declaring coach Joel Quenneville’s job was safe.

That's not the concern for me at all," Bowman told the Hawks’ flagship television station, Comcast SportsNet Chicago. "I'm very confident in Joel's ability, our coaching staff's ability."

That’s what every general manager will say about his coach -- until he’s not the coach anymore, right? But it was good for Bowman, and the team, that he got it out of the way in the morning so at least that question had less emphasis as practice began in the early afternoon.

After practice, the players, predictably, echoed their belief in their coach.

 Joel Quenneville
Jerry Lai/US PresswireThe Blackhawks were quick to defend coach Joel Quenneville on Monday.
“It bothers me,” Patrick Sharp said of the “fire Quenneville” talk. “He’s our leader, he’s our coach. We play hard for him, we believe in him and we know if something would happen there would be a lot of unhappy people in the room right now. We know we’re the guys out there on the ice that control the outcome of the game. There’s no doubts in Joel, that’s for sure.”

And maybe right there is the rallying cry the Hawks needed. Maybe the negative talk about the team and Quenneville is the best thing for them.
Until now, there was little emotion in the Hawks dressing room, especially on the road where they are insulated from the fans and much of the talk in Chicago. Defending their coach was the most emotion they’ve shown in a while.

“He’s been taking this whole thing really well,” Patrick Kane said. “He’s gotten rattled [mad] a few times but he’s been pretty even-keeled, the same guy, same practices, same coach. He’s a great coach. I love playing for the guy.”

And you get the feeling Kane isn’t just saying that because Quenneville gives the players a lot of days off or something else as simple as that. They respect him and he shows them respect back. Incredibly, and maybe even ironically, the typical negative talk that ensues during a streak like this might be the emotional tipping point for the Hawks. They need something at this point.

“The coaches are doing everything possible to get us ready, to get us prepared,” Kane said. “They’ve been great through the whole thing. They’ve obviously been on us, hard, but they’ve stayed pretty even-keeled. They’re doing their job great.”

So maybe the Hawks finally have some emotional motivation… now they need a strategic fix.

The lineup

Obviously sensing the urgency of the situation, Quenneville is trying something he’s resisted all year: loading up his stars on one line. Jonathan Toews, Sharp and Kane finished the game in Phoenix together and should start Tuesday’s game in Nashville the same way. That threesome was dynamic last season and Quenneville is hoping to recapture that magic.

“We came out of the last game, I thought [the] Toews, Kane and Sharp line had a big third period and keeping them together going into Tuesday’s game is something we’re looking at,” Quenneville said.

It means a struggling Hossa will be teamed with less talented or experienced players in Marcus Kruger and Andrew Brunette -- at least to start the game. Hossa has had a terrible stretch since the All-Star break. He has zero points and is minus-6.

“I’m definitely not happy with that,” Hossa said. “Not just the points, I’m not happy the way I’ve been skating. Just have to find a way to get the energy back. I need more pucks. That’s my hockey, play with the puck more.”

Hossa wouldn’t use playing during the All-Star break as an excuse simply because he said that’s exactly what it would be: “an excuse.” But maybe he needed the break. He was flying before it came, so it’s hard to understand why he’s not now.

Dave Bolland centered Bryan Bickell and Viktor Stalberg at practice. Stalberg is clearly in Quenneville’s doghouse after bad passes/turnovers have led to some goals against or prime chances the other way. If the offense struggles on Tuesday you can expect Stalberg and Brunette to switch places -- but only if the younger winger is responsible with the puck.

Brendan Morrison was in the middle between Jamal Mayers and Andrew Shaw while Michael Frolik was the extra forward.

Special teams

The Hawks made some tweaks to both their special teams units. Forget everything else right now, if both -- or at least one -- unit can be quickly fixed the Hawks will undoubtedly win some games again -- or at least one.

But working their power play and penalty killing without Niklas Hjalmarsson and Steve Montador is difficult. Both will miss Tuesday’s contest with upper body injuries.

“With both these guys being absent I think our group defense has to be aware and our patience around the ice has to have an awareness to the defensive side of things,” Quenneville said. “In certain areas we have to make safer plays.”

