Coach Q talks Bickell injury, Raanta's performance

Coach Q talks Bickell injury, Raanta's performance
December 13, 2013, 9:00 am
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CSN Staff

Coach Joel Quenneville joined WGN Radio Friday morning and discussed a number of topics before the Blackhawks' morning practice:

  • Bryan Bickell returned to the ice earlier in the week but has yet to participate in a practice with the Blackhawks. That is all expected to change this morning:

"Bicks will have his first practice with us this morning, so we'll get a better idea then... I expect him to play before Christmas," Quenneville told WGN. "We're hopeful he'll be able to join us before then."

  • The Blackhawks' offense has exploded their last three games, recording 19 goals against the Panthers, Stars and Flyers. Quenneville said his team isn't doing anything differently — they're just getting some good looks and bounces along the way:

"We haven't generated more offense in those games that we have in any other game, but they were going in, we got some fortunate bounces around the net... But we'll take it.

"We've had a pretty good start this season, whether you get in the zone, you get confidence, you get on one of those rolls... I feel we put ourselves in a position where we have a chance to win every game. So I think they're quietly confident knowing they're playing the right way.

"Everyone pushing the same way and it feels good right now."

  • Antti Raanta's put on strong performances with both Corey Crawford and Nikolai Khabibulin out with injuries. So far, Quenneville likes what he's seeing from the 24-year-old Finnish netminder:

"I think he's looking good, I think he's more comfortable every game. He attested a couple last third periods where the quality is enhanced. I think he's done a real nice job, it's a good opportunity for him to play in consecutive games."

  • Quenneville said he likes what he's seen from backup goaltender Kent Simpson since the Blackhawks' training camp, but still would not say whether he'd get a start before Crawford returns.