Blackhawks

Five Things: Blackhawks heading home with hats in hand

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Five Things: Blackhawks heading home with hats in hand

LOS ANGELES – Win some dramatically, lose some dramatically: that’s the way it goes sometimes.

After a crazy comeback on Friday, the Blackhawks squandered a 2-0 lead of their own against the Los Angeles Kings. It left a bit of a sour taste in their mouths, as they finished 3-1-2 on the Circus Trip. Still, it was a fairly successful trip as points go.

[RELATED - Blackhawks end Circus Trip with bitter taste]

So before we pack it in and head home, let’s look at Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ 3-2 overtime loss to the Kings:

1. Patrick Kane sets a new mark.

Kane is now the point-streak leader for U.S.-born players, making it 19 games in a row with his power-play goal in the first period. “Yeah, it’s cool,” Kane said. “You think about how many great American players have played the game, the two who were at the 18-game point streak (Eddie Olczyk and Phil Kessel) and what they’ve done in their careers. It was pretty cool, but overshadowed by the loss.”

2. Streak of leading after two periods ends.

Hey, it was bound to end at some point. The Blackhawks had gone 42-0-0 in games when they’ve led after two periods. The Kings snapped that streak on Saturday night. It was a pretty astounding record to begin with, so now the Blackhawks will try to go on with a 42-0-1 record when leading after two periods.

3. Tough moment for Brent Seabrook.

You’re careful not to heap too much criticism on Seabrook, whose turnover led to Marian Gaborik’s tying goal with less than six minutes remaining in regulation. Seabrook has been great throughout this season and was a huge reason why the Blackhawks won on Friday – he had a three-point night with two primary assists and a second one. It happens to the best of them sometimes.

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4. Duncan Keith keeps going.

Remember how we said yesterday that Keith has been racking up the points since his knee surgery? He’s still doing that. Keith had two assists on Saturday and, in his eight gamessince surgery, now has four goals and four assists.

5. Heading home.

So how to assess the Blackhawks’ trip? Eh, it wasn’t bad. They got points in games they probably shouldn’t have, were denied points in games they could’ve collected some. The record isn’t a bad one, so the Blackhawks will take it and try to build off it now that they’re headed home again.

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.”