In other words, with Dylan Olsen and Sami Lepisto getting ice time for the first time in a while, the safer play is always the better one.

Quenneville wouldn’t go into specifics about Montador or Hjalmarsson’s injuries. It’s believed Hjalmarsson has a head problem which was first thought to be the flu or another illness. There is no timetable on either player’s return.

Emery in goal

It used to be the most important question to Quenneville. Who is starting in net? It was an afterthought on Monday, the last thing that was asked of him. Ray Emery will get the call on Tuesday against Nashville marking his third start in four games. He’s probably been better than Corey Crawford of late, but not by much.

Quotable
“Yeah, a few times,” said Kane, chuckling, when asked if Quenneville has “blown his stack” during the losing streak.

Q knows rest is as vital as practice

January, 17, 2012
1/17/12
6:27
PM CT
Rogers By Jesse Rogers
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
CHICAGO -- You want to be known as a player’s coach in the NHL? It’s simple: Give your players extra days off.

Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville does it more often than most and he believes it pays off come game days, while the players simply like the rest and freedom a day away from the rink brings.

“He understands the schedule is quite grueling,” veteran Jamal Mayers said. “It’s heavier at times than others. Especially for the guys that play big minutes. It’s good to maintain that practice level so when we do get out there as a group we’re practicing at a high tempo.”

Mayers was on the ice with his teammates on Tuesday at Johnny’s IceHouse West for the first full-team, non game-day practice session in 13 days. In between were seven games, three full off-days and two optional practices. Mayers and teammate Andrew Brunette agree, no coach in the league gives his players that much time off – but, of course, they’re not complaining.

“One of the most [days off] of any team in the league,” Brunette said with a smile. “It feels like he understands the player’s point of view. They are very welcome for it and they work hard. Not every coach sees that. It’s hard to see that in the course of the season. You have the blinders on. It’s one game means everything, every night.”

[+] EnlargeJoel Quenneville
Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesBlackhawks coach Joel Quenneville is known to build plenty of rest days into the season.
Brunette said some coaches don’t feel secure enough to back off, especially when things aren’t going well on the ice. But the Hawks have mostly stuck with their schedule under Quenneville over the years, even in the face of some terrible hockey, including this season.

The Hawks went right to Las Vegas for some rest and relaxation in November after a brutal 9-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers and they responded with a great finish to their circus road trip. When they returned they played downright awful, losing their first game back, 4-1, to the Phoenix Coyotes, but yet again had the next day off. They went 7-0-1 over their next eight games.

“Everybody has their ways about doing things but I find when you save some of that energy for games, it helps,” Quenneville said.

There are plenty of coaches that view the 82-game regular season with the same intensity they do the playoffs. That’s a mistake, but more might be following Quenneville’s lead.

“It drains you mentally, but every coach adapts over the years and I think more are trending to ‘less is more,’ ” Mayers said. “And giving guys rest. The game is faster. It’s a lot more demanding.”

Having both played for Quenneville previously, Brunette and Mayers concur this is pretty much how he’s always operated. But the Hawks coach admits the Stanley Cup playoff run in 2010 taught him even more about getting proper rest for his team.

“I think we learn as you go along here,” Quenneville said. “I thought that playoff run helped us. When you hit the ice you can feel and see the difference by giving them a day off.”

And of course his players love him for it.

“No question, but I think it’s smart,” Mayers said with another grin.

Who gets the ice time?

With Daniel Carcillo now done with his suspension and on injured reserve after left knee surgery on Tuesday, the Hawks recalled Ben Smith, giving them 13 healthy forwards. The competition for playing time should be fierce.

“They’ve taken advantage of playing,” Quenneville said of his young players. “It’s internal competition but at the same time we want to max out our team and what it’s capable of doing.”

So who sits from night to night?

Obviously, how they play moving forward will determine it but Andrew Shaw, Jimmy Hayes and Marcus Kruger seem to have the upper hand right now. Shaw and Kruger lined up with Marian Hossa on Tuesday at practice as they did over the weekend. Hayes skated with Brunette and Dave Bolland while Mayers was between Michael Frolik and Bryan Bickell. Smith was the extra forward and took line rushes with the defensemen.

