The Chicago Blackhawks made a stunning decision on Tuesday to fire longtime head coach Joel Quenneville following the team’s 6-6-3 start, and you may have trouble finding people who agree with the move.
While the Blackhawks finished 33-39-10 last year and missed the playoffs, that was the first time they failed to reach the postseason since Quenneville was named the head coach in Chicago back in 2008. They also won three Stanley Cup titles under Quenneville, who was the longest-tenured coach in the NHL.
Quenneville was the second-winningest coach in Blackhawks history, and the list of reasons why people believe the 60-year-old deserved to keep his job goes on and on. Here’s a sampling of how shocked sports fans and media were:
Assuming Quenneville wants to continue coaching, he should not be unemployed very long. There will be plenty of teams in the NHL that are willing to fire their current head coaches if Quenneville wants to lead them.
Scott Foster was shockingly impressive when he appeared in an NHL game for the first time in his life on Thursday night, but the Chicago Blackhawks emergency goaltender had better not think about quitting his day job.
Foster, a 36-year-old account, signed a contract with the Blackhawks on Thursday after both of their goalies went down with injuries. But as ESPN’s Darren Rovell notes, the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement allows the team to deem his appearance a “tryout” that requires no money being paid out.
Foster played the last 14 minutes or so of Chicago’s win over the Winnipeg Jets and stopped all seven shots he faced. He then gave a hilarious interview with the media after the game, and you could tell his teammates were thrilled for him. At the very least, the Blackhawks should treat him to a nice dinner.
The Chicago Blackhawks entered the postseason as the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, and they have been eliminated after just four games. The Nashville Predators completed a sweep of Chicago with a convincing 4-1 win on Thursday night.
Following a series that was never really close after a 5-0 blowout in Game 2, Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said it is “insulting” to the Predators to say Chicago choked.
“I think it’s insulting to not give that team credit for how well they played and how well they played us specifically,” Toews said, via Tracey Myers of CSNChicago.com. “I think they were relentless. Anytime we seem to start to get things going they found ways to stymie our momentum or our offense.”
The Blackhawks finished with their second-highest point total in franchise history this season with 109 points in a 50-23-9 campaign, yet they were bounced in the first round of the postseason for a second straight year.
Toews tried to sum up the level of disappointment.
“It’s tough enough to lose a series and fall short. It’s a whole different story to lose four straight and get swept like we did,” he said. “I think we’ve got guys in this room that have experienced the highs of going all the way. I think aside from what it would feel like to miss the playoffs, especially with the potential in this room, this has to be the next worst feeling for sure. So … yeah, again, not much to say right now.”
Chicago scored just three goals in the series. It was the first time since 1993 that they have been swept in a playoff series, and the first time since 1994 that any No. 1 seed suffered the same fate. The 2012 Los Angeles Kings were the last No. 8 seed to knock off a No. 1 seed, and they went on to win the Stanley Cup.
Overall, you couldn’t have asked for a worse ending to a great season in Chicago. Having said that, Toews is right — the Predators deserve credit for turning the best team in the West into a doormat.
The hockey gods just were not with the Chicago Blackhawks this postseason.
With four minutes left in Game 7 against the St. Louis Blues on Monday, a Brent Seabrook shot hit both pipes and then bounced out instead of going into the net for what would have been a goal to tie the game at 3:
This angle shows just how close it was to being a goal:
With that shot ricocheting out of the net, the Blues held on to win the game and series, which they nearly blew after being up 3-1 in the series.
Of course, the puck coming so close to going in but popping out led to plenty of crying Jordan memes:
The Blackhawks have advanced to the second round of this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs and are facing the Minnesota Wild in a best of seven series. Having already won game one, the Blackhawks looked to take a 2-0 series lead Sunday night. One of Chicago’s other sports teams showed their support earlier in the day.
After their game against the Brewers, several Cubs players donned Blackhawks jerseys. Joe Maddon met with the media wearing one, as did Jason Hammel. David Ross and Addison Russell posed for a picture by the team bus.
In the above photo, we see Dexter Fowler, Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro, Pedro Strop, and a bunch of snacks, on the plane headed to St. Louis for a four-game series with the Cardinals that begins Monday.
Joe Maddon has become well known for themed road trips and we’ve highlighted a few in the past. This one happens to serve another purpose, a show of pride for the city of Chicago.
Photo via: Twitter/ARizzo44
The Western Conference Finals came to a thrilling end on Sunday with the Los Angeles Kings pulling out a 5-4 victory in overtime. Despite their disappointing result, the Chicago Blackhawks still delivered plenty of excitement for fans — both on the ice and on social media.
