Blackhawks' Quenneville returns to practice

Blackhawks' Quenneville returns to practice
February 23, 2011, 5:17 pm
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Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2011
Posted: 11:17 a.m. Updated: 3:39 p.m.
By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

Coach Joel Quenneville came onto the ice around 11 a.m. on Wednesday. Within a few minutes, it was just business as usual for the Chicago Blackhawks coach, from practice to diagnosing his own injury.

I was on IR for a week. Well call it an upper body injury and were all good to go, said Quenneville with a laugh. The only pain I was in last week was sitting in the hospital watching games.

As the Blackhawks head to Nashville to play the Predators on Thursday, Quenneville is ready to assume all his normal duties again after going to the hospital a week ago with internal bleeding related to an ulcer. Quenneville said he feels great after being treated for the ulcer, which he said was caused by the daily aspirin hes been taking for years for other reasons.

He added that he figured he was getting the same flu bug the rest of the team had last Tuesday night before heading to the emergency room.

I actually didnt feel that bad, particularly, that night, he said. I thought I was coming down with the flu like everyone else. We were waiting and all of a sudden it wasnt just the flu.

Quenneville said he learned a few things in his down time and his stay in the hospital, from where he was discharged on Saturday.

I got to observe the value of teamwork (in the hospital) and you watch that process and equate it to what we do, he said. We know how fortunate we are and the position we are in and the team that we can be. Its a different perspective sitting back and observing it from a different angle. There are some things you can take from it.

Quenneville missed four games, during which the Blackhawks went 3-1-0 under assistant coach Mike Haviland. Quenneville said he felt good enough to come back for the last three games, but we had to get our blood work up to a different level.

The Blackhawks were obviously happy to have their coach back on Wednesday.

Its good energy. It looked like the first day of training camp for him, defenseman Brian Campbell said. (His return) is definitely going to help us. It brings a fresh person in the locker room after having a few days off, so its good to see.

Troy Brouwer said having (Quenneville) back brings familiarity to the group, line calls and play calls. He expects us to continue to play like we have been. He jumped right back into it; he was excited and moving pucks. We had the usual practice.

Quenneville hopes the Blackhawks learn from this latest surge, and from the final 40 minutes they played against St. Louis on Monday. The Blackhawks enter Wednesday night in 10th place in the West, and

(The Monday victory) puts you at 68 points, where everybody is. There are six or seven teams fighting for that space, so that really put us in a good spot, Quenneville said. Weve got games against teams that are all in the airspace were in, so lets gather that momentum from St. Louis.

Pisani better

Fernando Pisani (concussion) practiced on Wednesday and has been cleared to play. Pisani has been out since sustaining his injury against the Dallas Stars on Feb. 11.

I skated for a couple of days and havent had any problems. I feel 100 percent, said Pisani, who hasnt seen replays of that Mark Fistric hit that knocked the back of his head into the bench railing. I felt it, so I dont think I need to see it again. Its one of those hits where I got caught in vulnerable position and my head hit the boards. I feel good now and thats the focus.

Quenneville said Pisani is a game-time decision against Nashville on Thursday.

Leddy ill

Defenseman Nick Leddy was sick and did not practice on Wednesday. Leddy was sent to Rockford on Tuesday and was set to be recalled on Wednesday but his illness scratched that. Quenneville said Leddy could be recalled Thursday for the game.

Briefly

Corey Crawford will start against the Predators.

Nashville is 3-2-0 against the Blackhawks this season.

Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.