Blackhawks

Bulls look to extend home win streak on CSN

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Bulls look to extend home win streak on CSN

Friday, March 25, 2011
Posted: 3:25 p.m.

By Aggrey Sam
CSNChicago.com

As the Bulls head down the regular-season home stretch and try to keep their hold on first place in the Eastern Conference, All-Star point guard Derrick Rose believes the team must concentrate their focus.

"Finishing on the right foot, making sure we finish positive. We dont want to take any steps back. Try to finish right. We should be playing our basketball right now, going into the playoffs and we should be playing with a lot of confidence," Rose emphasized as the team's primary goals. "Its hard. Right now, were just trying to keep things going. Were playing against good teams, were playing against teams thats fighting for their lives right now. Even against bad teams, theyre playing for their future. They want to let people know that they can play. Its hard, definitely, but I wouldnt trade this for anything."

In comparison to his first two seasons in the NBA--when the team sneaked through the back door to make the playoffs with a .500 record, garnering the eighth seed both seasons--the Bulls are sitting pretty, but don't expect Rose or his teammates to take their collective foot off the gas anytime soon.

READ: Derrick Rose to donate 1,000 per point to benefit Japan

"Everybody on the team has stepped it up a little bit. The way people have been playingour bench has been playing great, giving us the leadpeople have been stepping up their game, a lot of people," said Rose. "That's what we need on this team.

"We know, especially on the road, its going to be kind of crazy. Youre going to get everybodys best and you kind of get used to it. You cant come out sluggish. It makes you play kind of hard and aggressive," he went on to say. "It makes you ready to play in the games."

Unsurprisingly, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau has been the prime source of the Bulls motivation, using his vast coaching experience as a reference point.

"Youre never going to stop hearing it from Thibs. He always says if we want to be this team we say we want ourselves to be, weve got to put a lot more things into it and thats what we have to do right now, keep pushing ourselves. We cant be satisfied with where we are right now and weve just got to keep going and pushing each other," said Rose. "He always tells us stories about the Knicks Thibodeau was a New York assistant coach under Jeff Van Gundy, when the Knicks and Bulls were fierce rivals, saying that they were in a situation where guys werent playing up or certain plays that they didnt call defensively in that gamea Knicks gamewhere a guy didnt follow an assignment. It cost them a championship. He always throws things out there like that and makes you think about it."

WATCH: 'Bench Mob' unsung heroes of first-place Bulls

Not so ironically, Thibodeau's last stop--Boston--has been on Rose's mind lately, too; not just because the Celtics are currently chasing the Bulls for the East's top seed, but because the defensive schemes of the two teams are similar, and not by coincidence.

"Its kind of weird, definitely weird. Hell say something about them, how good they are and it makes you think about it. Were kind of like the same team, where we both over-help on the defensive side. Usually, people do that in college. Thats not normal NBA defense, Ill say. Most of the time, NBA teams leave you out on an island and us, we just help everywhere and we depend on each other," Rose observed. "Theyve Boston been in tough situations before. They play well together, kind of like us. We just keep fighting. No matter how much were down, its going to be a tough game. Right now, were just trying to win it out. If us winning gets us into the No. 1 spot, were fine with that, but if not, well still be thankful that were in the playoffs."

According to Rose, Thibodeau uses his insight into a championship squad--he was on Boston's staff for the 2008 Celtics title team--as a further reminder that the Bulls have work to do before matching that feat.

"He doesnt bring the Celtics championship ring, but he always saysif were messing around at practice or somethinghe always reminds us, if we want to be that team, we cant be doing what were doing. We cant take any steps back. Weve got to be playing with an edge every single game," Rose recounted. "If you want to win, youll do it or separate yourself from all the other teams in the NBA. Weve got good guys on the team. Theyre winners. Doing extra stuff, like shooting after practice, shooting before practice. When you come into practice, having the right attitude, making sure that you dont mess up practice. You dont want to be the one that messed up a whole practice because you messing up that practice, theres other teams that are having great practices in the NBA and that can put you back a little bit. We just try to come in, work every dayespecially defensivelytry to work hard and try to learn each other better on the defensive side."

Rose joked about Thibodeau's lack of a social life, but underneath the humor shone through an appreciation for the coach's dedication.

"Me and Joakim Noah were talking about that last night. I never played for a coach that was that focused. Theres nothing else. He has no kids, no wife, no leisure time just to watch TV. Im dead serious. Theres nothing else but winning. I never in my life played for a coach like that," Rose quipped. "Hes healthy, were winning, he seems like hes enjoying himself, so Im fine with it.

