Blackhawks

Blackhawks lose Marian Hossa, fall to Ducks in OT

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Blackhawks lose Marian Hossa, fall to Ducks in OT

Home-ice advantage hasn't applied to the Blackhawks in February.

After losing just five home games in regulation during their first 27 games of the season, the Blackhawks dropped their third straight contest at the United Center following a 3-2 overtime loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday night.

To make things worse, Marian Hossa left the game late in the second period with an apparent left leg injury after getting hip-checked by Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm. He did not return, but the Blackhawks don't believe he'll be out long-term.

"Probably know more tomorrow," Coach Joel Quenneville said after the game. "We don't think it's serious, but (he) could miss some time."

[MORE: Blackhawks' Marian Hossa leaves game with apparent leg injury]

His teammates also realize the impact of not having Hossa in the lineup may have on them going forward.

“It’s scary. You never want to see that happen in the game, but he’s going to do whatever he can to get back as quick as he can," Andrew Shaw said. "He’s a great player and you can’t replace a guy like that. We’re going to need him … We’re not doing what we were before. We’re trying to make plays around the blue line instead of chipping pucks in or putting pucks to the net and going to earn it back, so I think that’s a huge part of our game.”

The Blackhawks jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second period when Brent Seabrook blasted his own rebound past Ducks goaltender John Gibson, who was replaced by Frederik Andersen in the third period due to an upper-body injury, but the Ducks scored three of the next four goals, including the game-winner in overtime by Ryan Getzlaf during a 4-on-3 power play that gave the Ducks their eighth win in the last 10 games.

It also handed the Blackhawks their third consecutive home loss, which is uncharacteristic for a team that has played so well at home (21-7-2) all year long.

[SHOP: Get your Blackhawks gear right here]

"We just haven't quite had the speed and the momentum, that jump we've been looking for," Jonathan Toews said. "Tonight was a little bit better but I think top to bottom all four lines need to be better. I think when we score and get on the score sheet, everyone responds to that but we have to find ways to motivate ourselves early in games so we can kind of let the game flow for us a little more early on.

"We haven't quite done that the last three games."

With the overtime loss, the Blackhawks slipped to second place in the Central Division after the Stars, who own the tiebreaker between the two teams, picked up an impressive two points against the Washington Capitals. Chicago and Dallas are now tied at 77 points, but the Stars have three games in hand.

While the Blackhawks certainly would have preferred to steal the second point in overtime on Saturday night, they won't complain after being outshot by the Ducks 44-23. Every point is valuable at this time of the season, especially when teams in your division keep winning.

"We'll take a point tonight," Quenneville said. "I don't think we deserved a point, but we'll take it."

Hawks Talk Podcast: Crawford's return, Saad's demotion and power play concerns

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USA TODAY

Hawks Talk Podcast: Crawford's return, Saad's demotion and power play concerns

In the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle, Charlie Roumeliotis and Slavko Bekovic provide their thoughts on the Blackhawks’ 3-0-2 start.

They also discuss Brandon Saad’s demotion and whether it could serve as a wake-up call, Corey Crawford’s potential return on Thursday vs. Arizona and what could happen with Anton Forsberg because of it, and address the power play concerns.

The guys wrap up the podcast by making a few bold predictions going forward.

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below, and be sure to subscribe, rate us and write a review!

10 years with 'Coach Q' anything but ordinary

10 years with 'Coach Q' anything but ordinary

Over the last 10 years, the words “ordinary” and "OK" have taken on a new meaning to Blackhawks players and fans alike. 

That’s “Coach Q” speak. 

A language where “ordinary” means awful and “just OK” means you were a non-factor. The good news is the last 10 seasons under Joel Quenneville have been anything but ordinary at the United Center. 

On Oct. 16th, 2008, the Blackhawks let go of fan-favorite Denis Savard after a 1-2-1 start to the season and named Quenneville as head coach in his place. Quenneville coached the Colorado Avalanche the previous season, but after another disappointing exit in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the two mutually parted ways. He had originally planned to stay away from the bench for at least a season, but the Blackhawks triumvirate of Rocky Wirtz, John McDonough and then-GM Dale Tallon brought Quenneville on as a scout and then handed him the keys to the car shortly after.

“Dale’s obligation is to put together a winning team,” said McDonough at Quenneville’s introductory press conference. “At this point, Joel is the coach of that team.”

It was an emotional day at the Blackhawks offices. Savard – a Blackhawks legend on the ice and a coach the players held in high regard – was let go just as things started to turn upwards for the organization. The end of the 2007-2008 season saw the Blackhawks once again miss out on the playoffs, but the fans began to flock to the United Center once more, and the hype train around the young team built around Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane was gaining steam.

“Moving forward, if we want to be a championship-caliber organization, we have to make tough decisions,” said Tallon. “This was the toughest decision I’ve ever had to make.” 

Savard was 65-66-16 in parts of three seasons as head coach of the Blackhawks. Meanwhile, Quenneville had compiled eight 95+ point seasons behind the bench for the Blues and Avalanche in his 11 years as a head coach.

“We felt the experience and the track record of Joel would be a balance that we needed with a young, inexperienced team,” said Tallon. "Joel brings us a wealth of experience and a winning track record that will have an immediate and lasting impact."

The gamble paid off for the Blackhawks in a major way. Once Quenneville took over, the team got to the sought-after next level. 

They finished the 08-09 season with 104 points, third-most in the NHL’s Western Conference, had a franchise-record setting 9-game win streak in the month of December and returned to the playoffs for the first time since the 2001-2002 season. The “young and inexperienced” Blackhawks took the league by storm, dropping the Calgary Flames in the first round of the playoffs in six games before taking down the rival Canucks in the next round.

They ultimately lost out to the Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference Finals, but the bar was now set for the organization. From then on, the Blackhawks were Stanley Cup contenders. 

Quenneville currently ranks 2nd in franchise history with 449 wins, trailing only Billy Reay’s 516. 

But most importantly, Quenneville’s 76 playoff wins rank at the top in the organization’s long and storied history, and those three Stanley Cups that he’s raised over his head were anything but “ordinary.”