Smith might be the most recent recall but Bickell, among others, is probably on notice yet again. He has three points in his last 16 games and just four goals in 40 games this season. For comparison, Shaw has four goals in seven games, Hayes has three in eight games and even Smith has two in nine games played. Frolik is also struggling to put up goals and points, but as a penalty killer he has value on the defensive end. Bickell isn’t playing on power play or penalty kill which makes him a prime candidate to be a healthy scratch as he was for five games in early December.

Then again, the rookies have to keep it up or they’ll find their way to the bench. Of course, barring new injures, when Patrick Sharp returns from his ailment the Hawks will have some more tough decisions to make. But as any coach, including Quenneville, would say… it’s a good problem to have.

Power play

Quenneville tried some new looks with his power-play units on Tuesday. He had forwards Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Shaw on one unit with Brent Seabrook and Steve Montador on the point while Bolland, Hossa, Brunette, Duncan Keith and Nick Leddy made up the second group. The right-handed Montador is the new addition on the point. He was previously playing in the slot but he took Sharp’s spot on the left side of the blue line -- at least in practice.

“I think our power play has just gotten to the point where we just need to concentrate on getting shots,” Montador said. “For the most part, the bread and butter is going to be the simple plays.”

Hawks defensemen have just one power-play goal combined on the season from the point. Montador tallied twice from his previous spot in front of the net. Quenneville had Hossa on the point on the power play on Sunday against the San Jose Sharks. He leads the team with seven man-advantage tallies, of which several have come from the blue line.

Slappers

  • Montador will face the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday for the first time since being traded to Chicago this past offseason. Montador was a healthy scratch for his final contest as a Sabre; a Game 7 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers in the first round last postseason.

    “I’ve moved on,” Montador said. “I enjoyed my time there. The reality is I’m happy to be a Blackhawk and happy to be here and that’s that.”

  • Viktor Stalberg turned 26 on Tuesday, one day after being named second star in the NHL. He said he had no plans for his birthday. “I don’t like making a big deal out of birthdays,” Stalberg said.

  • Game time for Wednesday’s Hawks/Sabres game is 6:30 p.m. to accommodate national television.
  • Quenneville moving on from Kane at center

    January, 10, 2012
    1/10/12
    12:01
    AM CT
    Rogers By Jesse Rogers
    ESPNChicago.com
    Archive
    CHICAGO -- If ever there was an indication by Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville that he was done playing Patrick Kane at center, it came over the last two games.

    Kane’s latest stint in the middle, previous to the games against Colorado and Detroit, just didn’t look or feel right. If he was “into” the experiment to start the season, he seemed disinterested this time around. His back-checking, in particular, was nonchalant to say the least.

    So when Andrew Shaw lined up at center in his second NHL game on Friday against Colorado, followed by a slumping Michael Frolik on Sunday against Detroit, it’s as if Quenneville was screaming to the hockey gods (or front office), “Find me a center!”

    [+] EnlargePatrick Kane
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesPatrick Kane has been missing his scoring touch recently.
    The funny thing is Quenneville originally moved Kane back to wing with Jonathan Toews to re-ignite his game. Mysteriously, he slumped and had the puck less, so a move back to the middle, eventually with Marian Hossa, was tried again. If you can’t get a few points with Hossa on your wing then something is wrong. But this time Kane started hurting the Hawks defensively, so he’s back at wing again and probably to stay.

    His three goals and 13 assists over the last 23 games are below any standard he’s set for himself, particularly in the goal-scoring department. But Quenneville thinks he’s coming out of it.

    “I thought his game was where it needs to be,” he said of Kane’s night against Detroit. “I thought he complimented our team game very well, and off of that I’m sure things will develop, just keep persevering. He did a lot of good things. That line was playing against the top line and was responsible in a lot of ways, generated a lot of offense. Some nights you don’t get rewarded for it. I thought [Sunday] night was the recipe for getting out of what he’s been going through.”

    Some of that may be true, but Kane was caught floating again on the winning goal by Pavel Datsyuk in overtime. It’s less floating and more cheating. Kane wants to head out on a break the other way once the Hawks get the puck but he’d rather not start that break near the goal line.

