Blackhawks

Hidden past: Carcillo a captain, altar boy

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Hidden past: Carcillo a captain, altar boy

SUNRISE, Fla. Gino Carcillo playfully dodged the question of his son Daniels childhood.

You dont want to know, the elder Carcillo said with a laugh, as he watched his son practice in person as part of the Blackhawks dads trip here to Florida.

Growing up, actually, in his younger stages he was captain of his team, Gino continued. He took care of his club and any problems; any fights or misunderstandings, he would be there. Hell go to war for you, right to the end.

That part hasnt changed for Carcillo, who will be back in the lineup Thursday night when the Blackhawks play the Florida Panthers.

The Blackhawks have made these family trips an annual event the fathers get theirs this year, the mothers went on a California trip last year. This isnt the first one for the Carcillos, who went on two together when Daniel played for the Philadelphia Flyers.

But the fun of it never ends, and this was the first time Carcillos been able to spend time with his dad since the summer. The two also teamed up on the golf course with other teammatesdads, where Daniel said, I carried our team for sure. The Lepistos were busy eating hot dogs and staring at birds they dont see in Europe.

Daniel, the middle son of three in the Carcillo family, concurred that there wasnt a whole lot of unordinary moments in his altar-boy, youth-group childhood.

Thats true, actually, Daniel said. I had pretty strict parents; if I didnt do well in school wouldnt play hockey. I was a really good student, believe it or not. It was a pretty normal childhood.

Carcillo didnt want to dwell on his suspension, other than he was glad it was done. A few days ago he joked that he thought about changing his last name, hes under such scrutiny in the league. Gino laughed that off, too.

He was born a Carcillo and hell die a Carcillo, said Gino. Sometimes (hes targeted); but hes built that reputation on his own, though, you have to remember. But when he was younger, I dont understand it, he never fought. He was a 20-30 goal scorer. When he went to the AHL (Wilkes-Barre) for Pittsburgh, thats when he started fighting. That carried him through.

Still bothered by suspension

Daniel Carcillo didn't want to dwell on the two-game suspension he completed earlier this week but he's still not happy about it. And the Blackhawks forward insinuated that Carolina's Joni Pitkanen, who went into the boards on the hit, may have embellished a bit.

"Its Joni Pitkanen. Ask around the league. Hes a big guy but he goes down easy," Carcillo said of Pitkanen, who never missed a shift in that game and logged the most ice time of any Carolina player that night. "It's a quick play and it happened. Thats that. I honestly dont want to dwell on 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.”