by Scott King
A fuming Joel Quenneville had the Blackhawks skating laps to end Tuesday morning’s practice. When the team gathered following the extra skating, Quenneville seemed to have some not so happy words for the players before walking off the ice.
“[I] didn’t like the last part of our practice,” Quenneville said of the unusual conclusion to practice. “The intensity and the pace went down. Tough to look at it and I was just [saying] ‘let’s go.’”
The team has lost its last five of six games and takes on the Philadelphia Flyers in Chicago Wednesday night.
Winger Patrick Sharp thought the team could use the conditioning. “It’s always good to do that once in a while,” Sharp said. “A couple days in between games sitting around a little bit too much, so it’s good to get out there and skate. I don’t know if ‘fun’ is the word.”
“Those are never fun,” defenseman Cody Franson said. “But you know what, it’s great in terms of losing is not acceptable here. It’s amazing to me how calm and level-headed our room has stayed through adversity like this.
“This is kind of the first time I’ve experienced something like that. Usually, there’s a ton of panic. Yes, there’s some stress on our power play and not scoring enough goals right now, but everybody is very aware of that. We know what we have to try and do, keep it simple and nobody is letting it get past where it needs to be.”
Patrick Kane didn’t want to get into specifics about the ordeal.
“I’m not sure what happened or what you saw out there,” said a tight-lipped Kane of the head coach’s disapproval. “I don’t know. As a group, I think we’re just talking about trying to get through this slump, that’s really it, right.
“I don’t know particularly what [Quenneville] is feeling or what kind of emotions he has. As a group, we’re just trying to stay together. It’s a slump. It’s early in the season. There’s things that [are] going right, there’s things that are going wrong, so we’ll try to get ourself out of it tomorrow and have a good game and just focus on that.”
“I think you’re always going to have bumps over the course of the season and stretches where your game isn’t where you want it to be,” Quenneville said. “Or there’s something that needs to be worked on in the game, attitudes or whatever. We don’t go along and we want to make sure there’s enough intensity where we get something out of the practice. At the end, the pace wasn’t good enough.”
The Blackhawks play the Flyers at the United Center Wednesday night, 7:00 pm.
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