Quenneville third coach to reach 700 wins
CHICAGO -- It happened against the St. Louis Blues, his first stop as an NHL bench boss, but Joel Quenneville wasn't in the mood to reflect on his career win total.
When the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Blues 4-0 at United Center on Wednesday night, Quenneville became the third coach in NHL history to reach 700 regular-season victories, joining Hall of Fame members Scotty Bowman (1,244) and Al Arbour (782) as the only coaches to reach that milestone.
Asked about it afterward, Quenneville spoke only of win No. 700 and not at all of the 699 that preceded it. Chicago hadn't beaten St. Louis in any of the first three games this season, and the victory helped the Blackhawks move ahead of the Colorado Avalanche into second place in the Central Division.
"It was a good win," Quenneville said. "I'll take any kind of win, but I certainly liked everything about how we went about tonight's game. It was a real solid team victory for us and something we've been trying to do against these guys all year."
Quenneville won a Stanley Cup in 1995-96 as an assistant coach with the Colorado Avalanche. He moved on to the Blues and became coach midway through the 1996-97 season when Mike Keenan was fired. Quenneville coached the Blues to 307 victories, seven consecutive Stanley Cup Playoff berths, and the Presidents' Trophy in 1999-2000 before being fired late in the 2003-04 season. He won the Jack Adams Trophy as the coach of the year in 2000.
Quenneville returned to the Avalanche in 2005-06 and coached Colorado to the playoffs twice in three seasons before leaving. He joined the Blackhawks as a pro scout in September 2008 and replaced Denis Savard as coach on Oct. 16, 2008.
The Blackhawks have made the playoffs in each of Quenneville's five seasons and are all but assured of a sixth consecutive trip to the postseason. He led them to the Stanley Cup in 2010, when they defeated the Philadelphia Flyers in a six-game Final that gave the Blackhawks their first championship since 1961. The Blackhawks won again in 2013, beating the Boston Bruins in six games, making Quenneville the only coach in franchise history to win the Stanley Cup twice.
Following win No.700, Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith made sure to secure the puck as a memento for Quenneville. The rest of the team followed suit by congratulating the guy known affectionately as "Q."
"That was huge," said forward Andrew Shaw, who scored a goal in the victory. "[I'm] glad I saw [Keith] run and get the puck there at the end of the game. It's a big thing for [Quenneville] and I'm glad to be a part of it."
Quenneville, a defenseman who played more than 800 NHL games from 1978-79 through 1990-91, seemed happier with the way his team played than with his personal accomplishment.
Chicago went 2-for-3 on the power play, killed off all three man-advantage situations for the Blues and goalie Corey Crawford notched his second shutout of the season. The Blackhawks also hounded the net and made it a tough night for Blues goalie Ryan Miller to see pucks.
Aside from a lower-body injury to leading scorer Patrick Kane, which could sideline him for the rest of the regular season, it was a game that went just the way Quenneville wanted it to go.
"I thought we played the right way from start to finish," he said. "Arguably one of our best games all year, very complete in all areas. [We got] contributions from across the board. It was an excellent contribution from everybody."