Quenneville to go against former teammate, Tippett

Quenneville to go against former teammate, Tippett
April 12, 2012, 12:45 am
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GLENDALE, Ariz.-- Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville and Phoenix coach Dave Tippett ran their respective team practices on Wednesday; two teams, directed by two of the best in the business.Watching them dictate practices and then pile up victories, its like the two were born to be coaches. And for the two longtime friends, their coaching integration basically began when they were players.Quenneville and Tippett have been tremendously successful as NHL coaches. And Tippett, who was teammates with Quenneville for six seasons in Hartford, said the groundwork was unexpectedly laid when they were with the Whalers.I remember, just before the game, four or five of us players would be in front of a chalkboard talking about how we were going to penalty kill that night, said Tippett, who has more than 400 victories and has led the Coyotes to three consecutive playoff appearances and their first division title in franchise history.A lot was left up to the players on how to go about things. We all came through an era where you figured out the game instead of someone presenting it to you.That explains a lot of the success for Tippett and Quenneville, who has two Stanley Cups one as an assistant coach and has won more games than any other active NHL coach. And it also explains the bond between those two and several other Whalers from that time span, who are also coaching: Kevin Dineen has the Florida Panthers in the playoffs this year.
Ulf Samuelsson, who was Tippetts assistant the past two seasons, is coaching the Swedish National Team.
John Anderson, former Atlanta Thrashers coach, is one of Tippetts assistants.
Not bad for one team.Quenneville and Tippett are very similar coaches: both intense, both will make changes to spark their teams and, well, both used to sport healthy mustaches. Tippett shaved his when he became coach of the Dallas Stars in the early 2000s.And both were as intense as players as they are now as coaches.He was one of the all-time most competitive guys I ever met, Quenneville said of Tippett. He was one of those guys who immediately fit in with the (Hartford) team and we valued how competitive he was. I cant talk to how intense he is as a coach, but nobody was more intense than him as a player.Tippett said Joel was a very smart player. He was one of those guys who used all the assets he had and maximized his talent. He wasnt the fastest skater, but he sure played the game smart.And the competition will be at the forefront during this series. The nice ties between the coaches will probably go something like this: Hey, good to see you. Family good? Good. Same here. Well, talk to you after the series is over.Thatll probably be along the lines of it, yep, Tippett said with a laugh.Quenneville agreed.I congratulated him (on getting into the playoffs), knowing he was one of five (possible opponents) at the time, Quenneville said, smiling.The friendship will always be there for the two. The chumminess takes a seat for now. The two coaches with a combined 1000-plus victories have more pressing matters.