Dec 31, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville (middle) talks with his team during practice the day before the 2015 Winter Classic hockey game against the Washington Capitals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: H.Darr Beiser-USA TODAY Sports
Over the past month of January the Chicago Blackhawks have seen their team slide from 1st to 3rd in the Central Division standings. That has happened as a result of losing 6 of their 11 games. This is something you never like to see as a player or a fan within such a dangerous division. It isn’t time to go into panic mode yet though because there is still a lot of hockey left to be played. However, it is something that should definitely be brought up and be talked about. As a result the Chicago Blackhawks will be looking for a turnaround after their recent skid.
The first thing the Chicago Blackhawks leadership decided to do in an effort to turn things around was hold a special meeting that included players and coaches before their optional practice at 11:30 A.M. on January 19th. You can bet that every last player and coach was at that meeting listening and trying to absorb all that was said so they can put it into play on the ice during their last two games before the All-Star break and the rest of the season.
Below are some of the player’s comments about the meeting that they had. (Quotes courtesy of Blackhawks TV NEWS, INTERVIEWS, & PRACTICE by Athletico)
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“Whoever it is in the room, it’s important guys step up, coaches step up. We’ve had a good enough leadership group here where we’re going to pay attention to everything those guys say. Obviously you listen to your coaches because they know what’s going on, they have a better grasp of what’s going on with the team. I think deep down individually we all know we have to be better. We have to get back to what brought us success earlier in the year and we’re looking to do that tomorrow.” –Ben Smith
“Every time there’s a situation, whether it’s here, at home or wherever, you talk about it, you feel better about it. I think as a group it’s good for us to talk it out, get ready for tomorrow. The games are coming quickly here before the break here, four in six days, so we want to get our team game going and find a way to earn two points tomorrow.” –Ben Smith
“You know we had a meeting today, leadership stepped up and you know we’ve got to expect teams wanting to beat us. We’re a good team and we have a lot of great things going for us but you know we haven’t been playing our best hockey the past few games and we’ve got to come out there the rest of the year and push to make the playoffs.” –Andrew Shaw