St. Louis Blues coach Ken Hitchcock was asked about Joel Quenneville nearing his 700th coaching victory entering Wednesday night’s game. But Hitchcock wanted to talk of more pressing concerns.
“I want to talk to him about whether that horse he and Kitch own can go a mile and a quarter,” Hitchcock said of Midnight Hawk, a colt co-owned by Quenneville and assistant coach Mike Kitchen. “The breeding says it can’t. And if I’m going to spend and lose more money on Q’s horses, I need to know that thing can go a damn mile and a quarter. Whenever he gets his 700th he richly deserves it. He’s a great guy and a great coach. He’s been successful everywhere. But there are bigger issues and we need to get those fixed before the game.”
All kidding, exactas and trifectas aside, Hitchcock is impressed by the Chicago Blackhawks coach, who did get that 700th victory when the Blackhawks beat the Blues 4-0 on Wednesday night. For Quenneville, the team has always come before his personal accolades. And even when asked about his latest milestone after the game, his focus was on the Blackhawks’ performance, not his numbers.
“I’ll take any kind of win but I certainly liked everything about how we went about tonight’s game,” Quenneville said. “It’s something we’ve been trying to do against these guys all year.”
The Blackhawks have long talked about Quenneville being a player’s coach. He’s tough on them, but also won’t hesitate to talk with them about concerns, playing time and anything else necessary. So to give their coach another big victory was a pleasure for them.
“There are times he gets fired up but we have our laughs about it,” Bryan Bickell said. “He’s a great coach. I know I’m honored to have him behind the bench. He’s taught me a lot and I’m sure a lot of guys can say the same. To see him get that win was a special moment for him and his family.”