Blackhawks Vice President and General Manager Stan Bowman quelled speculation that head coach Joel Quenneville's job might be in jeopardy and his message to the players is getting tuned out because of the current eight-game losing streak, telling Comcast SportsNet Monday morning that he's pleased with the efforts the coaching staff is making during the team's longest losing streak in five years.
"That's not the concern for me at all. I'm very confident in Joel's ability, our coaching staff's ability. Our players - the effort is there. They're as frustrated as anybody, you can watch it on the ice. It's not working. There's no disputing that, but I don't buy that assertion (that Quenneville's message is lost) at all. These players are on board with us. They believe in this group (of coaches). We're not far. We need to get this turned around, but we're not far from making it work."
When I asked if Joel's "the guy," Bowman responded, "Absolutely."
While Bowman said he continues making efforts to bolster the roster ahead of the NHL trade deadline two weeks from today, he feels the market still hasn't changed much from how quiet the market was last week. Despite the rising goals-against average, Bowman says bringing someone to replace Corey Crawford and Ray Emery is not a priority.
"We're not focused on goaltending. We're really not," Bowman said. "I know there's a lot of talk about that, but internally, we have to focus on the guys we have, and turning it around from within."
Bowman also discusses his feelings about what he's witnessed the last three weeks, more on the trade deadline challenges, and whether the recent play has changed his mindset over what he wants to pursue, and evaluates the effects of last summer's off-season moves. Different portions of the interview will be seen later today and Tuesday on "SportsNet Central" at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday's "Blackhawks Pregame Live" at 7:00 p.m. and right here on CSNChicago.com.