Tonight: An inside look with Joel Quenneville


Tonight: An inside look with Joel Quenneville

Leading up to the start of the NHL season on Saturday, Comcast SportsNet will be debuting an exclusive one-on-one interview with Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville on Wednesday night at 9:00. Join us as Coach Q discusses everything from how he went from being an NHL player to the coaching ranks, the excitement of being a major key in the team's rebuilding plan and much more.

In his four season with the Blackhawks, Joel Quenneville has already made a huge impact on the organization and the city of Chicago. From his iconic mustache to the Blackhawks' 2010 Stanley Cup run, the team's head coach has made a lasting impression that he hopes will continue into the shortened 2013 season as the Hawks aim for another championship season.

However this wasn't a future he always saw for himself. Looking back to his playing career, Quenneville wasn't exactly pegged to go the coaching route.

"If I asked all of my former teammates, they're gonna say I'm 'the least likely guy to be a coach'. I was probably a character back in the day," Quenneville joked.

But as his career as an NHL defenseman was coming to a close, he realized it was time to find another job, and after attending a coaching clinic in Windsor, Quenneville was offered a coaching position with a farm team in Toronto. Since then, he's worked his way to Chicago and to a position that led him to another Stanley Cup victory. A victory that he credits the entire organization for.

"Both Blackhawks President and CEO John McDonough and Blackhawks Chairman Rocky Wirtz did an amazing job right from the outset. They put a lot of things in place. The staffing, the right people and the enthusiasm seems to be contagious throughout not just the organization, but the entire city on what's coming the enthusiasm was real," Quenneville said.

And the enthusiasm will continue as the Blackhawks enter their fifth season under Quenneville. During tonight's airing, he will further discuss his relationship with the organization since arriving, as well as with his family as they adjusted to living in Chicago.

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Five Things from Blackhawks-Avalanche: Great night for the rookies

Five Things from Blackhawks-Avalanche: Great night for the rookies

DENVER – Well, that was a wild one, wasn’t it?

We’ll spare you the gory-to-glorious details (most of which are in the game story, anyway). So instead, let’s just get to the Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ 6-4 victory over Colorado.

1. Great night for the rookies. The Blackhawks’ newest players were their most prolific players on Tuesday night. Vinnie Hinostroza had two goals. Tanner Kero did too, and added an assist. Nick Schmaltz had a goal and an assist. All of these experiences are great learning curves for the Blackhawks’ youth, and coach Joel Quenneville likes how they’re progressing, not just with scoring but with their overall games. “That’s the part that’ll make them better players and us a better team is playing the right way defensively, being responsible, putting the puck in good areas and going hard to the net.”

2. Top line still too quiet. Line changes were made but the results remained the same, especially for the Blackhawks’ top trio. Ryan Hartman and Richard Panik were up there with Jonathan Toews in this one, but still nada. The three had a combined three shots for the game. Many of you have asked if Toews is still dealing with that back injury. On Tuesday morning he said, “no, it’s been really good, actually.” Still, there’s something up with a top line that, regardless of combination, just can’t get anything going.

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3. Terrible second period. The Blackhawks came out of the first in great shape and with a 2-1 lead. But things got messy in the second period. Be it the inability to clear or get the puck deep in the Avs’ zone, the Blackhawks made mistakes. The Avs capitalized, scoring three goals in the second including two in a 63-second span. Outside of Tanner Kero’s goal, the Blackhawks had a forgettable second period. The Avalanche outscored them 3-1 and outshot them 8-4 in the second.

4. Faceoffs lost. The Blackhawks did not do well in this department, winning just 23 percent of their faceoffs. It didn’t cost them the game but they certainly need better nights than they got on Tuesday.

5. Corey Crawford gets through it. Crawford was stellar prior to his appendectomy but hasn’t been at that level since. Quenneville said he considered pulling Crawford during this one but decided to keep him in. Quenneville’s still happy with his goaltending – again, the Blackhawks aren’t where they are right now without it this season. But he said Crawford could be better than he was on Tuesday.