Blackhawks

Streaks ending: Five Things from Blackhawks-Avalanche

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Streaks ending: Five Things from Blackhawks-Avalanche

Well, it was fun while it lasted, wasn’t it?

The Blackhawks could say that about a few things on Tuesday night, especially Patrick Kane’s streak, which was snuffed out by the Colorado Avalanche. But it was bound to end at some point.

So before we end this evening, let’s look at Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ 3-0 loss to the Avalanche.

1. Patrick Kane’s franchise-best point streak ends at 26 games. Kane was certainly happy to have the point streak that he did, a heck of a run in which he recorded 16 goals and 24 assists (40 points). There were a few times the streak could’ve been over earlier – please see the Blackhawks’ mid-November game in Anaheim. And while Kane is looking forward to talking about something else from here on out, his point streak will still be the topic of conversation for a little bit longer. “It was definitely fun while it lasted,” he said.

2. Solving Semyon Varlamov. Yes, Varlamov is a great goaltender, especially against the Blackhawks. The guy just seems to be locked in against Chicago, and Tuesday was no different. Could the Blackhawks have had better shots on him? Absolutely. You could have counted on one hand how many great scoring chances the Blackhawks had. And they lacked traffic again. But a victory is a victory, and Varlamov now has 11 of them in his career vs. the Blackhawks.

[RELATED: A look back at Patrick Kane's historic point streak]

3. Corey Crawford’s streak ended, too. Corey Crawford had won four in a row, including back-to-back shutouts, entering Tuesday. He also had a nice shutout streak going, but that ended with Matt Duchene’s goal 14:30 into the first period. Still, a shutout streak of 155 minutes, 16 seconds was pretty nice for Crawford, who was named the NHL’s first star for last week.

4. Rob Scuderi’s Blackhawks debut. Scuderi, acquired late Monday night from the Penguins in exchange for Trevor Daley, was “fine” according to coach Joel Quenneville. Scuderi, brought in to give the Blackhawks more of a stay-at-home defenseman as well as another penalty killer when their other penalty killers took penalties, paired with Michal Rozsival on Tuesday. Scuderi played 12:26 with two shots on goal and a blocked shot. Said Quenneville, “I thought his thought process and positioning were safe and reliable and I thought he did a good job defending."

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5. Andrew Shaw’s hit getting supplemental discipline? Shaw had a high hit on Colorado defenseman Francois Beauchemin in the third period. Shaw received a roughing minor on the play. The NHL will review it; they always give another look to hits like this. Whether or not the league gives Shaw supplemental discipline, however, remains to be seen.

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.”