Blackhawks News

3 Dragons the Chicago Blackhawks Must Slay Next Season

By Tim Lively
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Oct 1, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville against the Washington Capitals during the third period at the United Center. The Blackhawks beat the Capitals 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

1.) Coach Joel Quenneville

If there are psychological dragons lurking within the Chicago Blackhawks organization, their lair is Coach Q’s head. Despite bringing two Stanley Cups to Chi-Town in four years, the claim that Q-stache is an overrated head coach gained some more merit after last season. Despite a deep playoff run, when the Hawks stumbled, Quenneville didn’t lend much help, and was at times even part of the problem. It became appalling how everyone in Chicago could see how much Michal Handzus was dragging down his line, except for Coach Q. Not to mention his lack of willingness to develop Brandon Pirri into the dynamic and talented forward all of Hawks Nation thought he could become. Yet the biggest obstacle the Hawks encountered last season was Quenneville’s line blender. This problem was entirely Coach-Q made, and if the Hawks were a lesser-caliber team, the results would have been much worse. I’ve said it before: in hockey, chemistry among lines is everything. Case in point, last season the fourth line stood out because it was the only line Quenneville left unmolested. With the addition of Brad Richards, and likely some other newcomers this season, it’s pivotal Coach Q stays out of his team’s (and his own) way and allows the lines to form synergy. When he’s done this in the past, great things happen; like record-setting point streak great things.