User ID
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Betting Tools

'Hawks, Wings have 2 of NHL's top coaches

DETROIT (AP) - Joel Quenneville has accomplished a lot in the NHL, hoisting the Stanley Cup once and with as many postseason victories as any active coach.

The Chicago Blackhawks coach, though, has never gotten past the Detroit Red Wings in the playoffs.

Quenneville is 0-5 as a head coach against the Red Wings in postseason series, getting eliminated by them in 2009 to end his first season in Chicago, once with Colorado, and three times while leading St. Louis.

``When you look back over the history, obviously they've had a good team for a lot of years and had their Cup years,'' Quenneville explained Wednesday. ``I think everybody in the Western Conference was trying to get them.''

This year, Quenneville is coaching the team considered the one to beat. Chicago set a league record by earning at least a point in the first 24 games and finished the lockout-shortened season with at least five more points than every other team.

But coach Mike Babcock and the rapidly peaking Red Wings have won two straight games by a combined score of 7-2 to take a 2-1 lead in the second-round series.

If Quenneville's decisions, such as sticking with goaltender Corey Crawford, help the Blackhawks even the series Thursday night in Game 4 on the road, the Coach of the Year finalist might finally beat the Red Wings in the playoffs.

If the buttons Babcock pushes lead to the Red Wings taking a 3-1 advantage, Quenneville will be on the brink of breaking a dubious mark.

Quenneville is one of three coaches who are 0-5 in postseason series against a franchise since 1937, according to STATS, joining Jacques Martin and Billy Reay, who had the same record against Toronto and Montreal, respectively.

Crawford is confident he can help Chicago rally in the series by taking advantage of the belief Quenneville has in him instead of putting backup Ray Emery in net.

``That's nice for him to back me up, but, I've got to come in and play well and give a little bit more,'' Crawford said.

Babcock relentlessly pushes his players to give everything they have and demands they do it each day.

If veterans or inexperienced players don't meet his high expectations, they'll hear about it and might have a message sent by being a healthy scratch in any given game.

``He makes his team accountable,'' Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said.

With an iron fist?

``Yeah,'' Holland said. ``He's the boss.''

Holland is Babcock's boss more than a decade after telling him that he wanted to lead the storied franchise on the ice while he was coaching a minor league team shared by Detroit and Anaheim.

During the second intermission of a playoff game in 2002, Holland recalled Babcock telling him he wanted to be the next coach of the Red Wings.

``I don't hire interns,'' Holland said he told Babcock. ``The next year, he knocked us out of the playoffs.''

The Babcock-led Ducks eliminated Detroit in 2003 and went on to lose Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals to New Jersey. After missing the playoffs the following year, Anaheim let Babcock go and Holland hired him.

Babcock helped Detroit hoist the Cup in 2008 and led Canada to gold at the Vancouver Games in 2010, becoming the first coach to pull off both of those feats along with winning a world championship.

He is confident, not cocky, about his chances to have more success this postseason because the seventh-seeded Red Wings have improved from within. So much so, in fact, that they can roll four lines of forwards and three pairs of defenseman throughout a game.

``Teams that are successful at playoff time have depth,'' Babcock said. ``That gives a coach a lot of options to move things around to adjust to change.''


Follow Larry Lage on Twitter:

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2016
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

News: Grand Salami - October
Carter OT's goal lift Kings past Preds
Sharks top Blue Jackets, 'under' hits
Habs beat Lightning for 6th straight win
Crosby's goal leads Pens over Isles
Maple Leafs sneak past Panthers, 3-2
Coyotes end 5-game skid, top Flyers
Wild blank Sabres, 'under' cashes
Three factors add up to more goals
Why Buy Picks From
NHL Pro Hockey Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NHL Hot Streaks
6-1 Streak, 11-4 Start This Year
4-0 Record Last 4 Days
9-5, +517 Last 14 G-Plays
16-8, +792 Record This Season
6-2 NHL Totals This Year Gold Membership
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Joe Williams + 792
Don Anthony + 681
Kevin Rogers + 102
Last 7 Day Leaders
Handicapper Money
Don Anthony + 321
Joe Williams + 302
Doc's Sports + 56
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Scott Rickenbach + 379
Don Anthony + 320
Bill Marzano + 98
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Kevin Rogers + 317
Scott Rickenbach + 294
Don Anthony + 180
Yesterday's Leaders
Handicapper Money
Doc's Sports + 105
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Gary Bart + 345
Joe Williams + 100
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership