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Quenneville explains why he kept Smith out of warmups

Jun 18, 2013, 6:15 PM EST

Head coach Joel Quenneville of the Chicago Blackhawks watches the action on the bench with (L-R) Ben Smith #28, Bryan Bickell #29 and Viktor Stalberg #25 in a 2-0 loss to the Boston Bruins in Game Three of the Stanley Cup Final at the TD Garden on June 17, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts.
(June 16, 2013 - Source: Gail Oskin/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville knew going into the Game 3 warmups that there was a chance Marian Hossa (upper body) would be unable to play and he had decided on Ben Smith as Hossa’s replacement if one was needed, based on a CSN Chicago report.

All the same, Quenneville kept Smith, 24, out the the pregame warmups while 38-year-old forward Jamal Mayers, who was a healthy scratch, took part in them.

Quenneville explained that he was hoping that Hossa would still be able to play and consequently didn’t want to “tip their hand.” However, while several Blackhawks players knew for most of the day that Hossa might not play, Smith ended up having to scramble to get ready.

“He didn’t really have the typical game-day preparation,” Patrick Sharp said. “I don’t know if he had a nap or a decent meal. He just came in, put his skates on and jumped into the Stanley Cup Final.

“For a guy who works as hard as Benny does, to be rewarded like that, and I thought he played great. He got a good scoring chance in the second period and put pucks in great areas. That’s something he’ll always remember. It gave us a big lift to see him roll in here and put his gear on last night.”

Smith added after the game, “They tell us to stay ready and you never know when your opportunity is going to come.”

He’s certainly not going complain about the short notice. He ended up with 10:23 minutes of ice time and a minus-one rating in his 28th NHL game, including playoff contests.

Related:

Quenneville says Hossa is ‘likely’ to play Game 4

  1. alan226 - Jun 18, 2013 at 6:50 PM

    Is it me, or is Joel Quenneville completely overmatched.

    • hockeydon10 - Jun 19, 2013 at 10:52 AM

      “Completely overmatched?” Nah. Slightly overmatched, as evidenced by the first two games being OT games.

      As a Wings fan, it’s easy to claim he was outcoached by Bacock, but the talent on the Hawks bailed out Q-stache. Now that the talent is about even, Coach Clod merely has to out-coach Q-stache by a little and we can see the results.

  2. imleftcoast - Jun 18, 2013 at 8:11 PM

    Maybe you don’t tell him the night before so he doesn’t miss sleep, but I think you have him in the pre-game skate. I’ve never missed warm-up, and had a good game. And that’s beer league.

  3. dropthepuckeh - Jun 18, 2013 at 11:43 PM

    Sounds to me like Coach Q is covering for Hossa so he doesn’t come off as a total wussy.

    • tlndma - Jun 19, 2013 at 8:14 AM

      Tony Amonte had questions about Hossa… just sayin.

      • grilledjesus - Jun 19, 2013 at 8:58 AM

        Hossa probably spilled Amontes drink at one time or another. Nobody is wussing out of the SCF, it’s what every player dreams of.

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