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Fellow coaches jump to Joel Quenneville’s defense

Feb 16, 2012, 10:39 AM EDT

Image (1) Quenneville-thumb-250x166-8257.jpg for post 597

With the Blackhawks mired in a nine-game losing streak, plenty of solutions have been thrown out on how to fix the team. Shake up the lines. Trade Patrick Kane. Get a new goalie.

Fire Joel Quenneville.

The latter recently came to the forefront when Chicago GM Stan Bowman gave Quenneville a vote of confidence. While some might see that as the kiss of death — most coaches say a public vote of confidence is often a sign of future unemployment — Quenneville might appreciate the gesture given all the grief he’s faced. And according to one ex-coach, that grief is probably weighing on Quenneville.

“I’m sure the criticism will bother him in some shape or form,” Crawford told the Chicago Sun-Times. “[But] he’s been through that before in Colorado and in St. Louis. He’s a smart veteran coach. He knows they’re a win away from turning this around.”

Two current NHL coaches also offered their thoughts on Coach Q.

Barry Trotz, Nashville: “I’ll say this, when you win, coaches get too much credit, and when you lose, you get too much blame. I don’t know all the criticism they’re giving him, but I know he’s one of the best coaches in the NHL. They’re just going through a dry patch.”

Dave Tippett, Phoenix: “It’s funny when you coach that long, and all of a sudden people think you’ve just forgotten everything you’ve learned over the last 20 years. It’s a volatile business, but you’ve got to look at the big picture, not just the last nine games.”

The ‘Hawks will look to snap their losing streak tonight at MSG against the Eastern Conference-leading Rangers. It won’t be easy — the Blueshirts at 18-6-2 at home this season — but you’d expect Chicago to play with a previously-unseen sense of desperation. The Blackhawks’ losing streak is their longest since an 0-8-2 stretch in 2007 and they’ve dropped 11 in a row on the road for the first time since the 2003-04 campaign.

  1. davebabychreturns - Feb 16, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    The Canucks lost what, ten in a row a few years ago? Alain Vigneault got a vote of confidence from Mike Gillis and the team ended up going on a tear and winning the division, he’s obviously still got his job today.

    I think a vote of confidence means something from a well-run team that knows its direction – but I don’t know if that’s what the Chicago Blackhawks are these days, I think Stan Bowman really hamstrung them with the way he dismantled that team (I know the cap forced it on them but I still think it could have been done better).

    Interesting times in Chicago, though.

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