    The cliché in hockey is that if you’re not scoring you need to be helping the team in other ways. Until this moment in his career Patrick Kane has never needed to worry about living up to that notion. So either the scoring drought needs to end or Kane needs to play some hockey.

    Kruger closer: Marcus Kruger skated with several teammates during an optional practice on Monday. The coaches have been putting him through extensive drills as he recovers from a concussion.

    “He’s doing good,” Quenneville said. “Better every day. He’ll probably have to do some more testing over the next few days. Hopefully we’ll get him playing here real soon.”

    Jackets’ new coach: The Hawks will face Columbus on Tuesday with new coach Todd Richards at the helm after Scott Arniel was fired on Monday. It wasn’t lost on Quenneville that his team has had to face a few teams with new coaches, making the task more difficult as the opposition usually gets some energy from a new boss.

    “How about the timing of this,” Quenneville joked Monday. “Someone might have the number [of teams the Hawks faced with new coaches] but it’s nothing to joke about as a coach. But at the same time it’s pretty unusual.”

    This year alone the Hawks faced St. Louis in Ken Hitchcock’s debut and saw Montreal and Los Angeles shortly after coaching changes in those cities. In fact, the Hawks have faced the Blues the first game after they’ve made their last two coaching changes, with Davis Payne preceding Hitchcock. They lost to both the Blues and Kings but beat Montreal.

    Quotable: “I need to be better, our line needs to be better. We’re supposed to be the line that doesn’t get scored against. Looking at the stats, we’re all in the minuses. In the next half we need to step up and prove to coach and to the team we can do what we need to do.”-- Bryan Bickell, after having his midseason individual meeting with the coaches on Monday.

    Quenneville says refs blew calls on goals

    December, 28, 2011
    12/28/11
    10:58
    PM CT
    Rogers By Jesse Rogers
    ESPNChicago.com
    Archive
    CHICAGO -- It’s not often Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville is critical of the officiating, but that didn’t stop him from sounding off after the Hawks 2-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday night.

    “Clearly, the refereeing tonight was tough to watch,” he said after the game.

    Replays of the Kings’ two goals showed Quenneville has a point, though the second score was a much more obvious blown call than the first one.

    On the first tally, as Corey Crawford was searching for the puck during a goal-mouth scramble in the second period, Kyle Clifford briefly tripped onto him. It’s exactly when Trent Hunter grabbed the puck and scored.

    When asked if goaltender interference should have been called, Quenneville simply said “yes.”

    “Both goals should have been called something,” he went on. “Infractions on both their goals.”

    If the first goal was murky, the second one was clear: Justin Williams took the feet out from under Nick Leddy as Leddy was guarding him near the Hawks’ crease. The ensuing sequence allowed Jarret Stoll to score with Leddy still scrambling to recover.

    “And slew foot,” Quenneville said of the missed penalty on that play.

    “Slew foot” is taking the skates out from under a player with a kicking or leg dragging motion from behind. It’s exactly what Williams did to Leddy, but no call came and the goal stood.

    Quenneville pushing right buttons

    December, 19, 2011
    12/19/11
    2:50
    PM CT
    Rogers By Jesse Rogers
    ESPNChicago.com
    Archive
    BlackhawksJeff Vinnick/NHLI/Getty ImagesJoel Quenneville has earned the respect of his players by knowing when to rest them.
    CHICAGO -- Of all the things Chicago Blackhawks players like about their coach, who just won his 600th game, the thing they like the most about Joel Quenneville might be this: He gives them more days off than any coach in the league.

    The Hawks took the day off on Monday after winning their season-high fifth consecutive game Sunday night, 4-2, over the Calgary Flames. And why not? The Hawks are rolling and every ounce of energy they save now will help them come spring. A lot of coaches don't look at it that way.

    A 9-2 defeat in Edmonton might have canceled a trip to Las Vegas. Not for Quenneville. A listless 4-1 loss to Phoenix in the first game back from the "Circus Trip" warranted nothing but a day of rest following it. Even with a four-day break for the Christmas holiday looming, the Hawks got Monday off before back-to-back contests.

    How have the Hawks responded to these non-punishments? They've vaulted to the top of the league and show no signs of slowing down, though rough patches will come again. They always do.

