Quenneville hospitalized, Haviland fills in vs. Wild

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Quenneville hospitalized, Haviland fills in vs. Wild

Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011
Posted: 10:55 a.m. Updated: 12:16 p.m.

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

The Chicago Blackhawks already had plenty on their minds. Now their thoughts are also with their head coach.

Coach Joel Quenneville is in stable condition and being treated for an undisclosed health concern, according to Blackhawks team physician Dr. Michael Terry. Terry said Quenneville presented severe discomfort Tuesday night at his home and went to the emergency room.

He was admitted to the hospital this morning. Terry said the situation is not of cardiac nature.

Any time you hear someones in the hospital its definitely scary news, said Patrick Kane. Hopefully we can get a win for him tonight and make him happy wherever he is. Its tough not to have your leader behind the bench. At the same time we can do special things and get a win for him.

Assistant coach Mike Haviland will be acting head coach tonight. Haviland will handle the forwards while fellow assistant Mike Kitchen is in charge of the defensemen.

The Blackhawks focus tonight, however, has to be with the Minnesota Wild. The Wild have a three-point lead on the Blackhawks, who need to start collecting points fast. Haviland said the team obviously had questions regarding Quenneville this morning, but that the team was upbeat and the mindset is where it needs to be.

We talked on the ice about how much this game means to us and not a lot needs to be said. They know, Haviland said. We put ourselves in this position and guys know whats at stake. I think were all professionals. We can all move forward. Our thoughts are with him and his family but certainly these guys know whats at hand.

Defenseman Brian Campbell said we should be able to handle it; weve had to adapt to different situations. Obviously there are differences not having (Quenneville) around, but you have to adapt and I think right now, with our position, we have to worry about tonights game. Joels in the best hands and thatll take care of itself.
Kane will play

Patrick Kane is still recovering from the flu bug that caught him late Sunday but will play tonight against the Wild.

Right now its tough to eat. Ive got to get something in me for tonight for energy, Kane said. I got a couple of IV bags this morning. I still dont feel great but hopefully Ill have enough energy to do what I want to do out there.

Haviland said theyll monitor Kane throughout the game.

Kane is the latest of the Blackhawks to get the flu. Corey Crawford, Marian Hossa, Fernando Pisani and Nick Boynton were among others whove had it these past few months.
Johnson better

Center Ryan Johnson said hes feeling better after suffering a concussion against the Dallas Stars on Friday night. Johnson was hurt on a hit by Stars defenseman Jeff Woywitka, which knocked off his helmet.

Johnson said he hopes to play Sunday against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

You get your bell rung a lot. Sometimes you can just dust it off, Johnson said. By the time we got to Phoenix, things were coming back. Ive had a couple good days.
Briefly

Corey Crawford will start against the Wild.

Fernando Pisani (upper body) did not practice this morning.

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

First goal with Blackhawks 'a release' for Tomas Jurco

First goal with Blackhawks 'a release' for Tomas Jurco

Tomas Jurco's reaction to his first goal on Monday night was as much celebration as a little bit of relief. The forward, acquired by the Blackhawks about a month ago, had had a few great scoring chances in recent games but just couldn't capitalize.

Finally, he got that first of the season against Tampa Bay.

"It's kind of a release, you know?" Jurco said on Wednesday. "I've had a lot of good chances and it would just never go in for some reason. Obviously I'm very happy that it went in and hopefully this is the start of, I would say, more luck for me."

Looking for consistency in his own game as well as a consistent spot in the lineup, Jurco was looking for a boost of confidence. Getting that first goal could be part of it, as a bit of a weight disappears with that zero in the goal column. 

"That's a hurdle that can be in the back of your mind a lot and all of a sudden it could be a nice release," coach Joel Quenneville said of that first goal. "He's progressing in our team game, technically. Whether it's his pace of play or going to the right areas quickly, we're looking for progression. We saw it [Monday] night and I think he'll continue to get better off that. But certainly that should help him get confidence as we go along here."

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Jurco's been around the net, something the Blackhawks always encourage, for most of those scoring opportunities. Perhaps some of that puck luck wasn't quite there. But Jurco is gaining confidence in recent games, and getting that goal could boost it that much more.

"I've always said, especially in my case, scoring helps that confidence come easier. It brings that fun to the game," Jonathan Toews said. "Maybe if you're not feeling it or not playing with high energy, at a certain point in a game when you score, for some reason you get that jolt, you get that jump. For [Jurco], he's been playing well when he's been in, and no doubt that scoring a goal like that can help boost confidence and help him find his game, which we know he has and will continue to show."

The scoring hurdle has been cleared and Jurco is gaining confidence. Will he carve out a consistent spot in the lineup? Quenneville has some options through the bottom six. That, coupled with the Blackhawks playing inconsistent hockey lately and missing that four-line rotation, Jurco's been one of several who have been in and out of the lineup. But Quenneville said on Wednesday, "I don't see making constant changes once the [playoffs] begin." If Jurco keeps getting chances and capitalizing on a few, and if he ends up as part of a rotation that's successful again, he could stick.

Jurco waited a little bit for that first goal. He hopes it's just the start.

"You know eventually it's going to go in but it was just frustrating. Another game and another and another with good chances and it just wouldn't go in. So it's a big release," Jurco said. "Hopefully I'll keep going, keep producing."

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