Q Stache breaks down Blackhawks Game 1 Victory

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By Paul M. Banks

The Chicago Blackhawks‘ 2-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks in game one of the Western Conference Finals was huge. Actually it was HUGE!!!! The second city needs to savor this Hawks playoff run as long as possible, because it appears that both the White Sox and Cubs are going absolutely nowhere this season. On the same weekend the Hawks took a 1-0 in their NHL final four series, the Sox and Cubs lost a series to the Kansas City Royals and Pittsburgh Pirates respectively. Those franchises are MLB’s defacto AAA teams. So that’s a bit demoralizing.

But enough negativity- let’s talk about how good the Hawks looked in Silicon Valley on Sunday. And Hawks Coach Joel Quenneville, a.k.a. the Q Stache, is here to articulate the how and why

The Hawks lost the first game in both of their previous two series, but obviously took the first one here. Quenneville’s commentary

“We weren’t happy the way we began the last two series.  We wanted to continue on with the way we felt we approached Game 6 in Vancouver.  I thought the guys were good going into that in the game, the last three or four days.”

The strategy of putting Jonathan Toews back on the ice, even though Q Stache removed his line

“I think you don’t want to deny offensive opportunities for that line.  Made a nice little play, Byfuglien got it away quickly.  A situation you got to be aware who is on the ice.  Sometimes you can get the matchups.  Sometimes you don’t mind it in the offensive zone…we had to work for the matchup tonight.”

The Q-Stache scares people

And finally an interesting Q and A, from the game post game 1 presser:

Q.  Leading up to the Byfuglien goal, there was some fancy changing, flip-flopping your lines a little here and there.  Were you surprised they were willing to go power-on-power with the defensive zone?  How confident were you in a power-on-power situation tonight?

COACH QUENNEVILLE:  Well, I think Johnny’s line when they’re out there in the offensive zone, they can make plays.  They got patience with the puck.  Still comfortable with Johnny against anybody.  Know that Bolland was trying to work on the matchup all night.  Wasn’t easy.  I think sometimes you’re going to be exposed to not the perfect matchup when you’re trying to get it on the road.  Sometimes not even easy at home.
At the same time, you know, we got a fortunate break on the goal, retrieval, nice pass, great shot.  Anything can happen when it’s a tight game.

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