"Ive never heard about Thibs being out eating anywhere or ran into him eating him anywhere, ordont you know when you in the restaurant, theyre like, Your coach just leftnever. Never. No matter what city were in. I wont see him until the next day. Ive never been around a coach thats like that. Never. Or never met a coach thats like that I'll say," he continued. "He can keep it going. As long as were winning, he can keep it going."
Aggrey Sam is CSNChicago.com's Bulls Insider. Follow him @CSNBullsInsider on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bulls information and his take on the team, the NBA and much more.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: A sit-down interview with Joel Quenneville

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USA Today

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: A sit-down interview with Joel Quenneville

Former Blackhawks head coach and current Florida Panthers head coach Joel Quenneville sits down with NBC Sports Chicago Blackhawks Insider Charlie Roumeliotis and as they discuss his transition to a new job, parallels he sees from his young Hawks team and his current young Panthers team, and his feelings about returning to Chicago. Pat Boyle, and Scott King also discuss their memories about Coach Q and his impact on not only the Hawks, but the sport as well.

(1:34:) - Thoughts and memories of Coach Q

(4:13) - Quenneville's impact on his players

(11:02) - Coach Quenneville's sit down interview**

(24:02) - Reaction to the Quenneville interview

(25:56) – Calgary game still bothers Quenneville

(29:52) - How fans will react to Quenneville's return

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:

Subscribe: Apple/iPhone | Google Podcasts |Spotify | Art 19

Joel Quenneville reflects on best memories with Blackhawks

Joel Quenneville reflects on best memories with Blackhawks

It may not be surprising that when Joel Quenneville recently sat down with NBC Sports Chicago, his fondest memories with the Blackhawks centered around when he helped end a 49-year Stanley Cup drought in 2010. 

"Obviously the championships were significant achievements," said the three-time Stanley Cup-winning former coach of the Blackhawks, now with the Florida Panthers. "And then when you look back how each one was accomplished and how hard they were and all the things, the ups and downs of winning each one were things that stand out the most. 

"And the thrills that we had at the games and the city, the celebrations were cool, I thought the parades were extremely cool. But going through it with the guys was probably the part that'd be most memorable."

Coach Q is returning to the United Center on Tuesday, when the Hawks take on the Panthers, for the first time since his firing on Nov. 6 of 2018. During the 10-year anniversary of the 2010 Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks, Quenneville is still wondering what a lot of Hawks fans are.

"2010, man," Quenneville said. "It's almost like, where's the puck now? Do we know where the puck is? I can't believe it's already been 10 years."

The 61-year-old knew he had a special group on the cusp of doing serious damage when the Hawks lost to the Detroit Red Wings in the 2009 Western Conference Final. 

"The year before we got a good education when we played Detroit and getting to the Conference Finals was pretty impressive with that group, young group, a lot of talent, a lot of ability, competitive bunch," Quenneville said. "And so we learned, had some valuable lessons in that series and throughout those first couple rounds, so that helped us. 

"A young team learning how to win and that exposure the following year. You get that close and you're thinking you got a chance, a real chance, the following year. A lot of things got to go right though. You need goaltending, you need health, you need your best players to be great and you need four lines and you need your D to be solid, so we had a lot of those things happen and fortunate in a lot of ways. 

"Sometimes the matchups work out in your favor, but some amazing series and some things that turned it around, you think about that Nashville game, you think about Game 6 against Philly and then you can go on and on — some series are not as vivid as others — but it was pretty amazing each one, they stand out."

When looking back at big goals, Quenneville had a fondness of Patrick Kane's shorthanded game-tying goal (3-3) with 13.6 seconds remaining in Game 5 of the Western Conference Quarterfinal against the Nashville Predators in 2010 at the United Center. Marian Hossa scored the game-winner in OT out of the penalty box to put Chicago up 3-2 in the series. 

"That was unbelievable," Quenneville said. "I mean, when I think back about it, you take a five-minute major, down a goal, late in the game and you got Hoss in the box. 

"Now we're getting down late, we've got to use Kaner on the kill — I don't even know if we used him once that whole year killing penalties, I don't even think we did. But he knows what he's out there to do and then we get a break and we scored and we still had to kill it, and then we got into overtime.

"That was a huge goal and the crowd, that might've been the loudest we heard the building in certain times. We've had some moments that stood out, the Vancouver game when Kaner might've gotten a hat trick that night, that might've been louder, Seabs scoring against Detroit, that was loud, that was noticeable, memorable. Duncs scoring against Tampa. Certain goals stand out but that was definitely a huge, huge goal. Don't expect to score shorthanded like that very often."

Of course, Quenneville had nothing but great things to say, as he always did, when asked about Marian Hossa and his impact on the Blackhawks. 

"One of those players that really, really set the table of playing the right way," Quenneville said. "And as a coach, you couldn't ask for a guy that demonstrates exactly what your message is of how we want to play structurally, in all zones, in all situations. Protects the puck, keeps the puck, tough to take it away from him. 

"It was almost like, 'OK, this the perfect player' and does everything you want. Playing without the puck is something we always try to instill and checking is a part of our game and he was perfect in that area, so he was ideal for our team and quietly went about his business. 

"Good teammate, one of those guys that guys would rely upon and every game he was key to what we were trying to do in our team game and it was noticeable. We used him in all situations, all times of the game. Very important player."

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