Hurricanes-Blackhawks: Chicago Begins Life After Joel Quenneville

Matthew Jordan

Wednesday, November 7, 2018 12:49 PM UTC

Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018 12:49 PM UTC

The Chicago Blackhawks host the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday in the Hawks’ first outing since firing mega-successful head coach Joel Quenneville.

Carolina (6-7-2) at Chicago (6-6-3)Thursday, 8:30 p.m. ETFree NHL Pick: Hawks MLBest Line Offered: SportsBetting

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It has been a rough week for NHL coaches on teams that have won multiple Stanley Cups this decade as John Stevens was fired Sunday by the Los Angeles Kings (Stevens wasn’t coach on Cup teams), and the Chicago Blackhawks dumped Joel Quenneville in a much bigger surprise on Tuesday. The Hawks take the ice for the first time without Coach Q on Thursday vs. visiting Carolina.

The Blackhawks won three Cups this decade (2010, ’13, ’15) under Quenneville, who is a lock Hall of Famer as the second-winningest coach in league history with 890 in the regular season. He’s only behind Hall of Famer Scotty Bowman, whose son Stan is the Chicago general manager and responsible for the Quenneville firing. Quenneville has coached in 1,636 games, first among active coaches and second all time. Before the Blackhawks, he was coach of the Avalanche (2005-08) and Blues (1996- 2004).

Since winning their last Cup, the Hawks have fallen on hard times. They lost in the first round of the playoffs the next two seasons, missed the postseason completely a year ago and are 6-6-3 this year and on a five-game losing streak. This team simply isn’t a contender, ranking in the bottom half of the league in scoring, goals-against, on the power play and on the PK. Frankly, Stan Bowman is lucky he still has a job. He helped build this franchise but also is responsible for some really questionable moves the past few years – like trading Artemi Panarin for Brandon Saad.

The new head coach is 33-year-old Jeremy Colliton, who becomes the youngest in the NHL. He was in his second season with the Rockford (Ill.) IceHogs of the AHL. Colliton was named IceHogs coach on May 18, 2017 — his first coaching job in North America. Before that, he was coach in a Swedish league. Colliton did play a bit in the NHL.

It will be interesting to see how the Blackhawks players respond in their first game – they loved playing for Coach Q. There are really two ways to go: Go in the tank or play harder as a giant middle finger to management. I think it will be the latter.

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Joel Quenneville’s tenure in Chicago is over.

797 games
452 wins
9 playoff appearances
3 Stanley Cups pic.twitter.com/wcaRI329ha

— Yahoo Sports NHL (@YahooSportsNHL) November 6, 2018
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Hurricanes Also Sliding

It’s the first meeting of the season between Chicago and Carolina. They split last year, each winning on the road. In Raleigh, it was a 4-3 OT Hawks win. Saad, who has been a bust in his return to Chicago, had the OT winner at 1:44. Alex DeBrincat had two goals and an assist. Former Blackhawk Scott Darling was in net for the Hurricanes.

In Chicago, the Canes won 3-2. Sebastian Aho scored the game-winner on the power play at 4:35 of the third. Justin Williams had a goal and assist, while Darling made 22 saves. Ironically, that was Carolina’s first game after firing GM Ron Francis. Jean-Francois Berube made 37 stops for Chicago. He’s out of the NHL now.

Carolina also enters on a five-game skid after losing 4-1 in St. Louis on Tuesday. The Hurricanes have totaled just seven goals during the losing streak. Curtis McElhinney got the start vs. the Blues and stopped 16 of 19 shots. Probably be Darling against his former team Thursday. The Canes are 27th in the league in scoring, 28th on the power play and 29th on the PK.

  • Hurricanes are 1-5 in their last 6 vs. Western Conference.
  • Hurricanes are 8-20 in their last 28 after scoring 2 goals or less in their previous game.
  • Blackhawks are 15-7 in their last 22 vs. Metropolitan.

We think the Hawks will come out with a little extra pep in their skates, plus they have won five of the past seven at home in this series. Take Chicago for a Thursday NHL pick.

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