Sharp's 2nd goal sends Hawks to overtime win


Sharp's 2nd goal sends Hawks to overtime win

UNIONDALE, N.Y. When coach Joel Quenneville talks about Marian Hossas game, he doesnt just focus on the offense the right wing provides.

But that offense is nevertheless a pretty nice part of his game.

Hossa scored his 400th career goal and added two assists, and Patrick Sharp had two goals including the overtime game-winner as the Chicago Blackhawks beat the New York Islanders 3-2 on Thursday night. The Blackhawks remain three points behind first-place Minnesota, who won in Los Angeles late Thursday night.

Ray Emery was strong in his start, stopping 31 of 33 shots for his fifth victory this season. Quenneville said theyll consider Emery for Sunday when the Blackhawks host the San Jose Sharks.

We like the situation; we have some things to consider, Quenneville said. Hes earned an opportunity to get back in the net so well look at it. Ray looked big, looked good and he continues to get points for us. It was a big win for him and us as well.

As for Hossa, No. 400 wasnt his most stylish. He was behind the net when his pass toward Isles goaltender Al Montoya bounced off him and in the net. But the goal, which came on the power play, was memorable nonetheless.

It means something but on the other hand I didnt think about it too much, said Hossa, who added Sharp picked up the puck for him. I got the puck, tried to basically make the pass to (Jonathan) Toews and it hit a goalie stick or skate. It was one of the lucky ones.

Sharp won the game 1:34 into overtime when he and Hossa broke away on a 2 on 1. Hossas shot banked off Montoya, and Sharp was there to wrist it in for his 15th of the season.

It was nice to get a couple (goals) on even strength today, Sharp said. (Hossa) made a nice play on that last goal there. He didnt have a pass so he just shot it off the pad and got a nice bounce.

The Blackhawks were also sounder on the defensive side, keeping the breakaways and odd-man rushes to a minimum. They also held fast when the Islanders had 1:56 of 5 on 3 late in the second and early in the third.

That was a huge kill, Duncan Keith said. We were trying to be smart with the puck (defensively). Youre never going to be perfect out there, but I think when they had some chances, Razor made some big saves.

The Blackhawks werent too happy losing their 2-0 lead in this one but they hung in there. Their all-around game was better, Hossa and Sharp provided a great scoring tandem and Emery has given Quenneville one of those tough decisions he loves having to make.

Thats a pretty balanced night.

They got back into the game but we didnt quit and we got the opportunity to win in overtime, Emery said. It was a pretty solid game all around.

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


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.”