Blackhawks

Sharp suffers upper-body injury in loss to Detroit

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Sharp suffers upper-body injury in loss to Detroit

Updated: Sunday, Jan. 8 at 8:39 p.m.

The team officially announced Patrick Sharp wouldn't return due to an upper body injury. NBCSN's coverage guessed he got hacked a couple of times on the way to scoring the Hawks' second goal. He had shifts after that, but didn't come out after the first intermission.

He did some offensive damage 44 seconds after Dave Bolland's power play goal, giving the Hawks a 2-0 lead 4:19 into the game with his 20th goal of the season.

The Wings' only goal came on the power play, and the Hawks have stayed out of the penalty box since - though they couldn't cash in on their two power play opportunities in the second (now 1 for 3 tonight).

Despite Sharp's absence, the Hawks spent a good amount of time of the middle frame in Detroit's zone, outshooting the Wings 11-6 in the process. The visitors did try a late push in the final two minutes, but the Hawks' sticks and positioning have been about as good as you can ask for.

They'll look to keep doing that and hope Corey Crawford does his part these next 20 to snap a three-game slide and improve the goalie to 6-2 lifetime against the Wings.

Injury issues

The Blackhawks got their zone time to start the second, but haven't been able to add to their 2-1 lead despite another power play opportunity. They'd like some cushion as Patrick Sharp hasn't come out of the dressing room for the second period as we await word on his injury and status.

They also were without Jamal Mayers for a few minutes.

Corey Crawford came up with a big stop on Todd Bertuzzi's point-blank chance midway through the period, something they'll need more of if they can't tack on some offense here.

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.”