    A good coach knows his team above all else. Quenneville knows -- as we all do -- he has a good one. Pushing panic buttons and straying from the course in November can only do more harm than good. Next time you question his methods remember this stretch of games from November into December. Poor play warranted nothing but buckling down and getting needed rest. After a busy second month the Hawks did that -- thanks to Quenneville -- and now are reaping the rewards.

    Second Line Streaking

    It might be a coincidence but the Hawks have taken off -- as have Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp -- since Marcus Kruger was inserted as the second line center. Sharp was quick to point out recently that though Kruger isn't getting the points he's doing everything right. It gives hope for the postseason if the Hawks don't pick up another center. Patrick Kane showed some promise there and now Kruger is doing the same. Quenneville loves having options and general manager Stan Bowman has tried to accommodate him, picking up players who can play all three forward positions.

    Kruger isn't ready for a postseason run there just yet but he's been a sponge, learning from some of the top players in the league. An unthinkable idea just a month or so ago, the thought of Kruger centering the second line for a successful playoff run isn't an impossibility anymore. We'll continue to learn about him with more road games, tougher matchups and a heavier workload going forward.

    There is little more we need to learn about Sharp. Without training camp and with his first baby born, Sharp has been a production machine through it all. Only recently did he admit missing camp hurt his game, yet he's right there among the team and league leaders in points and plus/minus. His nine-game point streak is a season high in the NHL and a personal best. If production and leadership are elements for the Hart Trophy, why can't Sharp get as much consideration as Toews? He might not be playing center but he's having just as good a season on the wing.

    It's evident the Hawks have tried to keep two of their four offensive stars together instead of loading three on one line, and it has worked. All four -- Sharp, Kane, Hossa and Jonathan Toews -- have taken turns at carrying the team. Right now, it's Sharp and Hossa who are taking care of business, but Kane and Toews are always lurking, picking up points though maybe not in a starring role as of late. It should be an interesting points race to lead the team. All four could break the 80-point barrier, health permitting.

    Role Players

    No opponent can account for third- and fourth-line scoring when they have to tackle the likes of the Hawks' top two lines. It's why the past couple of victories have come easier than the previous few. It can't be overstated how big it is when the fourth line opens the scoring, as it did in wins over Anaheim and Calgary this past weekend. It's a demoralizing thought for any team: Kane, Toews, Sharp and Hossa are on the bench -- let alone Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook -- and still the Hawks score first.

    If there is any reminder of the Hawks of 2009-10, it's when this season's team gets balanced scoring. There was many a night for that championship squad when upward of 12-15 players earned at least a point and some nights when nearly every forward was in on the action, let alone a very active defense.

    Though he can never admit it, and it's still a long ways off, Quenneville is always looking toward the spring. Trying players in different positions, testing them with different assignments, all with one idea in mind: a Stanley Cup. If the Hawks acquire the No. 1 seed along the way, all the better, but finding out what players can do in different situations is as important as anything. Right now Jamal Mayers, John Scott and the rest of the secondary players are making their case for ice time and for more responsibility come spring.

    The Hawks no longer have to worry about a fast start. They've accomplished that. Now it's on to bigger and more important things.

    Rockford coach takes Detroit assistant job

    July, 8, 2011
    7/08/11
    11:40
    AM CT
    Rogers By Jesse Rogers
    ESPNChicago.com
    Archive
    As coaches from the Chicago Blackhawks organization lead prospects in drills this weekend, their head coach of the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL resigned to take an assistant job with the Detroit Red Wings.

    Read the entire story.

    Quenneville to coach Hawks vs. Predators

    February, 23, 2011
    2/23/11
    2:53
    PM CT
    Rogers By Jesse Rogers
    ESPNChicago.com
    Archive




    CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville returned to practice and will coach the team Thursday against the Nashville Predators after missing four games because of an ulcer.

    Read the entire story.

    Joel Quenneville released from hospital

    February, 19, 2011
    2/19/11
    3:31
    PM CT
    By ESPNChicago.com
    ESPNChicago.com
    Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville was released from the hospital on Saturday, the team announced.

    Read the entire story.

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