After Patrick Sharp scored a power play goal late in the second period to give Chicago a 4-3 lead, the Blackhawks official Twitter account tweeted a pretty standard photo. One of the hashtags, however, was anything but ordinary.
As Deadspin pointed out, “chingue a su madre” is a Spanish term that means “f— your mother” or “motherf—er.” EPN is an acronym for Enrique Pena Nieto, who is the president of Mexico. Obviously, the person running the Blackhawks’ Twitter fell victim to autocorrect. Here’s what it was supposed to say.
Hey, it could have been worse. Just ask US Airways.
On a day when the Chicago Blackhawks are parading through the streets of their city to celebrate a second Stanley Cup victory in four years, the team’s owners took the opportunity to show a great deal of class by thanking their opposition. The full-page ad you see above appeared in Friday morning’s edition of the Boston Globe. It was aimed at thanking the Boston Bruins and the city of Boston for their hospitality.
The 2013 Stanley Cup Finals was one of the most dramatic and entertaining in recent history. Players fought through everything from a pulled hamstring to a lung puncture, and their toughness was not lost on the fans. In addition, the past few months have presented trying times for Bostonians outside of the sporting world. The Blackhawks’ letter to Boston read as follows:
The Boston Bruins did not have many people outside the New England area rooting for them in the Stanley Cup Finals, because people love to see Boston teams lose. The recent success of the Bruins, Patriots, Red Sox and Celtics has made people resent fans in the Boston area for what they believe are overly cocky attitudes. The city of Toronto had a difference reason for rooting for the Bruins to lose.
If you can remember back to mid-May, you may recall the Maple Leafs leading the Bruins 4-1 halfway through the third period of Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. Toronto somehow went on to lose that game, and the city has not gotten over it.
I never understood stuff like this. Wouldn’t you want to be able to say you lost to the best? Not only that, but Toronto is just calling further attention to the embarrassing meltdown the Maple Leafs put their fans through in their first playoff appearance since 2004.
If this was a Montreal paper, you could understand. The Bruins and Canadiens have one of the greatest rivalries in sports. The Maple Leafs are simply trying to form an identity roughly 50 years after they used to own the NHL. This doesn’t really help.
The Boston Bruins set a record earlier in the postseason by scoring four unanswered goals to come back and beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-4 in overtime in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference series. The Bruins scored two goals in 31 seconds that night to help the comeback, which left the Leafs and their fans devastated.
Now the Bruins and their fans know what the Leafs were feeling.
The Chicago Blackhawks scored two stunning goals in 17 seconds to come back and beat the Bruins 3-2 in Game 6 to win the Stanley Cup. The first goal was scored by Bryan Bickell with 1:16 left in the game. Dave Bolland then scored the winner off a rebound from a puck that bounced off the post with 59 seconds left.
To give you an idea of how quickly things changed, all you need to know is that both teams pulled their goalies at the end.
Video via Business Insider
Phil Esposito is one of the greatest players in NHL history, and he played for both the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins. For that reason, one might assume he would be torn when it comes to choosing a team to root for in this year’s Stanley Cup Final. As it turns out, that could not be further from the truth.
During a recent interview with the Toronto Sun, Esposito emphatically stated that he feels no connection to the Bruins or Blackhawks.
“You want to know the truth?” he said. “This series doesn’t mean s*** to me. I have no feeling for these teams. There’s nothing emotional about it. They both got rid of me, traded me. So screw them.”
Esposito was considered the greatest scorer of his generation, becoming the first ever player to score over 100 points in a season when he recorded a whopping 126 in 1969. He led the NHL in scoring for six straight seasons from 1969-1975, and he and Bobby Orr were the anchors of a Bruins team that won Stanley Cup championships in 1970 and 1972.
Esposito came to Boston from Chicago in 1967, before his career really took off. During the 1975-76 season, he was traded from the Bruins to the New York Rangers when he supposedly made a fuss about having his playing time reduced because of his age.
“I didn’t choose to leave Chicago,” Esposito said. “I didn’t choose to leave Boston. I signed a contract in Boston for less money than I could have gotten from going to the WHA. I could have made millions doing that. And you know how they repaid me? Three weeks later, they traded me (to the New York Rangers).”
The fifth-leading scorer in NHL history went on to coach and become general manager of the Rangers after he retired in 1981. In 1987, the Bruins held an emotional ceremony where they retired Esposito’s No. 7 jersey and had Ray Bourque remove the number from his back to reveal his new No. 77. Esposito was moved by the ceremony and later attended a ceremony in Boston when the Bruins retired Bourque’s number, but apparently he has had no association with the team since then. Talk about a crying shame.